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Topic - Violence in Children's Television


answers: 6
May 26, 2011, 10:20pm   #1
So I chose to write an essay on violence in children's television.
This is how I plan my essay to be.

My argument: television show producers should include only appropriate scenes in children's shows

My 3 body paragraphs:
1. Television violence leads to more aggressive behaviour in children
2. Television violence desensitizes children from real life violence
3. Television violence causes children to suffer from mean and scary world syndrome.

Please give me feedbacks for my argument and my 3 body paragraphs!
I did have an interview with my teacher regarding my essay progress, and
he said to decide on an argument and make the topic "narrower".
He suggested writing the essay about the mean and scary world syndrome and derive an argument from there.

But the thing is, the essay has to be 800 ~ 1000 words long, and I am quite sure that
writing just about mean and scary world syndrome is not enough to fill 800 words.

So I decided to stick with my plan... but please tell me what you think I should do.

So far, I have written my introduction.

Intro
Our society, one that used to be pure and virtuous, is becoming plagued with corruption. Humans are failing to live up to their own expectations of ideal humanity. Since when was it considered to be righteous to allow violence and cruelty, which even mature adults are disturbed by, to be displayed in children's view? It seems that modern television shows are always being "decorated" with violent scenes to attract youth viewers. This lure, that obstructs children's process of developing into prudent adults, must discontinue in order to protect our future generations. It is this increasing of violence in television that triggers more aggressive behaviour in children, desensitizes them to real world violence, and causes them to suffer from the mean and scary world syndrome.

I appreciate any correction and feedback for my intro!

I intended to make "This lure, that obstructs children's process of developing into prudent adults, must discontinue in order to protect our future generations" the thesis, suggesting that violence in television should be stopped. Is this a good thesis? What should I do with it?

Thanks in advance,
Blingles

May 27, 2011, 03:27pm   #2
Edit:

New Intro
Children, those who need to grow in a pure and clean society, are becoming plagued with indecencies of the media. We are failing to raise them in an ideal, virtuous manner. Since when was it considered to be righteous to allow violence and cruelty, which even mature adults are disturbed by, to be displayed for children? It seems that modern television shows are always being "decorated" with violent scenes to attract youth viewers. This lure, that obstructs children's process of developing into prudent adults, must discontinue in order to protect our future generations. It is this increasing of violence broadcasted in television that desensitizes children to real world violence and causes them to suffer from the mean and scary world syndrome. Is violence the only way to grab children's attention?
Blingles,
In all but the shortest persuasive essays, make sure you respond to the most powerful or common objections to your position. This gives you credibility and allows you to persuade readers who take the time to think of objections to your argument. For example, they might say:
1. My personal experience watching violent television shows as a child contradicts your position, so I will reject it. After all, if violent television increased violence, we would all be violent.
2. The studies linking violent television to desensitization and suspicion are flawed. They represent events in the laboratory, where children respond to researchers' expectations.
3. Violent television provides entertainment, moral instruction (e.g., through the values displayed by violent heroes), employment, and other benefits that outweigh the risk they increase violence.
4. Our culture is saturated with violence, so reducing the amount in children's television will have no effect. In fact, it may leave them ill-prepared to deal with the violence they will encounter in media as they age.
5. Violent entertainment gives children an outlet for their aggression, so it actually reduces aggression.

I doubt you will have the space to answer all of these objections in detail, but you should at least respond to the ones you think your readers are most likely to make or to find persuasive.

Like your teacher, I would recommend narrowing your topic. This has several advantages:
1. You can spend more time reinforcing your argument, which will enable you to present it in a more compelling way. For example, you might be able to couple statistics and study results with real world examples.
2. Your information is more likely to be new to your reader, which should make it more interesting.
3. You'll have more time to respond to objections.
4. You'll have less research to do.

If you're worried you will not have enough to say, ask what questions readers might have about your topic. Considering the scary world syndrome, they might want to know:
1. What is the theory behind the scary world syndrome? In other words, how do violent television shows cause children to be suspicious about the world?
2. How have the theories' proponents supported it? Can they site real-world evidence and show that the scary world syndrome has a long-term effect?
3. Aside from increasing violence, what are the implications of the scary world syndrome? For example, does it affect children's ability to make friends, form close relationships with their family, or take risks (e.g., raising their hand to answer a question when they aren't sure of the answer) in front of others?
4. What do critics of the scary world syndrome theory say about it? How would you respond?
5. What should we do about scary world syndrome? Why is this the appropriate course of action?
6. Does your suggestion have any side benefits?
7. Does your suggestion have any disadvantages? If so, how would you respond?

You should also feel free to make your position more nuanced. For example, if there are situations where you consider violence acceptable or beneficial in children's television, you could discuss those situations.

In presenting readers' potential objections and topics you could discuss, I am not trying to discourage you from arguing against media violence or taking the stance in your initial outline. I am merely trying to show how much you can write about a narrow topic.

While it has been several years since I have researched media violence, I can offer at least three sources:
Craig A. Anderson, the director of the Center for the Study of Violence, who posts all of the articles he's published since 1995 on his website (http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~caa);
Gerard Jones, who argues that violent entertainment gives children a much-needed sense of power, a way to socialize with their peers, and a much-needed break from reality involving worlds where the good guys always win;
Jeffrey H. Goldstein, a humanities professor who tries to understand why people find violent media entertaining and argues that many of the studies linking violent media to aggression ignore the distinction between actual aggression and play.

These sources focus on video games, but I suspect you can find people more interested in television by looking at the researchers they work with or cite.

If you have any questions or feedback on my feedback, let me know.
Blingles:
He suggested writing the essay about the mean and scary world syndrome and derive an argument from there.

Okay, yes... that sounds like good advice. If you try to write about all the other reasons, the essay will be vague. The goal is you SHARPEN the tip of your spear and really stab the reader with a poignant, unique perspective on a concept. "Mean and Scary World Syndrome" is a great place to start.

An essay is not supposed to give a comprehensive answer to a question. It's supposed to give a deeply penetrating discussion of some particular concept associated with the question.

Blingles:
Is violence the only way to grab children's attention?

I don't think this sentence is a good way to end the intro. Instead, do not write the last sentence of the intro yet. Write it after you have written the body paragraphs.

Write some body paragraphs about the syndrome and its bad consequences. While you write, you'll get a brilliant idea that you want to share -- an idea about the importance of protecting children against this syndrome.

:-)
May 29, 2011, 08:39pm   #5
I thank both of you very much for extremely informative feed backs.

Sadly, I read them too late and I do not have much time to restart on the essay.

However, I will make sure that I will follow your guidelines next time.

I guess I will lose quite a lot of marks for this essay...

@ EF Kevin
Hmm...
Right now, I have my body paragraphs in this order
- Desensitization
- Mean and Scary World Syndrome
- Studies showing that children do NOT like violence on television

What I wanted was to include those 3 points in my final sentences of my introduction;

"It is this increasing of violence broadcasted in television that desensitizes children to real world violence and causes them to suffer from the mean and scary world syndrome. Is violence the only way to grab children's attention?"

When making a new ending sentence, should I cancel the "violence... grab children's attention" part?
But then, I feel that I wouldn't be including the three points in my introduction that I am going to discuss in my body paragraphs.

I need help on ending my introduction properly.

Thanks
Any help appreciated

- Blingles
Blingles:
Studies showing that children do NOT like violence on television

Do you know of any studies like that? Do not send yourself on a scavenger hunt. When you write, start by reading. Do not try to plan the paper. Instead, just write 1 or 2 paragraphs about every great article you read. Then, look for the emerging theme.

Blingles:
But then, I feel that I wouldn't be including the three points in my introduction that I am going to discuss in my body paragraphs.


You know how you can mix 2 colors of paint together to make a different color? It's like that. Look at the 3 points made in the body of the essay and ask yourself what they mean when you consider them all together. Consider them all together, and see what conclusion you draw. That is the sentence to write at the end of the first paragraph.

:-)
@EF_Kevin
Haha surprisingly, I did find a recent study done in 2011 that shows children do not like violence. I am planning to use that in my 3rd paragraph.

Ah, I see what you mean. Alright, I'll try as best as I can.

Thanks a lot for the help! :)



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