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Communications & Media
English (U.S.)
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Short Synthesis Essay—Electronic Media Communications & Media Essay (Essay Sample)


This assignment asks you to consider how narrative works in media other than print—film, television, video games, electronic storybooks—and to examine how such media treat narrative.
For this assignment, consider the topic, context, and purpose of your essay. Formulate a strong thesis statement or argument, and draw on your research sources to support it. Analyze your sources for pertinent information, but do not simply summarize or repeat the authors’ ideas. Rather, organize your paper according to certain arguments, relevant factors, or major themes. Combine the ideas and information from source materials under distinct headings to back up your points. Sum up similarities and differences in the various sources, as well as arguments that counter your own main point or argument. Address these in a final paragraph, either making concessions or refuting them.
Option A
Watch an episode of a television show and assess its adherence to the narrative conventions presented in this course. How do these narrative conventions explain the choice of characters, topics, and events? What impact do moving images, as opposed to fixed images, have on narrative? What is the role of sound?
Option B
Define and explain digital storytelling, using some examples. Your local library should have digital (or digital interactive books), or check out websites such as, which has free resources such as Fairy Tales: Interactive Pop-up Books for kids (although note that Amazon offers primarily Android-based apps) or Lerner Digital Interactive Books (which offers a 30-day free trial). Apply Unsworth’s analytical framework to what you see and hear. In using Unsworth’s framework, what do you learn about the text that you might not have noticed or considered in simply reading the story? Do you agree with Chen, Ferdig, and Wood’s arguments about electronic storybooks? Consider a picture book that has been recorded in audio format and compare the versions. What is gained or lost, and which version do you prefer, or do you think a child might prefer? Why?
For all assignments, please use APA style for citations and references.


Narrative Conventions
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If one decides to start an interactive analysis into current films, television series and animations, as well as other forms of digital media, the narrative structure and the use of narrative conventions would amaze them. The one thing that is apparent with all of these great movies is that people are living in arguably exciting narrative times. In the 2012 film, “Cloud Atlas”, the developer shifts its viewers from one century to another, even into space and tells six different stories to bring out the overall theme of human interconnectedness. In films like these, filmmakers dispense picture in motion, and storytelling conventions, to enrich their content and the audience are happy to follow them. This paper uses the pilot episode of the first season of the television series, “Altered Carbon”, to support the argument that narrative conventions are more important than video in character development, plot and the thematic concept of a film.

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