Project 3 Essay: The Pop Culture Research Paper

Discipline: Classic English Literature

Type of Paper: Research paper

Academic Level: Undergrad. (yrs 3-4)

Paper Format: APA

Pages: 6 Words: 275


Writing Task:

Write a 1600 words minimum persuasive research paper about a specific type of pop culture and its representation of (or influence on) a social issue. Your paper should have a well-defined thesis--a claim about the pop culture product/media and the social issue. This paper is a research-based paper, so you will conduct research and use what you learn in your research to decide on a thesis (claim) and defend and explain your point of view.


  • Option 1: Pick a specific social issue and research how that social issue is portrayed in a specific pop culture product (such as film, a tv show, a sport, popular books series/graphic novel, or other pop culture media or phenomena). You will analyze the representation of this issue in the pop culture product, and/or the influence it might have on the social issue itself. Consider how pop culture can both reflect issues in our world and bring awareness to them, but can also influence people and change people’s attitudes/thoughts about these issues.
  • Option 2: Consider a particular pop culture product or genre that interests you (for example, a genre of music, a particular sport, a genre of film or a tv show, a genre of books, or a specific example of any of these). Make a claim about how the issues of representation and diversity relate to that genre/show/etc. Choose a specific kind of diversity—racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, disability, class. How diverse is this genre of tv/movies, sport, or type of music? What issues connect to its relative diversity or lack thereof? How does representation (or lack thereof) in your chosen form of pop culture have an impact on the minority groups being represented (or not being represented or not being represented accurately)?
  • Option 3: Create your own argument about a form of pop culture media and have me approve it in advance. You must get your topic approved before you start writing the essay!

NOTE: If you are having trouble narrowing down your topic, please meet with me on Zoom ASAP!

Required Format:

  • Your paper should be written in Times New Roman font with one inch margins on all sides. The upper left hand corner of the first page should include your name, the date, the class, the assignment, and your word count. The upper right hand corner should have your last name and the page number.
  • Your paper should have a descriptive title, which should be centered above the first line of your paper. For more instructions, please consult the format example, also available on Canvas.

Required Length:

  • Your paper must be at least 1600 words minimum, not including your Works Cited page. Any paper shorter than this will not be accepted.
  • This is the minimum length only - your Research Paper can be longer than this, but it must not be shorter.
  • Please include your word count along with your name/class/date/etc in the upper left hand corner of the first page.

Required Sources:

  • Your paper must cite at least six (6) different reputable sources.
  • Because this is a pop culture paper, it is up to you to carefully select your sources and convince your reader that your sources are reputable and relevant. You may use books, articles from online databases, videos, internet sources, and any other source you believe will increase the credibility of your paper.
  • Your paper must include a Works Cited page that lists your 6 (or more) sources in correct MLA format and alphabetical order. See Canvas for MLA advice and examples!

Requirements: 1600 not including works cited