Celebrity Culture Pre-draft: Celebrity Journal (Sources)

Lesson Plan: Celebrity Journal

Lesson objective(s):  MLA format, annotated bibliography, quote integration, source evaluation

Total estimated time: 45 min. in class, then ongoing for approx. 3 weeks

Course work or assignment underway: Final Paper (Synthesis)

Students will keep a “celebrity journal,” in the style of a brief, informal annotated bibliography, during this unit of discussion in which they will monitor reporting on one particularly salient celebrity for three weeks, for a minimum of six entries. Students will be asked to bring the journals-in-progress to class. This extended assignment will provide ongoing practice in independent research and MLA citation and will serve as the basis for writing and discussion. Students must bring their updated celebrity journals to every class session until they hand them in during their individual conferences.

1. Assign the journal in class. Distribute the final paper assignment, tell students to choose the celebrity they plan to work with and begin monitoring media coverage of this celebrity. Provide the following instructions for proper annotated bibliography format:

As you select sources that you believe will contribute to your research and project, use MLA style to create works cited entries for these sources. If you are not sure how to properly format the entry, look it up at the Purdue OWL. Next, annotate each entry. Each annotation should begin with a 2-3 sentence overview of the text, followed by 2-3 sentences that cite and contextualize key quotations and terms, concluding with 2-3 sentences that discuss how this text might be useful in your final project. Your final celebrity journal must contain six entries.

2. Assign the in-class reading “Lennon’s Other Legacy.” After a brief discussion, place students into groups of three and assign an annotated bibliography entry for this article, following the instructions provided for the celebrity journal. Follow with discussion.

3. After three class sessions, assign the following in-class writing assignment (students must bring celebrity journal to class every day for discussion): In a detailed paragraph, compare/contrast the bias/credibility of any two sources you have collected in your journal. Students will have visited the library before this assignment and will have discussed credibility. Use this writing assignment to prompt a discussion that addresses issues such as: How can a reader recognize bias? Do certain publications seem to push an agenda? Do they seem to push a particular narrative for this particular celebrity? Would a similar story make the news if it featured a different celebrity? What kind of language reveals the author’s opinions on this story?

4. After another class session, assign the following in-class writing: Based on your findings in your journal, do different media (periodical, blog, TV news) have different aims and/or audiences? Use this writing assignment to prompt a discussion that addresses issues of motive and audience. Discuss how these issues, as well as the issues of bias/credibility, will impact or feature in their research papers.

5. Finally, assign the pre-draft response: Analyze any narrative thread emerging in your celebrity journal. This will be the final pre-draft assignment before the first draft of the final paper is due for workshop.

Download: Celebrity Journal (doc)

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