Directions: For this assignment, you are to select a business, artist, or show and make a researched argument how it (or he/she) is disruptive of the field. I want you to choose something that you are interested in but, keep in mind that because you like a business, show or an artist may not mean it is being disruptive.
For example, Uber disrupts both transportation (away from traditional modes of transportation) and labor (the rise of the “gig” economy). Or e-sports has disrupted what we define as “sports” to the point that the Olympics is considering including it (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2018-ioc-esports/olympic-channel-boss-says-ready-to-explore-esports-after-pyeongchang-idUSKCN1G30JM). Or Netflix has altered the way we consume media and has disrupted the movie theater and production business.
You can also look at specific television shows, movies, celebrities, or musical artists that you identify as disruptive to the medium and the culture. For example, Donald Glover’s Atlanta has been argued to “break the rules” (https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-atlanta-breaks-tvs-rules-1525872029) or how Beyonce has changed the way pop music is released or promoted (https://www.fastcompany.com/3059249/how-beyonce-is-redefining-the-future-of-the-music-industry) or how Game of Thrones changed television series where popular characters might be bumped off to serve the narrative.
Some definitions to help you along but you are welcome to question them.
Disruptive: A thing is disruptive if it takes what has been done traditionally and changes it. “disruptive” means things are being destroyed, but usually disruption also causes growth in different areas. For instance, the rise of e-cigarettes and vaping has disrupted the tobacco industry, but not necessarily made vaping a safe alternative to smoking (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/09/10/sixth-person-dies-vaping-related-illness/?noredirect=on) Remember – just because you really like an artist or television show or business may not make them disruptive to the medium. You have to think critically and do your research!
Research and Argument: This is an argumentative essay which is a thesis-driven essay that attempts to persuade the reader of the author’s point of view by using carefully presented and logically utilized information. One cannot write an argumentative essay without an element of debate. Thus your thesis cannot be “to discuss the history of television.” There is nothing to debate there. Nor is there anything to be persuaded of in the statement “reality TV is stupid”—this is an opinion. You may not merely “discuss the differences” of your topic; you must actually argue a point. Picking a topic/issue in which you’re interested makes the process easier and more enjoyable for you (and usually results in better research and writing).
Avoid essays where you try to prove something as “cool” or interesting.
Purpose: To write an informed, thoughtful, organized, and original argument. To find, analyze, and synthesize appropriate and varied research into an argumentative essay. To articulate and develop an original claim. To demonstrate an understanding and adequate use of logic and rhetorical choices.
Audience: A reasonable, general, informed audience (like your instructor and peers).
Message: To add your informed opinion in an already ongoing conversation about your subject.
Format: Essays must be 1200-1500 words long and must conform to MLA formatting guidelines (12 pt., Times New Roman, 1” margins, double spaced, proper heading, etc.). A minimum of two sources is required for this essay. Information gathered from outside sources should be cited in MLA format. Reference books (such as encyclopedias and dictionaries) can be used, but they do not count as one of the required sources. You are encouraged to find the best sources for your paper. You should find academic sources (from databases) whenever possible. These are the best sources.
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