Sample Semiotic Essay responses

After you read the Sample Semiotic Essay, please post your response to the following issues before class on Monday (10/3):

1. What argument does the paper attempt to prove?
2. How is its argument supported?
3. What is one question you have about the paper's use of in-text citation?
4. What is one question you have about the paper's Works Cited page?
5. What is your response to the material? Does it make a convincing case? Were there things you didn't understand? Were there any particular parts that you liked or disliked?

The first four responses can be a few sentences each. Please respond to the fifth issue in at least a few paragraphs.

1. That popular media

1. That popular media devalues the traditional family.
2. It uses a reference to the movie The Lost Boys. He also believed that the media's curruption of family values came from a speech before the Commonwealth Club of California in May 1992.
3. Some of the in-text citations don't have publishers, is that ok? I thought you always had to have the publisher, even for a website or anything.
4. Do you need a works cited page along with the in-text citings?
5. I think it makes a convincing case, because he goes into a lot of detail that would make someone really think about the case. Overall I liked it, it was very long though, which would be my one dislike.

SSE Response

1. The paper attempts to prove that through the media family values and conventional traditions are lost.
2. The arguement is supported with its references to "When Hollywood Sucks," the film The Lost Boys and Dracula. All of the references have an explanation such as the good son being corrupted in "When Hollywood Sucks."
3. After citing Griffin do you have to include the "not italicized in original?"
4. Are all those cites necessary? It seems like some of the information could be found on the same site or book instead of citing the film as well as the site.
5. I think it was somewhat convincing, but it seemed like he stretched some of the stuff too far and I did not like that. For example, I don't think a movie called Dracula can be referenced as media that inlfuences a family's tradition. However, there were convincing details and I thought that was good. I also agree with hhowarth on the paper being too long.

SSE response

1. That women’s role are changing in the family sense and that single parent hood is becoming more common and accepted.
2. He references The Lost Boys, and Dracula. He also makes several references to a speech made before Commonwealth Club of California.
3. There was one paragraph where all the citations were just page numbers. I thought you needed an author for at least the first time referenced.
4. For the internet work cited, do we have to include the full address or can we have the basic web address.
5. I agreed with many of the statements made. The author had quality examples for many of the statements. The paper was really long and it seemed like the author went on many tangents which made it a little confusing.

Sample Essay Response

1. The argument the paper tries to prove is that the popular media is the reason for devaluing and corrupting family tradition.
2.The argument is supported by it's reference to the The Lost Boys and how it discusses how they are "not only physically separated from their homes but are also members of a figuratively lost generation." (products of broken homes was used) Also, the reference to "When Hollywood Sucks" and that discusses abandonment of traditional values. It also makes references to the speech made before Commonwealth Club of California in May 1992 and other films/books.
3.I thought an author or publisher always had to be included; some citations just have page numbers???
4.When he cited Nicola Nixon, was that right to cite all those references in a row like that inside the quotations?Do you not have to do it separately?
5. I thought this paper was very good and made a good argument. I feel like the author was kind of jumping around a lot in parts of the paper and some things could have been left out, but for the most part it was a good paper to read and I liked how he discussed a lot in detail which helped me to really understand the point he was trying to prove.

Sample Semiotic Essay Response

1. This essay attempts to prove that media taints or affects our veiws of the traditional family.
2. The author's argument is supported by references to "The Lost Boys", "Peter Pan", and "Dracula". All of these references lack true examples of the traditional family.
3. If you mention the name of the book in the paragraph, do you have to include it in the citation.
4. Are all of these citations necessary? Should the Brady Bunch citation be included if it was not actually cited in the work.
5. I do share the same opinion as the author. I think do think his numerous references make the work convincing. I do think it would be more clear If I had wathced the movie "The Lost Boys".

sample essay response

1. The argument is that products of pop culture and media have an influence(one of moral corruption) on cultural institutions such as the family, even if it is something as fleeting as "The Lost Boys" vampire film. More specifically, reveals our culture's views on family values and single parent families.
2. The argument is supported by many examples from the film "The Lost Boys" and the parallels it makes to the play "Peter Pan." Also examples are given from Bram Stoker's Dracula that reveal the moral corruption of families.
3. In some of the paper's in text citations, the paragraph number is written instead of the page number and I was wondering if that was correct.
4. Is there any way to condense the length of the web address or do you have to record the complete address?
5. I think this paper makes a very convincing argument. I believe it's strongest element is the abundance of examples and evidence given. It is obvious that much research was done for this essay. There weren't any specific parts that I didn't understand but I found the essay hard to follow. It didn't flow easily and it jumped quickly from one subject to another. Also, I thought the essay might be a little long.
I liked how the different books and films were analyzed in detail and each contained different symbols that reveal different truths about our culture. For example, The Lost Boys reinforces the traditional family and at the same time allows the audience to become more familiar with the concept of single parenthood. This shows how our culture is continually changing and we have to be prepared to accept this change.

SSE response

1) This paper attempts to prove that popular culture (such as TV and movies) has a negative influence on the traditional family structure and is helping to fuel the increasing trend of single parenthood.
2) The argument is supported through examples of popular culture (the movie "The Lost Boys", the book "Peter Pan", the show "Murphy Brown", etc.) as well as testimony from former vice president Dan Quayle that both present and attack the current non-normal family trend.
3) Are we allowed to use footnotes for less important comments?
4) Were Latham's and Nixon's pieces originally in the same work?
5) I liked this piece and think it could make a convincing case to someone that is more familiar and concerned with the topic. But it came off as more of a movie review to me than an argumentative paper. There were many things I didn't understand, such as parts of the older works and the vice president's comments, but this is only because I wasn't old enough to understand in those times. I liked the whole paper, but for me it was hard to comprehend the argument having not seen the movie or the tv shows.


1.) The article trys to prove that threw the media, family values and traditions have been canged or lost.
2.)By relating sources such as Peter pan, and realting them to the present day role that they inflict on our current familt and society.
3.)He hardley ever uses a title or even an author names before the citatoin, it is hard to follow were it cam from, when only the page number is present.
4.)Is nothing underlined, i would think that books, or other media influences would be underlined
5.)He does have good points, but i would like a more broad area of study, from books, to t.v, to movies, to advertisment and other sources. He seems to consentrate on movies much to firmley.

sample response

1. that popular media is trying to take away from traditional families and their values.

2. the main reference is the book "The Lost Boys." the paper also uses Peter Pan and other articles as proof.

3. do you just need to put the page number?

4. how can we shorten this page?

5. i started to laugh when they tried to make Peter Pan seem like a really horrible person. this paper had good points in th first half, but just started to drag along, which started to lose my interest. the writer needs to condense this paper, easily into 10 or fewer pages.

1. The paper attempts to

1. The paper attempts to prove the argument that the nuclear family that was seen as functional are becoming less common and the family of today is said to be dysfunctional due to the lack of a father.

2. The writer quotes serveral phrases from Dan QUale as well as having several references to movies and television shows that show families.

3. Are footnotes always needed?

4. How would you know how to site TV shows?

5. The paper does make a very convincing argument and brings up a good point. The paper explains how a father is supposedly the key to a successful family. I can see several cases in the paper that support how the media is showing dysfunctional families as being without a father.
However, I do not quite understand how much a father helps a faamily. Is it really that bad to have single-parent families? I'm not sure if all of the writer's references were irrevelent. Some of the writing got confusing in the middle. Without seeing any of the mentioed movies, except for Peter Pan, I was a little lost when the writer pointed to references.
The article brought to attention certain points that I would not have thought of. It mentioned the traditional family and the father figure. It also mentioned the abscence of a father and how that affected the family.

Sample Essay Response

1. This paper tries to prove that popular media has taken away the values and traditions from the modern day families.
2. He refers to the movies, The Lost Boys and Dracula, and how these movies degrade our family values.
3. Why does he cite some using using page numbers and some using paragraph numbers?
4. Why does he put the full web-page address? Can't he just but the site it came from?
5. I think that this paper is a very conivincing case to the issue of media disturbing family values. He goes into great detail of why we should pay more attention to this problem. One thing that I did not like about the paper was the length. He did not need to make it that long.

Semiotic Essay response

1. It argues that there is a decay of the family unit especially the impotance of the father unit.
2.It is supported by movies and television shows and a books in our culture. Such as Lost Boys, Peter Pan, Brady Bunch, and Dracula.
3.Is the paper's in-text citation correct?
4.I can't think of a question for the works cited page.
5.I thought it made an interesting case, and the use of the media to back it up was very interesting. It was very clear, overall I liked the whole essay.

Article Response/Reaction

1. this article is trying to prove that the media is showing that single parents is very common, and helping loose sight of the traditional family.

2. His argument was supported by giving examples or tieing things back to movie such as pepter pan.

3. Is it correct to only site page numbers?

4. Can you site websites that do not give you an author and/or title?\

5. I think the paper was very convincing, he used alot of good sources and his support was great. I do agree with many that it was too long!


1. the paper is trying to prove that the nuclear family is dying, thanks to the media. it emphasizes the lack of a father's role in certain medias.
2. the author uses a vampire theme throughout the essay. this essay comparesthe movie the lost boys with the novel, peter pan. then also he compares it with dracula but always comes back to the lost boys. basically these movies (or novels) glorify a life without the nuclear family.
3. there were footnotes, but no numbers in the text.
4. none.
5. the essay was pretty interesting. the part that i liked was the comparison of the lost boys and peter pan. i have never thought about that before, but of course i have never seen the lost boys either. the essay was nice and overall just made me think about the things it presented in a different way.

Sample Semiotic Essay: Decreasing Parental Values

1. The paper attempts to prove that there has been a decrease in values and respect toward the traditional family and is making parental influence on youth a “has been”.
2. There are numerous citations of different shows that display these changes in family values. Shows from earlier centuries show good morals and ethics, but as time progressed, parental values digressed. The essay gives examples from the Lost Boys, Happy Days, Peter Pan, The Brady Bunch, and several other sitcoms depicting family influences.
3. Do these citations need to be credited to a specific author, or are these citation personal opinions?
4. Are these sources listed in the order of discovery by the author?
5. I think this paper makes an interesting case, and I agree with its viewpoints. I liked how there were correlations relating titles to actual events. I do agree that parental and influences have been lost, and media has decreased and has slowly and secretly impacted our society to degrade parental values. The different examples could have had more order in sequencing what citation goes where. Overall, I think the author explained themselves well, and successfully got his point across.