In Class PITCH Example:
For this study, I propose to investigate how people decode content. Social media creators have used YouTube and Instagram platforms to create, distribute and monetize their work. I believe this study is most aligned with the interpretive paradigm.
However, because I’m working in the interpretive paradigm, I would need to narrow the focus to a specific content producer (perhaps one with content the public has deemed controversial) and how their work has been both used and decoded by followers.
This first paragraph should be a well-written, more extensive version of the proposed pitch
given in class and incorporates or responds to any suggestions or feedback you may have
received. Think of your introductory paragraph as a roadmap for the reader, with clearly
marked points of interest relevant to completing the task at hand. Note: Only touch upon
following areas in this paragraph, as you will be unpacking them in the body of your paper.
1. Begin by concisely identifying your site of analysis and the nature of your inquiry or
specific questions you would like to address.
2. Discuss the paradigm(s) that inform(s) your research design and the paradigmatically
compatible theory/theories you feel are best suited to approach your study.
3. Conclude this first paragraph by outlining for the reader what will follow in the
subsequent paragraphs (i.e., the sections that address the assignment criteria), and why
the information it could potentially yield is important for others to consider.
The body of your paper will involve you using the selected approach to address your topic. No
matter the focus, you must discuss the way a particular paradigmatic approach aligns with your
investigative approach and theories you propose to use to address your inquiry or questions.
1. SITE: Describe the nature of your site. Whether an entertainment produce or film, assume
the reader has limited to no familiarity with the site you are analyzing.
2. CONTEXT: Provide context for research you are proposing. Would this research seek to
apply a theory in ways it has not previously been applied or address a concern that you feel
is important to address? Think of this as your response to the “so what” question with
which all researchers are faced.
3. PARADIGMATIC FOCUS: Using your inquiry or questions as your rationale, justify the
paradigmatic focus you have used to design your research by describing the paradigm’s
ontological, epistemological, and axiological focus. PARADIGMATIC CHOICES: DISCOVERY,
CRITICAL, or INTERPRETIVE*
* Remember, if you use 2 paradigms to inform your proposal, for compatibility purposes
you can only choose either Critical-Discovery or Critical Interpretive.
4. METHODS: After investigating similar types of research questions or inquiries that have
been used to address media products and platforms, identify the types of paradigmatically
consistent methods you believe would be necessary to address your inquiry or questions.
FOR THIS PARAGRAPH, the sky is the limit. There are no financial, time, or location
restrictions. The only restriction your proposal is constrained by is paradigmatic consistency.
5. THEORY/THEORIES: Based on the readings and your understanding of theories to which you
have been exposed, identify a theory or set of theories you could apply to the information
your methods will yield, and briefly describe how this theory or set of theories is consistent
ontologically, epistemological and axiologically with the paradigm that is informing your
6. SCOPE & LIMITATIONS: Conclude by briefly discussing the intended scope of your study and
the limitations inherent in the approach you have chosen, in terms of fully understanding
the site and/or concerns you have proposed to investigate.
FINAL PAPER: Screen Media Research Proposal General Information
In this course, you have been introduced to various media theories and the paradigmatic logics
that potentially inform them. For this project, to assess your comprehension of how logic
frameworks inform theories, the kinds of inquiries and questions that are possible within these
frameworks, and the compatible methods you can use to address them, students are to design
a 4-5 pp research proposal based on an inquiry or set of questions involving a screened
entertainment product or screen media platform of your choosing. Remember, the task is NOT
to conduct a study, but to DESIGN one that can demonstrate your awareness of how paradigms
logically inform the kinds of investigations undertaken, and the theories, methods used to
To address this assignment, you will need to know the differences that define an area of
interest, a topic, and a research inquiry or research question (it is this latter that you will
develop for this paper.
AREA OF INTEREST: This encompasses a wide variety of potential research projects too large
to explore within a single study. Area of interest example:
o “Entertainment and Technology.” This is an area of interest that could involve any number of centuries
and potential technologies. Even if you were to limit your focus to one technology, this would still be an
area that would be too large to investigate in a single study, and therefore not appropriate for this paper.
TOPICS: A topic is a specific area of study within an area of interest and gets you closer to
narrowing your focus. However, keep in mind that a topic is still not specific enough to lend
itself to a research proposal. Topic example:
o “Cultivation theory and long-term consumption of conspiracy vlog sites”
o “Participatory culture and film narratives”
INQUIRY versus QUESTIONS: While both are forms of gathering information (and thus
appropriate for creating this proposal), an inquiry involves immersing yourself in your site of
analysis so you can ask meaningful questions about it. This approach to information gathering is
not applicable to all paradigmatic frameworks, but is applicable to interpretive, critical, and
critical-interpretive research. On the other hand research questions are designed to find
answers to questions you’ve developed before investigating your site of analysis. Like inquiries,
this kind of approach is not applicable to all paradigmatic frameworks, but is applicable in the
creation of discovery, critical, and critical-discovery research. Importantly, when working in the
discovery or critical discovery mode, in addition to developing a question, you must also
develop a hypothetical answer you can test. Example inquiries and questions based on the
above topics might be:
o Research Question: Do long-term followers of InfoWars become more anti-social over time than non-
followers of this conspiracy site?
: Regular consumption of InfoWars for a period of 12 months will begin to exhibit a tendency
towards social isolation that is significantly greater than non-consumers of the site. H2 Regular
consumption of InfoWars for a period that is greater than 12 months will report a significant
increase in experiencing conflict and aggression when encountering strangers.
o Research Inquiry: “What has been the nature and extent of online fan communities’ ability to transform
the narrative arcs and character constructions of the Black Panther franchise?”