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Assignment – Presidential Elections
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Select a presidential election year from 1952 – 2004. You are about to take a journey into the past…. Follow the steps below to complete this assignment:
- Go to The Living Room Candidate website
- Click on your selected election year to the left. Read the “overview” section, and each section associated with the names of the candidates. Be sure to do this first so you have background information on the times and what the major issues were during that election year.
- After reading the introductory material, look at the small images at the bottom of the page. For each of these that you click on, you’ll see an actual television commercial for that candidate’s campaign. Watch each of the commercials for your selected election year. While watching take notes about the type of ads they used. How were they trying to “sell” the candidate? Were they attacking their opponents? What strategies were they using?
- After watching the commercials, go back to the upper right and click on “RESULTS” for your election year. Check out the electoral map that appears.
After completing these steps, you will write an analysis of this election year and the campaign that took place. Write a 2-3 page analytical essay answering the following questions. Feel free to expand on your thoughts more – you do not need to stick only to the questions below.
- What were your thoughts on the commercials? Did the candidates “fight fair”? Did they use good tactics to prove why a voter should vote for them?
- If you were a voter in that election, based on the commercials, who would you have voted for and why?
- Who won the election? Did you feel that candidate had the better, more convincing commercials? Why or why not?
Once you have completed your essay, submit it to your instructor.
Point value: 100 points
- Essay is between 2-3 pages in length – 10 points
- Essay, at minimum, answers the thought questions provided – 20 points
- Essay gives clear descriptions of commercials, making it evident that student viewed the commercials and understood their content – 30 points
- Essay shows analysis of the topic, links commercials to candidate’s success, explains the effectiveness of the commercial on the viewer, etc. – 40 points