How Media Affects Us Essay Prompt

Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, perhaps it’s our vast collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.

This list of 401 prompts (available here in PDF) is now our third iteration of what originally started as 200 prompts for argumentative writing, and it’s intended as a companion resource to help teachers and students participate in our annual Student Editorial Contest. (In 2017, the dates for entering are March 2 to April 4.)

So scroll through the hundreds of prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information. And for even more in-depth student discussions on pressing issues like immigration, guns, climate change and race, please visit our fall 2016 Civil Conversation Challenge.

What’s your favorite question on this list? What questions should we ask, but haven’t yet? Tell us in the comments.

And visit our related list as well: 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.

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Social Media and Smartphones

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Impact of Media on Society

Media has continuously pervaded and defined society and has advanced with technology. The traditional forms of media propagation including television, newspapers, posters and mail remain as efficient as before the introduction of newer methods. Email, websites, e-zines and social online media have replaced expensive media production such as magazines and photographic paper.

Media imparts and shapes society’s opinion on the subjects of politics, business, culture and sports. It reflects on the freedom of speech and freedom of expression within a country. The positive aspects of free media far outweigh the negative effects that may occur. In the case of internet based media, control is difficult. Control of the Internet has however been imposed in China.

Media has the ability to bring relief to disaster prone areas while at the same time it may be responsible for nurturing prejudice against certain regions. For example, the perception that Africa is an extremely underdeveloped region although it is actually bustling with megacities. In the world of social media, gossip columns have the potential to ruin lives of individuals or boost their popularity. Advertising through modern media has led to the rise of fortune 500 companies.

It has been argued that media has resulted in a generation of couch potatoes who rarely engage in outdoor activities. It has become rarer to find someone who has good handwriting since typing is now the preferred skill. Conversely, media has brought about a positive sense of globalization and has been a good base for education. Children of today learn languages faster thanks to media. They may however be exposed to rated content which overall chews on the moral fiber of society. Checks and balances therefore have to be better enforced to protect little eyes and ears.

Conventional media speaks volumes when it comes to sustainability and reduction of the carbon footprint. People have to print less and travel less when information is promptly and conveniently availed at their doorstep, mailbox, inbox, television or blog. Though media is ubiquitous, it has created a demand for sensational coverage. Certain issues that headline today would not have been considered newsworthy a century ago. Hype is created, privacy is infringed on and reality is altered regularly in contemporary media.

 

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