Role of Media in Consumer Markets in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Paper

Prompt: What was the role of the media in helping to shape consumer markets in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century? Do you see any similarities to today, or does the media have a different relationship to advertising?

It may be best to choose one type of media that was evolving/prevalent during the specified time period–such as newspapers, billboards, photography/moving pictures or magazines–rather than discuss the media generally. Discuss the forms of advertising prevalent in that type of media, or that developed because of that type of media–such as full-color ads in magazines. Then discuss: Did they arise because of a specific consumer market? Did they instead create new consumer markets/demand? Or was it a bit of both?

Finally, think about different types of media today (including the various types of social/digital). Do you think it drives consumer markets in the same way? Or have you noticed that the media/advertising relationship is different? Discuss. It might be helpful to use the same type of media, e.g., newspapers then v. newspapers now, but not necessary. If you want to discuss social/digital, go for it.

Try to limit essay to 1200 words. Use 12 pt. font and double-spacing (and 1 inch margins if submitting as a Word doc). You may copy the essay into the Canvas text editor or submit as a Word doc. I’d like to see 1) an introductory paragraph explaining what you are about to discuss; 2) then the actual discussion, first of the historic media/advertising and their impact on consumer markets and 3) then of the current media/advertising impact on consumer markets. 4) Demonstrate either the similarities, differences or mixture of the old and new. Discuss why you think that is. 5) End with a brief summary/conclusion paragraph. That looks like about five paragraphs to me, but of course can be more.

You are required to use the textbook as well as at least two other sources. I’m not as concerned with which citation style you use, just that you use one. I’m fine with “According to author X” and a page number, and then the full cite in a reference list at the end.


Essay is worth 100 points. Essay should be well-written with minimal to no errors in spelling, mechanics and punctuation. Organization of the essay should be logical and linear (see suggested organization above). All five components detailed should be included, with emphasis on components two, three and four. References to the text book and at least two other sources must be included, and in a manner in which I can track them down if necessary. Please note, including all required elements does not equal “A” work. Excellent, or “A,” work will also include analysis of both the past and present media and advertising relationship as well as an interesting, in-depth and/or innovative link between the two.

Essay #1 is due Sunday, June 30 by 11:59 p.m.

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