This assignment is an example of “visual sociology.”
create a photo essay of 6-7 photographs about any sociological topic or event that is of interest to you, be it rituals centered around an event or a glimpse or urban life or people at work. However, the selected set of photographs should tell a story, present an idea, or make the viewer feel a certain emotion. Select photo essays will be shared in class and with permission, on the bulletin boards of the Sociology department and Dickson Hall.
Before you begin: Look through the following photo essay by MSU students that was recently featured in the NJ Spotlight News about the recent state elections.
A few more are included here as examples. Make sure you go through them carefully before creating your own photo essay.
Directions: Following these steps will help you create a coherent photo essay:
- Choose a sociological idea that you think is important — whether it pertains to you, your family or community or just make sure you have a coherent idea!
- Create a thesis statement that clearly states your idea.
- Create the body of your photo essay. Write four or five points that you want to make to prove your thesis statement. Select photos that will illustrate each of these points. Organize your points and the photos into an essay. If you want viewers to look at the photos in a certain order, make that clear. For example, you might number the photos or use arrows to show the “path.”
- As you work, think about the photos you picked, why you picked them, why they fit in a particular order in supporting your thesis. Will someone looking at your photo essay understand how the photos relate to your thesis?
- Create a concluding statement for your essay.
- Make sure your photo essay meets the criteria on the Photo Essay Checklist.
Select photo essays will be displayed on a bulletin board in the Sociology department with owner permission.
Photo Essay Checklist
The photo essay should:
- ___Include a clear thesis statement presenting a sociological idea.
- ___Present six or seven statements that support the thesis.
- ___Provide a photo illustrating each supporting statement.
- ___Include a concluding statement that is not simply a restating of the thesis.
- ___Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation and be visually appealing.