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Guidelines for the Quiz Show Essay:

In this essay you will carefully, creatively, and thoroughly explore one or more themes (the themes will grow out of the topics listing below) found in the FIVE sources you have read and discussed: Charles Van Doren?s ?All the Answers,? Goodwin?s ?Investigating the Quiz Shows,? Robert Redford?s film Quiz Show, and TWO OTHER outside sources that you will find on your own.

In this module, the topic “Sample Quiz Show Essay” provides an excerpt where a writer explores Charles Van Doren’s motivations for going on a game show that you knew was rigged when he was first contacted by Al Freedman about being a contestant on the show.

Topics from the Sources To Develop Into Themes (see lecture on DOC for specific guiding questions for each theme)

Greed: Who, specifically, was driven by greed in the quiz show scandal? Greed for what? How did that greed manifest itself? What were the consequences of their greed?
Power: Who was after power in these stories? How did they obtain power or fail to obtain power? How did they treat those less powerful than themselves? For what purpose?
Fame: How did becoming famous affect Charles Van Doren? How did becoming famous affect Herb Stempel? How did becoming famous affect Richard Goodwin?
Film’s Portrayal of Events vs. Articles’ Portrayal of Events: What are the similiarities and differences between the film’s versions of events and the article’s and book chapter’s versions of the events?
Advertising: Was Geritol manipulative of its audience? If so, how? Why? Is this type of manipulation ethical? Or is it justified as part of the nature of effective marketing?
Morality: Is taking answers ahead of time on a quiz show morally acceptable? Was it morally acceptable for Van Doren and others to deceive their audiences? Can the deception be justified as part of the entertainment business?
Van Doren: What were the consequences on Van Doren’s and his family’s lives? Did he survive and come back as his dad predicted when he gave him the gyroscopic compass? Did he ever teach again? How can you be sure?
Stempel: What were his main motivations for exposing that the quiz shows he was on were rigged?
Goodwin: What were Goodwin’s motivations for investigating the quiz shows in the first place? Is Goodwin a hero? Why or why not? Was Goodwin primarily interested fighting for the public good, as he was supposed to in his role as a congressional investigator?
You must cite each source in the text of your paper at least three times. In other words, you must have a total of fifteen in-text citations. (for the three sources I provide, you’ll have at least nine; in addition, you’ll have at least six for the two outside sources you choose).

The essay must be four-five pages long. Writing this essay gives you the freedom to speculate about the quiz show scandals and come to your own conclusions based on your own thinking and the evidence you find in the three sources. Supporting your beliefs effectively, with your own arguments, your own support for your arguments, and evidence from the three sources.

Your Works Cited page (a separate page from the text of the paper and the last page of the paper) will consist of five and only five entries. provides a way to create the citation in the right order. Do not number the entries of the Works Cited page. ?Works Cited? will be the title of that page but do not place quotation marks around it. Here are the three sources I gave you. (Don’t forget: you must choose two additional sources on your own; one a primary source and one a secondary source; though if you want both your chosen sources to be primary, that’s fine too).

Charles Van Doren?s article ?All the Answers? in the July 28, 2008 edition of The New Yorker.
Richard Goodwin?s “Investigating the Quiz Shows,” a chapter from Remembering America: A Voice from the Sixties. (1988=copyright date)
The 1994 film Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford and starring John Turturro, Rob Morrow, and Ralph Fiennes. The film is distributed by Baltimore Pictures.
DO NOT FORGET: You will also need to have BOTH in-text citations AND Works Cited (page) entries for the two outside sources you find, read, and use on your own.

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