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Seven Skills of Media Literacy

Seven Skills of Media Literacy


Media Literacy

August 2019 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

In Seven Skills of Media Literacy, best-selling author and renowned scholar W. James Potter provides readers with the practical guidance they need to make substantial improvements on seven major skills required to increase their media literacy. For each of these seven skills, Potter provides easy-to-follow algorithms and heuristics that structure the process of using the skill. Chapters also offer many exercises to help readers practice using these algorithms and heuristics while avoiding traps in thinking. The book is organized to guide readers progressively through the sequence of media literacy skills, starting with the most fundamental and building to the more complex skills. This book is a must read for those people serious about becoming more strategic in using the media to satisfy their own needs for information and entertainment and thereby avoid being exploited by media messages. 

INSTRUCTORS: Bundle Seven Skills of Media Literacy with Potter’s core text, Media Literacy, Ninth Edition, for only $5 more! Bundle ISBN: 978-1-5443-9525-8

1. Skills in the Context of Media Literacy
What Is Media Literacy?  
Nature of Skills  
Chapter Review  
2. Importance of Skills
The Media Challenge  
Types of Problems  
The Development of Skills  
Chapter Review  
3. Analyzing: Digging Into the Meaning and Structure of Media Messages
The Analysis Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
4. Evaluating: Making Judgments About the Value of Media Messages
The Evaluation Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
5. Grouping: Classifying Elements in Media Messages
The Grouping Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
6. Inducing: Looking for Patterns Within and Across Media Messages
The Induction Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
7. Deducing: Reasoning with Logic from General Principles
The Deduction Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
8. Synthesizing: Assembling Novel Configurations
The Synthesis Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
9. Abstracting: Communicating the Essence of Media Messages
The Abstracting Algorithm  
Avoiding Traps  
Chapter Review  
10. Putting It All Together
Pep Talk  

"The term “media literacy” is as difficult to define as the term “critical thinking.” This textbook makes the concept a lot less abstract by viewing media literacy in terms of seven essential skills."

David L. Shabazz
Kentucky State University

"The book provides a thorough exploration into all aspects of media literacy, by an author well-known for his expertise in the subject."

Donna L. Halper
Lesley University

"This is a text that’s great for helping students develop the kind of critical thinking skills we all talk about wanting students to achieve. As a text for analyzing seems as though it would be an excellent source."

Margaret Haefner
North Park University

"This textbook is an excellent opportunity for students to better understand media literacy and the skills required to critically think about how media influences their lives. Not only does the author discuss these ideas, but he introduces the skills that students can develop to use these skills in the real world."

Nancy Bressler
Wheeling Jesuit University

"I would describe Potter’s book as a tool that would be useful in taking what we often make complex and potentially simplifying the subject matter to make it less intimidating for the learning process."

Richard T. Craig
George Mason University

"A welcome addition to the literature on media literacy as a skills-based orientation that clearly outlines how audiences may recognize, interpret, and judge media influences across various planes of their lives."

Scott A. Mitchell
University of Wisconsin – River Falls
Key features


  • The only book that provides a thorough description of the essential skills of media literacy.
  • Each skills chapter provides a set of step-by-step exercises to help readers practice their skills in a variety of situations.
  • A distinctive audience-centered approach- as opposed to the traditional media industry approach- keeps the book focused on the everyday experiences of students.

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