Saturday, August 17, 2013

Media Text Analysis Essay

You will select a mass media text and write an analysis in 800 – 1000 words. You may analyze any kind of mass media text that you would like, but I suggest that you select a text small enough for thorough understanding, but substantial enough to generate insight.  You must select a media text that is EITHER new (within the last calendar year) OR old (at least 40 years old).

Your paper should include a description of the text, an interpretation of its meaning and an evaluation of the significance and meaning of this text & interpretation in our culture. You must use semiotic analysis to analyze your text, but you should not feel obliged to talk about the terms of semiosis. I will be able to tell if you have used the process because of the insights that your essay will demonstrate.

The process of writing an interpretive analytical essay like this one usually starts with description (what are the key signs?), moves to analysis (what are the patterns?  the codes?  how do they fit together?), expresses an interpretation (what does it *mean*?) and finishes with an evaluation (is it good?  bad?  for who?  why?  how?).

Your paper structure should NOT follow that order -- that's the order of investigation.  Your paper's arrangement will be unique to your topic, your voice and your insights.  (Though I generally recommend that a strong paper LEADS with its strongest ideas and biggest insights.)  There are a few sample papers available for you to read in the folder I shared with you in google docs.  These papers are not perfect but the provide a helpful example of various approaches to this assignment that have worked in the past.

You may find the grading rubric I will use to assess your paper in the google docs folder that I have shared with you.

Please click on this paragraph to read more about your proposal.

The draft is not graded, but I will read it, give you some narrative feedback and fill out a rubric to help you think about my expectations.  Draft-writing GREATLY enhances your ability to engage in good learning practice.  Hopefully that's what you're here for, so if I were you, I would prioritize this learning opportunity.  Please submit your proposal as a google document that you share with the class email (look at the syllabus for the address) not with the teacher's email address.

You will submit your FINAL draft as a NEW google doc and share it with the class email address.  I will not re-grade your original google doc.  I really want to have two separate documents that I can look at.