Essay 1: Analyzing a Magazine Advertisement (at least 1000 words)

The Task

Analyze the appeals at work in a magazine advertisement or advertising campaign. You may use Fowles' classifications to help you determine and label the appeals you find, as did the student who wrote "Reese's Peanut Butter Cup." Or you may use a more original approach, something that seems more unique to the advertisement, as did the students who wrote "In Search of Good Hair: Optimum Care's Call for Assimilation" and "From Genesis to Prince." There are some basic sub-tasks involved in this assignment. You must

Some Ideas:

1. Colors -- What colors are used? What do they suggest or evoke?
2. Models -- How many are used? What gender? What do they look like? What are they wearing/doing? What are the expressions on their faces? What are they looking at? What are their body positions? What are these details meant to imply or evoke?
3. Setting -- Where is the scene set? What does this setting suggest about mood or emotion? How do the models relate to the setting? Are they pointing to, leaning on, standing on or behind, looking down on, or approaching anything in the picture or anything outside the frame of the picture?
4. Text -- What words are printed in the ad? What is the proportion of words to images? Where are the words placed? What do font size and style suggest about the message in the text? How do they connect with the images? Are there any key words? How do you know? What moods do the words evoke? What promises do the words make?
5. Omissions -- Consider not what is shown and said but also what is not shown, what is not said. What is implied through leaving certain things out?
6. Audience -- Think more consciously about this intended audience. Who would most likely fall for the pitch? What are this consumer's needs or desires? What might the consumer feel is lacking in life or desirable in life? Does the ad suggest anything interesting about an audience from the past?

Your Audience

Write this analysis for college-educated people who are not familiar with the advertisement you have chosen as your text (or with Fowles' essay).

Due Dates

Draft with tentative thesis (DW 6):  9/8
Conference draft (DW 8):  9/13
Revision (DW 10):  9/20
Editing drafts (DW 11&12):  9/22 & 9/24
Final paper:  9/27

Essay 2: Analyzing Print Texts     (at least 1000 words)

The Task

Write an essay in which you analyze how at least two authors presented themselves and the issues involved in the Students Against Sweatshops protest here at the University of Arizona. You may choose from among all the texts that address the protest – directly or indirectly – whether or not we have discussed those texts in class. You may choose written texts from print sources, or from the internet (or both).

Note that you have two basic tasks for this assignment:

1. analyze how the authors present themselves

2. analyze how the authors present the issue

The first asks you to focus on your impressions and interpretations of the person who wrote each article; the second asks you to focus on how that person has framed or defined the issues at stake in the case. Of course the two are closely related, but thinking of them as separate questions might help you get started on this assignment.

Choose your texts carefully. You may want to select them because they are similar or because they are different, because they represent your views or because they differ from your views. Also, you should select texts that give you room to develop an argument through your essay. In any case, you should choose texts that you find interesting because you will spend many hours getting to know those texts down to their subtle nuances and finest details.

Your Audience

Write your analysis for people who are not familiar with the S.A.S. protest and who have not read the texts you are analyzing. Remember that your introduction is, as the posted writing on "Introductions & Conclusions" from Writing Analytically puts it, one of the "most social" parts of your paper . It is the place where you must bring your readers from their world into the world of your subject in the paper (95-6). That means you must pay special attention to providing necessary background information or context.

Model Essays

1. Faghih's "Not Too Young to Learn," SG 174
2. Van Vactor's "Will You Be Polite Please?" SG 180
3.  Wallace's  "How is Your Diction?"  SG  187
Due Dates Draft with tentative thesis (DW 19): 10/13
Conference draft (DW 21): 10/18
Revision (DW 23): 10/22
Editing draft (DW 24): 10/25
Final paper: 11/1

Essay 3:  Analyzing Personal Experience -- at least 1000 words, not including a required Works Cited page (if necessary).

This assignment asks you to reflect on an experience or experiences that helped define your beliefs and attitudes regarding education.  We’ll allow for a fairly broad definition of “education” here – you don’t need to focus on formal education, or what happens in the classroom – but when thinking about a learning experience in general, focus not just on what your learned (about yourself), but on what you learned about how people learn.  In other words, your essay should proposed some ideas about the nature, value, or uses of different sorts of education in general.

In essay one, we analyzed the visual appeals in magazine advertising.  In essay two, we analyzed the various persuasive strategies in print texts in newspapers & web sites.   In the “real” classroom, I’ve lectured and we’ve engaged in face-to-face conversations.  On the class listserv & MOO, we’ve used electronic technologies to communicate with each other.  And we’ve talked & thought about the broadcast & other texts that saturate our environments (televised Nike ads, movies, etc.).  All of these media educate us.  They teach us languages, values, beliefs, skills in distinct ways .   So one possibility for Essay 3 is to consider the different possibilities & pitfalls of the various educational media through which we learn the discourses that make up our identities, our realities.

In assessing the content of your essay, I’ll be looking at two main areas:  your narrative and your analysis of that narrative.  Note that a good story alone does not satisfy the requirements of this assignment – and note also that a mere collection of abstractions and opinions doesn’t either.

 When constructing your narrative, remember that your purpose is to make it real for your reader.

Your essay should show a sustained relationship between narrative and analysis.  Don’t just tell your story and then tack on the lesson you learned at the end; rather, make sense of the story as you go.  (Think about how Rodriguez, for example, blends the elements of narrative and analysis).  Remember to consider the needs of an audience who is not familiar with your personal experiences.

If you found the last essay a little too rigid, you’ll be pleased to find that there’s no formula here.  However, the same principles of organization still apply.  It’s still crucial to show relationships both between sentences and between paragraphs.  There should still be an organizing principle behind each paragraph (some reason why the material in a paragraph is grouped together) and behind the overall structure of your essay (some reason why your paragraphs appear in the order they do)!  In other words, use all the writing skills we’ve been developing throughout the semester.

Sample Essays:

Due Dates: