Day 4 Objectives Activities The Process of Research Analysis: Writing about Popular Culture Homework: Read the two articles and be prepared to discuss tomorrow • SWBATD analysis by analyzing imagery as a means to appeal to the reader's senses and to set the tone, providing evidence from the text to support the analysis. • SWBATD evaluation by identifying an author's implicit and stated assumptions about a subject, based upon evidence in the selection through class discussion.
Process of Research • What does it mean to do research at the university level? • Universities generally have more than one library • Not limited to just that library’s holdings: interlibrary loans from libraries around the world • Scholars research to understand the ‘conversation’ before they join in • Issues are complex and do not have easy answers • Respect opposing views • Keep careful track of sources and evidence • Aware research takes time
Choosing a topic • Topic must have relevance to the academic community • Expect to have assumptions challenged • Topics arise from: • Class discussions • Readings • Hot issues in the discipline
Libraries Online • Get connected anywhere – username and password • Catalog searches: • Keyword * • Subject * • Author * • Title • Journal/Newspaper Title • Call Number (Library of Congress, not Dewey Decimal)
Finding Sources • Search with the attitude of playing, exploring • With some call numbers, track down the sources • Check TOC, Index, Bibliography – decide what type of source it is & if it is useful for you • What books are in the same area? Could they be useful? • If a book you need is checked out, you can have the library recall it for you • Remember to ask for help when you need it.
Evaluating Sources • Hierarchy of credibility: • Scholarly journal better than People • Journal articles online better than personal web pages (anyone can have a web page) • Scholarly works go through literature reviews, bibliographies, & indexes to continue the ‘conversation’ • Non-academic usually have only the author’s voice, nor do they include references
Keep Track • To avoid frustration later: • Copy materials you cannot check out and write on it the author, title, chapter title, editor, date, city, publisher, & page numbers • With a computerized index, print out a copy of the sources you use • Write down URLs of Internet sources and the date you visited that site • While drafting, write author & page number in margins next to quotes and paraphrases
Analysis – Visual Texts:Writing about Popular Culture • Developing Ideas about Popular Culture • Active Reading • Author’s primary argument; Thesis statement • Key terms • Evidence • Underlying assumptions • Style and Tone • Genre • Intended readership • Take notes, highlight, write summaries
Reading Notes Example Emily Prager “Our Barbies , Ourselves” I read an astounding obituary in the New York Times not too long ago. It concerned the death of one Jack Ryan. A former husband of ZsaZsa Gabor, it said, Mr. Ryan had been an inventor and designer during his lifetime. A man of eclectic creativity, he designed Sparrow and Hawk missiles when he worked for the Raytheon Company, and, the notice said, when he consulted for Mattel he designed Barbie. If Barbie was designed by a man, suddenly a lot of things made sense to me, things I’d wondered about for years. I used to look at Barbie and wonder, What’s wrong with this picture? What kind of woman designed this doll? Let’s be hones: Barbie looks like someone who got her start at the Playboy Mansion. She could be a regular guest on The Howard Stern Show. It is a fact of Barbie’s design that her breasts are so out of proportion to the rest of her body that if she were a human woman, she’d fall flat on her face. Our Bodies, Ourselves, very funny Who is ZsaZsa? Eclectic = widely varied A guy designed B. I never wonder who designed B. Yeah!
Visual Analysis • Format of the image • Kind of image • Intended audience • Emotions conveyed • Most prominent element • Layout • Text • Calls for a response?
Visual Text Example • Format: Though b&w here, original in color. Muted colors though – suggests old-fashioned look. • Kind of image: Fairly realistic, rural. Solitary woman, probably in 20s or 30s against an empty natural expanse. Traditional hairstyle like the 50s or 60s. Old-fashioned bicycle with wicker basket attached. • Audience: Advertisement for Lee jeans. Audience likely women in 20s or older. Viewer can project herself into the scene and perhaps even see herself at a younger time in her life. Says “stretch” jeans so not meant for sexual appeal; rather to be practical and fit a body that is not a teen’s. Sensible hair and shoes. Might be interesting to compare to a Guess? ad. • Emotion: Body language suggests individuality and determination; “going it alone”. Neither posing for or aware of viewer – “what you see is what you get”? Perhaps, she doesn’t particularly care what others think. • Composition and Layout: Layout designed to lead the eye – hill slopes down toward left and bike draws eye from bottom right to mid-left – where the jeans are. For easy readability, text is included at top against blank sky. • Text: message – “The things that give a woman substance will never appear on any ‘what’s in/what’s out’ list” – suggests Lee jeans are for women who aren’t interested in following trends but want good, old-fashioned value. • Response: Lee Jeans would prefer viewer buy the product. She would identify with the woman in the ad and be convinced that these practical jeans would make a good purchase.
AnalysisWriting about Pop Culture, cont. • Developing ideas about pop culture • Brainstorm on a topic given by teacher – freewrite, web, &c. • Create your own topic: • Internet search • Talk to other students to get ideas • Take ideas from discussions in class
AnalysisWriting about Pop Culture, cont. • Developing Strong Arguments about Pop Culture • Set aside your own personal tastes when writing an analysis • Explain hwo it works, what cultural beliefs and viewpoints underlie it, what its significance is, &c. • Evidence: • Carefully analyze the subject itself • Locate your subject within a larger system (society) • Use the history of your subject
Closing Thoughts? • Questions? • Tonight, actively read the two articles about Internet research.