Analyzing a media object

For this assignment you are to write an essay analyzing a single media object (which can include a book, film, poem, play, or piece of lyrical music.)

Your research question should be specific and answerable but also arguable; in other words, you must offer an answer with which others might disagree. You will support your position with the use of relevant research including English, Film and/or Drama/Performance Studies. Depending on your topic, you may also consider sources from areas like Women’s and Gender Studies, Native Studies, Cultural Studies, and Critical Race Studies.

Task 1. Choose a specific text/media object you think is fascinating and would like to know more about. Generate a list of potential questions or topics for analysis, and perform an initial round of research on relevant University of Alberta libraries databases to find out what other scholars in the area are saying about this question. Task 2. Examine the existing evidence (Find at least eight [8] different sources), and decide which possible explanation makes the most sense to you, given what you have learned through your research. Task 3. Using the sources that you chose, write a 1200-1600 word essay in which you offer an analysis of your chosen primary text, supporting your argument relevant evidence from your scholarly sources. Your position should be made and supported using the structure favoured in the humanities: direct or thesis-first argument. This means that your thesis should be clearly announced in your introduction, and explicitly referred to and supported throughout your essay. Your aim is to convince your readers that while multiple explanations of your question are possible, yours is most compelling; you are, in other words, writing to persuade. Length: 1200-1600 words Purpose: Your purpose in writing this paper is to practise thinking and writing like a humanities scholar. Assemble the evidence from your primary source, decide upon the best explanation for the evidence, and then write a report in which you explain it to readers so that they will understand the case and accept your explanation. Your goal is to use the indirect style of argument that we discuss in class to make this case for readers. Genre: Analytical essay. Use MLA documentation style (see pp. 384-391 in BPH). Audience: Write for other humanities students and professors who are interested in humanities-based questions but unfamiliar with the details of the particular text/topic that you chose. Assume they have the background to understand the technical aspects of the issue but they lack the particular background on your topic.

 

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