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West Chester University

Fall 2001

Spring 2002

West Chester University

Fall 2002

 

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Course Information
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  ENG 020 Syllabus
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Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Notes on the Art of Fiction: Early Forms
  The Short Story
  Graduate Students Define the Art of Fiction
  Bartleby the Scrivener - Questions for Analysis
  Notes on Melville
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  A Vocabulary for Short Fiction and Beyond
  Study Guide for Fiction Exam
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry
  A Catalogue of Poems
  Notes on Langston Hughes
  Lines of Continuity
  Poetry Take Home Exam
  The Birth of Drama
  Oedipus
  A Doll House
  Study Guide for the Final Exam
  A Glossary of Literary Terms

Notes for Basic Writing (ENG 020)
  The Rhetorical Situation
  Essay #1 Assignment Sheet
  Workshop Assignment for Essay#1
  How to Write Descriptively
  Building a Thesis
  Overcoming Reader's Block
  Analysis and the Culture of Advertising
  Essay #2 Assignment Sheet
  Writing Effective Introductions
  Writing Effective Conclusions
  Propaganda Analysis
  Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda: A Sample Analysis
  Midterm Exam: Tips for Writing on the Spot
  Notes on Rational Argument
  Mapping the Parts of an Arugment

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~~ Essay #2 Assignment Sheet ~~
ANALYZING THE LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISING


ESSAY #2
Basic Writing ENG 020-86
Fall 2001

S. Tartar Esch

Objectives: (1) to practice analysis, one common aim of objective writing, using a variety of rhetorical strategies discussed in class, possibly including description, illustration, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, classification, and definition; (2) to practice writing in an objective 3rd person point of view so that the reader's attention stays focused on the subject matter and not the writer; (3) to practice careful revision and editing, especially with regard to topics covered in class (pronoun agreement, sentence fragments, comma splices, and so on).

Directions: Based on our class readings and discussion, as well as your own extensive experience, write an essay that analyzes one or more advertisements, focusing on at least one of the following points. Analyze whether or not and in what ways the ad--

  • Uses "weasel words" as defined by William Lutz in Exploring Language
  • Uses an obnoxious, "in-your-face," or smug tone to get attention
  • Uses language in an "edited and purposeful way" as explained by Charles O'Neill in Exploring Language (For example, uses language that is rich and arresting-using ploys like sex, humor, fantasy, surrealism, or fear to capture the public's attention
  • Magnifies or exaggerates the importance of material things, encouraging shallowness, insecurity, or vanity
  • Encourages unhealthy habits (such as extreme dieting, or overeating)
  • Perpetuates racial, ethnic, class, or gender stereotypes
  • Defines beauty (either masculine or feminine)
  • Makes a targeted appeal in some arresting way to a particular age group (children, your generation, the elderly, etc.)

For your consideration:
You can write an effective analysis of a single advertisement if you've picked one that is graphically and textually complex enough to merit close attention. Many television ads are rich enough to support analysis; full-page or multi-page magazine spreads are also worth a look.

If you are using several ads, find the meaningful thread that will weave them together smoothly in an essay. Are they all humorous? All seductive? Do they each appeal to your generation? Are they all attempting to define beauty in some way? Do they each use euphemistic language? Do they all perpetuate a stereotype? Find the common ground among the group you've chosen. You'll need to articulate it in a thesis sentence.

The purpose of your analysis is to "really see" the ad in a way you might not have if you hadn't been looking extremely closely, breaking it down to its component parts-the way it uses language, the kinds of images it employs, the way in which the language and the images interact with one another, and the way in which the general layout of the ad reinforces its message. You are using what you've learned from your reading and from class discussion to try to unmask the devious ways in which advertisements manipulate viewers.

You may wish to quote from the readings in your text. These would be welcome, provided they didn't overwhelm the paper. If you use quotations, remember to use quotation marks, to introduce the quote by naming the author, and to explain how the quote relates to your discussion.

 

Reminders and Notes on Evaluation are the same as for ESSAY #1.

 

 

 

     

 


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