Essay 3: Zero Draft

For Monday: Read “Starting with What Others are Saying” by Gerald Graff et el. and come to class prepared to discuss its contents.

The goal of this exercise is to produce a very rough draft (a “zero draft”) of your third essay. This will help you find raw material (i.e. potential evidence and rough ideas) that can be refined and further developed in your formal draft. This will also help you to recognize what further research needs to be done. Reminder: this draft should be very messy. I want you to explore *ideas* and not worry about making (or fixing) grammatical mistakes. You can use a combination of English and other languages if you’d like. As you now know, your draft will change significantly as you continue to revise and develop your ideas.

Due by 11:59 p.m. Monday, November 26th
Estimated time: 2 hours

Assignment

Write a zero draft of 3 to 4 pages in which you begin to work towards an answer to your research question. Your main focus should be to analyze specific parts of your exhibit using relevant theoretical sources.

First, review *all* my comments to the class’ responses to Exercise 3.4. Produce a working draft, then read the Model Student Introductions (which will be covered on Monday’s class) handout and revise your introduction. Your introduction should last two to three paragraphs and include 1) the description of your exhibit to your readers, 2) the intellectual or interpretive problem you’ve observed, and 3) the central question that you will try to answer in your essay. This part of your zero draft should be polished. There should be no more than two central research questions.

In the final paragraph of your zero draft, use as many sentences as you need to think through your developing answer to your research question.

Include a Works Cited list on a separate page at the end of your zero draft.

Submit your drafts as a Word document to: https://www.dropbox.com/request/y55KTK2FuTZoRYroY9OH

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Exercise 3.4

For Wednesday: Print out and bring your introduction draft (this homework) to class. We will continue working on your introductions. Also, make sure that you can access the “Identifying Problems” handout.

The goal of this exercise is to draft the introduction of your scholarly research essay.

Due by 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 21st
Estimated time: 1 hour

Draft an introduction for your scholarly research essay in which you:

  • briefly present your exhibit to your readers
  • describe the intellectual or interpretive problem you’ve observed
  • ask the central question that you will try to answer in your essay

Your introduction should be one paragraph long, but keep in mind that you will have to flesh it out into multiple paragraphs in your Zero Draft. Post your responses below.

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Exercise 3.3

*For Monday: make sure you can access the handouts “Identifying Problems” and “8 Strategies for Critically Engaging Secondary Sources” in class.

The goal of this exercise is to use the research resources of the Queens College Rosenthal Library to find sources for your research project.

Due by 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 19th
Estimated time: 2 hours

For the scholarly research essay, you will need to situate your review within at least three contexts:

  • the sociohistorical context i.e. you must consider the social and historical factors that contribute to the exhibit’s popularity (or unpopularity) .
  • the generic context i.e. you must evaluate the exhibit within the conventions of the particular genres that define it.
  • the existing map of opinion i.e. you must critically engage existing ideas about your exhibit in order to develop your own original viewpoints.

To do so, we will use the range of resources accessible through the QC library. Contact Professor Izabella Taler (izabella.taler@qc.cuny.edu) if you have any questions about or need additional help using the library’s many resources.

Assignment

For this homework exercise, you will use the library (and Internet search engines when appropriate) to find:

  • ONE contextual source about the popularity of your exhibit. For example, if you are analyzing the popularity of The Walking Dead in American society, you will need to find a source that provides absolute and relative viewership statistics. For example:
    1. How many people watch the show?
    2. What types of people?
    3. What are trends in the viewership? Is viewership decreasing? Increasing?
    4. How do these numbers compare to other similar shows currently on television?
    5. How do these numbers compare to similar shows from other time periods?
  • ONE or TWO argument sources that explain the existing main opinions about the aspect of your exhibit that you are interested in exploring. For example, if you are analyzing the popularity of The Walking Dead in American society, you will need sources that articulate the opinions that already exist about its popularity. For example:
    1. Is there a predominant viewpoint about your exhibit? What is it?
    2. Has the predominant viewpoint changed over time?
    3. Is there a debate about your exhibit? Why? What are the different perspectives in the debate?
  • ONE contextual source that provides relevant information about contemporary social or political issues that are arguably addressed in your exhibit. For example, if you are analyzing the popularity of The Walking Dead in American society, you may need to find a source that reports on citizens’ growing fears about societal collapse or nuclear war. For example:
    1. What are the main social or political issues addressed in the show?
    2. What contemporary real-world reporting has been done about these issues?
  • ONE theoretical source that explains and explores the conventions, functions, and/or implications of the genre of your exhibit. For example, if you are analyzing the popularity of The Walking Dead in American society, you may need to find a source about horror film and television. There are often multiple ways that an exhibit can be classified or categorized; therefore, a wise place to start is to research how it is already typically classified. For example:
    1. How is the show typically classified?
    2. Is it classified or categorized in a variety of ways?
    3. How are these categories defined? How do they typically work (according to experts or scholars)? What do they typically do (according to experts or scholars)?

Therefore, your aim is to produce a Works Cited list in MLA style that includes your exhibit (i.e. the film you are analyzing) and (at least) the four or five sources that you will find from this exercise. Post the MLA citations for the sources you find as a comment.

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Exercise 3.2

*For Wednesday: make sure you can access “The Nature of Horror” , “Identifying Problems”, and “8 Strategies for Critically Engaging Secondary Sources” in class.

The goal of this exercise is to identify two possible exhibits for your scholarly research essay.

Estimated time: 30 mins
Due by 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 14th 

Review the assignment guidelines for Essay 3. Your exhibit can be:

  • a feature-length movie (like Last Lovers Left Alive or It)
  • a music video (like Kanyé West’s “Monster” music video or Taylor Swift’s “…Ready For It?” music video)
  • a documentary (like Grizzly Man or Super Size Me)
  • a short film between 10 and 30 minutes

As in Essay 2, you do not have to choose an exhibit that has an explicit monster; you may choose an exhibit that has an aspect that is conceptually monstrous. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that you are genuinely interested in examining and writing about. Remember that, like Latoya Peterson, you will ultimately focus on and analyze specific aspects of your exhibit – not the “entire” exhibit!

Writing

List two exhibits that you could possibly analyze for your scholarly research essay. Cite them using MLA style (you can consult the course textbook for guidelines).

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Exercise 3.1

The goal of this exercise is to identify the intellectual problems that motivate research essays.

Estimated time: 30 mins
Due by 9:30 a.m. Monday, November 12th 

Reading
View the assigned music video (“Monster” by Kanyé West) and read the assigned reading (“Black Monsters/White Corpses: Kanye’s Racialized Gender Politics” by Latoya Peterson).

(As mentioned in class, the music video contains explicit lyrics; therefore, if you prefer, you can watch it with the sound muted since the lesson will focus on the imagery in the video.)

Writing
In a comment below, use a few sentences to explain what Peterson observed that motivated her to write her essay. Using a quotation from the text, explain why she thinks writing her essay was important.

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Essay 2: Final Draft

The goal of this exercise is to produce a revised and polished final draft of your lens analysis essay. To produce your final draft, you will extensively revise and develop your formal draft using lessons and strategies learned in class and suggestions provided in my feedback and from your peers.

Due by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, November 13th

Make sure that you:

  1. Review the guidelines for the Lens Analysis Essay and the guidelines for naming and formatting essay drafts detailed in the course syllabus.
  2. If your draft needs more content, make use of your selection of quotations from zero draft and/or find new quotations from Solomon and Cohen to add more analysis.
  3. Include a Works Cited list on a separate page using MLA style. Refer to the course textbook for help with this.
  4. Include a copy of your exhibit on a separate page at the end of the essay.
  5. Include a brief self-evaluation.
  6. Submit your Word document to: https://www.dropbox.com/request/VHCcHFdTRrmc4yVBEaLj
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Exercise 2.6

The purpose of this exercise is to improve the organization of your argument by making your PAS outline more specific.

Estimated time: 45 mins
Due by 9:30 a.m. Monday, November 5th

Carefully re-read the Effective Paragraphing handout. For the formal draft of your lens analysis essay, you were asked to write out the PAS outline of your essay. For this exercise, you will revise it to make it more specific. If you didn’t do it in your Formal Draft, you would need to create one for this Exercise. To clearly explain what a paragraph is doing (in terms of PAS), you must specify what is being presented, analyzed or synthesized. For example:

Presentation. This paragraph presents a summary of “Masters of Desire,” an essay exploring how American advertising reveals core features of American culture.

Analysis. This paragraph analyzes the wildebeest eyeballs in the center of the advertisement to argue that it is “monstrous” according to Cohen’s definition of the term.

Synthesis. This paragraph complicates the viewer’s understanding of the advertisement and draws a preliminary conclusion about the message of the advertisement.

Submit your revised PAS outline as a comment below. Start off by copy-and-pasting your thesis, then write out the specific function of each paragraph in your draft as demonstrated above.

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Library Session on Wednesday

As mentioned in today’s class, our next class on 10/31 will be a library workshop so class will be held in Classroom Lab 101A at Rosenthal Library, which is on Level 1, through the Media room, near the elevators. If unsure about directions, you can ask people at the front desk. You would need to bring your QC ID card with you to enter the library.

If you have questions about finding and using sources in you essay, it would be useful to bring them to our library workshop.

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Essay 2: Formal Draft

The goal of this exercise is to produce a revised formal draft of your second essay. To produce your formal draft, you will extensively revise and develop your zero draft using ideas from class and suggestions provided in my feedback.

Estimated time: 2-3 hours
Due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 2nd

Assignment

  1. Review the guidelines for the Lens Analysis Essay, then re-read the model lens analysis essay, and the guidelines for naming and formatting essay drafts detailed in the course syllabus.
  2. Write an introduction (either Presentation-Synthesis or Synthesis-Presentation. For example, the model essay’s introduction is in P-S format) in which you carefully describe the exhibit, introduce the problem or question in the exhibit that you intend to address, and offer your thesis as a response to the problem/question. Your thesis should specify the implicit message of the advertisement as well as the intended audience of the advertisement. (2 paragraphs)
  3. Over the course of your formal draft, carefully analyze specific aspects of your advertisement using lens analysis whenever possible in order to develop and support your opinion about the messages of the advertisement and its intended audience.
  4. Include a Works Cited list on a separate page using MLA style. Refer to the course textbook for help with this.
  5. Instead of a self-evaluation, write the PAS outline for your essay on a separate page. (Review the Effective Paragraphing handout.)
  6. Name your Word document as explained in the course syllabus and then submit it to https://www.dropbox.com/request/2QhtoHyiT14ilKCxUQuC
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Schedule Change & Exercise 2.5

As discussed in today’s class, the Formal Draft will not be due on 10/29 (Monday). The new due date for Formal Darft is 11/2 (Friday), and the post with the guidelines and dropbox link will be up on Monday.

For 10/29 (Monday), read the Model Lens Analysis Essay and work on the organization of your paragraphs: specifically, consider moving around existing quotes or adding new quotes according to their relevance to your arguments. Bearing in mind that one paragraph should clearly address one main thing, try to identify the topic sentence of each paragraph or create a new topic sentence for a paragraph that lacks one.

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