The goal of this chapter is to flesh out some of the theoretical underpinnings of enthographic writing--writing that tries to understand what makes people or a culture unique or interesting, how they understand themselves--in order to help students put participation/observation research into a context beyond simply following directions. The chapter will also help you show students how to think about ethics while creating new knowledge. Your students will generate, collect, analyze, and synthesize material over the course of an enthnographic writing project that will enable them to fully work through a research and writing process.
Ethnographic pedagogy is a way of teaching the “research process” to students that invites them to initiate a personal, visceral, human connection with their project in order to 1) promote student understanding of the relationship between primary and secondary data; 2) ask students to actively probe the ethics of research in personal terms; 3) encourage students to engage in multi-vocal, multi-genre, academic writing.
Academic writing about film requires that you see beyond your enjoyment of the film experience and consider the “invisible things,” such as camera angles, composition and editing, lighting, sound and mise-en-scene (sets, costumes, makeup). These are the “film elements” that are distinctive to this art form. When we are caught up in the excitement or emotion of the film’s story, we often become passive viewers, swept along in the entertainment. Of course, these responses are important, but they are just a beginning point when it comes to writing thoughtfully about film.
Movies are entertainment. Movies are documents of their time and place. Movies are artistic forms of self-expression. Movies we see at theatres, on television, or home video are typically narrative films. They tell stories about characters going through experiences. But what are they really about? What is the content of a film?
Although the criticism of every art will be based in the particularities that arise from its specific media, I am interested here in highlighting aspects of criticism applicable across the arts (and which are therefore relevant to film criticism). Equally, although the characteristics of evaluative criticism have developed through and in relation to written criticism, most of the aspects listed below would be equally germane to work currently taking place within audio-visual formats.
Students are digital natives who spend their days saturated in rhetorical messages that they have learned to decode quite well – for example, they can easily size up an instructor within moments of walking into the classroom. As students look at various messages from fashion advertising to political campaigning, they often decode and make sound rhetorical conclusions about these messages. This chapter helps students understand the rhetorical skills they already possess, transfer these skills to classroom projects, and become familiar with basic terms of rhetorical analysis used in the academy.
A BAFTA award-winning BBC series with John Berger, which rapidly became regarded as one of the most influential art programmes ever made. In the first programme, Berger examines the impact of photography on our appreciation of art from the past.
Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth. But being educated by photographs is not like being educated by older, more artisanal images. For one thing, there are a great many more images around, claiming our attention. The inventory started in 1839 and since then just about everything has been photographed, or so it seems. This very insatiability of the photographing eye changes the terms of confinement in the cave, our world. In teaching us a new visual code, photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and, even more importantly, an ethics of seeing. Finally, the most grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads -- as an anthology of images.
No Caption Needed is a book and a blog, each dedicated to discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. No caption needed, but many are provided.
Writing from photographs seems as though it should sharpen the way we convert experiences and events into prose. I suspect that it also changes not only what we write but how we write it. It’s no coincidence that the rise of the selfie coincides with the age of autobiography.
This documentary explores the work of one of America's most famous photographers, Ansel Adams, as he goes beneath the surface to record nature and the quality of humanity. Known for his signature style of landscape photography, Adams captures our natural environment with images full of space and light.
"Though often overlooked, Graphic Design surrounds us: it is the signs we read, the products we buy, and the rooms we inhabit. Graphic designers find beauty within limitations, working towards the ultimate goal of visually communicating a message. Utilizing a language of type and imagery, graphic designers try to make every aspect of our lives defined and beautiful."
"COLLAGE WAS A major turning point in the evolution of Cubism, and therefore a major turning point in the whole evolution of modernist art in this century. Who invented collage--Braque or Picasso--and when is still not settled. Both artists left most of the work they did between I907 and 1914 undated as well as unsigned; and each claims, or implies the claim, that his was the first collage of all. That Picasso dates his, in retrospect, almost a year earlier than Braque's com-pounds the difficulty. Nor does the internal or stylistic evidence help enough, given that the interpretation of Cubism is still on a rudimentary level."
"To enhance your appreciation of photography it is necessary to develop the skills to make careful visual analysis. While everyone can easily discuss the contents of photographs ("what you see"), most need more training to learn about formal analysis used in the visual arts."
Public argument has been compromised by either/or argumentation strategies characterized by Lakoff and Johnson through the metaphor, “argument is war.” This essay discusses the blocks to ethical argumentation and offers three models: classical rhetoric, Toulmin, and pragma-dialectics that provide theoretical and practical methods for recognizing and inventing good arguments.
"An op-ed piece derives its name from originally having appeared opposite the editorial page in a newspaper. Today, the term is used more widely to represent a column that represents the strong, informed, and focused opinion of the writer on an issue of relevance to a targeted audience."
"Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) of your local or regional newspaper is an effective and easy way to reach a large audience with your message. LTEs are printed on the editorial page, which is one of the most read pages in the paper. . . . Even if your letter is not published, it is important for educating and persuading editors. The more letters they receive on a given topic, the more likely they are to dedicate more time in their newspaper to that issue—both on the editorial page and in news articles."
Do you know what the most widely-read page of the newspaper is? It’s the editorial page! For little cost other than your time, you can influence others in your community by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of your library, and you can ask others to do it too. Keep your letter as short as possible (or the paper will cut out some of your content) and remember to be persuasive. This is your chance to influence the opinion of someone you may not even know!
The film review is a popular way for critics to assess a film’s overall quality and determine whether or not they think the film is worth recommending. Film reviews differ from scholarly film articles in that they encompass personal and idiosyncratic reactions to and evaluations of a film, as well as objective analyses of the film’s formal techniques and thematic content.
A concert review describes a concert’s overall structure - including its music, musicians, venue, time, and location - and attempts to place the concert in a larger context by comparing it to other concerts. For your readers to grasp the atmosphere and quality of the concert, you should try to capture the entire scene in your review and also include your own evaluation.
This chapter focuses on the importance of storytelling to successful personal and professional communication in the 21st century. Because narration transcends experience, and because stories “can be found anywhere from a movie theatre to a corporate boardroom, everyone should know how to tell a good story.” While the chapter covers some theoretical aspects of narration, it will also help you show students how to create a “Who I Am” story and give them the opportunity to craft their own stories.
This New York Times link provides 500 prompts for narrative writing. Each prompt links to essays in the newspaper and then asks for students to respond. A PDF file for the list of prompts is also available.
"iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. Sabia shows how new technology has always helped us tell our own stories, from the walls of caves to his own onstage iPad." Ted Talk (3:51)
A proposal is a plan for solving a problem. Engineers and scientists write proposals to do such things as research turbulent boundary layers, design turbine blades, and construct jet aircraft engines. The audience for a proposal usually includes both managers and engineers. These audiences view proposals in different ways. For instance, managers review proposals to see if the plan for solving the problem is cost effective. Engineers and scientists, on the other hand, review proposals to see if the plan is technically feasible.
This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.
Business leaders and educators everywhere are attempting to inspire graduates at high schools and colleges with a terrific commencement speech. Among the more notable attempts was one from David McCullough, a Wellesley High School English teacher, whose “You Are Not Special” speech, encouraged students to go out and make their privileged lives remarkable despite everyone-gets-a-soccer-trophy childhoods.
If you are afraid to give a speech, you’re not alone. Public speaking is one of the top 3 fears that people have in life, right up there with the fear of death and going to the dentist. My dad was a dentist, and I teach pubic speaking, so we always said that we like inflicting pain on people. But all joking aside, here are some ways you can deliver an inspiring and memorable speech even if you are nervous about it.
"Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success." The second most popular Ted Talk in its history (21:02)
Blogging offers unique opportunities for first year composition writers to develop personal motivations and rewards for writing. This chapter will help you encourage students to find an approach to the unique rhetorical features of blogging as a genre. Students may need detailed assistance as they get started in the blogosphere; this chapter will includes strategies students can use to identify the kind of blog they wish to create, suggestions for composing blog posts, and technical advice on issues such as layout/design, widgets, embedding media, comment moderation, and RSS (a web feed). If blogging is new to you as a teacher, you will find guidance here expanding how and what you teach.
The digital world has permanently altered written communication. Copying and pasting ease the sharing and transferring of large blocks of text. Independent and joint editing of text is much easier and much less time consuming. Searching for specific parts of a long text is quick and easy. Checking for plagiarism takes only a few seconds. An emerging type of composition that incorporates a variety of modes of delivery (e.g., audio or visual content) into written material. can be created by incorporating visual and auditory material into written texts. The following sections provide a general overview of composing in web-based environments, creating websites, collaborating online, creating e-portfolios, and using web links.
The rise of the blog as a form of serious news reporting means that conventional journalists must become familiar with the blog format and rethink typical journalistic approaches. This ABC News program examines the blogger “community,” reviews major news stories that were broken by bloggers, and demonstrates ways in which blogging differs from traditional reporting methods. Featuring an interview with a Virginia schoolteacher who created a groundswell of political action with her blog, the video shows how the immediacy and the personal style of blog-writing can have powerful results—so powerful that journalistic accountability is now a contentious blog issue. (22 minutes)
At some time in your undergraduate career, you’re going to have to write an essay exam. This thought can inspire a fair amount of fear: we struggle enough with essays when they aren’t timed events based on unknown questions. The goal of this handout is to give you some easy and effective strategies that will help you take control of the situation and do your best.
"The purpose of a summary is to give the reader, in a about 1/3 of the original length of an article/lecture, a clear, objective picture of the original lecture or text. Most importantly, the summary restates only the main points of a text or a lecture without giving examples or details, such as dates, numbers or statistics."