March 26, 2019

Hi all just some announcements for the upcoming few weeks:

  1. Please remember to bring a printed out copy of your rough draft to class today, Tuesday, 3/26
  2. Exercise 2.2 is due Thursday, 3/28. It is posted on the website
  3. Please have read all of “Linking Evidence and Claims” (available on the website under course readings) for class on Thursday, 3/28
  4. The last day to drop a course is Monday, April 1st! Please see me if you have concerns.

Exercise 2.2

March 26, 2019

The purpose of this exercise is to improve the organization of your argument by making your PAS outline more specific.
Due by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28th

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. 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.

Library Day – IMPORTANT

March 19, 2019


As you made me aware, many of you will be unable to attend the originally scheduled library day. So the library day has been moved to Tuesday, April 16th.

On Tuesday April 16th, we will meet in the Rosenthal Library at 4:40pm in room 225. You may have noticed that I have not scheduled a conference group for that day. This means you are expected to stay for the entire class time, 4:40-6:30pm, as I want you to  use this time to practice research strategies. 

To get to room 225 in the library you enter the library through the main doors (this means you must have an active QC ID Card).

Essay 2 Formal Draft

March 13, 2019

Due by EMAIL by 4:30pm Thursday, March 21st


  1. Review the guidelines for the Lens Analysis Essay and the guidelines for naming and formatting essay drafts detailed in the course syllabus.
  2. Write an introduction in which you carefully describe the exhibit and offer your thesis as an argument based on your knowledge of the advertisement and your observations. Your thesis should specify the implicit message of the advertisement as well as the intended audience of the advertisement. It should take you roughly 2 paragraphs to develop your thesis.
  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.
  5. Include a self evaluation at the end of your essay.
  6. Please bring a hard copy of  your essay to class on Tuesday 3/26


March 12, 2019

  1. For class on Thursday 3/14 please read the first half of The Nature of Horror. It is available under course readings. Please bring a printed out copy of it with you to class.
  2. For Tuesday 3/19 please read the second half of The Nature of Horror. It is available under course readings. Please bring a printed out copy of it with you to class.
  3. Class Thursday 3/21 is cancelled.
  4. Your formal draft is still due in my email ( by class time on Thursday 3/21. You will receive an email back saying I have received your paper. Please make sure to follow all proper submitting guidelines! These can be found in your syllabus.
  5. For Class Tuesday 3/26 please bring a hard copy of your rough draft to class as we will be workshopping it!
  6. If you have not turned in your first paper to me yet, please keep in mind it is considered 7 days late. This means it has lost 2.33 possible letter grades (A+ becomes a C)!
  7. Please note the last day to drop a class for a W grade is 4/1.
  8. If you have questions about your grade thus far, please email me.

Visual Analysis Handout

March 7, 2019

King Kong

March 7, 2019

Movie Ad

Citing Sources Handout

March 4, 2019

Here is the powerpoint I went over in class on Thursday as a handout!

Exercise 2.1

March 4, 2019

Due by 4:00pm on Thursday 3/7

The goal of this exercise is to identify two possible exhibits for your lens analysis essay.

First review the instructions for Assignment 2. Then conduct some research to find two potential exhibits for your lens analysis essay. Remember that your “exhibit” is the advertisement that you will be analyzing in your essay. It must be a static advertisement (i.e. not a video); for example, a student could choose a highway billboard, a movie poster, an online advertisement, a subway advertisement, a newspaper or magazine advertisement, or even a flyer. However, the advertisement does not have to be in English. Strong advertisements for this assignment are usually primarily visual. You should find:
▪ one advertisement that contains an explicit or obvious monster or monstrous image. Two examples are:
▪ King Kong movie posters
▪ Tarantula movie poster
▪ one advertisement that does not contain a literal monster but rather is conceptually monstrous. In other words, you should be able to argue that something about the exhibit is monstrous as defined by Cohen. Three examples are:
▪ Land Rover advertisement
▪ Surrogates movie poster
A great website to search for print advertisements is:

Provide a copy of and/or link to each of your advertisements as a comment below.

Essay 2 Assignment

March 4, 2019

We live in an increasingly visual culture. For example, visual advertisements are everywhere: from roadside billboards to television, movies, newspapers, and, of course, the Internet. Often a mixture of text and images, these range from the hilarious to the controversial to the downright annoying. Hence, such visual texts are anything but neutral; they are meant to convey explicit as well as implicit messages that affect and influence particular audiences. So we must ask: Why do such visual texts affect us? How do they affect us? Who is “us”? (In doing so, we expand our understanding of a “text” to mean all materials that can be read, analyzed, and interpreted.)

This essay requires you to use ideas from “Monster Culture,” and “Masters of Desire” to analyze and interpret a static visual advertisement in order to make an insightful argument. The advertisement you select should either depict an explicit “monster” or something that the intended audience would arguably perceive as “monstrous.” Your goal is to decode your exhibit’s explicit and implicit messages and the methods by which it conveys its message(s). As in the first essay, you must also determine the intended audience for your selected advertisement. You must also consider how analysis of your exhibit complicates or extends the intellectual conversation occurring between “Monster Culture” and/or “Masters of Desire.”

Imagine that you are writing to be considered for publication in an upcoming issue of a respected scholarly student journal focused on modern visual culture. The journal is distributed to colleges and universities around the country.


• Continue to work on the goals from the first assignment: using the introduction to orient the reader and identify an interpretive or intellectual problem; formulating a strong claim; establishing a motive; maintaining a coherent structure; using evidence fairly and persuasively.

• Integrate your sources with deliberation and purpose. The sources can be used to articulate the motive, establish the intellectual conversation, provide context or key terms, analyze evidence to support your claim, or argue with other interpretations. Document sources using the MLA in-text citation method. Include a works cited page. Practice ICE: introduce, cite, explain.

• Have cohesion and coherence in your prose on the sentence level and on the paragraph level. Your diction should be precise. Avoid clichés of language and clichés of thought.

• Have an interesting and informative title.

• Adhere to all relevant formatting guidelines described in the course syllabus.

The final draft must be between 1700 and 1900 words.