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” or “Decoding Advertisements” 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 “Masters of Desire” or “Decoding Advertisements”.
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 1600 and 1800 words.