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Unit Two, Day 21 - Monday, October 9

What we'll do today in class:

Connection to course goals: Asks students to practice applying academic skills of analysis to the larger culture. Shows how the writing context for Assignment 3 requires close attention to various parts of the "text" they'll analyze.


  1. Group Activity - analyzing a TV talk-show. You'll need a 5-7 minute segment of a daytime TV talk-show. You can rent Jerry Springer tapes at local video stores, or just tape a segment at home. Make sure you view the show before using it in today's class so you can prepare for what students should be finding, and to be sure that it's appropriate for viewing in the class context. Don't pick sexually explicit segments of the shows for viewing!
  2. (5 min)

  3. Have students watch the talk-show segment once just to see what's happening and to get initial reactions for their focus.
  4. (15 min)

    Transition: Now that we have possible claims for a cultural analysis of this segment, let's discuss the reading from RC to see what parts of the show we can look at to provide evidence to support our claims.

  5. Discuss what aspects of the show to focus on in third viewing.
  6. (5-10 min)

  7. Before they view the segment a third time, assign each group one aspect of the show - Content; guests and audience; set; spacial arrangement; and camera space - to concentrate on from the reading in RC. (2-3 min)
  8. While they watch the show for the third time, have them write as many details as possible about their assigned aspect of the show. Don't worry about how it relates yet, just have every person in your group make as many observations as they can about your assigned focus. (5-7 min)
  9. Have groups compile their list of details, and make a fresh group list to turn in to you.
  10. - Make sure each member of group adds to their own list as well, since they'll be using that list for their homework assignment.

    (NOTE: You'll be copying the lists so everyone has a list of all of the details for use in class on Wednesday.)

    (10 min)

    IF TIME…

  11. Practice using these details as support for a claim.
  12. (5 min)



RC, William Bennett, "Announcing a Public Campaign…", 28-29


Two one-page analyses of the segment we viewed today based on our observations.
  • One should be Function for Viewer, the other a Function for Culture
  • You may use any of the claims we generated in class or a new one of your own creation
  • Use only the details your group generated as support for your claim.
  • Thus, you'll either have to find a way to connect these details to one of the claims we generated or come up with a claim of your own that these details could support.

(NOTE: you will read these homework assignments and select four or five that you think will work well for the Purpose/Focus/Audience activity on Day 23. Typically you'll want to look for homeworks that already have some focus, have used some evidence, but may have to be adjusted based on a new audience or purpose, or perhaps they aren't clearly focusing on Function for Culture or Function for Viewer, which they'll have to do to meet the context for Essay 3. Make enough copies of each homework assignment for each student to have one.)