back Return to Unit One:TR
Day 13 - Tuesday, October 3

In class today we'll:

Connection to course goals: Discussing three essays should touch two of the main goals of CO150 - showing how writing can be used to gain a voice in culture (they chose to write to express their views on advertising) and how important context is to the writing process. They will also be asked to accomplish the latter goal by comparing the contexts of these three essays with their own context in essay 3. The analysis of the visual essays asks students to apply academic skills (cultural analysis and critical thinking) to cultural texts.


  1. WTL: Take about 5 minutes to jot down some thoughts on the following prompt to get us started on discussion…What gender myths do these authors feel advertising portrays? What effect do they feel it has on viewers?(5 min)
  2. Discuss the Lewis, Katz, and Kilbourne essays.

(NOTE: Remember to keep in mind the overall role of reading in this unit when preparing for and leading this discussion. We're not using these essays to gauge their ability to decipher main ideas (hopefully they've mastered that after Unit One). Instead, discussions should focus on trying to introduce students to ways of thinking about the relationship between culture and TV, to questions they'll want to consider in writing the second essay, and toward examples of the type of analysis they'll be doing in Essay 3.)

PART I: Using their WTL's as a starting point, discuss the two essays first just to get a sense of the argument these authors are making and how the students respond to those claims. Some possible discussion questions:

PART II: Now that we've agreed on their main claims and had a chance to respond to those claims, let's take a look more at how these three authors think about culture and the media.

PART III: Okay, we've seen their main arguments and flushed out the relationship these authors describe between culture, media, and the viewer, let's now consider why they wrote their essays.

PART IV: These essays are taking a similar approach to what you're being asked to do in Essay 3. Let's take a minute to compare their contexts with our own before we move on to actually practicing cultural analysis.

This whole discussion should take between 40-45 minutes

Transition: Now let's move more toward preparing for our assignment specifically by practicing cultural analysis of media texts through the Function for Culture approach, as well as moving toward thinking about the function these texts might serve for a viewer (option 2 for Essay 3). This activity will be similar to what you'll eventually be doing with your TV show.

  • Present Myth/Stereotype overhead.
  • - Put the following on an Overhead and explain it to students.

    (5 min)

    4) WTL: Look at the visual essays "It's a Woman Thing" and "Pumped Up." What are the obvious myths you see about gender in these ads? What dominant cultural myths do you think are reinforced or challenged in the images?

    5) Large group discussion of the visual essays focusing on Function for Culture.

    - Discussion questions:

    ***(NOTE: This is the more difficult part of the activity, so be prepared to wander and help these groups get beyond the obvious messages. Some examples of more "hidden" messages:

    (10-15 min)

    Transition: We've looked at how you might analyze these essays through the Function for Culture lens. Now let's consider how you might analyze them from the Function for Viewer perspective.

    1. Large group discussion of visual essays focusing on Function for Viewer.

    - Another goal here is to introduce them to Function with Viewer, which we haven't

    really worked with at all.

    Discussion questions:

    Summary points:

    (15 min)

    IF TIME…

    1. Exercise in determining an audience for their essays.

    (10 min)



    RC: "The Case of Daytime Talk TV", p. 5-12


    A one-page analysis of our context in Essay 3. Consider the following questions:

    • What is different about the audience or context for this essay compared to the previous essays?
    • Based on the context for this assignment, what different purposes might a writer have in producing this kind of text?
    • Why would anyone want to know the effect a show may have on them?
    • What possible "end results" can you envision for this type of analysis? How might you try to affect the show? How might you try to affect the readers of your essay?

    (NOTE: You'll be collecting these homeworks tomorrow to see that students have a good sense of the essay and where they might go with it. Also, when you read these homeworks make a list of any concerns you think you need to address for the whole class.)