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Unit Two, Day 16 - Thursday

Class Goal: To introduce logical development via cause-effect; connect development to exigence of paper (i.e. the "so what" for the audience).

Connection to Course Goal: To re-emphasize ways of thinking about texts and textual analysis; discuss kinds of focus/development appropriate to this context.

  1. Introduction: Tell students focus of class is shifting to conducting their actual analyses. Now that they’ve seen some and have come up with their own topics, the next step is to begin considering how to focus their topic more and collect material for their paper. We’ll do this today by using the questions generated on Tuesday, trying it with a short segment, and re-focusing their topics.

(2) Put on board the questions generated in Tuesday’s class relevant to the genre of the show that you have chosen a clip from (eg. If you have chosen NYPD Blue put the questions for a "cop show.")

(3) In-class Analysis: Now that they’ve thought about how to analyze, it’s time to try it as a class. Prepare a short (5 min. tops) segment of a t.v. show to use in class. Ideally, you should chose a sample to use in class that reflects one of the genres above (e.g. Jerry Springer tapes are easily rentable at Blockbuster or tape a segment of your own of another kind of show). Break them into the same number of groups as questions on the board.(45 min)

NOTE: Before leaving class, copy down the revised thesis statements. You will need to return to them for next class.

Transition to #4: Now that we have tried an analysis and you have a better idea of how to generate the content for your papers, we’ll begin looking more closely at how to actually write your papers.

4. Write-to-Learn on PHG Reading: Ask students to quickly review p. 256-65 which they read for this class and make a list of all the aspects of an explaining essay they think apply to the current assignment. (Another option here would be to ask students to quickly write a paragraph on how "explaining" as a purpose is relevant to their current assignment.) (5 min.)

5. Discuss Write-to-learn and Cause-effect : Have a few students share their responses and begin a list on the board of what aspects of explaining apply to current assignment. If students do not come up with it on their own, explain how the paper is essentially an "explaining" one since the "so what" for the audience is typically to understand the influence of a show they might watch (reproduction), reasons why they watch of which they might be unaware (function), or how a show that seems to be entertainment is actually a cultural change agent (resistance). Illustrate how such an explaining purpose involves definition (i.e. defining a certain aspect of culture) and a cause-effect analysis (i.e. explaining the relationship of culture to viewers). The following visual arrangement might help here to illustrate the multiple levels of cause-effect in this paper It might be helpful to go back to Gray and Rapping as examples to illustrate this:

Culture (cause) -------> t.v. show (effect)

t.v. show (effect becomes cause)---------------->viewer’s thinking (effect)

In terms of organizing their papers:

Intro Culture (cause): what norm is set up? What need does the show fulfill?

-----à tv show (effect) conclusion

(10 min)

**REMIND students at this point that the "effect" of their analyses can be either positive or negative. They need not, like hooks, see the reproduction of specific cultural norms as having a negative effect. They simply have to offer reasons, in the conclusion of their paper, for the kind of effect they imagine their show having.

6. Test their Understanding : Prepare an overhead of sample thesis statements from Tuesday’s class. Ask students to examine each one-by-one (cover up the others as you work on one) to explain how the thesis fits into the cause-effect relationship above. (e.g. what is the cultural "cause"--i.e. myth, cultural norm, etc.--being analyzed; what is the "effect" of this aspect of the culture in terms of the content of the show?; what effect might this new cause (the show) have on viewers who watch the show?) (10 min.)

Closure to Cause-Effect Discussion: Point students to "collecting" questions on p. 286 of PHG (the "why" questions) as a way of helping them think about the relationship between culture and the t.v. program they’re analyzing, and the relationship between the program and its viewers.

(7) Collect Topic Proposals (comment on focus and analysis issues by next class)

(6) Homework: Remind them to read Soto and Williams in RRA and Lewis in PHG for Friday. Write a one-page response contrasting the effect media had on Soto versus Lewis.