Analyzing Expansionist Documents

As we transition out of the Revolutionary Period it is incredibly important that you understand that literary periods are fluid…that means that there isn’t a line in the sand drawn between Revolutionary Literature and Romanticism right after 1776. The time after America’s Independence and the start of the Transcendental movement is an incredibly important few decades in which our economy, our borders, and our perception of what it means to be ‘American’ rapidly grew and changed. The literature from this time period reflects these changing viewpoints and the conflict that arises when social, political and economic upheaval happen all at once. Without this period of expansionism, we wouldn’t have the Transcendental movement.

During this period issues of economic changes, the role of women in the new country of America, and the displacement of Native Americans were reflected in the documents and literature of the time period. We will be examining documents from a report at Lowell Mill, Catherine Beecher and Andrew Jackson on each of these topics.

In groups you will examine one document from the period, identifying the speaker and the intended audience. You will annotate the text for examples of ethos, pathos and logos. Finally, you’ll determine how the speaker/write of the document effectively appealed to their audience using ethos/pathos/logos.

Next, you will work to create a presentation of your analysis for the class. Each group member will be responsible for one portion of the presentation, but ALL group members will need to have annotated and analyzed the text. Click here for the assignment instructions Rhetorical Analysis and here for the group work checklist.

You will present your analysis of the documents to your peers on September 30th, 2019.

Please click here see an example of a previous group of students’ powerpoint presentation to give you an idea of what this project could look like.

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

The Declaration of Independence

We are examining our founding document – an amazing piece of text that brought us to where we are today, and inspired other nations to declare those own free and independent states.

The original Declaration of Independence, ink on parchment. It has been damaged by light and improper storage, and the text has almost faded completely over the past 241 years.

A facsimile copy of The Declaration of Independence, struck in the 19th century. Copies, posters and prints of the document are made from this copy, not the original.

 

Click here to view the real Declaration of Independence at the National Archive.

As we read, analyze and discuss this document please remember that we are looking at not only its importance historically but also its use of effective syntax, and its rhetorical appeals.

Please see the videos below over the history of the document and a performance of the Declaration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we also learned how to take DoodleNotes, using The Declaration as an example. Please click here to access the notes.

As we analyze the text, remember to look for the appeals to rhetoric and be able to explain how the syntax of the document make its more effective.

The text of the Declaration can be divided into four sections–the introduction, the preamble, the list of grievances, and the conclusion.  Please see the resources below to help you as we analyze this document in small groups, including the declaration itself, vocabulary from the document that may give you trouble, and your instructions for analysis with your group. 

Please see the breakdown you complete of the DOI as a class in the images below – you can click on them to open the full size image:

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Conducting A Visual Analysis of Rhetoric

We come across many images on a daily basis, but we rarely stop to think about what those images mean or about how they persuade us. Yet, images have power, which is why we need to understand how to analyze them. When you’re analyzing an image to understand the message it portrays, this is called visual rhetoric. Visual rhetoric is a means of communication that uses images to create meaning or to make an argument.

The first thing to consider when breaking down, or analyzing, an image is the rhetorical situation: the audience, context, and purpose. Each of these elements is essential in order to understand the message an image portrays. It is important to remember that you can analyze all different types of images, including advertisements, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), websites, paintings, photographs, and more. Here, we will look at an advertisement:

Audience

The audience consists of who is being targeted by the author, designer, or creator. In the above image, it appears that the audience is men. How do we know this? Not only is the person running in the background a man, but the color of the watch and the size of the watch face indicate that the watch is likely a man’s watch. Of course, women could indirectly be an audience, too, since they might want to buy this watch for someone or wear it themselves. In addition, the audience might be male athletes or outdoor enthusiasts. If you pay close attention to the watch features, it includes North, South, East, and West orientations; it is digital with various modes that likely include a stopwatch, and it has a light for when it is dark. All of these features are likely to appeal to outdoors types, athletes, or both.

Context

The context includes any background information that will help you understand and analyze an image. In the above image, the most important context is that the watch is a Pro Trek watch. If you did some research, you would find out that Pro Trek watches are part of Casio, an electronics manufacturing company. Knowing that Casio is an electronics company, we might assume that they value functionality over aesthetics; therefore, this might be the reason why the above watch is not very decorative or complex, but is still the focal point of the image. This is because Casio wants to feature the watch’s functionality.

Purpose

Purpose refers to the overall goal for creating an image. With advertisements, that goal is fairly easy to understand. Advertisements are almost always made to sell items.

There are many other strategies to consider when breaking down an image. It’s always important to consider the rhetorical situation first, since that will help you interpret the purpose of the other strategies the designer uses. Then, you can begin to interpret the other persuasive techniques that influence the overall message of the image, including the tone, arrangement, text, typography, and color.

Tone

In literature, tone refers to the author’s attitude toward the subject. So, with regard to images, tone can also refer to the photographer/artist’s/designer’s perspective on the issue.

Arrangement

Arrangement refers to the placement of images, graphics, and text in an image. There are two key elements of arrangement—location and scale. Location refers to where a text or image is placed, whereas scale refers to the relative size of the visual components.

Location

Typically, our eyes scan an image, text, and/or webpage from left to right and from top to bottom. The designer of this advertisement has placed the Jello logo and the image of the product to the right side of the page. If the designer wanted our eyes to go to the logo first, he or she probably should have placed the logo at the top left corner so our eyes would catch that logo first. However, because the size of the watch is so large, it is obvious that the focus is the watch. This brings us to the term scale.

Scale

As discussed in class, image of the ice cream cone is much smaller in scale than the cup of pudding. Thus, the scale of the ice cream (its size in relation to everything else on the page), indicates that the designer wants to viewer to focus on the pudding, ensuring that viewers understands what this product being sold is, and how much better a cup of pudding for 60 calories is compared to a tiny bit of ice cream.

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Text

Text is another important element to analyze, assuming an image includes text. If it does, the text is obviously there for a purpose. Now, the only text on this advertisement is the company logo and the name of the dog food. This is obviously there for the purpose of showing viewers what type of dog food it is so they can find it online or in a store. However, it is possible that this image could have been more effective if it included a catch phrase like those we often see in print ads or in commercials (think of Skittles’ “Taste the Rainbow” or Subway’s “Eat Fresh” slogans). If you see an image with text, consider the connotations of the words, the possible underlying assumptions of the phrase, and the effect the words are meant to have on the audience.

Typography

Typography refers to the font size and font type choices that are made in a visual composition.

Font Size

Notice that the font size of ‘Jardiland’ is actually smaller than the ‘Light’ under it, indicated its a low fat dog food! This seems to actually reduce the importance of the company as compared to the importance of the benefits of this dog food for your pets. Do you think this is an effective visual strategy to persuade the audience?

Color

Color choices can really affect your audience, too. Colors can have different meanings (connotations) that implicitly portray a message. Colors can also enhance or detract from an image’s readability depending on the level of contrast used.

Connotation

Notice that this advertisement has yellow hues in the background. The orange/yellow hues from the background tie in nicely with this complimentary color of blue under the Pedigree logo. The color pops and gets your attention, and contrasts with the image of the dog in the foreground.

Readability

You also should think about practical concerns with color, such as whether or not the text color is contrasted well enough with the background so that it is readable.

In class we will also be analyzing a series of commercials,  – you will be tracking how these ads use rhetorical appeals, and determine if they effectively appeal to their audience. Additionally, you will form an argument on whether you believe the use of rhetoric in their advertisements has improved over time, and why.

Two of the ads we watched together focus on how a company can use music and an upbeat tone to sell their product, or how they can use diversity to appeal to a broad audience.

Apple iPhone 5s – 2014

Apple iPad Air – 2014

 

We also looked at how companies can use commercials that surprise us – either to shock us into action, or to rebrand their products in a new light.

The Sandy Hook Promise organization filmed their PSA to look like a real news report – this shocking irony got our attention and made the audience focus on the issue of gun violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening up on a dalmatian, and focusing on a beautiful and unpolluted landscape with wind-turbines, the Superbowl ad put out by Buswieser this year focused on re branding their company as environmentally friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like you to analyze the visual rhetoric being used in the ads provided to you in class (color versions are posted below). Post a detailed analysis of the rhetorical devices being used in the advertisement and whether or not you think it uses these to effectively or ineffectively achieve its purpose in the comments below. You analysis should cover all the elements discuss in this post for visual rhetoric, as well as the elements of SOAPSTone, and should be at minimum of one 6 sentences – though a well done analysis may be longer.

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Preparing for the AP Exam – Free Response Question 2: Rhetorical Analysis

Section II of the AP Language and Composition Exam contains three free response questions, which students will have 2 hours and 15 minutes (or 135 minutes) to complete. Section II of the exam accounts for 55% of students scores. It is suggested that students spend:

  • 15 minutes for reading source materials for the synthesis prompt (in the free-response section)
  • 120 minutes to write essay responses to the 3 free-response questions

Prompt Types

  1. Synthesis: Students read several texts about a topic and create an argument that synthesizes at least three of the sources to support their thesis.
  2. Rhetorical Analysis: Students read a non-fiction text and analyze how the writers language choices contribute to his or her purpose and intended meaning for the text.
  3. Argument: Students create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.

You have been practicing the Rhetorical Analysis, or Q2, prompt all year without even knowing it! Every rheotrical analysis you have done up till point has prepared you for the Q2 free response questions, so breathe easy AP kids – it won’t be as hard as you imagine!

 

There are a few things you can do to to ensure you do your best on the Q2 Essay:

  1. Read the prompt carefully! The prompt is the small paragraph at the top of the page – it should tell you vital information such as who the author of the piece is/was, the title of the piece, when it was published and where. Sometimes the prompt give you more information, such as the historical context of the piece, the author’s perspective or position, or the purpose of the piece. The prompt will also tell you exactly what to write!
  2. Read the text and annotate it! This is what the essay is all about… and I can assure you that those of you who annotate the text will do better than those who do a cold-writing. Remember, you’re not just looking for every stylistic and rhetorical device they author has used – you want to pay attention to the ones that seem to be most effective in achieving the purpose or appealing to their specific audience. Don’t forget the canons – delivery, organization and arrangement can be the things that help you write a deep analysis and not a surface level assessment of the rhetoric being used.
  3. MANAGE YOUR TIME. Don’t spend 30 minutes annotating the text, even though it is an important step. Also, don’t spend 30 minutes writing the introduction. You will have 135 minutes for all three essays, so its important that you learn to manage your time and work quickly and efficiently.
  4. Don’t just list all of the devices you see – pick the most effective ones to write about, and write DEEPLY about them. You need to pick an angle to write you analysis from… don’t just go through the text in chronological order and list all the devices the author uses!

 

While I will be giving you feedback on your timed writing and you will be conducting peer review throughout the semester, I strongly suggest you meet with me after school or during lunch to review your writing at some point. The more one-on-one time we can spend on your writing the better, and unfortunately we just don’t always have time to do that together in class.

**NOTE – I will be uploading ALL of the past rhetorical analysis prompts from previous AP Language and Composition Exams for you in the ‘Resources’ tab. PLEASE PRACTICE SOME OF THESE ON YOUR OWN. We can only do so many in class together before we have to move on and study the Synthesis Essay and the Argumentative Essay….. I am more than willing to work with you after school if you choose to practice additional prompts on your own! 🙂

 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Civil Disobedience – What is the relationship between The Citizen and The State?

As we continue to examine the question of “what is the relationship between the citizen and the state” this week we will do so informed by your reading of Henry David Thoreau’s famous text ‘Civil Disobedience’.

disobedience

 

After analysis of the text and discussion of the topic in Socratic seminar, you will have a choice again this week of three potential projects to complete analyzing and addressing the topic of civil disobedience. As you work on this project remember that you must cite at least three reliable sources, with one of them being Thoreau’s essays.

 

 

 

Project Option 1:  Definition/Exemplification – Visual Infographic

Examine an act of Civil Disobedience, focusing on the individual or group responsible. Create an infographic that:

20130626-ghandi-civil-disobedience

  • Describe the background of the law or governmental policy in question. What was the individual and his or her allies protesting?
  • In what specific acts of civil disobedience did they engage? Provide samples/examples through artifacts (visual or audio).
  • How did the government and/or the public respond to their actions? Cite evidence.
  • Impact on the world, society, and/or governmental laws and policies – Were the goals of movement achieved? Be able to justify your answer.
  •  What role did civil disobedience play in helping them to achieve their goals? Did their actions work against them in any way?

You infographic must have at least three sources cited, and must use a minimum of 10 images. You will present a copy of your infographic to each of your classmates. Remember, PiktoChart is a great website that easily allows you to create infographics. Click here to view an example inforgraphic.  

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Project Option 2: Compare and Contrast – Written Statement

Compare and contrast Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, focusing on their purpose, tone, figurative language and their definition of a ‘just law’.

Your response must be 1500 words, written in MLA format.

 

 

Project Option 3: Rhetorical Analysis – Protest Medium Presentationcbde8e01070568d58d7e0316db4b41ed

Acts of Civil Disobedience do not just take place in history books, but occur everyday around us. Find an example of modern civil disobedience from the last 50 years, and examine it. This can example of civil disobedience does not have to be limited to The United States, but can come from the global community.

  1. Conduct a rhetorical analysis of a protest medium from that act of civil disobedience – this could be a poster, a song, a poem, spoken word, a series of tweets, a speech or a visual demonstration. Determine if the protest medium was effective or not, and present this analysis of your selection to the class.
  2. Create your own protest medium for the topic, using rhetoric effectively to achieve your purpose. You may create a poster, record a song (at least 90 seconds long), write a poem, perform spoken word (at least 90 seconds long), write a tweet-stream (at least five tweets long, 140 characters with pictures), write a speech (at least three minutes long). If you do not read or perform these protest mediums, you must submit a recording of them.
AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

The Declaration of Independence

We are examining our founding document – an amazing piece of text that brought us to where we are today, and inspired other nations to declare those own free and independent states.

The original Declaration of Independence, ink on parchment. It has been damaged by light and improper storage, and the text has almost faded completely over the past 241 years.

A facsimile copy of The Declaration of Independence, struck in the 19th century. Copies, posters and prints of the document are made from this copy, not the original.

 

Click here to view the real Declaration of Independence at the National Archive.

As we read, analyze and discuss this document please remember that we are looking at not only its importance historically but also its use of effective syntax, its appeals to rhetoric, and even the flaws of 18th century bias that it includes. Many of the ideals exposed in our founding document are held dear to us, but know the irony in that these ideals as we see them today were not extended to all people living in the new United States.

Please see the videos below over the history of the document and a performance of the Declaration.

Today we also learned how to take DoodleNotes, using The Declaration as an example. Please click here to access the notes.

As we analyze the text, remember to look for the appeals to rhetoric and be able to explain how the syntax of the document make its more effective. Be sure to read The National Archive’s analysis of The Declaration of Independence to inform your own analysis and understanding of the text:

“The text of the Declaration can be divided into five sections–the introduction, the preamble, the indictment of George III, the denunciation of the British people, and the conclusion. Because space does not permit us to explicate each section in full detail, we shall select features from each that illustrate the stylistic artistry of the Declaration as a whole.3

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

SOAPSTone Plus – A Review

We’re jumping right into rhetorical analysis this semester, and therefore you will need to briefly review the arch methods analysis using SOAPSTone Plus that we covered last semester. Below you will find a review and an example.

 

Arch Method

Arch Method Rowlandson

 

 

 

You can also click here to review an in-depth powerpoint over the SOAPSTone Plus analysis method.

Please let me know if you have any questions or issues over this review!

 

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018 Uncategorized