Essay 3

Making Meaning
In essay 2, you explored how words have many layers of definition. Just as texts can have many definitions, they can have many meanings. It is important to remember that all texts around us have meaning. Texts include things such as: written texts, events, foods, photographs, advertisements, buildings, clothing, vehicles, etc. The meaning in a text is created by the viewer and the context it exists in. For essay 3 you will have the opportunity to explore the layers of meaning that exists within a particular text.

Choosing a Topic
For essay 3 you will choose a print advertisement (can be from a magazine or accessed online) or a commercial (can be accessed online) to analyze for meaning. For our purposes these advertisements, print or commercial, will be considered texts that you will analyze. Your job is to explore the layers of meanings that exist within the text you choose. Your essay will argue the meaning you find in your particular text. Remember meaning exists within context so be aware of how the advertising company is presenting their product and who they are presenting it to. Researching using secondary sources such as articles and company websites can help you in analyzing your text. We will go over in class ways of analyzing your text and how to support you argument.

Developing a Thesis
Your thesis, as we have been discussing all semester, should be specific, well focused, and arguable. Bullock says, “a good thesis is specific, guiding you as you write and showing your audience exactly what your essay will cover”(252). As you analyze your text try to develop a thesis that is complex. You want to avoid general statements in your thesis.

Developing Support
For this essay you will use a few different methods of support: Textual references- Since you are examining a particular text it is important to reference and explain that text in your argument. Allusion- Make at least one reference to popular knowledge in your essay. Personal Testimony- Use your own personal experience to persuade your audience. Secondary Research- For this essay you will include at least one outside source to help you construct your argument. This could be an article from an academic database or information from the website of the company responsible for the text you are analyzing. Appeal to Logic or Value- construct a line of reasoning in your argument using one of the appeals.

Concessions and Counterarguments
As you argue meaning it is important to acknowledge that there will be others who find a different meaning than the one which you are arguing. Briefly reference other meanings that could be created from your text.

For this essay your audience will be the company whose advertisement you are analyzing. You will be arguing your interpretation of the meaning of the text to the company. Keep in mind what type of audience your advertisement is intended for. Who is the company targeting this ad to? Is the ad effective?

Essay Requirements
This essay will be 3-4 pages in length. This means it must be at least 3 full pages. It should be in 12pt Times New Roman font with 1”margins. All sources should be documented in MLA format. This includes in text citation as well as a works cited page. If you are analyzing a print advertisement please hand in a copy of your advertisement with your essay and cite it in your Works Cited page. If you are analyzing a commercial cite it in the Works Cited page so I will be able to locate it. Remember you must use at least one outside source (scholarly article from a database or information from a company website), personal testimony, one allusion, an appeal to value or logic, and textual references in your essay.

Finding advertisements and Sources
We will be spending one class at Bracken Library where you will learn how to locate journal articles and newspaper articles using the library databases. You can locate print advertisements for your topics in magazines or online. Commercials can be found online using You Tube. You will learn how to evaluate a website at the library as well. Please remember Wikipedia is not a viable source for conducting secondary research.

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