ENG 1303 Paper #1:
Summary and Analysis of a Visual Text
Assignment: 4-5 pages (typed, double spaced)
Summarize and analyze how a film poster–a kind of advertisement and visual text–makes its point. By summarize, I mean explain the general features of the advertisement: What appears to be happening in it? Where did the advertisement appear? Etc. By analyze, I mean explain in detail at least two specific ways in which the advertisement creates an effect. Things to consider: What is its purpose? Who is the intended audience? Does it effectively entice/persuade? What larger issues might it raise?
Use the first half of Chapter 5 to help you with summary writing. Use Chapter 10, especially pages 232-235 and 241-251, to help you with analysis. Think of the summary part of this assignment as your chance to bring your readers up to speed on your advertisement as a whole. Think of the analysis part of this assignment as your chance to go deeper and specify details whose significance your readers would likely overlook if not for you. Be sure to address any elements that may be working in conjunction with the image, such as: text that appears on/around it (and how that affects your understanding of the image), typography/style, graphics, etc. If your poster is for an older movie, explain how context of the time period may have affected the production of the image. (Also think about how the same movie might be advertised differently today and why.)
Imagine your audience as people who are so used to seeing various forms of advertisements that they have stopped noticing how the advertisements affect them. Pretend your paper will appear in a magazine designed to create a more aware and informed citizenry.
Choice of Images:
Choose one of the posters from this article that appeared in Houston Press: “An Indisputable List of the 20 Greatest Movie Posters of All Time”
Keep in mind that it’s best if you actually watch the movie you choose so you can comment on how the single image works in the context of the rest of the film.
Remember, you can also structure paper around how you disagree with the author of the article (as in how the poster you choose is NOT one of the best of all time). Also, try not to be swayed by his commentary under each poster; make sure you are forming your own opinion about it.
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