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Directions: Create a thesis statement for the GREATs essay prompt. Your thesis statement should respond to the prompt directly, discussing important aspects of your selected cultural artifactâ€™s relationship to freedom in contemporary culture. You will need to carefully the GREATs essay prompt before creating a thesis statement.
An effective thesis statement should establish the following:
- State an assertion
- Set limits on the topic
- Indicate organization
While a thesis statement is often only a single sentence, it is an integral component of your work. A strong thesis statement will help focus your essay. This assignment will be reviewed prior to your submission of the module essay in order to provide feedback that can assist you in continuing to develop supporting details for your thesis essay.
Peer Responses: Review thesis statements for all group members and provide feedback and comments for ALL group members. Look for and discuss connections between your topics and cultural artifacts. You will include this information in the final group presentation due at the end of the module!
Use the question prompts below to begin the discussions:
- Connect â€“ What connections exist between group membersâ€™ posts?
- Extend â€“ What new information is learned from group membersâ€™ posts? How does thinking change or shift as a result?
- Challenge â€“ What challenges or questions arise from the group membersâ€™ posts? What will you need to consider moving toward the development of the module essay?
Directions: For your GREATs module essay, you will analyze a contemporary cultural artifact and its relationship to freedom. For your second mini assignment, create an Annotated Bibliography of at least 5 sources (not including â€œThese Shoes Arenâ€™t Made for Walkingâ€) related to your essay.
Criteria: To fully annotate five sources, your assignment should be 10-15 paragraphs long and include five MLA formatted citations.
- Each source should be cited according to MLA Works Cited page formatting guidelines
- Each source should include two to three paragraphs of annotation including summary, assessment and reflection.
- Include a minimum of five sources about your cultural artifact.
- One of the five sources must be a non-text object (image, video, audio, etc.)
- You may cite Wobovnikâ€™s article as an additional source.
GREATS Cultural Artifact Analysis
- Claudia Wobovnikâ€™s â€œThese Shoes Arenâ€™t Made for Walkingâ€
- 5 source minimum (see Annotated Bibliography)
- 1 of the 5 sources must be a non-text object
Overview: In Claudia Wobovnikâ€™s text and video â€œThese Shoes Arenâ€™t made for Walkingâ€, she presents an analysis of the high-heeled shoe as a cultural artifact. Wobovnik explains that people often have different associations with the same cultural artifact, because the â€œcultural agents bring the object into meaning by using itâ€ (85). In other words, an object only has meaning because it is used by people, and people create meaning according to cultural and social practices.
Prompt: Using Wobovnikâ€™s cultural artifact analysis as a model, identify a cultural artifact and analyze its connection with freedom. Consider the questions below:
- How is the artifact experienced or interpreted?
- What is the artifactâ€™s role in society?
- How does the artifact contribute to and actively shape cultural ideals and expectations?
- How does the artifact support or revise conventional ideas, practices, or expectations?
- How does the artifact create meaning?
- How does this artifact promote specific values of freedom, or oppression?
- Which cultural groups are affected by the artifact?
- How does the artifact participate in influencing the formation of personal or group identity?
- How is this artifact representative of wider social assumptions that are promoted through media, stereotypes, and single stories?
After selecting a cultural artifact to research and completing the tasks throughout the module, compose an essay that includes the following:
- A thesis that argues the cultural artifactâ€™s connection to freedom
- Analyze the artifact:
- Provide a brief history
- Explain its role in contemporary society
- Explain itâ€™s connection to freedom through multiple examples from credible sources
- Analyze a non-text object related to your cultural artifact
- Apply Wobovnikâ€™s ideas about the creation of meaning by social agents to your analysis:
- What are the different ways that the cultural artifact is interpreted based on cultural factors and differences?
- Which groups benefit from the cultural artifact? Which groups are harmed by it?
- Who decides the meaning and interpretation of the cultural artifact? How is it promoted, reproduced, and shared?
You may select a cultural artifact from any of the following fields:
- Literatureâ€” an author, book, poem, story
- Musicâ€” musician, album, song, genre (i.e. hip hop or country)
- Cinema or Televisionâ€” an actor, director; movie or series
- Mediaâ€” social media, advertisement, news channel, magazine or newspaper, journalist
- Fashionâ€” Fashion trend, article of clothing, fashion designer, models
- Visual Art – photographs, paintings, multi-media works, non-conventional works of art and /or genres (tattoos, tagging, etc.)
- Technologyâ€”Video games, smart phones, apps, portable electronic devices
Audience: Your audience is your instructor and other members of the class, representative of an adult, educated, academic audience.
Length: 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words), not including the non-text object and Works Cited page
- Use the Essay Structure resource, along with the strategies from the LUMEN Resource modules to guide your essay structure and organization.
- Include an original title (not “Unit Three Essay” or â€œGREATs Essay”)
- Use MLA Style to format your essay (see â€œMLA Formatâ€ in LUMEN Resource)
- Compose a thesis statement that argues for the cultural artifactâ€™s connection to freedom
- Include at least five (5) resources from the CCBC Library Database or other credible source
- One of the five sources must be a non-text object (image, audio, video) inserted into the body of the essay
- Organize the essay so that each body paragraph is providing support for your thesis (use â€œEssay Structureâ€ resource and LUMEN modules for guidance)
- Cite all sources using MLA style in-text citations
- Include an MLA style Works Cited page at the end of the essay (not included in 4-6 pages of text)