Inventing arguments by analyzing artifactsPresentation Transcript
Inventing Arguments by Analyzing Artifacts Todd Sumerfield
Articles Choosing an artifact can oftentimes be the most difficult part of the argument. The most interesting articles are most often not the ones that are the most readily obvious. Try to find an article which seems to speak to a point that is not exactly what you originally thought the point of the exhibit was.
Exigence To analyze the article, one must know what the point of the article is. This is called the exigence of the article, or the major point that the article was created to speak to, or the message it intends to get across.
Analyzing the Article Directly When looking at the exigence of your article, do not look at the obvious reasoning for the piece, or how it is most likely meant to function, look for a deeper reason that may not be obvious to the untrained eye. In order to do this, one must examine the audience that the article is meant to address. This can provide an insight into the article.
The Audience The audience of the article is one of the most important aspects of the analysis. An article means different things to different people, so the meaning and purpose of the article must be found with respect to the particular audience.
Writing Your Analysis Once you have compiled all of your information (article, exigence and audience), it is time to analyze the article. Find that one thing in particular which is unique about the article and start piecing together your analysis of the audience and what the article will specifically mean to them. It is important to portray your information in a way that will be most effective to your audience as well, just as was the case with the article.
Example Below I have included an example analysis which I did, analyzing a video that was shown to a group of organized protestors in Denver. The audience was a group which was already taking part in protests, but the actual exigence of the video was that the people aren’t doing enough. The images of people around the world losing their lives for their cause is meant to instill a deeper sense of responsibility in the protestors and move them to action.
Example Continued Notice how the example piece is creatively displayed; using the imagination of the audience by engaging them in pictures, text and videos. The example analyzes the article in the context of the particular audience. Although the movie did not mean the same thing or portray the same message to all of the audience, the general exigence to a group of protestors could very well have been a call to action and to arms.
Your Assignment Your assignment is to find an article around campus to analyze. Take your time in choosing an article, and don’t forget the great resources we have in the art displays. The article may be off campus if it is approved by the instructor. Make sure you engage yourself in the people around the artifact, immersing yourself in the people and culture surrounding the article. The article doesn’t have to be something physical, it can be a speech or meeting as well.
With your article chosen, explain in a creative form what the article was made or created to do, and how it goes about its exigence. Explain if the method is effective and how it appeared to affect the audience. Feel free to portray your analysis in a visually pleasing format such as that of the example. There are no rules or required word counts for this project, so feel free to explore possibilities outside of Microsoft Word or Power Point. Good Luck! And have fun with this!