Papers.boyishness

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Papers.boyishness

  1. 1. “ Content of the Assignment” (Copy-n-Pasted From Assignment Sheet) <ul><li>Things You Did Well: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show us, in words, exactly what your primary source is. This is the who-what-when-where of this exercise. Who made this? What is it? (If it’s a book or a TV show, give a BRIEF synopsis of its narrative. If it’s a toy or a type of food, describe its shape, size, taste.) When was it produced? Where? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell us a bit about your own experience with the primary source. You can mix this part in with a), if you’d like. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs Work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell us a bit more about what this source can say about American children’s culture. You can carry out c) by performing any of the analytical moves I outline on the handout “Some Ways of Looking at a Primary Source.” </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Mea Culpa! <ul><li>How to fix? Do some of the other Primary Source moves on That Primary Source Sheet. Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find out where your source fits in with other, similar primary sources that came before and after. Say you’re looking at a television show like SpongeBob. If you compare this show to others aimed at the same age group, or made by the same network, or featuring similar characters or setting, before or after SpongeBob was popular, you might find something interesting to say about how the shows’ themes or approaches changed over time. This approach requires that you make the connection between the two objects explicit, in order to establish a basis for comparison. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Or…(almost nobody did this) <ul><li>Find scholarly/secondary sources that have analyzed your source in the past . Has any other scholar done work on Garbage Pail Kids or (widening the circle a bit) Cabbage Patch Kids or the artist Art Spiegelman, who drew the cards? Your entry could cite this scholarship, summarize its argument, and respond. </li></ul><ul><li>Find scholarly/secondary sources that have analyzed other sources like yours, or dealt with themes that your source provokes. Maybe nobody’s written specifically about Garbage Pail Kids, but somebody might have written about trading cards, or disgusting kids’ culture (Gary Cross!), or parody in children’s cultures…you get the idea. Your entry could apply the arguments you find in this scholarship to your own object. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Once you find your meatier scholarly/secondary source… <ul><li>Spend some time reading it, so that you really have an understanding of what the author is arguing. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce the author, including a bit of information about their field of study (something like “Historian Gary Cross” or “Anthropologist Elizabeth Chin” or “Journalist Peggy Orenstein” is enough) </li></ul><ul><li>Try to summarize the author’s argument briefly in your own words, so that your reader knows what it is that you’re responding to. “In this piece, Cross argues…” </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to the author, using another scholarly source or textual evidence (your analysis of your object). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Vanquish The Scourge of Overly General Introductions and Conclusions <ul><li>“ Society is very interested in…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ People have always cared about…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Since early in history, it’s been important…” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show, don’t tell! Rather than saying “it’s been important,” cite an anecdote or use a quote from something you read. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you’re stuck, front-load the entry with your personal remembrances, or with a description of your object. A good rule: people like to read about specifics more than generalities, so an easy way to open any piece of writing is to bring up a specific thing (story, description, fact), then move from there into a larger argument. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget: when you say “society,” you pave over all of the interesting differences between people that are the reason to study culture. Who is “society”? What race, class, gender, geographical location, religion, political commitment, time period? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Common Citation Problems & Fixes <ul><li>Incomplete Metadata. Citations should usually have authors, dates, titles (of articles), titles (of publications), and, sometimes, publishing companies and dates of URL access. If your citation is simply an article title, something is wrong. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fix 1: Make sure to pick “Chicago Manual of Style – Full Note” when Zotero asks you which style you want to use the first time you insert a citation. This will provide you with the maximum amount of metadata. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fix 2: Double-check your item entries in Zotero. If you use “Create New Item” with a web page, you’ll need to enter some of that information yourself. Some translators for library databases are imperfect, and won’t do the job right; you must check to make sure that the right information is in the right fields. After checking, hit “refresh” in your Zotero toolbar, and make sure your document updates. OpenOffice has trouble updating this way; if you can’t make it work automatically, delete the incomplete footnote and re-insert. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Common Citation Problems & Fixes <ul><li>Metadata is All Present, But Confused. For example, you have a title of an article, but then the end of the title includes the word “Proquest” or the name of the publication where the article appeared. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fix: Go into your item record, and clean up your metadata so that the correct fields contain the correct information. There’s no need to cite the name of the database where you got an article – that’s not information that’s useful to a reader. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Also… <ul><li>No Wikipedia citations! Find out where the Wikipedia author found his/her information, and trace it to the source; cite the source, not the Wikipedia article. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Picking Your Next Object <ul><li>Since we’ve been talking about gender and children’s culture, pick an object (movie, show, magazine, toy, etc) that you liked as a kid that was gendered in some way. You could write about an object that relates directly to one of the readings we did—a teen magazine, a celebrity crush, a Disney princess, a war game, a comic book, a particular piece of clothing—or choose something totally different. </li></ul>

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