Textual Analysis and Synthesis Post

Make sure to do these 2 separately. One is a Textual Analysis and the other a Synthesis Post.


Lightning Rods by Helen Dewitt, Sections 4-8 (pp. 99-273) (Find Online)

Theory of the Gimmick by Sianne Ngai, Chapter 1

Assignment 1: Textual Analysis

You must make one 300-600 word post to the Textual Analysis discussion board on Canvas. Your posts should discuss a specific moment in the text–focusing on less than a page rather than the text as a whole–and make an argument or unique observation of your choice. There should be very little space given to summary of the text or formal introductions and conclusions. Assume that we have all done the reading, and use your word-count efficiently.

A good textual analysis post makes an argument that’s unexpected in some way–resisting the obvious conclusions and going beyond what’s discussed in the week’s lecture video–and makes that argument by focusing on the concrete specifics of the text. You should avoid vagueness and generalization as much as possible.

Assignment 2: Synthesis Post

You must make one 300-600 word post to the Synthesis discussion board on Canvas. In the Synthesis post, you should consider the themes of the course and connections between the books we’ve studied as well as concepts from your other business courses or real-world events. Your post should be grounded in something specific from the week’s reading, but the idea is to make connections and think about the big ideas of the course.

Just as in the textual analysis, your synthesis post should be surprising and specific. Don’t allow generalizations or vague argumentation to infect your writing just because your scope is expanding beyond the week’s reading. Be sure to limit the scope of your argument as much as possible. Choose one specific idea and develop it concretely.

Here are the basic criteria I will be considering:

Content is interesting (surprising and specific).

Scope is narrow, and the main point is developed sufficiently in under 600 words. Word count is not wasted by summaries of the assigned reading or by overly formal introductions/conclusion.

Arguments are based on concrete particulars of the text, including direct quotations where appropriate.

Responses are respectful and engage seriously with the arguments of peers

Responses add new, interesting complexity to peers’ arguments rather than simply agreeing or disagreeing.

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