worksheet for Skartveit’s “Take the f train”

Puzzling over how to explain students who’ve never tried it how to write a textual analysis I remembered how they loved the quizzes we did earlier this semester. So here’s a worksheet (rtf) I made for Hanne-Lovise Skartveit’s Take the F train, which is one of the works they can choose to analyse.

My plan is to spend a while looking at the work together, then I’ll hand out these worksheets and let them discuss the questions in small groups for twenty minutes or so. Then the second period of the class we’ll discuss it all together.

What students with no experience of textual analysis tend to do is write pure descriptions, not use appropriate terminology, and go into excruciating detail about the technical aspects of the site. While I’m quite sure that the questions on the worksheet could be better I’m hoping that they’ll help the students see what kinds of questions are interesting to discuss in a textual analysis. I always feel a little silly about making things like this though. Because of course it’s not, you know, the ultimate solution. There are so many other questions that you could discuss in relation to this work. And I worry that providing just these questions will lock students into just a few options. On the other hand, it’s a 100-level course. They’re supposed to be first and second year students. Plenty of time to get more complicated later, eh?

(The worksheet is in Norwegian. If more than, oh, three people ask, I might translate it. Feel free to do whatever you want with the worksheet – copy, change, edit, delete whatever.)

16. May 2006 by Jill

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