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.)

10 thoughts on “worksheet for Skartveit’s “Take the f train”

  1. More Than Three People

    En franÁais s’il vous plait?

  2. Jill

    Mais bien s?r, Francois… Well, um, actually the French’d turn out rather bad, but…

  3. Francois Lachance

    So i’ve been outed as a single requesting voice puppeting “More Than Three People” and not it is not only the smart blog author that recognized the not published email address as that of a long time reader and sometime commentator the very software takes a collective noun approach to names in comments. See: more than three people _says_. This of course leads the grammar-wise to contemplate shifting agreement of subject and verb to reflect the multifocal postmodern subjectivities at play. Also leads one to ask if blogware can be coupled with natural language processors to recognize comments that are mostly questions. A simple script looking for punctuation might do the trick. Does give pause to ponder speech acts in blog exchanges: promises, questions, exhortations, all come across as saying.

    Disambiguation poses another challenge to the blogbot — take for instance the contraction in Jill’s 18:31 saying. Two possibilities:
    the French had been done or the French would be done [my initial reading was a had been done; i thought the blog diva had access to some machine translation software] Ah time’s arrow! which brings me to the question of speed text analysis. in a smart classroom the instructor can control minutes of exposure to aspects of a site and ask students to exchange insights with each other — just like 30 second and 5 minute sketches in drawing class…

  4. Johan

    So what are the students supposed to read to be able to take the quiz/worksheet?

  5. Jill

    Anders Fagerjords book Web-medier – going to increase the theoretical curriculum a fair bit next time round, I think.

    FranÁois – yes, I recognised you rather easily, since your comment (not being signed by a name already accepted as a bona fide commenter) was put in a moderation queue where I can see the IP address and email address if entered… and your email was there 🙂

    I love the idea of a blog that recognises questions… I’ve not paid much attention to these automated services, but now you point them out they’re rather fascinating, really. As though my blog is a dumbwaiter or a robotic conversation assister or something.

    Also that really shouldn’t be a capital S in Says after the commenter’s name. I’ll have to try and fix that.

  6. Albertine

    god idÈ Â bruke Hanne Louises nettfortelling som analyse¯velse!
    Lager oppgaver for nettsider til Mediefaget (VGS) for Aschehoug…
    Tror sannelig jeg skal lÂne idÈen din, har du noe imot det?

  7. Jill

    Albertine, bruk i vei – oppgavene kan sikkert forbedres, men gj¯r hva du vil med det – bare kjekt om det er nyttig for noen!

  8. ¡lvaro RamÌrez

    Nice example, Jill. As you say it can be improved.
    Thank you for sharing Hanne Lovise’s work. Amazing work!

  9. […] Via Jill Walker […]

  10. Raining Cats and Dogma

    Teaching Carnival X…

    So it turns out that when most of us aren’t teaching, most of us aren’t blogging about teaching either. But still, after scouring the internets, waiting for del.icio.us and technorati to get caught up, and checking in on the usual……

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