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WA (c. 3) and Homeland (In)Securities Analysis/Interpretation Guides

Monday, September 27, 2004 WRT105
GUIDE BUILDING

With the group at your table, produce a brief guide on interpretation. Your guide will serve an audience of peers (others who are working with the Homeland (In)Securities sequence). It will:

  • consist of 5-10 (no more than 15) edicts, commands or instructions related to interpretation, addressing the basic points suggested by Rosenwasser and Stephen. You may number them if you choose.
  • reflect a team or group reading of all of chapter three, from pp. 37-52 (note: pp. 42-52 was assigned reading for today; in your group, you will work through the first five pages together). What do R&S want you to do when you interpret a text?
  • refer to a single, recurrent illustration or example to elaborate confusing points. Use a spatial example that could, hypothetically, serve as a site for analysis in essay two.

This is an exercise in summary and close reading. It will require you to shift conceptually between texts and spaces as readable or inferential.

You should share the group's workload by assigning specific group members to specific sections of the chapter and, as well, by managing your time carefully. Email your work to dmueller -at- syr.edu before the end of the hour, and ask any questions you have as they come up. Your guides will be published on our course web site.

Notes from class:

Text: anything that can be read (in the broadest sense of reading)--visual, spatial, literary, rhetorical, graphical, auditory/musical. All texts are subject to interpretation framed by analytical processes.

parsimony (49) - simple can be most effective

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Ryan, Jake, Corey, AJ, Shenny
Analysis Guide
- Begin by looking at the literal interpretation before you begin to make inferences.
- Approach the topic with an open mind, being aware that there are multiple perspectives from which interpretations are derived
Analyze language as a possible metaphor, each word could have a different meaning.
- Meanings must be reasoned from sufficient evidence if they are to be derived.
Use different approaches such as a biographical approach to interpretive context.
- Be wary of reading between the lines.
- Be specific when pertaining to detail - Use the “Notice and Focus Method” , looking for anomalies and reformulating binaries.
- When looking at a piece of writing, address not just “What does this say?”, but also, “What are we invited to make of it, and in what context?”
- Ask “So What?” in regards to what your reading.
- Resist the urge to cordon off certain subjects from analysis on the grounds that they weren’t meant to be analyzed, which unnecessarily excludes a wealth of information and meaning from your range of vision.

Melissa, Ben, Rebecca, Liz, Blake
1. Make observations from the text.
2. Notice prompts.
3. Begin to formulate interpretations.
4. Ask yourself, “So what?”
5. Keep the resulting interpretative leaps plausible.
6. Read between the lines, but do not overanalyze.
7. Let the work speak for itself.
8. Don’t settle for one interpretation. Consider multiple viewpoints by approaching from different angles.
9. Make explicit what is implicit.
Clarification:
Meanings are created in the mind of the reader. Interpretations may vary depending on what observations are made. Considering prompts allows the reader to abandon a judgment al reflex in favor of a more abstract line of questioning. Words such as noteworthy, unique, and fascinating are markers for key observations. Asking, “so what?” of these observations leads to interpretative leaps.

Ryan, Jake, Corey, AJ, Shenny
Analysis Guide
- Begin by looking at the literal interpretation before you begin to make inferences.
- Approach the topic with an open mind, being aware that there are multiple perspectives from which interpretations are derived
Analyze language as a possible metaphor, each word could have a different meaning.
- Meanings must be reasoned from sufficient evidence if they are to be derived.
Use different approaches such as a biographical approach to interpretive context.
- Be wary of reading between the lines.
- Be specific when pertaining to detail - Use the “Notice and Focus Method” , looking for anomalies and reformulating binaries.
- When looking at a piece of writing, address not just “What does this say?”, but also, “What are we invited to make of it, and in what context?”
- Ask “So What?” in regards to what your reading.
- Resist the urge to cordon off certain subjects from analysis on the grounds that they weren’t meant to be analyzed, which unnecessarily excludes a wealth of information and meaning from your range of vision.

Emily, Theodore, Erik, Zeke, Wesley
Points Related to Interpretation

1.) Look for what is “interesting” and “strange”
a. Verbal Prompts: “interesting”, “strange”, or “revealing”
2.) Move from observation to conclusions
a. E-mail communication
3.) Move from description to interpretation
4.) Think about where meanings come from
5.) Meanings are made and are the product of a transaction between a mind and the world
6.) Everything can be interpreted in different ways
a. A painting which only contains two colors and it’s human contact is ignored
7.) Try to determine what the author intended for you to analyze a. Leave it to Beaver
8.) Not everything is directly stated so “read between the lines”
a. Body Language: the way they move when they speak
9.) Convert suggestions into direct statements
a. Analyzing a beer billboard and its various parts


Contact Information
Derek Mueller
Office: HBC 002
Fall '04 office hours: [Adj. 10/26] Wed., 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Phone: (315) 443-1785
AIM: ewidem
dmueller@syr.edu
http://writing.syr.edu/~dmueller/