A Cultural Critique
Write a one to two page (250-600 words) essay in classic style that analyzes and comments on a specific feature of modern culture.
Focus on a concrete, recognizable object or phenomenon, not on some broad historical or political trend. Look closely at your object or phenomenon: describe it, describe who uses it, account for its popularity, and explain the values or beliefs it embeds or conveys.
Cultural analysis depends on closely observed details and on original insights. Your essay should help your reader to understand your object or phenomenon in a deeper and richer way.
Your analysis should present both your own observations and library research. The essay must include at least FOUR sources documented in proper MLA format, with in-text, parenthetical references and a list of Works Cited. At least ONE of your references must come from a non-internet source. (Please note: encyclopedias—including on-line encyclopedias like Wikipedia—do not count as sources for this assignment.)
Give your essay a thesis and a clear, logical organization. Do not simply list things about your object or phenomenon in random order. Develop a thesis which presents your unique insights into the cultural object or phenomenon you analyze.
Use the five cultural critiques we will read (“Consider the Lobster,” “The Beatles Now,” “Java Man,” “Toys,” and “‘This Is the End of the World’: The Black Death”) as models for how to write an engaging and compelling cultural analysis.
Write your essay in classic prose style: clear and concise, specific and engaging.
Make every word count.
Initial Draft Due: November 21
(Bring THREE copies of your essay to class.)
NB: I will not respond to any draft unless it has in-text citations and a Works Cited page.
Revised Draft Due: December 5
(Bring your Revised Draft, your Initial Draft with my comments on it, and all the Peer Critiques you received to class in a folder.)