Week 4.6 | Texts That Changed the World (Discussion)
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In this last unit, you are being asked to join a conversation in order to persuade an audience to act on the research question you have been focusing on.
For this assignment, you will find one real world example of a piece of writing (an op-ed, historical document, legal document, news article, infographic, website, video, poster, ad, etc.) that has created change in the world. The change can be a huge change that we still talk about in history classes today, or it could be an important text in your field of study or an important cultural text. You might think of a community or organization that you belong to and an influential text that changed that community/organization forever.
Important note: You should not post a text that merely describes an important event (for example, a news article that explains how COVID-19 has changed society); you should post a text that itself changed society or had a big impact. For example, the Declaration of Independence in the US changed the world, because it was the first step to America becoming an independent nation, and the American Revolution ended up deeply influencing other nations, like France, in their fight for independence. We still today heavily quote the Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”). I could choose that document for this assignment and investigate the way the text itself changed the world–what ideas it introduced to society that didn’t exist before that. In another example, in the field of medicine, Gray’s Anatomy, one of the first widely published books that explained the human anatomy, was an important stepping stone in the birth of modern medicine, because it helped people understand how the human body worked. For this assignment, you must pick a text that changed society, the world, a field of study, etc. (You may not use either of the examples I just provided–find your own!)
- Post a link to or a photograph of the text.
- Name the text. Discuss what kind of text this is, who the audience was, and the context in which this text was written (what was happening, why did the writer write this text? Give us enough background to understand the text’s importance.)
- Then explain how this text actually affected change. What changed after this text? Why is this text important to society or a specific community?
- Do a rhetorical analysis of the text. Here, you should respond to the following:
- What is the main message of this text?
- Who is the specific intended audience of this message? (Here, do not say “everyone.” Be specific about the actual group of people that this text is addressing.)
- How does this text use written words, spoken words, visuals, colors, organization of information, etc. to communicate this message to this particular audience? In other words, what is important about the WAY the text communicates its message?
- How do/did those choices affect how effective or ineffective this message is for this audience?
- You might not expect to affect world-wide change with your Unit 3 project, but hopefully you plan to convince people of something for some purpose. Think about the two texts you want to create for Project 3. What kind of change/results would you want to see if people read your texts? You can focus on just one of the two texts for this question:
- What is going to be the main message of your text?
- Who is the specific intended audience of this message? (Here, do not say “everyone.” Be specific about the actual group of people that your text will be addressing.)
- How do you hope to use written words, spoken words, visuals, colors, organization of information, etc. to communicate this message to this particular audience? In other words, what are some of the stylistic choices you want to make in your text?
- How do you think those choices affect how effective or ineffective this message is for this audience?
Your post should be at least 250 words long and thoroughly answer the questions above.
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