Assignment Sequence

Summarize an Image
Choose an image from the list of approved images in your text to summarize descriptively. In your summary, describe as many details as possible using clear and precise language; clearly distinguish your observations from your inferences. This assignment is geared to help develop your skills of close observation, inference, and descriptive precision. It is also designed to test your ability to observe the parameters of an assignment. 2 pages.

Summarize an Article
Choose an article from the approved list to summarize in an accurate, well-organized essay that correctly uses all conventions of MLA citation. In your summary, be sure to paraphrase the thesis and its main points, using direct quotation only when necessary. While you should focus on summarizing the author's argument and main points, part of making accurate observations is being able accurately to infer tone, audience, purpose, and point of view; therefore, these inferences should be included in your summary. This assignment is designed to help develop your skills of comprehension, paraphrase, documentation, and organization. 2-3 pages.

Comparative Analysis
Building on the techniques of summary and inference, compose an accurate, well-organized thesis-driven essay that compares Mitchell Stephens' "Expanding the Language of Photographs" and John Long's "Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography." To complete this assignment effectively, you will have to narrow and shape a point of comparison shared by each essay and then identify how each author approaches or understands that point of comparison differently. This assignment is an exercise in categorical and comparative thought, the building blocks of critical thinking. 3-4 pages.

Personal Narrative
This assignment forms the first step in your research project. Choose an important or influential image from the list of approved sources and write a personal essay that describes your response to it, using the skills of close reading, inference, and analysis we have been developing throughout the term. To complete this assignment effectively, you will not only have to summarize your image, but you will also have to make complex inferences based in your observations. This essay will provide a starting point for research about your image. 4-5 pages.

Research Project
Based on the observations, inferences, and analyses developed in your personal narrative, this project asks you to delve more deeply into the history, context, and purpose of the influential image you have chosen. Gather both secondary (background, critical) and primary (interview, observation) research to craft a research essay illuminating the significance of your image. Over the course of several weeks, you'll keep an interview journal in which you record how friends, family members, and random interviewees interact with your influential image. This information, supplemented by background research into the image, should be presented to your readers in a well-organized, completely documented essay. This assignment is designed to test your ability to conduct and document meaningful research while deepening your familiarity with skills already developed. 6-8 pages.

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