Writing memo

The assignment is big picture/little picture and situational memos


The instructions are


Writing two, descriptive memos about the text you chose.  Each memo should be 1-2 pages.   Your memo should be written in proper narrative form, in other words, it should have complete sentences and structured paragraphs.  These memos do not have to be as fully polished as a paper.  Instead, they should read more like a journal entry.  These are designed to capture your initial impressions and analysis of your text.   You may not use all of what you write in your final paper.  You may also discover new insights as you do more research and continue to analyze and examine your text.


Memo #1: The Big/Little Picture Memo (Clarke, 2005): This memo should describe the text you are looking at.  You’ll want to record what you see/understand when you look at, hear or interact with your text.  First, focus on the “big picture.”  Look at the text as a whole.   Describe it.  If it’s written, what is the main idea?  How is it structured?  Does it have a distinct beginning, middle and end?  If it’s a visual text, what does it look like?  What colors are used?  What feelings does the image evoke?  See the Tools for Examining Written or Visual texts in your Textual Analysis and Media Research Reading for more prompts about how to look at or read texts.  Next, you’ll focus on the “little picture.”  Break the image or text into smaller pieces.  Examine each piece on its own and record your impressions.  Think about how each smaller piece relates to the larger text.  Do they have a different meaning if you break them apart? 

Memo #2: The Situational Memo (Clarke, 2005):  While the Big/Little Picture Memo is descriptive, the Situational Memo is analytical.  In other words, you are not just recording what you see in the text; now you are thinking about it.  As you begin to think about your text, consider why certain language, images or sounds were used.  What was the author or artist trying to accomplish by choosing certain words or images?  Think about the tone that is used.  Is it humorous, serious, sarcastic, tongue in cheek?  How would the meaning of the text change if a different tone were used?  Is the tone obvious to the consumer of this text?  Consider the framing of your text.  What is being shown, and what is left out?  Is it designed to represent itself or something larger?  Is it representative of a larger whole?  Think about the viewpoint.  Whose viewpoint is it from?   How is this communicated to the viewer of this text?  Who is the intended audience?  Would they have the knowledge, background and skills necessary to understand this text?  Would a different audience interpret this in another way?  Would any audience feel uncomfortable with this text or be offended by it?   Is it designed to include or exclude certain audiences?   Think about presence and absence.  What is covered in depth, and what is missing?  How are the words or images used in your text used elsewhere?  Are they used in a way that supports or challenges this context?  Are the images or words taken in or out of context?   Do they align with their original context of place, time and meaning?


Here are the readings links,





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