Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

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Assignment: Write a thesis-driven rhetorical analysis essay on a music video of your choice (time period open). Analyze the music video closely to support your argumentative thesis, which should be persuasive and debatable. Integrate 2-3 quotations from the Rybacki & Rybacki article you read. You may also analyze your video from one of the perspectives discussed in the article, like “Jungian.” How does the music video appeal to viewers and listeners? How does it reflect and shape culture? Why does this matter? Lean on the same basic rhetorical principles from Ch’s 2-3 of Contributing a Verse.
(Optional) Watch one or more of the following videos by “Teach Argument,” where he rhetorically analyzes a music video.
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bgL8y3xHYo
Taylor Swift, “Wildest Dreams”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnJvagbL_sw
Macklemore, “Same Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RMpVkK2sk4
21 Pilots, “Stressed Out”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoLC2oTlMTo
R. City, “Locked Away”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZvCkEzqYVo
Note 1: Do not select one of these videos for your own paper to avoid subconsciously copying his analysis. Watch these videos (or video) to see what makes a rhetorical analysis of a music video effective.
Note 2: Sometimes, Teach Argument uses ethos, logos, and pathos in his videos. You are not required to use the three appeals in your essay. You may, but it’s not a requirement like it was in your previous essay.
Citing Music Video and Lyrics: You will need to cite the music video and lyrics in-text and in your Works Cited. I will provide a worksheet that covers these matters.
Purpose: To think critically about the way visual rhetoric reflects and shapes culture; to understand the elasticity of the word “text” (i.e., a music video is a “text”); to refine critical writing and thinking skills appropriate for a media-saturated society; to prepare you for ENGL 1101, which, at every USG institution, focuses heavily on research writing.
Grading: Essay grading is mostly holistic; however, the tip worksheet will give you a more detailed look at my expectations and what I look for when grading.
Length and Formatting:
1,000 words, more if necessary
Times New Roman, Size 12
1-inch margins on all four sides
MLA documentation style (see last bulleted point)
MLA Works Cited page
Proper in-text MLA citations—place quotation marks around borrowed language from sources, and cite those sources at the end of sentences. Paraphrases should be cited too. A paraphrase is source info rewritten in the writer’s voice. Even if the sentence does not contain a quotation, it needs to be cited at the end of the sentence
For citation questions, consult the Purdue Owl website: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Start Date
Jun 7, 2020 11:59 PM
Due Date
Jul 11, 2021 11:59 PM

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