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Essay 2: Lens Analysis

ESSAY 2 ASSIGNMENT: LENS ANALYSIS 

Assignment Concept: Lens analysis requires you to distill a concept, theory, method, or claim from a text (i.e. the “lens”) and then use it to interpret, analyze, or explore something else e.g. a first-hand experience, visual text, physical object or space, historical or current event or figure, a cultural phenomenon, an idea or even another text (i.e. “the exhibit”). A writer employing lens analysis seeks to assert something new and unexpected about the exhibit; she strives to go beyond the expected or the obvious, exploiting the lens to acquire novel insights. Furthermore, there is a reciprocal aspect in that the exploration of the exhibit should cause the writer to reflet, elaborate, or comment on the selected concept or claim. Using a concept developed by someone else to conduct an analysis or interpretation of one’s own is a fundamental move in academia, one that you will no doubt be required to perform time and time again in college. 

Assignment Prompt: Choose one of the following prompts for your essay. 

  1. Discuss the key themes of the serial prose poem Humanimal.  Produce a close reading in your investigation of these metaphors. Make use of other relevant texts to prove your point.
  2. Explain how Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus reflects humanist ideals, and how those ideals may or may not also be reflected in Hans Moravec’s “Pigs in Cyberspace.” 
  3. Discuss the key themes of the short story “The Universe of Things.” Produce a close reading in your investigation of these themes. Make use of other relevant texts to prove your point. 

What I am looking for (a.k.a. how you get your “grade”, i.e. full points):

  1. Do you know how to read a writer’s biography and extract the relevant information that will help give useful context to the novel and the topic you are discussing? 
  2. Do you know how to create a clear and interesting thesis that answers the prompt?
  3. Do you know how to structure paragraphs around topic sentences?
  4. Do you know how to extract relevant information from the texts to support your thesis and topic sentences? 
  5. Do you know how to use, integrate, cite, and document other people’s ideas properly?
  6. Do you rework your draft after receiving feedback from readers? 
  7. Do you edit and proofread your drafts?