Media artifact | English homework help

Choose a Media Artifact (No movies/videos) (2 pages)

DESCRIPTION:  Denotatively* read (describe, depict) the media artifact.

ANALYSIS:  Discover and focus on significant patterns and messages that emerge from you denotative read of the media artifact.  What messages/meanings do you think are generated from your media artifact in relationship to race and/or gender.  

INTERPRETATION:  Connotatively* read your media artifact by asking and answering the “What does that mean?” and “So what?” questions about your media artifact. 

EVALUATION:  From your description, analysis, and interpretation of the media artifact thus far, arrive at a judgment, make an assessment of what you read both denotatively and connotatively*.

ENGAGEMENT:  What sort of action can we as citizens take to question our media, add our own voice to the process of shaping the cultural environment.  How can we engage the media based on your analysis of your media artifact.

Jacob Richman wrote the following: http://www.vocabulary.co.il/connotative_denotative_vocabulary/

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USE Connotative vs. Denotative Vocabulary

Words are not limited to one single meaning. Most words have multiple meanings, which are categorized as either denotative or connotative. The denotation of a word is its explicit definition as listed in a dictionary. Let’s use the word “home” as an example. The denotative or literal meaning of “home” is “ a place where one lives; a residence.” Hint: Denotation, denotative, definition, and dictionary all start with the letter ‘D.

The expressiveness of language comes from the other type of word meaning—connotation, or the associations that a word usually brings to mind. The connotative meaning of “home” is a place of security, comfort, and family. When Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz says, “There’s no place like home,” she’s not referring to its denotation, but the emotions “home” evokes for her and most people. 

Connotation Determines UseThe connotative and denotative meanings of words are both correct, but a word’s connotation determines when it is used. By definition, synonyms have the same denotation or literal meaning, but almost always have different connotations, or shades of meaning. For example, the synonyms of “boat” include ship, yacht, dinghy, and ferry. All these words refer to the same thing, but each elicits a different association in the reader’s mind.

Word choice affects the meaning of what you say and write. A quiz may ask you to select words or write sentences that convey positive, neutral, or negative connotations. For example, notice how the sentence meaning shifts when the underlined word is changed:

Positive: Sally was an enthusiastic member her sorority. 

Neutral: Sally was an active member of her sorority. 

Negative: Sally was a fanatical member of her sorority.

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