Zero Draft Essay 2

Objective: produce a very rough draft (a “zero draft”) of your second essay. This will help you find raw material (i.e. potential evidence and rough ideas) that can be refined and further developed in your formal draft. Reminder: this draft should be very messy. I want you to explore *ideas* and not worry about making (or fixing) grammatical mistakes. You can use a combination of English and other languages if you’d like. If this draft is polished and free of grammatical errors, it means you did not follow my instructions.

Estimated time: 3-4 hours

Submit to Dropbox 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 16th


  1. Read the Lens Analysis Essay assignment guidelines and the formatting guidelines described in the syllabus.
  2. Re-read the Visual Analysis Writing Guide, and then revise the paragraph in which you objectively describe your advertisement for a reader who has never seen it before. Based on your research, briefly explain when, where and why the advertisement was published, and who published it. (paragraph 1 of your essay)
  3. Re-read the Citing Sources Writing Guide, then write a summary of Decoding Advertisements by Judith Williamson for a reader who has never read it before. Make sure to include and explain a quotation that best expresses the thesis of the essay, along with Williamson’s explanation of signifier and signified. (paragraph 3 of your essay)
  4. Write a summary of “Discourse and Power” by Stuart Hall for a reader who has never read it before. Define what Hall means by discourse, ideology, and the “regime of truth.” Make sure to include and explain a quotation that best expresses the thesis of the essay. (paragraph 4 of your essay)
  5. Re-read the questions in the Visual Analysis: Explicit and Implicit Bias writing guide. Using these questions, your responses from Exercise 2.3, and the work we’ve done in class, develop your analysis paragraphs on the three specific elements in your exhibit that you believe are crucial to understanding the implicit and/or explicit bias. (1 paragraph for each element) Make sure to include quotes (i.e. lens ideas) from Williamson to help you decipher and analyze the ad’s messages and from Hall to help you analyze the bias in the elements. (paragraphs 5, 6, and 7 of your essay)
  6. Write a rough draft of your introduction in which you attempt to state your hypothesis or tentative thesis. Which three elements of the advertisement do you think are crucial to understanding its message and intended audience? Explain why you chose these three. What is the central message of the advertisement? Who is the intended or target audience for this advertisement and why is that important? (paragraph 2 of your essay)
  7. Include a copy of your advertisement on a separate page.
  8. Include a Works Cited page using MLA formatting.
  9. Include a one-paragraph self-evaluation on a separate page in which you briefly explain what you think is promising in your draft and what sort of feedback you would like in order to continue to develop this draft.
  10. Name your file according to the protocol on page 5 of the syllabus. For example, Charlie Parker would name this essay like this: ParkerC_E2_ZeroDraft.
  11. Submit your essay as a Word document or PDF (no Google docs or Pages files)  to Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 16th.

As always, please contact me with any questions.

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