Developing good communication skills is important to our ability to coherently relate intercultural artefacts. Remember that the goal of cultural studies is to interpret the meaning of cultural artefacts (written language, films, photographs, etc.)
More on the meaning of “artefacts” can be found in the wikipedia and MW dictionary definitions.This page addresses:
Clear writing should begin with a defensible and meaningful thesis that:
- establishes the point of reasoning
- describes the broader contextual relevance of the topic chosen for the thesis (events, developments, processes before, during or after the topic);
- at least two specific forms of citations/evidence that support the thesis;
- analysis: an explanation of the nuances of the issue; address similarity/difference, continuity/change, multiple causes, cause/effect; qualify, modify argument by considering factual alternative views.
- answer all parts of the question if one is asked;
- incorporate key vocabulary from readings;
- avoid sweeping generalizations (“has always”; “all”);
- connect ideas by explaining their relation.
Additionally, consider (a) the importance of conveying meaning in writing (which is what distinguishes more sophisticated writing from ‘breaking news’ articles); (b) continuing with that same point: consider the difference between listing the facts about something (which can be complex) and saying what they mean (which is the kind of complexity you should strive to articulate – it is harder); © to reiterate: it is not enough to identify an artefact though it is appreciated that recognizing certain artefact already requires some work (so good for you if you are getting that far, just don’t forget to finish the task); (d) if you are asked to apply a lens of theory to understand the meaning of something or to interpret the significance of an artefact, this means you are describing: the artefact and the theory, and then what they mean when considered together (this does not mean that the application of theory will have the ‘final say’ about the artefact – but it may be useful in understanding something about the artefact); (e) you may need to supply evidence of your artefact; (f) to help establish its meaning, consider its relevance (to you, to ‘real life’).
How to give peer feedback:
Providing feedback to writers
Recommended resource links:
(Note that the two PDF links to files do not contain proprietary material and are attributed to original authors):
How to select a topic
How to narrow down a topic
Topics of invention
Evaluating Resources (PDF)
Strategies for reading academic articles
How to read in college
Taking notes: bullet journal, zettelkasten
Deliberation Guide (PDF)
Quote, paraphrase, summary, analysis; Rhetoric
Excellence, ethics, engagement, values – e.g.
Declaration of academic integrity
Commenting vs. trolling
How to ask good questions
How to send an email to faculty
Recommended print resource: The Bedford Handbook, Diana Hacker – any edition.