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Instructor: David Godoy

I) What is a text?




*Jot down some words that come to mind.

II) Joseph Harris’ definition of a text:


III) Besides a written work, what are some other things that can also be a text?

—————-, —————–, —————–, ——————-, —————–

IV) Can things like actions and events be considered a text?


*Hint: ask yourself whether these things are ,“artifacts that can be retrieved and reexamined.”

V) What does the work of analysis seek to do?


VI) What is denotation?

VII) What is connotation?


VIII) Denotation → Connotation

Denotation= (literal meaning/dictionary definition)

Snake: a limbless, scaled reptile with a tapering body.

Connotation= (what it indirectly suggests-consider social/cultural overtones, emotional meanings)

-What does it mean to call someone a snake? –> “Once a snake, always a snake!”

Snake= _______________________________________________________

IX) Poster #1

Things I Notice…Implications*What does this indirectly suggest?*What is at stake? *Who benefits?*Who is diminished? *So what?

X) Poster #2

Things I Notice…Implications*What does this indirectly suggest?*What is at stake? *Who benefits?*Who is diminished? *So what?

XI) The Onion Article

Words/Phrases/Quotesthat I Notice…Implications*What does this indirectly suggest?*Consider-social/cultural overtones, emotional meanings.*So what?

-Tone/General Attitude:____________________________________

-What is this satirical text commenting on/critiquing?:______________________

-What is its position?:_____________________________________________

New Vocabulary Words to Look Up Later:

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Textual Analysis

Instructor: David Godoy

What is a text?

*Take a moment to jot down some words that come to mind.

What is a text?

“A text is a constructed artifact that carries meaning.”(Joseph Harris)

More than Just Writing

“A book (or other piece of writing) is a text, but so are movies, plays, songs, paintings, sculptures, photographs, cartoons, videos, billboards, advertisements, web pages, and the like…” (Harris 11).

Not everything is a text, though.

“Unlike actions, memories, or events, texts are objects that have been made and designed–artifacts that can in some way be shelved, filed, or stored and then retrieved and reexamined. This is what makes them so central to academic work.” (Harris 11).

The Work of Analysis

Analysis deconstructs a composite into its components.

How to do Analysis?

Move from denotation to connotation.


Denotation: surface-level meaning.

This is its literal dictionary meaning.


Snake: a limbless, scaled reptile with a long tapering body.


Connotation: deeper-level meaning.


Ask yourself= “What does a snake indirectly suggest?”

“Once a snake always a snake!”

*What does it mean to call someone a snake?

Connotation considers social/cultural overtones, emotional meanings, and considers implications.

This means that it often considers questions such as:

What is at stake?

Who benefits?

Who is diminished?

So what?

You Snake!

A ‘snake’ connotes someone who cannot be trusted, someone who cheats, and/or someone who will do harm to you if they can.

Propaganda-The Grand Alliance

During WWII, the United States took part in what became known historically as The Grand Alliance. (1941-1945)

This was an alliance set to contend against the Axis powers.

The alliance consisted of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.

* From left to right: Josef Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, & Winston Churchill

(Soviet Union) (U.S.A.) (United Kingdom)

The Cold War

Shortly after the break down of The Grand Alliance, the United States entered a Cold War with the Soviet Union. (1947-1991)

This was a cold confrontation where instead of fighting one another directly, both superpowers did so through proxy wars, where they would fund opposing factions for wars in other countries.

Take a look at the following poster to analyze just how U.S. sentiments towards the Soviets changed during the Cold War.


“A work that ridicules its subject through the use of techniques such as exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and/or parody in order to make a comment or criticism about it.

Satire is both powerful and effective at bringing to the forefront certain topics. It quite often sparks dialogue, which is a necessary step for societal development.

The Onion

Take a look at the provided satirical article from The Onion.

Use the chart to help you analyze this text.

Context= For Profit College Lawsuits: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/many-students-profit-schools-left-debt-limbo

That’s All Folks!

Works Cited

Harris, Joseph. “Introduction.” Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts, Utah State University Press, 2017,

pp. 1-12

History.com Staff. “Cold War History.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009,


“The Big Three.” The National WWII Museum / New Orleans, The National World War II Museum, 23 June 2017, www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/big-three.