Summary and Response: TV Show or Movie
Practice summary and response using a movie or an episode of a television show. (Although it can be more difficult with a show or movie you already know and like, you can apply these skills to both familiar and unfamiliar texts.)
7. Watch it once all the way through, taking notes using the double-column structure above.
8. Watch it once more, pausing and rewinding as necessary, adding additional notes.
9. Write one or two paragraphs summarizing the episode or movie as objectively as possible. Try to include major plot points, characters, and conflicts.
10. Write a paragraph that transitions from summary to response: what were your reactions to the episode or movie? What do you think produced those reactions? What seems troubling or problematic? What elements of form and language were striking? How does the episode or movie relate to your lived experiences?
Everyone's a Critic: Food Review
Food critics often employ summary and response with the purpose of reviewing restaurants for potential costumers. You can give it a shot by visiting a restaurant, your dining hall, a fast-food joint, or a food cart. Before you get started, consider reading some food and restaurant reviews from your local newspaper. (Yelp often isn't quite thorough enough.)
Bring a notepad to your chosen location and take detailed notes on your experience as a patron. Use descriptive writing techniques (see Chapter One), to try to capture the experience.
- What happens as you walk in? Are you greeted? What does it smell like? What are your immediate reactions?
- Describe the atmosphere. Is there music? What's the lighting like? Is it slow, or busy?
- Track the service. How long before you receive the attention you need? Is that attention appropriate to the kind of food-service place you're in?
- Record as many details about the food you order as possible.
After your dining experience, write a brief review of the restaurant, dining hall, fast-food restaurant, or food cart. What was it like, specifically? Did it meet your expectations? Why or why not? What would you suggest for improvement? Would you recommend it to other diners like you?
Digital Media Summary and Mini-Analysis
For this exercise, you will study a social media feed of your choice. You can use your own or someone else's Facebook feed, Twitter feed, or Instagram feed. Because these feeds are tailored to their respective user's interests, they are all unique and represent something about the user.
After closely reviewing at least ten posts, respond to the following questions in a brief essay:
- What is the primary medium used on this platform (e.g, images, text, video, etc.)?
- What recurring ideas, themes, topics, or preoccupations do you see in this collection? Provide examples.
- Do you see posts that deviate from these common themes?
- What do the recurring topics in the feed indicate about its user? Why?
- Bonus: What ads do you see popping up? How do you think these have been geared toward the user?