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04 OCTOBER 2013

Decoding BMW's You Know You Are Not The First

"The young woman's flawless skin is emphasizing the societal view of how perfection is what is considered beautiful and ideal. Her skin doesn't have a single blemish bruise, bump, or scar on it. Her makeup is very subtle and her cheeks have a slight rosy glow to them, giving her a very youthful appearance. The lack of jewelry is also making her look younger and more innocent and it is putting the focus solely on her bare flawless skin, this flawlessness is likely representing what one would get if they purchase one of their premium selection used BMW's, spotlessness in paint and interior.

Although BMW engages this image of innocence and flawlessness, there also appears to be a significant sexual message in this ad because the initial 'Innocent' image dissolves as you skim down the ad and see how the young woman's eye contact is directly with the camera, and it looks as if she is looking right into your eyes with a seductive expression. Her mouth also get a lot of attention as it appears to be slightly open, drawing your attention right to her full lips, 'open lips are used to suggest sexual excitement or passion'"

(Sonia Sidhu, 10 June 2012)



2008advertising campaignArthur Berger • atypical • blondeBMWbranded commodities • car company • constructed meaningcultural normsdepictions of womeneye contact • flawlessness • Germanglobalisation of aspirationGreece • hair colour • innocenceinterpretation • media analysis • media criticismmedia textmouth • olive skin • paradigmatic analysis • partially unclothedperfection • print advertisement • seduction • semiotic approach • semioticssex objectsexual agency • sexual excitement • signification • skin tone • suggestive narratives • syntagmatic analysis • textual analysis • used car • virginity • visual symbolism • young woman • young women


Simon Perkins
28 MAY 2013

Discourse analysis: a transdisciplinary field for studying text and talk

"Discourse analysis emerged as a new transdisciplinary field of study between the mid–1960s and mid–1970s in such disciplines as anthropology, ethnography, microsociology, cognitive and social psychology, poetics, rhetoric, stylistics, linguistics, semiotics, and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences interested in the systematic study of the structures, functions, and processing of text and talk"

(Teun Adrianus van Dijk, p.109)

Teun Adrianus van Dijk (2002). Media contents The Interdisciplinary study of news as discourse. "A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research". N. W. Jankowski and K. B. Jensen, Routledge.


anthropologycognitive psychologydiscourse analysisethnographyhandbookhumanities • Klaus Bruhn Jensen • linguisticsmass communication • mass communication research • microsociology • Nicholas Jankowski • Poeticsqualitative methodologiesresearchresearch methodsresearch resourcesrhetoricsemioticssocial psychologysocial sciencesstructuresstylistics • systematic study • talk • Teun Adrianus van Dijk • text and talk • textual analysis • transdisciplinary field


Simon Perkins
12 FEBRUARY 2013

UK Arts & Humanities Research Council: A Definition of Research

"research activities should primarily be concerned with research processes, rather than outputs. This definition is built around three key features and your proposal must fully address all of these in order to be considered eligible for support:

It must define a series of research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its aims and objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions, issues or problems to be addressed

It must specify a research context for the questions, issues or problems to be addressed. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area

It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you will seek to answer the questions, address the issues or solve the problems. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions, issues or problems.

Our primary concern is to ensure that the research we fund addresses clearly–articulated research questions, issues or problems, set in a clear context of other research in that area, and using appropriate research methods and/or approaches.

The precise nature of the research questions, issues or problems, approaches to the research and outputs of the work may vary considerably, embracing basic, strategic and applied research. The research questions, issues, problems, methods and/or approaches may range from intellectual questions that require critical, historical or theoretical investigation, to practical issues or problems that require other approaches such as testing, prototyping, experimental development and evaluation. The outputs of the research may include, for example, monographs, editions or articles; electronic data, including sound or images; performances, films or broadcasts; or exhibitions. Teaching materials may also be an appropriate outcome from a research project provided that it fulfils the definition above.

The research should be conceived as broadly as possible and so consideration should also be given to the outcomes of, and audiences for, the research. The outcomes of the research may only benefit other researchers and influence future research, but consideration must be given to potential opportunities for the transfer of knowledge into new contexts where the research could have an impact.

Creative output can be produced, or practice undertaken, as an integral part of a research process as defined above. The Council would expect, however, this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and as a record of your critical reflection. Equally, creativity or practice may involve no such process at all, in which case it would be ineligible for funding from the Council."

(Arts and Humanities Research Council)


academic research • accompanying documentation • advancement of creativity • AHRCapplied researchartwork and exegesisbasic researchclinical researchcontribution to knowledge • creative output • critical investigationcritical reflection • definition of research • experimental development • historical investigation • impact and engagement • knowledge and understandingknowledge transfer • new contexts • new insights • problem for action • problems to be addressed • prototyping • record and reflect • research activities • research aims and objectives • research context • research impactresearch methodsresearch outcomeresearch processesresearch projectresearch questions • strategic research • testingtextual analysis • theoretical investigation • transfer of knowledgeUK


Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2011

Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing

"Of course, other kinds of assignments involving visuals do occur in college writing pedagogies. Visual analysis (especially advertising analysis) has been commonplace in postsecondary writing instruction for at least fifty years as a part of the post–World War II emphasis on propaganda and semantics characteristic of many composition and communication courses beginning in the 1940s, but that practice did not always or consistently include careful consideration of how images, layout, or graphics actually communicated meaning. Instead, advertising was treated as a subject for critique rather than itself a form of communication that employed both word and image" (Diana George, 2002, p.21).

"If I have given the impression that the media revolution of the fifties and sixties was a tough one for [writing] composition teachers, then I must say here that the world of graphic design, electronic text, and Web technologies certainly will prove even more difficult, though ultimately perhaps more useful for future understandings of composition as design. As with written compositions, Web pages must have an internal coherence; they must, in other words, be navigable. Unlike written compositions, the internal logic of a Web piece is likely to appear first in the visual construction of the page – not only in the images chosen but the colors, the placement of text or links, the font, the use of white space, and other elements linked more closely to the world of graphic design than to composition pedagogy. The work of Anne Wysocki is useful here as she challenges writing teachers to rethink their notions of what composition means – beyond the word and inclusive of the visual. Wysocki writes, 'When we ask people in our classes to write for the Web we enlarge what we mean by composition. None of us are unaware of the visuality of the Web, of how that initial default, neutral grey has a different blankness than typing–paper' ('Monitoring Order'). And whether it is true or not that their teachers are aware of the difference between the blank screen and the blank page, our students are certainly aware of this difference. Many already compose for the Web. Many have worked in the realm of the visual (or the virtual) as constitutive of composing texts of all sorts years before they get to their first–year college courses."

(Diana George, 2002, p.26,27)

Fig.1 Photography: She is Frank, Styling: Tessa O'Connor, Hair/Makeup: Megan Harrison, Model: Bree Unthank @ Giant Model Management [–handsome–project–she–is–frank/]

2). Diana George. "From Analysis to Design: Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing," College Composition and Communication 54.1 (2002): 11–39.



2002academic writingadvertisingadvertising analysis • Anthony Petrosky • Christine McQuade • communication and composition • complex communication • composing texts • composition as design • composition pedagogy • content analysis • D. G. Kehl • David Bartholomae • Dean Johnson • Deirdre Johns • Delmar George Kehl • Diana George • Donald McQuade • electronic text • Englishes • George Lyman Kittredge • graphic designgraphic representation • Houghton Mifflin • image analysis • image as dumbed-down language • image-as-prompt • image-rich culture • internal coherence • internal logic • James McCrimmon • John Berger • John Hays Gardiner • John Trimbur • Joseph Frank • Lucille Schultz • mass media • materiality of literacy • media literacymulti-modal design • multiliteracies • multiliteracy • multimodal composition • navigable • Neil Postman • New London Group • pedagogypictorial systemspopular culture • Robert Connors • Rudolph Flesch • Sarah Louise Arnold • teaching of writing • technologysaturated • televisiontextual analysis • verbal and visual relationships • verbal communication • visual communicationvisual construction • visual construction of the page • visual designvisual languagevisual literacy • visuality of the web • Walker Gibson • web technologies • William Costanzo • William Hogarth • writing • writing composition • writing for the web • writing teachers • written compositions


Simon Perkins
11 OCTOBER 2009

AHRC: Dissemination and Knowledge Transfer

"For practice–led projects, whilst creative output may be produced and practice undertaken as an integral part of the research process, the Council would expect this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and to demonstrate critical reflection. This documentation, analysis and reflection must be an integral part of the project and must be carried out during the award period. These outputs can go beyond more traditional academic papers and can include such forms as exhibition catalogues, where they are authored by the Principal Investigator him/herself; journals or diaries; documentation on a website, CDs or DVDs etc. A clear rationale for the appropriateness of the form of your critical reflection should be provided."

(Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2009. Research Funding Guide. Bristol, UK: AHRC)

[AHRC guidelines for qualifying the worth of practice–led research enquiry.]



2009AHRC • Anne Sofield • ARMA • artistic practiceArts and Humanities Research Councilcreative practicecritical reflectiondiscoverydisseminationenquiryguidelinesinsightknowledge transfer • Philippa Shelton • practice-led • principal investigator • researchResearch Funding Guideresearch outputtextual analysistheory buildingUK


Simon Perkins

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