Cultural Analysis of a Toy
Assignment: Using “Toys” by Maria Edgeworth (on pages 49-51 in Childhood in America) and “Toys” by Roland Barthes (posted on Canvas), <link is hidden> analyze the cultural significance of a toy that you spent time playing with when you were a child. What function does this toy serve within our culture? On what points does your experience agree or disagree with the ideas of Edgeworth and Barthes?
Focus points as you begin writing
Your thesis must focus on the cultural significance of the toy (as demonstrated by your experience with it), and on the connection (or lack of connection) between your experience and Edgeworth’s and Barthes’ ideas. Topic sentences and body of the essay should follow the content and organization of the thesis.
Examples from your experience as well as examples from Edgeworth’s and Barthes’s essays should be included as specific evidence in body paragraphs. Ideas need to be integrated–your experience, Edgeworth’s ideas, and Barthes’s ideas.
Brainstorming ideas about the toy
Think back to a toy that you spent time playing with as a child. What is the physical description of the toy?
What was your experience playing with this toy?
How does this toy function within our culture?
Has that function changed over time?
What made you aware of this function?
What is the historical background of this toy? (Research the specific background and include your source.)
Write at least 800 words and not more than 1,000. The word count covers the essay itself, not the headers or Works Cited page.
Qualities of a successful essay
Correct MLA manuscript form. Missing or incorrect MLA manuscript form may cause an essay to earn up to 15 fewer points.
An interesting and original
An introduction that hooks a reader’s attention in the first sentence, that provides important background information, that includes a two-sentence summary of each essay, and that funnels to the thesis.
A thesis that responds directly to the prompt by asserting your points and by specifying reasons in support of your points. The thesis must include your experience with this particular toy as well as the connection or lack of connection between your experience and Edgeworth’s and Barthes’s views regarding cultural and functional significance as shown in their essays. A thesis should be assertive.
Topic sentences that follow the content and organization of the thesis. Place topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph for better organization. Topic sentences should be assertive.
Boldfaced thesis and topic sentences. (I want to see the sentences you consider as thesis and topic sentences.)
At least two unified and coherent body paragraphs.
Pertinent Examples from your experience as well as examples from Edgeworth’s and Barthes’s essays should be included as specific evidence in body paragraphs.
Correct MLA documentation. Each quotation should be introduced by a signal phrase, integrated seamlessly into your text, and followed by a correct MLA in-text citation. A correctly formatted MLA Works Cited page should be placed at the end of the essay, on its own <link is hidden>with incorrect or missing MLA documentation may earn a failing grade.
A satisfying conclusionof at least four sentences restating your essay’s main points without merely copying your thesis or resorting to such phrases as “In conclusion,” or “To sum it all up.”
Clear sentences that are free of errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Essays with serious or multiple sentence-level errors may earn a failing grade.
Avoidance of clichés (If you have heard a phrase before, do not repeat it.).
Absence of second-person pronouns (you, your, yours)
Absence of first-person plural pronouns (we, <link is hidden> /> Absence of first-person pronoun (I, me, <link is hidden> except when talking about your own personal experience, such as with the toy you spent time with as a child. Avoid phrases such as I think, in my opinion, I believe, and others.
Absence of contractions.