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XIDS 2002: Surveillance (Cormican)

Assignments: Response #6 & Analytical Paper

In Response #6 you will identify a literary work, film, or TV show and will analyze its depiction of surveillance. Response #6 will help you prepare for a larger paper, in which you develop this analysis further and use sources to support your thesis and supporting points. This guide will help you begin your research process.

Research & Conversation

The passage below describes a never-ending conversation. Such discussions happen not only at social gatherings, but also in writing and research. What does this description of conversation suggest about doing academic research?

"Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress."

Burke, Kenneth. The Philosophy of Literary Form. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1941. pp. 110-111


Hear more about how scholarship and research involve listening to and participating in different conversations (VWU Libraries):