Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

WRIT 111 (James): Object Close Reading

Instructions

Object Close Reading Part 1 - Spring 2021 

WRIT 111

DUE Friday, 2/12 @ 11:59pm

Consider your object like you would consider a text. Write a two page paper analyzing the object. What is the artifact saying? What is the artifact doing?


Step 1: Collect Evidence.

  1. Observe your object from all sides, write down every detail you notice. Generate as many observations as possible. No observation is too small (use your notes from our field trip).
  2. Sort through the observations you made. Look for connections and reasons for this object to be created and used by people. Notice wear and tear and reflect on how that demonstrates the object’s use, value, and intention. Consider how this object may connect with other objects displayed in the exhibit.

Be prepared to show your work from Step 1 to your instructor.


Step 2: Write the Essay. Using observations from Step 1 as evidence, interpret the artifact/object, explain how it is crafted to achieve a certain effect on the viewer/user. Organize the essay as follows:


Introduce: Identify the object and present a thesis statement that makes a claim interpreting the object’s significance and/or why it is a captivating object, ie.,“This is the most compelling item in the artifact collection because . . .” This paragraph should only be a couple sentences long
Break it down: Choose the important features of the object to describe to your reader what the object says.
Analyze: In several paragraphs, support your interpretation (why the object is the most compelling of the artifact collection), using the evidence you found in Step 1. Expand on the features and details of the object. Assume that every aspect of the object has an intention, purpose, or reason for being. Speak to why someone would interact with or use this object and discuss the impact of its use. Remember inferences and judgments? Consider how the facts (physical details of the object) lead you to reasonable inferences and judgments. Present your evidence in a way that is logical and clear for your reader. 
Interpret: What does the object mean to you? Why is it a compelling object for you to choose? How does it connect to your life and views?

Objects

Steel, curved handle with hole in middle of base shaped blade, serrated edge. 14 1/2

Amputation Saw

Steel, curved handle with hole in middle of base shaped blade, serrated edge. 14 1/2" long at longest point 2 3/4" wide at widest point.

brass uniform button with a depiction of a farmer plowing the land. The quote

Uniform Button from Chemawa Indian School

Brass uniform button with a depiction of a farmer plowing the land. The quote "God help those who help themselves" is on the edges of the button. The back of the button reads "US INDIAN DEPARTMENT"

Tan cotton woven tape with buckle at end, steel clamp with screw to tighten.

Tourniquet

Tan cotton woven tape with buckle at end, steel clamp with screw to tighten.

Brown wooden handle, metal blades, one short blade with hook into handle to hold next longer blade with curved end. Four blades with curved protrusions near end. 7 1/2 in. long overall, handle 4 in. X 3/4 in., blades 3 1/2 in. long overall.

Fleam for Bleeding

Brown wooden handle, metal blades, one short blade with hook into handle to hold next longer blade with curved end. Four blades with curved protrusions near end. 7 1/2 in. long overall, handle 4 in. X 3/4 in., blades 3 1/2 in. long overall.

Two steel obstetrical forceps used in childbirth. Pair fits together.

Obstetrical Forceps

Two steel obstetrical forceps used in childbirth. Pair fits together. Made in Hammerstein, New York.

Singular piece prototype of the Starr-Edwards heart valve, ball, and cage, including a ball. The metal cage, missing base. Ball: light yellow, faded, slightly transparent, rubber-like material.

Starr-Edwards Heart Valve Prototype

Singular piece prototype of the Starr-Edwards heart valve, ball, and cage, including a ball. The metal cage, missing base. Ball: light yellow, faded, slightly transparent, rubber-like material. This prototype is consistent with the 6120 model that was created in March of 1965.

Steel catheters used by ship captain in case of stricture. 8

Steel Catheter

Steel catheters used by ship captain in case of stricture. 8" in length.

two Kitchen mousetraps--Victor brand

Mousetrap

two Kitchen mousetraps--Victor brand

Black Victorian Dress Top: black brocade, boning, cuff detailing, button closures.

Black Victorian Dress Top

Black Victorian Dress Top: black brocade, boning, cuff detailing, button closures.

Silvery Greek cross-shaped lapel pin: Loyal Temperance Legion.

Loyal Temperance Legion Lapel Pin

Silvery Greek cross-shaped lapel pin: Loyal Temperance Legion.

Top of two-piece wedding dress, creamy silk, lace trim.

Wedding Gown (1893)

Top of two-piece wedding dress, creamy silk, lace trim. Wedding of Mabel and Charles Slater, Oct. 12, 1893, Grand Island, Neb.

Victorian wreath made of human hair

Victorian Hair Wreath