This assignment will allow you to develop your ability to analyze a very important cultural artifact, an organization’s website. Websites are the primary ways that organizations portray their cultures to an outside audience, be they customers, organizational members, or the public.
You should choose an organization that you are not a member of and are not familiar with that has a significant web presence. It should not be one that we have already discussed in class, but other than that, it’s up to you.
To conduct the analysis, consider what information is available on the website, the text, as well as the images.
Based on what you see, determine what kind of culture the organization would like to portray. You might look at the values they espouse or the norms/practices they emphasize. Consider what information is front and center compared to information you have to click around for.
Once you have honed in on 2-4 aspects of the culture that seem most relevant, you will need to document evidence that supports each one.
If you examine text, you might consider who is speaking and whom the intended audience is. Do they repeat key words throughout the website?
If you examine images, you should describe them and explain how they reflect the aspect of the culture that you suggest.
The paper should be 1.5 spaced and no longer than 1,000 words, not including direct quotations. You are not required to refer to concepts from class, but if you do, they should be cited using ASA or APA format. You do not need to cite the website.
Your analysis should be uploaded to Canvas by 10 a.m.
Your paper must include a brief (no more than 3-4 sentences) introduction, including a thesis that states the 2-4 aspects of the organization’s culture that you will focus on. Maybe the website sends the message that the organization wants to portray its culture as X and Y. That would be your thesis. Try to avoid aspects of culture that could apply to virtually any high quality website, such as “professional” or “organized.”
Once you have stated your thesis, the body of the paper should be limited to providing detailed evidence to support it. That evidence should include any relevant information mentioned above.
For each aspect of the culture mentioned in your thesis, start by discussing elements of the website that require the least interpretation (ex. explicit statements about the culture) and work your way down to elements you see that require interpretation (ex. images).
The paper should be well organized and written in grammatically correct, clear prose.
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