From the New Oxford American Dictionary:
verb [ with obj. ]
analyze (a sentence) into its parts and describe their syntactic roles.
• Computing analyze (a string or text) into logical syntactic components, typically in order to test conformability to a logical grammar.
• examine or analyze minutely: he has always been quick to parse his own problems in public.
an act of or the result obtained by parsing a string or a text.
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: perhaps from Middle English pars ‘parts of speech,’ from Old French pars ‘parts’ (influenced by Latin pars ‘part’).
Parsing is an act of analysis, in which a composition is broken up into its components. A Parsing is simalar to a reading or a translation, though parsing tends to focus on one particular aspect of the original composition. For this assignment, you will select a composition. This can be a writing composition, a photographic composition, a graphic composition, or a musical composition. You will devise a system by which to parse your chosen composition. Your parsing must relate specifically to your chosen composition. Think specifically about the composition you selected: does your parsing method make sense with this composition? Is it so general that it can be applied to anything?
You will present the original composition, the rules for parsing the composition, and the parsed composition. The rules must be explicitly stated, either as the title of the work, a key to the work, a textual or oral addendum. Your viewer must somehow understand the rule and be able to judge each parsed component based on your parsing rules.
slides from class: