Post #18: Reacting to Class Podcasts

Here it is, the last assigned blog post of the semester. Oh how far we’ve come. Today in class we got a chance to listen to some of the podcasts of the other groups in the class. Overall, I felt that they were really good and most of them proved to be interesting to listen to because of the energy brought to the discussion.

One thing that I liked about most of the podcasts played in class is that the structure of the discussion was much more like a conversation and less like a script. I think this was very effective in communicating the group member’s ideas in the discussion because it made their responses to questions and prompts feel much more genuine than how a script would sound. Along with this, I noticed that all of the podcasts we listened to were about topics that the members were interested in whether it be food, football, or winter olympic sports. I think this can apply to the podcast Alvin and I created, since we chose a topic that affects us and that we can relate to and therefore talk about more. Plus, in choosing a topic that is interesting the energy and mood conveyed to the audience translates as much more positive and therefore makes the audience interested in what you have to say.

I think that everyone in the class had fun with this assignment. Though it was much different than traditional writing assignments, everyone was able to put their own unique spin on the project to make it more interesting to them. I think it’s important to have students do projects that allow them to have this kind of freedom. In being able to choose your own topic students can choose something that is enticing to them, therefore giving them more motivation to complete the assignment. I’m glad that we were able to end the semester with projects that gave us more freedom as writers. I hope that in my writing future I am given more opportunities to have freedom in my work.

Post #17: The Podcast Experience

Finally, the podcast assignment is done and finished and ready to be submitted tomorrow night! It feels like we have had this podcast assignment looming over our friends for the longest time, so I am thankful to finally have it done.

Once Alvin and I got to work and we started focusing on the task at hand the process was not as difficult as we thought it would be. We went with the idea of discussing college relationships and the different experiences of two of our different friends. I wrote out the introduction and the conclusion and sent it to her to proof read. Then, Alvin went and interviewed Gabby and I went to interview Erin. After that, all four of us got together and we had a roundtable discussion about commitment and party culture. Though during the roundtable discussion we were all very giggly and laughing the recording process went much smoother then we though it was going to be, as did the recording of our introduction and conclusion.

Some aspects of this assignment that weren’t quite as fun was just the timing of it, considering that we did most of our recording the week before it was due, meaning we had a lot of other work to do for other classes. Other than that the assignment really wasn’t terrible. It was a little annoying to do research to back some of our questions and topics, but once that was done everything else was alright to complete. Hopefully our voices don’t sound super weird when we listen to the podcasts in class. That may be the worst part of this assignment: the fact that we are going to have to listen to our recorded voices. Regardless, I liked that we had a lot of freedom to do whatever topic we wanted for this podcast and I liked that I got to do it with my friends.

Post #16: More podcast updates

I feel like we have had this project assigned for such a long time and now it’s due in a week (well if you want extra points, which I do so we are going to try to have it done for the fourth).

We originally want to have the podcast recorded before thanksgiving break so that a) we wouldn’t have to worry about it this week and b) so we would have enough time to edit it on garageband. Unfortunately for us, the plan didn’t work since the two people we are having in our round table discussion weren’t able to get together with us. So now the plan is to get together Thursday afternoon before one of our classes and sit down for an hour to record this podcast.

Unfortunately the responsibility of researching and writing the introduction and conclusion of the podcast as well as all of the questions, has fallen on me and I barely enough time to eat and sleep this week. So my plan is to write out the introduction and conclusion tonight and tomorrow morning so that way we will be all set for Thursday and then Alvin can edit the recording and we can get it submitted by Sunday.

I know that this project is supposed to be a pretty laid make assignment so I am not too worried yet about the process of getting it done. I’m hoping that on Thursday we will be able to have a good discussion regarding our topic and get everything we need recorded in order to eliminate any stress about other things we have to do for other classes. I think that once all of the writing is done the recording will be pretty easy and hopefully lead to a successful end product!

Post #15: Reaction to presentation day 1

Now that everyone in the class has done research on their chosen discourse community, we have begun presenting our ideas to the class via a presentation called an artifact gallery. For this artifact gallery we picked four or five different genres from our community and talked about how these genres relate to our community and what purpose it serves. With my chosen community of WGI, I showed images of a score recap sheet, a newsletter, a flyer, part of their website and their program book from the 2016 world championships. I think that my presentation went very well, and I think that there will be a lot of material I can work with when it comes time to write my report in the following weeks.

As for the presentations from the rest of the class, I thought that everyone did a very good job as well. I noticed that everyone seemed to have put a lot of thought into their chosen community and did a good job researching different genres that they could incorporate into their final report. I liked how a lot of my classmates chose a community that they are a part of or feel passionate about. By doing this, I felt that in their presentations they were much more interested in the topic and were therefore able to speak more passionately and freely about what their plans are for tackling the community project.

I think it is important for us to choose a community that we are a part of or have some connection with. Not only will this make it easier for us to research information about it, but it will make the overall writing process easier. I’m interested in seeing how this project comes out in the end, and I hope that by choosing a community that I love being a part of, the writing process won’t be as difficult.

Post #13: The Concept of Discourse Community

Hooray our last article for the semester! For this last reading I read “The Concept of Discourse Community” by John Swales who breaks down the meaning and the controversies behind the discourse community.Before even getting into the article a forward is used to communicate with the reader the breakdown of the following article. This helped me out greatly while reading the actual article because the forward told me how the first two sections are a bit wordy and unfocused, but the third section is where the information that needs to be known comes in.

In the first section, Swales talks about how there needs to be a clarification for what the difference is between a discourse community and a speech community. This ultimately sets up his next section where he goes in depth on how speech and discourse communities vary. For example, in a speech community members usually gain membership at birth whereas in a discourse community members are recruited by persuasion, training, and or relevant qualifications.

The third section is where the good stuff comes up: what are the qualifications that define whether or not something is a discourse community? In this section, Swales gives us the six criteria for determining a discourse community. According to him a discourse community must have a common set of public goals, have mechanisms of intercommunications, provide information and feedback, possess one or more genres, have a specific lexis, and a ratio between experts and novices in the community. With this criteria in mind, Swales then gives an example of a discourse community, the Hong Kong Study Circle, and then goes on to talk about how it meets all of the criteria mentioned before in the previous section.

Overall this article will be very helpful when it comes time for me to choose the community I will be analyzing in my project, as it will give me the criteria to make sure is found in my community.

Post #12: Community and Writing

In writing 105 we started off the year examining how we write in our own lives. Then, we moved on to studying writing in a rhetorical sense and how to analyze this rhetoric textually and contextually. Now that we have finished this unit, we have switched gears to talk about writing in the community. To begin this unit, I read an article titled “The Idea of Community in the Study of Writing” written by Joseph Harris. Like some of the other academic articles I have read this year so far, the article was a little hard to follow, but I will do my best to break down what Harris talks about here.

At the start of the article, Harris introduces the definition of community developed by Raymond Williams who talks about community as an existing set of relationships that never is given any sort of bad connotation to seem unfavorable. Harris goes on to examine this and determines community as having strong rhetorical power that is very alluring. If one were to examine the definition Williams gives rhetorically, it can definitely be said that there is pathos appeal being used in the definition, since it elicits strong emotions of belongingness and shared purpose.

After establishing this, Harris analyzes how communities can be either interpretive or speech, where they are either among a profession or discipline, or a neighborhood or classroom respectively. Following, Harris focuses on how being part of a community comes with using different word choices and speech all together. This can be shown through the examples he uses of two people, Sylvia and Ron, who are part of multiple communities that consist of different discourses, or communication. Each of them is aware that they are part of vastly different communities that use discourse in very different ways, however this makes their writing more interesting to read.

One of the overall themes that Harris covers in this article is the concern of the academic community. This theme that is dispersed throughout the text addresses how students should be enforced to write a certain way to match the way of the academic community. However, by the end of the article Harris reaches the idea that while students should have to learn the standards of their new academic community when entering college, they should be allowed to reflect on past communities they were or are part of in their writing. I think that this is a very good idea to integrate into college writing in order to allow students to explore communities that they are interested in and hopefully make them more enthusiastic to write academically.

Reaction to Rhetorical Analysis

Over the last few weeks, we have been working on rhetoric in terms of textual and contextual analysis in preparation of writing an essay analyzing some form of rhetoric on campus or in a specific event. Reflecting back on the essay I wrote for this topic I think my essay went fairly well. In the beginning of examining rhetorical analysis I was slightly confused. This was mostly due to the fact that the articles I was reading to explain rhetoric were very on the more difficult side to read. Regardless, I was able to differentiate between the different ways of using rhetoric and means of analyzing it in order to craft an essay.

I chose to do a textual analysis for my essay. Though some of my friends told me that this would the harder option I felt more comfortable at analyzing text than pulling context from an event. I think it is interesting that once examined text can have a specific meaning behind it and how the phrasing of certain things and the formatting of certain elements can have an impact on the audience.

Once again I found that I had too many things to say and not enough space to say it. However, this time I didn’t go over the limit a crazy amount (only a paragraph this time, not two pages). I feel like I am beginning to become more concise in the phrasing I use and getting to my point quicker and more cohesively. A difficulty I found while writing this essay was that I didn’t know how to begin my introduction. It’s sometimes hard to start an essay when you don’t know exactly what your essay is going to turn in to. Despite this, I think for the future when I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about, I will try my professor’s route an try starting in the middle and then go back to the introduction after I have established my topic.

Overall, though there were a couple bumps along the way I think the essay went fairly well. It certainly has helped me better understand rhetoric and how it can be applied in the world.

Post #11: Podcast Update

In class, we have been assigned to create a podcast where we basically talk about what ever we want for 45 minutes. Even though this assignment won’t be due until the end of the semester, we are starting to prepare now to eliminate the work we’ll have to do later by starting early.

For my my podcast I will be working with my friend and classmate Alvin. At first we had a pretty hard time coming up with ideas for our podcast. We talked about doing fashion, travel, current events, the environment/ climate change, and a bunch of other ideas. Now, I think we have settled on using the topic of discussing the different types of relationships in college, whether it is long term or short term. I think we are going to start planning out how we are going to tackle this project now.

The idea behind out podcast is comparing relationships that are long distance that are held up through college and relationships that are very spur of the moment and short term. To tackle this we want to interview two of our friends, one of which is in a committed long term relationship and the other who just started dating someone a few weeks ago. To compare and contrast the two of them we want to ask each person in the relationship about some of the benefits and hardships of each type of relationship and ask them how it is going for them so far. In doing this I think Alvin and I will be able talk about how each has its positives and negatives, but ultimately it is up to the two people in the relationship.Hopefully Alvin and I will be able to stay on track in order to eliminate any last minute crammed in recording sessions.


Post #10: SU as the author

Keeping with the theme of rhetorical analysis, after doing an analysis of a Syracuse athletic schedule, I was assigned to pick some other Syracuse flyer or poster to perform a rhetorical analysis on. For my rhetorical analysis I decided to examine a water conservation flyer posted on the bulletin board on my residence hall floor.

When first looking at the small poster, the first thing that catches my eye personally is the logos at the bottom, not necessarily the words above. My eye first goes to the logo on the bottom right that says “Be Orange, Think Green” so I know immediately that the flyer has something to do with helping the environment. After this I begin to look at the top section of words. However, because of the choices in font colors I am more drawn to reading the longer passage with the white color than the heading in the blue color because of the contrast it has on the background. I think that these passages can be arranged in either way but if they want the first thing you read to be the big passage, I would place the small one below it.

Immediately the flyer utilizes the logos appeal with the statistic that “on average each of us uses about 80-100 gallons of water everyday” which is a good way to grab the attention of the viewer. Then the flyer addresses the viewer directly by saying how “you” can make a difference. This can be argued as being an ethos approach since it is appealing to how you behave ethical and stating that the things you do now that are bad for conserving water can be easily changed, making the person want to try out some of the water saving techniques. Finally, in the heading in dark blue pathos can be seen being utilized in the specific word choice of “precious”. By using this word the viewer is made to associate water with something that is sacred, treasured, beloved, and cherished all connotations of the word “precious”. This in turn makes the viewer feel protected over the water and therefore sets them up to be more likely to listen to the rest of the flyer since they have already experienced this emotional response to the header.


Post #9: Rhetorical Analysis of SU Athletics

As seen through the last few posts I’ve made, currently in my writing class we have been focusing on understanding rhetorical analysis and it’s applications in different aspects of society. As practice for an upcoming essay we will be writing, we were assigned to do a rhetorical analysis on a schedule of a Syracuse athletic team’s schedule. For my practice, I chose to analyze the schedule of the football team which I have photographed below.

The first thing I notice about this schedule is its utilization of color. Immediately on the listing of games, the person viewing can take note of the games highlighted in orange. While these games are this way because they are home games, I also believe that it is printed this way to make people viewing the schedule pay more attention to these days and therefore be more likely to attend these games

Next, the middle section of the schedule includes information on how to buy tickets. Here it is clear that they put in very bold lettering how to order and the different types of tickets they offer, however the put the actual pricing of tickets very small so that way people who view the schedule are more likely to overlook this part, especially since the pricing is stated in a not so bold white colored font. This can also be applied to the left side which displays the different types of seating at the carrier dome, but has the pricing of each section very small so patrons are more likely not to notice it or notice it after the initial appeal of buying tickets so that way they are more likely to buy the tickets.

Overall, I noticed that throughout the schedule the printers used a very bold orange colored sans serif font. I believe the reasoning behind this to be that the orange color makes important parts of the schedule catch the patron’s eye immediately. Additionally, it is known that sans serif fonts are easier to read, which would explain why they would use it throughout the schedule so people can get all the information they want to get, faster and easier.