I can’t believe that this is the last blog post for the semester and course. The final PSA project was by far the most fun and interesting assignment we have been assigned all year. For our project, and most likely everyone else, the most difficult part of our project was deciding what exactly we were going to do our PSA on and how it connects to our English 125 class. Now there are so many sources of writing from social medias to books, it took us a long time to decide which one we wanted to do, and to find the specific examples that relate to our audience was very time consuming.
Our target audience is the freshmen who are coming to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2013. The tumblr we chose gives examples of the problems freshmen encounter in their first year of school. This tumblr is a great way to show the incoming freshmen our problems and prepare them for the same problems that they will end up facing in their first year. Luckily for us our target audience did not change from the start to the finish. What happened to us is we realized the many audiences that can relate to our project. Although the rest of the students at the university are not freshmen, they can also reflect and relate to the memes that we show in our presentation.
The main purpose of our PSA is to show incoming freshmen at Michigan the problems that they will encounter. We mainly used ethos, pathos, and logos in our presentation mainly through the memes that we show in our video. We attract and convince the audience also with rhetorical elements that appeal to our target audience (popular photos, funny comments, etc.).
What was challenging for me was the video editing and the digital aspects of our project. I have absolutely no experience with film editing and creating a video, so that was interesting for me. I would not have done anything differently with our project, but I do wish we could use more memes and had more time for our video. Your course was very enjoyable and I believe that the assignments we had, especially the blogs made it more enjoyable.
Our project helped me better understand, in context to my entire English 125 experience, rhetoric, composition and analytical work in every aspect of the PSA process. For composition for this project, I had to understand how to take multiple parts and elements of a whole, and successfully put them together to make a good PSA. We have multiple memes, a voice over, a video and a class activity involved, putting them together showed me the importance of composition. Rhetoric I explained earlier in the post, but the images and the language each meme uses attract the audience, so they can get their message across and keep them involved. For analytical work, we had to look at specific memes and analyze what they are saying and how our target audience can relate to it. This course was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it.
Before today, we had a great idea of what we were going to do for our project and the goal of our PSA. Coming in, since we are presetting our PSA with a video, we have created a script to use for our project.
Right now we have picked each meme for each topic we will discuss, and we created our own meme as an example for our project (it actually has to do with taking an 8:30am class). We also spoke about who will be taking what responsibilities for the project since we have limited amount of class time left to work on it.
This afternoon we will be recording the audio for the video, then tonight or tomorrow we will be taking screen shots to create the visual aspect of our project. Once we do this our project is nearly done and we will then just have to edit accordingly.
Before class today, my group and I had fully completed our PSA proposal and found all of the specific memes we were going to use from the tumblr UMICHFRESHPROBZ. We also had an outline of how we were going to present our PSA in our video and we created a meme ourselves for an example of a meme in our PSA. From here on out our main focus is to create a script for our video and film/ edit it to completion.
Today did not give us the opportunity to do much in regards of the project, but I was able to get as much as I could done to make the next week or so easier. Writing a script was something I figured we didn’t need every member to do, so I decided to make up a script for the video with parts for each of us for our video. We are conducting interviews in our video also, so I created interview questions that we are going to ask our peers involving the material in the script. I have finished the script so, now the only step is to create the film, and edit/clean up the mistakes.
My goal for future sessions, when everyone is here is to record the script to a computer, and then take screen shots of the website and its memes that we are going to use. Another future goal is to shoot interviews of students and I, so we can also weave that into the final product.
As I was listening to Jeff Grabill’s Academic minute on texting, I found myself very engaged in the podcast because it relates to college students today and texting, which I do a lot. Texting is very much a form of writing, because it fulfills the same purpose of every other form of writing. Like a pen and paper, a typewriter, and computer programs like Microsoft Word, texting allows us to put our thoughts and ideas on a template and it allows us to get these ideas across to other people.
Whether texting is a valuable form of writing is a whole different question. Valuable forms of writing are ones that consist of full and thoughtful ideas, and ones that other people can learn from. They also consist of correct grammar and the standard writing conventions of the English language. The problem with texting is that it promotes acronyms like LOL or G2G, which are not complete words or sentences, but a whole new language that would only really be acceptable through a text. Also, although texts allow us to put our thoughts on a template, these thoughts are only mere conversations, which are only valuable to one or two people. A valuable piece of writing is one a population, group, or class can learn from.
Texting can somewhat be a form of academic writing. Like Grabill said in the academic minute, some students use their phones to take notes, rather than using the conventional pen and paper. This may not be the best approach because of distractions but, using your phone and texting yourself notes and important information in class can be considered a form of academic writing. What texting can bring to the classroom could be a very easy and efficient way of sharing your notes with the rest of your class. If one student wanted to share with the other his notes texting, right now, is the simplest and easiest way to do so, avoiding e-mails.
Some of the aesthetics and forms of a text that Klein and Shackleford speak about in their essay can be found in text messages on a phone. The most obvious one that I see has to do with the text and type. In a text message the letters are very bold, especially on the blackberry that I am using right now. Images also play a large role in the text-messaging world. Things like emojis, smiley faces, and picture messages always enhance, or make a text message more interesting. Texts are made up of the same elements that all other forms of writing, just in different ways.
As we can see from Ball and Moeller’s Reinventing the Possibilities and Hugh Burns’ Resolution in 60 Seconds there are many different ways we as a society can write and learn. Communication and literacy are not restricted to an old typewriter or pen and paper, but we can now use computers, tablets, and cameras to get out message across. Because of these new writing mediums, more people are writing today then every before, and this involves different topoi and commonplaces.
In Ball and Moeller’s Reinventing the Possibiliites I took this opportunity to read this in the rhizomatic fashion and just click and see what comes next. What was great about this to me was that I didn’t have to read in a uniform manner, but in random paragraphs, which to me was much more interesting. I ran into commonplaces like juxtapositions, for example, Curtis’ which was a poster with many different pictures and words randomly posted on them. This is not like reading a paragraph, but the reader must look at it closely to understand it’s message. A commonplace like this makes the reading and the message more interesting to like reader. My path as a whole, made me more interested because I did not know what was going to come next, but I feel like I read more closely because of it.
Burns’ video consists of children playing with typewriters and phones writing something. After every few seconds of film, the screen goes black with a small message to the view, then it pops back to a video of a child. The argument Burns makes is that whether we know it or not, we are constantly writing, and that everyone in the world has the capability to do so, even babies. One topoi that has a strong effect is the designer. He decided to have a clock ticking in the background, to make it sound like time is running out. He also used sequences where it would have a timed amount of video and an amount of time for the reader to comprehend the writing on the screen. They are separate so the viewer can focus on one at a time. This is so the reader has time to see both the videos and read the writing. His video was interesting and was successful in getting his message across.
Two questions I pose to the class are:
Do you think Burns should have used music rather than the time ticking to have a greater effect, or do you think the clock was a good effect?
Even with the possible scrambling of Ball and Moeller’s website, do you think you received all of the info they wanted you to see, or do you think you possibly missed some of the material you forgot to click or weren’t aware of?
For Tuesday’s class I read Dana Lynn Driscoll’s Essay Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews. In her essay Driscoll gives the reader an outline on how to conduct a proper research study regardless of what field or subject you are researching (bio engineering, sociology, mathematics, etc.). Her essay relates to the work and the rhetorical essay we are writing through their formats. The four primary stages are planning, collecting, analyzing and writing.
For my essay, first, I planned how I was going to write it and how I was going to go about choosing what topic/commercial to write about then, I collected and choose my Dos Equis commercial as the one I wanted to analyze. Soon after choosing my commercial, I analyzed it and looked for the rhetorical strategies the company used to send their message to the viewers. After all of this I wrote my rough draft. To write my English 125 essay, I used the same outline and format that Driscoll says every other field would use.
My psych 111 class also shows an abundant of similarities with Driscoll’s primary research essay. Psychology is all about studying people and how they think, act, and behave. In order to do this, psychologists continuously make studies and research project to support their theories. Psychologists do all three of the primary research techniques that Driscoll speaks about in almost every study. Observations, surveys, and interviews are the most elementary and most frequent techniques in psychology. For example, a psychologist wants to research study habits in college students and its effect on tests. In order to do so, after every test, we all take a survey to tell him how we studied for the exam.
Ethical considerations also have an influence in my psychology class. Students are asked to take place in subject studies that graduate students set up. When conducting these subject studies they all must always keep ethical considerations in mind. If the undergraduate students every get uncomfortable, we have the right to leave immediately. In order to keep us from doing that, they must keep their study ethical.
If I were to poll the class on my rhetorical essay, the main question I would ask is if I did enough observational research, because that s the main and really the only research I could use for this paper. I would want to make sure I did enough so I evaluated all of the commercials rhetorical strategies.
In Writing Spaces Steven Krause tells the reader the importance and the purpose of antithetical writing. It gives the person making a working thesis, think about his own thesis, think about his audience, think about other opinions, and allows the writer to change his mind and thesis accordingly.
In my Psych 11 class the topic nature vs nurture was a huge argument that wasn’t discussed necessarily within the class, but we were shown other psychologists arguing their points and beliefs. One scientist, John Money, believed that parents and doctors could turn a boy into a girl, simply through the correct nurturing. After a lifelong research project, his thesis eventually failed and his research showed how one cant simply nurture a boy into a girl. The antithesis would be that one could NOT turn a boy into a girl through nurture. You would then have to do more research to prove this.
In my history class, another argument has to do with refurbishing artwork from the renaissance. One thesis is that we should not touch old artwork to preserve its history and lets its age show its value. The antithesis to this would be to refurbish it so we can appreciate the artwork as people did when it was created. There is no real research to these theses because it is mainly opinion based, and your views on art in the renaissance. And it is difficult to think of who would exactly make the decision to chose one side or the other. Maybe getting a model of what a piece would look like after the refurbishing would sway people one way or the other. But in this case, one could listen and say his own opinions, and this could change his own or other peoples minds as a result.