Saturday, June 11, 2011

The importance of Definition, Classification and Division, Process in reaching a desired audience

I did not realize that English was so scientific until we covered the areas of Definition, Classification and Division, and Process. We will start by looking at definition. When you look to use definition in your writing it is important to consider who your audience is. If you are using domain specific terms, you would not have to define those terms if your audience is in that domain, but if your audience is outside that domain you would have to define the terms in further detail. Your writing will have more or less definition depending on how much classification and division is put into it.

Classification and division is the process of segmenting your rhetoric into different parts and then breaking down each segment. It is easiest to identify classification and division in expository text, but there is classification and division in any writing since the author is going to use some type of process to break it down. For example: In cause and effect writing you can break the text down and list all the causes and all the effects in the writing. In compare and contrast you can classify the writing in what is being compared, and then divide it by listing the differences that were pointed out.

The easiest of these concepts for me to understand it process. Since I am a computer tech I use process all day long. When someone calls me on the phone with a technical problem I first use the process of asking sets of specific questions to identify the problem, and then use the process of giving a specific set of instructions to solve the problem. In my field the processes that I use are always changing because technology is always changing. In the case of writing, process is used often. Some examples of process are: food recipes, any instruction manuals, troubleshooting guides, and repair manuals.

Definition, Classification and Division, and Process work together to complement each other. For example, to write a repair manual you have to classify the different areas of a car and then use process and definition to break down those sections even further. When considering who your audience is these three things have to be taken into account. If you were writing a repair manual for experienced car mechanics it would have much less definition then if you wrote one for the layman mechanic.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cause and Effect and Visual Rhetoric

When I was in Junior High School I used to spend hours trying to solve a little 6 sided puzzle called a Rubik’s Cube. Anyone who has ever solved a Rubik’s Cube will understand cause and effect. As you move the colored sections on one side of it to get all the colors together, the sections of the puzzle on the opposite side move in the same fashion. This will mess up what you have done on the opposite side without careful planning. Since every change that you make on one side of the Rubik’s Cube effects the other side of it, you have to try and solve both sides of the puzzle at the same time taking into account the cause and effect. After I learned to solve a Rubik’s Cube have noticed that everything in the world has cause and effect, every action has a reaction. For Example: if you spend too much money on fun and games your do not have enough to pay the rent, or if school is not important enough to you when your you are younger you might still be going to college when your 40, and you could go on and on with examples since everything in the world has cause and effect. When cause and effect is applied to writing it is important to write about both the things that caused the event and effects that occurred after. By doing this it will help you to better communicate your point to your audience.

Visual rhetoric is also an important part of the writing process. Visual rhetoric is so effective because we are naturally drawn to it. Pictures attract attention and are very effective in making a point. Because of this pictures can be used instead of text to portray a message and are very effective in advertising. With billions and billions of images available to us visual rhetoric is very distracting. I hear reports all the time that state that we watch too much television, play to many video games and spend too much time in the internet all of which involve pictures. I can tell you that I personally have spent more time doing these things that I have spent reading and working on my education. Visual rhetoric is more than just pictures and videos. If you can describe a seen in such a way that it feels like a picture when you read it then you are using visual rhetoric. In some cases this can be more effective than a picture because you can allow your audience to make their own picture bases on the familial gazes, which will give them a personal tie to what it is that you are constructing. For example, when we read the essay Dolly Palmer wrote about camping in the first paragraph of The Social and Physiological Separation of Space in Weber Writes, it immediately took me to some of my most favorite camping spots and I could see them clear as day. I think it is an important skill to be able to write your text with cause and effect in it, and in such a way that it also has visual rhetoric. To be able to write this way is a very effective skill and a useful talent.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rhetorical Gazes

Visual Rhetoric creates gaze archiving which are pictures or images in our mind. We archive these images as we see and categorize them. Because everyone stores images an author can use them to relate to their audience. The following are some of the rhetorical gazes that we discussed today.

Familial Gaze are images that are more intimate or personal in nature. These images will mean something to you but may not mean the same thing to others. Examples of Familial gazes are pictures of your kids at a birthday party, your wedding photos, and personal pictures of friends and family. This picture of me and my my son with our cousin while camping is an example of a familial gaze.

National gaze are Images that most people would recognize such as the president of the United States, the bald eagle, uncle Sam and Weber State University. These types of images can be used to relate to a wider range of people. This picture of president Obama is an example of a national gaze.

Traveling gaze are images that would relate to vacation and travel. Some examples of traveling gazes are pictures of Disneyland or Walt Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Pictures of cruise ships and other famous places of travel. This picture of the great pyramids in Egypt is an example of a travel gaze.

Consumer gaze or Marketing gaze are images that are related to advertisement. This category probably has the widest range of choices since there are millions of images that are related to products that their companies want us to buy. This is one picture of many Coke ads that are available for view on the internet.

Learning about the different gazes is helpful because it helps you to think about what image would be most effective when trying to communicate with your audience. When connecting the right image with the right audience it will make your message more powerful.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Causal Chain

Of the tools that we have learned about so far the one that is currently on my mind the most is Cause and Effect. This is probably because it is the one that we have most recently discussed. My grandfather died when I was 7 but he used to always do and say things that would make you think. He wasn’t trying to teach me English but whenever I got in trouble for doing something he would always sit me down and say “If the dog bites you once it’s the dogs fault but if the dog bites you twice it’s your fault” then we would discuss the series of events that happened to cause my inappropriate actions and other choices I could have taken. Although this was a long time ago whenever something goes wrong in my life I still find myself looking for what caused it so the cause part of this comes very naturally to me. We learned today that cause and effect is the how and why of what we do, it predicts things that are going to happen. I believe that this is true but that we also have a choice in what we do which makes the effect part of things less predictable.

Today we learned about the causal chain, which are the terms that can be defined in a series of events. In analyzing the elements of cause and effect we start with contributory cause which is the series of events that led up to the main event. In our example it was love, married, anniversary, and date. The date is the main cause because it is the last cause that occurred before the main event. On our example the main event was speeding. After the main event you have a series of effects that occur. The direct effect was a ticket, which is followed by the remote effects which in this case were fine, insurance going up, and no cash.

I find it interesting to analyze cause an effect and find the Causal Chain very useful in the process of doing so.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pier to Pier Review

I found pier to pier review to be important. I got some suggestions on how I could better structure some parts of my essay. I also thought that my essay was free of typos but several were still found to be there which surprised me since I had already gone over it several times. All in all I found pier review to be a good writing tool and hope that my suggestions were helpful for the papers that I reviewed.

Cause/Effect Text Structure: I found it interesting that although there are several text structures that cause/effect is the one that is used most often in text books. I can see how using Q Networks could help you to better comprehend what it is that you are reading. Q Networks is way of diagramming the text that you are reading and can be use in place of narrative reading.

There are 2 stages involved in constructing Q Networks.

Stage 1: Recognizing the main ideas being presented.
Asking the following questions can help you to identify the main event:
What is the author telling the readers about the idea or event?
What does the author say about the topic, expressed in a sentence?
Which words in the passages are repeated throughout?
Is the message presented in the first or last paragraph?

Stage 2: Identifying Text Structure.
Asking the following questions can help you to identify the cause/effect text structure:
Do the events interact with one another?
Does the interaction lead to a final goal or event?
Do the events act on each other in consecutive order and lead directly to the main event?
Do the events acting either alone or together contribute to the development of the main event in no specific time order?

After you have identified the cause/effect text structure there are 2 types of diagrams that you might need to use Chain Reaction or Chain Link. In chain reaction you are diagramming events in sequential order, Chain Link allows you to diagram several events that led up to the main event but may not be directly related.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The important elements of narrative structure in writing:

Having a thesis ensures your story will have a point. While writing in the past I have not really focused on a thesis, if the things that I wrote did had a thesis they were indirect. I think that this has caused it to take more time for me to write in the past because I would have to write it, rewrite it and restructure it several times before I got the point across. I am hoping to be able to use a thesis going forward to better make my point and help me to save time. I also find it difficult to find a thesis when I am reading something someone wrote. If anyone has any suggestions on finding the thesis it would be much appreciated.

It is also important to tell your story in chronological order. This simply means that you should write the events in the order in which they happened. When using narrative you should also make sure that your story has a plot, character, setting, climax and ending. Using narrative is a great way to relate with your audience because it is easy to use stories to educate and motivate people.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The importance of narrative in reaching a desired audience:

Narration is a story of some event in a chronological order; it should be logical and easy to follow. A narrative will contain a plot, characters, setting & theme. It will also describe a problem, response, action, outcome & end with a conclusion. Narrative is important because it is the glue that holds the story together. A narrative will help us to educate and motivate our audience by creating meaning. Use of narrative helps us to support larger arguments. George Bush used narrative of 9-11 to support the efforts of the war. A thesis in a narrative will help to show different lessons learned. It will explain the moral of the story and explain lessons learned. The use of a flashback can be used to explain where it all began. When using a flashback it is important to keep it segmented by only writing past tense in the flash back. When coming back from the flashback you should state it.

Example of narrative:

We all make mistakes in life; the important thing is what we learn from them. When I was 4 or 5 my cousin Shelly and I were helping my grandparents put together a 3000 piece puzzle that they had been working on for days. By mistake I bumped the table and several pieces went flying. They were all very frustrated with me; I was asked if I did it on accident or on purpose. After a long time of being grilled on the matter I told them I did it on purpose. After a royal chew out, I finally confessed that I did not know that meaning of either word. They all laughed which at the time made me feel more embarrassed but when I look back on this experience there are many things that I learned from it. If you are confused about something just ask, don't use words that you don't understand & your family will still love you even when you make silly mistakes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Week 1 Recap

This week had gone by very fast for me. I decided that I am going to recap the things that we went over in class this week.

On Monday we went over the Rhetorical Triangle and discussed critical reading.

Learning about the Rhetorical Triangle was interesting to me. It explained the relationship between rhetoric, text and audience. The text is used to communicate directly with your audience but you also want to have an indirect relationship or knowledge of the audience in order to communicate well with them.

To write effectively we need to learn to read critically. Some steps to doing that are to highlight and annotate. We should ask ourselves: What is the author’s purpose? What are they trying to do? Who are they trying to do it to? We also need to analyze style and structure. This can range from highbrow such as a PHD paper, to lowbrow which would be inappropriate jokes or texting. Our job as readers is to look for the obvious and ask: What’s the message? How are they trying to say it? What’s familiar about it? What isn’t making sense? What’s the rhetoric?

On Tuesday we discussed the structure of an essay. An essay contains 3 main parts, the introduction, body & conclusion.

In the introduction there are also 3 important parts: Setup which contains attention grabbers to generate interest, the thesis which is a statement in the introduction that presents your argument to the reader & the roadmap which explains the structure of the body.

The body of the essay will contain more details which were presented in the roadmap. Unique ideas should get their own paragraph along with stories. You should write the body first and then work on the structure.

The conclusion will contain key points of the body and direct to action. All effective writing does 2 things: 1- Educates the audience, 2- Moves them to action.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Write the body first

So far I am really enjoying this English class more than I thought I would. Professor Marchant is interesting to listen to and explains thing in such a way that they are easy to understand. I especially liked the point he made today that it is better to write the body of your essay first then focus on structure. I have never had an English teacher have us do it that way before. They would always have us work on our outline first at which point I would just go into a blank stare and not really get much done until I started to work on the body. The last time I took an English class was before the days of word processing software so maybe that is why they taught structure first since it was harder to move sentences and paragraphs around back then.