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.