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Style

When I first answered this question this was my answer:  Style is your own twist on a particular interest, subject, demeanor. How you interact with a person. Do you just stand there and talk or do you have body language. Meaning do you talk with your hands, eyes. Is there attitude in the things that you do. What type of flavor do you add to your walk, your talk, your tone your appearance.

After taking English 328 I feel that style is everything around us.  When we first started the class and discussing the different forms of technology, I would not have thought of the basic pencil as a form of technology or even a book for that matter. In discussing how these two items are in fact a technology based on their use.  The original intention would be classified as “style” based on the way there used then and how we use them now.

We went further into this discussion and added parodies.  These different parodies were not only different forms of technology but they were classified as a “style”.  These works of art were based on the renditions of other people’s work.  This was clearly a style notion we could recognize.  Not based on the art itself but based on their interpretation of the art form they were mocking.

To tie all of these different lessons together we did our own analysis of a piece of art work.  With this project we not only worked with different forms of technology we were not used to using, but we also found humor in the YouTube community and why it is so popular.  We took a popular writing book “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White and applied there rules to current society concerns about sororities.  This was our style to how we feel sorority life is viewed and applying a technology like YouTube to put humor to a real life concern.

After this class I can appreciate the the different types of style, from commercials to article writings.

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Final Peer Review

The most useful aspect of peer review this time was I asked questions for some parts of the paper I was having problems with and they actually answered them.    The process I  found least useful was the harshness.  Typically I don’t take critiques to heart but Wow some people take it way too far.  I understand that you are trying to help but take into ccount of what you are saying restructure it so that it doesn’t come across as HARSH!
This term I learned that responding to other writings can be a challenge but if done properly you can get a better understanding of the writer and the subject.  In most cases the understanding come from a deeper read.  Meaning, you may have to read the passage a couple of times to understand the writer.
This term I learned that making use of my classmates’ advice in some cases can get me a better grade.  Yes some advice can be taken with a grain of salt but others are actually great advice. I would like to thank my classmates for there advice.

YouTube/Low-bridge videos:

Are they good?  Are they bad?  Are they writing?

 This process of simple video making is not  going as expected. It has been a nightmare trying to coordinated schedules with people just as busy as myself.   I guess I place too much emphasis on my grades for people to understand where I’m coming from.  Although it says we are supposed to be in video production mode of this project we are still stuck on trying to come up with an agreeable script.  I have tried to keep us moving in the right direction but nothing has worked.

The connections and misconnections  between “the writing process” as we’ve studied it and what I have experienced are two completely different things, especially when compared to the “video making process.”  It was easy to say what I wanted and convey my point across while speaking into the video camera.   When it came time to write my thoughts down I found myself stumbling over my words.  That has been the main focus of Socrates.  He states that we can easily speak what we want and then freeze as we write.  This is probably why he was against writing.  At the same time this video project proved his point.  I laughed when I thought about this correlation.  Then I thought about Mike Wesch.  The amount of people who retake a first impression on vlogging.  They can’t quite get out what they want to say.  Does this mean that video is a direct correlation to writing?  You want to be clear and concise in both so you write and rewrite to be sure of it.  With video you do retakes to make sure its clear and the way you want it thus proving it can be a direct correlation.

I can see the point of Anderson’s advocacy for the use of “low bridge” technologies like the ones we are using for this project.  Technology is connected no matter how you look at rather you have a computer or not.  It took this class to explain that concept to me.

Looking back I can see other activities and readings from previous units of this class that might be potentially useful to this project.  For example Ancient Style conversations and writings.  These  can easily fit  into the YouTube project by showing bits of each side and then commenting on them.  Speaking about my project I could show an example of the commercial and then drop in animation based on the “ancient style” that fits the commercial piece.  By doing this, a viewer can easily see the distinction between the current video and how it relates to reading.   Adding Baron to this project would lead to a stronger argument.  I would title the project style then and now.

Looking forward the discussions about the relationships between technology, writing and You Tube is a direct correlation to what Mike Wesch was referring to about the  face to face community of people becoming smaller and  the You tube Community becoming larger. Strong connections can be pulled from Pencils to Pixels because You Tube would be a stage in the technology literacy.  Directly relating Mike Wesch comments to ancient style will show a strong correclation of the beginning of technology to where it is now.  First we were afraid of writing and the correct way to do so (Socrates, Ong, Crowley and Hawhee).  Then we were afraid of books and there purpose ( Miguel), which leads to the age of modern technology of “pixels” (Baron, Wesch and Anderson).

Although these pieces were read  and discussed separately they can easily be tied together with a clear and concise statement.  From “Writing to vlogging”.  With each writing piece being linked together with footprints to the next.

Peer Review, Recap

˜ another reflection

Once again I’m reflecting on another peer review.  I can honestly say I went into this one with no expectations.  Meaning I was not expecting my group to respond quickly.  I was not expecting them all to respond.  Well, I’m glad I set my expectations low because that is what happened.  I am again writing my assignment with only review.  If the reviews are do tonight, are we suppose to stay up and wait by the computer for our group members to decide to do their homework, so we can write our reflections.  Unfortunately I can’t do that.  I have other assignments and classes just like everyone else, the difference is I learned how to prioritize my responsibilities.

The one thing I immediately learned was that I approached the assignment wrong. Instead of taking the rule and applying it, I completely transformed the rule to fit my project and explanations.   I learned that by (promptly) reading my fellow classmates papers.  They all had wonderful ideas and did a great job at transforming Shrunk, White and Williams work.  I hope the comments that I gave them helped them.  I know some was a bit harsh but I didn’t want to sugar coat what needed to be fixed.

I noticed in my drafts I received a lot pf the same comments, unclear thoughts a few misspellings, flow of sentencing not quite right.  I think when you are writing a draft it’s just that a draft.  It is meant for comments to help flush out your thoughts for a better final paper.  I saw some repeats in my patterns. I think the one way to fix that is write a draft but get it to as close to “perfect” as possible to minimize the same comments on the draft.   The one difference is that my idea actually ran through my whole paper this time, not just the first paragraph.  I was very pleased with that.

Overall, as much as I despise letting my peers review my work I was able to get over it throughout this class.  Thanks classmates! I hope my ideas for group collaborating will change through my program

What are others saying?

I visited Alyse and Amanda’s blog page.  We all agreed that Strunk and Whites book can serve us best as a quick reference and Williams book would serve as guide to revising our paper.  I found Amanda’s thoughts to be the same as a the rest of the class but her points were original with the content she used to explain her thoughts.  For example the majority of us discussed using (s) properly where she talked about the use of “larger words” to sound more educated.  I found that thought to be true.  I occasionally use words that I might not necessarily know the meaning of.  It sounds right at the time so I might use it then while I am editing I might take the word out.  As Williams put it, “there is a common word for almost every fancy word borrowed (118 Clarity and Grace).  Before this set of explanations Williams encourages the use of more simple words, it cuts down on unnecessary words and allows for sharper and more direct sentence.  Alyse touches on this subject in a similar way as I.  We both talked about the use of the possessive (s) she was a bit more wordy in her explanation I discussed it in about two sentences.  I believe I talked about the (s) as a comment on our class page but remember stating the same as Alyse “were taught wrong or did we miss this lesson”.

I like Amanda’s statement, “Shrunk and White are a watered down version of Williams”.  I never thought about stating it this way.  The more I think about her statement it rings true.  Looking at the way Shrunk & White visit topics is just that, a topic and an explanation.  Williams gives the topic, example and then an explanation as to how we arrive at that example for clarity.   Amanda also makes a statement that stuck out.  She says, “We all find Williams book more useful, it’s not cookie cutter”.  To describe Williams as “not cookie cutter” I did not think of that but the point is dead on.  He gives you more of an option not a hard  rule.

Then Kalman comes to mind. I do not understand how she can love Shrunk and White to the point of illustrating them. Reading the difference between all of these women leads me to understand how Kalman came to her thoughts.  Everyone opinion is just that an opinion.  We may not like Shrunk and WHite book but its made major impression on some people lives enough to illustrate them.  Who knows someone may feel that way about Williams and illustrate him.  Our next assignment comes to mind, a different way of putting a familiar topic.

 

˜a reflection

Reflecting back on what I wrote for my first prompt concerning Strunk and White’s Elements of Style I noticed some similarities and differences between them and Joseph Williams’  book Style: Toward Clarity and Grace .   The main difference I noticed was Williams placed Usage, Style and Grammar  at the end of his book whereas  Strunk and White opened their book with this topic.  I would assume that Strunk and White wants us to think about grammar first and clarity second but  Williams would prefer for us to be clear first.  I’m sure it is a matter of preference and “style”.  I find it easier to get my ideas on paper first then go back follow the “rules of the game”. Another difference is the table of contents in Strunk and Whites book for quick referencing  Williams has an index but I would not consider that a quick reference guide.

Two topics I touched on in my previous blog from Strunk and White were “injecting opinion” and “overwriting”.  These topics were discussed by Williams also with more detail.  I now have a firm grasp on how to use my opinion without forcing it onto someone.  I also realized, as I write I pick up on the” needless words or over writing”. Williams broke down the different types of overwriting topics.  One of the those topics being redundancy.  The example he used, “During that period of time, the mucous membrane area became pink in color and shiny in appearance” he changed it to, During that time, the mucous membrane became pink in color” (117).  Yes the sentence is shorter but the clarity flow is better.

      Joseph Williams’ book Style: Toward Clarity and Grace discusses some of  the elements that I wrote about in my previous blog about Strunk and White.   The advice offered by Williams is more useful and updated where as Strunk and White was more of a don’t do this do that type of book without an up to date explanation.  If I need a quick refresher on style or how to do use a certain word then I would probably use Strunk and White over Williams.  In the draft part of my essay then use Williams for “clarity and grace”.   Strunk and Whites book is easy to flip and find what you are looking for.  Whereas  with Williams you have to spend time digesting the material before you can apply what you read.  For example the chapter on Concision, he is describing what you need to do to cut your sentence down with unnecessary words.  I was a little unclear as to how he was cutting down whole paragraphs into a one to two sentences.  In particular he broke down a whole paragraph on foreign policy to just one sentence.  Williams states,”In the longer version, the writer  matches agents to subjects and verbs. But she uses ten words where one would have served”. (115 Clarity and Grace)