Revising with Williams

African-American Studies

I chose a passage from the college of African American Studies for revision.  I chose to switch the beginning of sentence to improve cohesion and place the emphasis on the department of African Studies. Williams states,  “Subject-complement switching. Sometimes, we simply switch the subject and complement” (55)  This allows for better cohesion of the sentence.  In the next sentence I took out the unnecessary words. In Williams terms I changed the nominalizations to connect two sentences.  Williams states, “When you find consecutive nominalizations, turn the first one into a verb. Then either leave the second or turn it into a verb in a clause beginning with how or why” (31).  In the last sentence I noticed that African-American Studies was repeated in each phrase.  For a better flow in keeping the main topics visible  I took out two of the “African-American Studies”.  Williams states, “Get rid of the metadiscourse, make the central character-programs- the topic, and get a substantially more compelling claim”(53).  I hope my version is some what clear.  I am sure there are other ways to write this passage, however this is what I felt was clear to me!

(my version)

A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.)  are two of the undergraduate degree programs  you can choose within  the Department of African Studies. To earn a BA degree one  year of foreign language is required, however a foreign language is not required for a BS degree.    In the college of African American Studies you can earn a certificate as a graduate or an undergraduate student or a minor within the BS and BA program.

(emu version)

“The Department of African-American Studies offers two undergraduate degree tracks: a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). One year of a foreign language is required for the B.A. degree, but the B.S. degree does not have a foreign language requirement.  The department also offers a minor in African-American Studies, a graduate certificate in African American Studies and an undergraduate certificate in African Studies” (EMU Catalog).


I couldn’t help but think about my writing style while reading William Strunk and E.B. White Elements of Style Manual.  They mentioned to “not overwriting”(72). Often time when I am trying to get a point across I repeat what I said just in a different manner or I tend to give too much information at one time.  A helpful point made was to continually go back and reread what you have written or typed and get rid of unnecessary words and in some cases paragraphs (72).  As often as I do this I still seem to add more words than I take out.

Another helpful tip “not to inject opinion” (79).  All to often when we write I feel or I think instead just stating the general facts.   Strunk and White suggest we all have feelings on almost everything……but to air ones views at an improper time may be in bad taste” (80).   Recently I wrote a paper and I didn’t realize that I had placed some personal thought in the paper.  A classmate who read my paper pointed it out to and gave suggestions on how to remove personal thought.  Usually when writing I can distinguish the two but as S and W say it is difficult to.

The section on misused words seemed to be a bit outdated.  One particular element that bother me was nouns used as verbs, some of this is common sense, the example “the candidate hosted a dinner party for fifty of her workers” I find nothing wrong with stating like this. But S & W says we should say “the gave a dinner party for fifty of her workers” (54).  Using gave instead of hosted makes the sentence a bit formal.    I also found some of the other words listed to be outdated.  When you are trying to make a point stand out you use stronger words such as importantly and in regards to.  They suggest we reword sentences that use the word importantly but no reason as to why we should avoid using it.  apparently we need to take the”s” off of regards (49).  Then the sentence structure is considered a fragment if we leaves off the “s”.  We should take some of these rules with a grain of salt.

I enjoyed reading this manual for a few reasons being refreshed on how to write and helpful hints on how to better my writings.  More importantly how to develop my own style.  S & W suggestion for that is to let it come naturally.  Dont try too hard, “achieve style by affecting none–that is, place yourself in the background”.  In doing this my natural ability will come thru (70).   I plan to try this during the  rewrite process of one of our projects.

The second time around is supposed to be a charm, well maybe not in peer reviews.  Having gone through this process twice I am reluctant to do it a third time.  I received some great feed back again but from just one person again.  Our group consisted of three people but to date I have only received one set of comments.  So again I am basing my edit comments off of one person’s thoughts.  I’m sure the other group member will contribute at the ninth hour, but who has time to wait for that.  The random chosen group members do not appeal to me.  I would much rather choose my own group but in an online class I guess that is hard to do.  However, I did like the chart survey that was a very neat idea.

I received some of the same comments which tell me I need to rethink how I write. I had way too many fragment sentences and incomplete thoughts.   Then again this paper was much harder to write so I guess it depends on the subject I am writing on.  Also somehow I forgot to cite my sources.  I almost never write without citing and to do
it consistently throughout the paper.  I’m blaming the Theraflu I was drinking the week I wrote this paper.

I was given this great line of advice; I was simply asked “So what”.   For example, Doritos commercial fit the style of a paradox, (so what). Well paradox is simply defined as self-contradictory, (so what). As you can see continually asking yourself “so what” forces you to go deeper into a concept and staying on track at the same time.

I don’t feel this time around I helped my group member nearly as much as she helped me.  I feel this way because of the “so what” comment! The comments I made were mostly grammar and some cite references were missing.  But based on the information she gave me I understand why her draft to me seemed flawless.  A few paragraphs were a bit chunky but with a paper like this it was kind of difficult to stay away from the large paragraphs.  Similar comments were made on my other group members paper.

Doritos Super Bowl XLV commercial

I chose this Doritos commercial because I felt it best suit
some of the styles we have been reading about. The suggestive body language is
one example.  The wording of the
announcer fits the play by-play of what the couple is attempting but through
the language of football, which kind of resembles a paradox.  There are also different examples of figures
of thought such as anticipation and hesitations.

Hanes: Airplane Constructive Criticism

I chose this Hanes commercial because it fits the trope
metonomy (names something with a word or phrase closely associated with it).  If you say Hanes people automatically think
of underwear. There are also rhetorical questions being asked, such as “Can I
see your underwear?”  I also noticed a
few other tropes like hyperbole, an elegant way of straining the truth, what
you can or cannot do with this particular brand of underwear. I’m sure there
are other styles found throughout this commercial.

Bud Light Severance Package

This Bud Light commercial is very clear of the goal of the
task that it wants to portray. Most Bud Light commercials have style issues. If
I’m correct in my assumption there might be some enargeia (a vivid painted
picture). The employees’ want to get fire but for the “severance package” which
is a case of Bud Light. The office environment is also showing inappropriate behavior,
clearly leaning toward the use of irony in this scene. They are showing
national television how to behave in ordered to get fired, but for the wrong

Ancient Style

After reading  Crowley and Hawhee I got the impression that I was back in AP Literature. With all the literary terms and style definitions it was like I was reading bits and pieces of a lecture we had.  It was definitely a refresh to the mind on some of the terminology.  especially with this being my first semester back in a classroom in quite some time.  I was amazed at how much I actually remembered and did not have to use the dictionary as often.  The whole tropes section kinda through me off, definitely needs a second read through to grasp the material a bit more.  The section on repetition was surprising to me.  I couldn’t help but think back to another class and we were discussing repetition as it relates to commercials and adverting.  I was shocked to have that correlation to the Ancient Greeks.

Peer Review Recap

In general group work does not appeal to me.  I cringe almost every time I see task “group work”.  One reason is scheduling.  Trying to work with one another on a particular task in a particular time frame is challenging.  Meaning one or two people is on top of the work load while the others lag behind for whatever reason.  Point two is the lack of effort on some group members.  There is always that one group member who does not contribute to their fullest potential.

I think I was pretty honest in what  I had to say to my group.  However I do wish that the critics could come a little earlier so I would not have had to wait so long to do my blog.  But then again that’s just me, early rather than late.  I appreciate the comments I received were dead on.  I used almost all of them.  It was nice to have someone other than myself pick at my paper.  I take criticism well so I love the feed back part.  Although some people do take it a bit too far.

Working with Google Docs was nice.  I never knew that program existed.  I think it is neat to share documents across the web like that, especially  since I plan to keep my blog page going after this class.  Google Docs is going to be very useful to me.  It was very easy to set up and easy to follow.  I do not believe that there is no other way to explain Google Doc other than  watching the video and following it step by step.  It is very self explanatory.

Writing With Twizzlers!

What you are looking at are TWIZZLERS PULL N PEEL.  I got this idea from my children.  They were playing with their food, as usual, but the whole time I was completely intrigued.  I had an “ahh ha” moment so to speak.  These twizzlers  fit the criteria I was looking for.  It’s adaptable and portable, if you place the letters on paper after shaping them and possibly make the letters smaller.   But, then you would need to use tools to help with the shaping, which I’m sure is a no, no in this project. 

It was a fun to do, though tricky because the twizzlers kept moving. Shaping letters out of sticky wet twizzlers was the last thing I thought I would be doing.  I would have never thought to use such a simple tool, my hand, so to speak but it was right in front of me. This project definately had me thinking what else can we write with.