Branching out with my ailment

In the entirety of my writing career, the one genre that I have excelled in first and foremost would be the stereotypical academic essay. Whether it was compare and contrast, a research paper, or the standard 5 paragraph essay, I had no trouble writing one in under a few hours. This changed, however, when I had my first English class in college. Despite the few assignments we had, the format was vastly different from what I was originally used to. Ranging from memoirs to short stories, I struggled in the class initially, but was excited by the challenge. As I am writing this now as part of the Writing 220 class, the idea of changing one piece that I have written into a completely new one is very intimidating. While I have a wealth of academic essays at my disposal to repurpose, I feel as though doing so would limit me as a writer. I want to branch out with my writing and understand what it is like throughout all genres; that is why I signed up for the minor. As a result of this, I want to repurpose a memoir that I have written in college. The one that I have chosen is one detailing my brother and our relationship through his sickness, and I want to transform this into a satirical informational video that informs others about said sickness. In order to better understand how to tackle this repurposing challenge, I needed to do research on other genres that handle similar topics.

buzzfeed article

One unconventional website that I visited to analyze this topic was buzzfeed, which may seem odd considering the nature of my memoir. However, when I saw an article labeled 21 things only people living with a health problem know, I realized the value that this website had for me and my project. While this topic and similar content is generally avoided on such a website, I can better understand how to do my project by heavily analyzing this website. Buzzfeed generally panders to young adults, so I can better understand how to appeal to such an audience in my project. The style of writing is also something I plan to take note of while doing my project, as the linguistics utilized in a blog really do help create a connection with the audience. While some may argue that the buzzfeed’s writing style would detract from the nature of the topic, I would argue that it enhances it, as it allows a far greater usage of pathos than other genres would.

poster

This poster regarding diabetes is another form of writing that I analyzed while doing research. One particular component that I focused on was the factual information presented in this poster; while it does discuss a serious topic, it presents it in a way that is entertaining to the viewer. I would say that this text is supposed to appeal to a wide audience, particularly to those who don’t mind a simplified version of the disease. This is crucial due to the fact that I need to simplify my understanding of ailments in order to appeal to a wide audience like this poster does. However, I need to make sure that I don’t reduce the content too greatly as to not be informative; I still want to leave my audience feeling as if they learned something after the video.

Overall, researching various mediums helped me analyze the best components of each, thus allowing me the possibility of integrating them all into my project. I hope that by doing this, I can achieve the goal that I have set out to fulfill in this class; expanding my writing horizon and obtaining a far greater understanding of each type of genre.

Robert Molnar

Just someone who enjoys Netflix, music, and tennis. I also write a little.

2 thoughts to “Branching out with my ailment”

  1. I think buzzfeed was a really good place to go for the type of project you’re trying to create. It really caters to a young audience, and does a good job of adding humor into otherwise serious topics. I think adding the type of humor you are planning to add into a project intended to teach people about epilepsy is a really interesting way of captivating your audience and making the topic more enjoyable to learn about. The poster was also really interesting because it also seems like it is intended for a young audience and is also informative.

  2. Hi Robert,
    I’m excited to see how you’ll create an ideal balance of both satire and fact to appeal to a more general audience. There is definitely a risk involved in taking a serious topic and adding humor to it, but if it’s done well, which I’m sure yours will be, it can be extremely effective. Since you’re taking a memoir (something you’ve been personally affected by) and combining humor to inform the general public, I have a feeling you’ll have an easier time finding this balance. Since you have a personal tie to your brother’s sickness, you may be able to see ways in which you can satirize his illness it without making it a joke, and you also have the personal tie that will fuel your research into the topic and most effectively conveying the facts about it.

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