Creative and Academic Pop Culture

Hi fellow writers! I am AnnMarie Kuzel, a Junior from Chicago with a life long passion for writing. Like most writers, I have immersed myself in a variety of writing communities during my life in an attempt to find my place within the massive writing world. These communities have included (at one point or another) creative writing classes, argumentation classes, pop-culture blogs, a trade publication, and writing camps. While I am no longer an active member in most of these writing communities, I gained great knowledge from each of them about how to vary and utilize different voices, styles, formats, and audiences. Today, I am a member of two very different writing communities; the first is a student-run record label which has appointed me as their web editor who writes and edits articles, and the other is a Communications Studies major which requires me to write numerous research articles regarding a variety of topics.

As the web editor for Empty Mug Records, I am responsible for writing articles about recent pop-culture news and contributions, usually regarding music. I have written articles about Kid Cudi checking into rehab, Kanye West releasing new songs, and The Weeknd’s new album. While I am provided a lot of creative liberty when choosing the topic I want to write about, I still utilize many of the skills that I have learned from previous writing classes and experiences. My formatting and voice change with each article, but I am constantly aware of who my audience is and how I have to manipulate my thoughts to appeal to their interests. Though these pieces do require research and incorporate factual support, they are largely opinion based. At times, I can get carried away in the analysis of new albums or songs, because I am so used to doing in-depth analyses for my academic and professional writing, and this is when I have to remember who my audience is and how to appeal to them in the best way possible.

I am also a part of the Communications Studies writing community, which is much more research based, reliant on textual support and analysis, and rarely (if ever) makes room for opinion. The essays that are writing for many of the Communications classes at the University of Michigan are research oriented. I am provided creative liberty when it comes to picking a topic (sometimes) and then have to abide by the rubrics that go along with each essay and research paper assignment. These rubrics require the essay/paper to have a certain format, including an introduction, textual analysis, audience analysis, methods, findings, and conclusion section. Within each of these sections are more specific guidelines which usually require a certain amount of sources to be utilized, among other things. Here, there is no room for opinion or creative liberty. Though the topics are often related to pop-culture, the type of writing I have to do is very different than the type of writing I do for Empty Mug Records, and it is for a very different audience (academia). It can be difficult at times to write about such similar topics and have to deliver the information vastly different ways. However, it is refreshing to be able to have an outlet that lets me utilize my academic writing and another outlet that allows me express myself more creatively.

During this Capstone course, I look forward to being able to utilize both my academic writing skills and creative writing skills in a way that works in harmony and creates a unique piece of work.

2 thoughts to “Creative and Academic Pop Culture”

  1. Very cool stuff! I am interested in what ways your audience influences your tone when writing about music/pop culture. Do you ever find it difficult to mediate the expectation of your readers with your own opinion?

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