Challenge Journal 3: Indecisiveness in Tone

One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced in the process of developing my capstone project is how I want to talk… well, write… about it. It is not a question of genre, as I am very committed to writing labels like museums and having an intro text to the museum like a professional intro text to an exhibition. My difficulty comes when I think about writing the introduction to my project, my “about” section, and my more extended pieces of writing.

Writing in the museum field is fairly standardized, with introduction texts between 200 and 300 words, and object labels approximately 150 words. Although I am following that standard for those pieces in both length and tone, I depart from traditional pieces in my one to two longer pieces. In attempt to maintain cohesion, should I maintain the relatively formal tone, regardless of whether or not they will physically be in the exhibit? I am leaning toward yes… but I fear that people may not want to read a block of text even if I am capping the length at about 500 words. I would like to think that the topic would be engaging enough, even though the tone may not be conversational.

With regard to the introduction to the project… would it be more engaging to have it be more explanatory, relating to the capstone and explaining the purpose of the project that way, or attempt to maintain the sense that it is a “real gallery” until one reaches the about section?

This seems to be the first time that I’ve really encountered writing a significant number of pieces that culminate together into a single project. For the gateway, although each of the three pieces were related and built off of each other, they each stood alone. There was not a need to have a unifying tone throughout. I think that this being the first time having to do this may contribute to my indecisiveness when it comes to finalizing words on paper.

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One thought to “Challenge Journal 3: Indecisiveness in Tone”

  1. Hey Mollie,

    So I’m in Ray’s Capstone, and I’m having the same trouble that you’re having. Like you alluded to, when the writing is meant to culminate into a single project, some small decisions seem to have much larger consequences. Ultimately, I think you should lean toward your gut feeling. If the majority of the project takes on a formal tone, then it’s probably best to stick with that. I’m in the same boat, except I’m trying to decide if one small introduction can deviate from a tone that relies heavily on my own voice as a writer.

    As for your longer pieces, would it help to keep the tone but break it up? I think 500 words of text looks a lot more intimidating than if you were to separate it into three paragraphs of roughly 165 words. I hope this helps, but feel free to ask me more questions if it doesn’t.

    Looking forward to seeing the project at our showcase!

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