The purpose of my Re-Purpose

Although this project seemed a little daunting at first, with thoughts like “Oh gosh, now I have to re-visit papers that I’ve put so far in the back of my brain,” talking to my peers about my re-purposing project made me really exciting to get started. Originally, I had two papers I wanted to work with: either an essay about my identity as a redhead or my application for the Semester in Detroit Study Abroad Program through the University of Michigan. I could use my idea of re-purposing into a PSA or newspaper article for both of my options. I decided to go with the redhead essay because: a) my peers seemed more excited about it, b) my peers thought that I spoke about it more enthusiastically than the application, and c) I had more content to work with.

I explained to them that the original goal of my redhead essay was for the piece to be whimsical and frivolous. It was for my English 325 class: the Art of the Personal Narrative. What started as an essay that was supposed to mock my identity as a redhead turned into a thirteen-page testimonial about the meaning of identity and ultimately, the people who control how we choose to identify ourselves. The essay has four different stories of when my redhead came into play, and included dialogue and detail. It’s set up chronologically, so the reader can follow my life. Embedded within the stories is reflection and meaning about the different aspects of identity and how this specific identity really affected my upbringing. The end result of the piece was a complete 180 from what I had originally intended (which is okay because I still like the way it turned out). Instead of taking a silly tone, it comes off as quite serious and thought provoking, with fewer moments of humor than anticipated.

Keeping all of this information in mind, I want to re-purpose my English essay back to its original intent—frivolous and witty. In order to do this, it will have to go through a few steps. First, for my re-purposing, I want to make it into a Features article for a magazine that targets young girls starting to question their own identity. Ideally, it would either be featured in Seventeen or Teen Vogue, appealing to a younger generation of girls, and serving as universal piece based on personal narrative. Whereas my former audience was my professor, my new audience would be these girls (in their tweens or teens, really starting to focus and develop as individuals). My previous genre would have been an essay for a class, and my new genre is a journalistic piece. However, my argument will remain the same: an empowering, yet stylistic and fun exploration of identity.

Hopefully this re-purposing will lead to my re-mediation, which will be a Buzzfeed “Community Post” where I poke fun at my identity as a redhead, as well as myself as an individual. I will use the same format as Buzzfeed uses (and hopefully make it go live on the website) and the argument will be the same. The audience will also be the same, but the genre/form will change.

I’m looking forward to this process and hope you enjoy the end product as much as I know I will! In the meantime, enjoy this image…

Screen shot 2014-02-17 at 8.37.17 PM

2 thoughts to “The purpose of my Re-Purpose”

  1. Sara,
    I am super excited about this piece! I intend for most of my writing to be whimsical, its a fun way to write and really reflects my personality. I, too, have had papers where I wanted to write in such a tone, but my professor guided me in a more serious direction. It is great that you are taking the piece and re-purposing it back to your original plan. I am also SUPER excited for the buzzfeed re-mediation. That is an awesome idea. I am addicted to buzzfeed articles, so I can’t wait to see the result!

  2. Sara,

    I had to read this post when I saw the picture. I’m a redhead too. I have always liked my red hair and I think that puts me in the minority among redheads. I like your ideas and I hope you were able to do something great with them. I especially like that you intended to make it frivolous and witty. We have to be able to poke fun at ourselves, especially us redheads.

    Maybe you even addressed that idea that identity shouldn’t be based on physical features (but it often is with young girls). It sounds like you took this in a funny, light direction. I like it.

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