After much deliberation (and countless hours spent searching the depths of my MacBook documents), I’ve decided to repurpose a two-year plan essay from a mini-course I took freshman year. The topic I am focused on is goal setting and the ways in which goals motivate people while simultaneously restricting them. When I first wrote my two-year plan, back when I was a naive and inexperienced freshman, I anticipated going into the fashion industry and even traveling throughout Europe after sophomore year. Now, as a junior, I’ve realized that fashion is more of a hobby and that I would much rather travel to Australia. I plan on repurposing this essay into an article for The Huffington Post. The following three pieces are all from different websites and discuss the concept of goal setting in different ways.
- “Consider Not Setting Goals in 2013” by Peter Bregman is an article published in the Harvard Business Review in 2012. Bregman argues that goals aren’t necessarily bad, but they can have lasting side effects such as a rise in unethical behavior. The article is written for the business-minded reader, but is written in such a way that even those not interested in business can enjoy and benefit from the information. Furthermore, Bregman begins the article with an anecdote about his children, which draws the reader in and appeals to their emotions. This is one aspect of Bregman’s piece that I hope to incorporate into my own. Bregman’s suggestion that individuals should focus on the task, not the outcome is intriguing for me and something that I am going to think more about while writing my own article.
- “The Importance of Setting Goals” by Ohad Frankfurt is a blog post published on Medium, which is a blogging platform similar to WordPress. Frankfurt discusses what goals are and how to ensure that individuals’ reach their goals. Since Frankfurt is the CEO of a startup company, the post is geared towards entrepreneurs and individuals looking for inspiration. Since it is a blog post, Frankfurt employs colloquial language and personal stories. While this type of writing works for a blog post, I want mine to adopt a more professional tone. Along the same lines, Frankfurt does not provide any evidence and focuses solely on his own experiences. In order to establish my credibility, I will be providing both traditional evidence and qualitative evidence (i.e. interviews) to support my argument.
- “The 3 Things That Stop Most People From Achieving Their Goals” by Chris Winfield is an article published in The Huffington Post and most closely mimics the voice I hope to achieve in my repurposing project. In the article, Winfield provides quotes from famous scholars and condenses his argument into three separate bullet points. The post appears in the “Small Business” section of The Huffington Post, which suggests that Winfield’s audience is small business owners. However, as he mentions, “I’ve never met one person who hasn’t had thoughts just like these. From CEOs to someone starting their first job out of college, we all have fears.” Thus, anyone interested in business would enjoy his article. While I don’t wish to employ bullet points or provide hypothetical situations for my reader, Winfield’s argument that there are specific obstacles preventing people from achieving their goals is something I would like to touch on in my repurposing project.
The exercise of going through and mapping the rhetorical situation of the pieces above has opened my eyes to the amount of detail that will go into the creation of my article for the repurposing project. Furthermore, I have realized that my argument, much like the arguments made in these pieces, needs to be crystal clear to the reader. I look forward to continuing to work on my repurposing project and learning more about the topic of goal setting along the way!