Genre and Style

I wrote my first draft in a style that closely mimicked a New York Times article, when I was initially planning on having a much more laid back tone. However, as I began to write I found that this was the easiest way to get my ideas down on paper – in a journalistic style – because there were so many facts I wanted to include in the article. For my next draft, I think I will attempt to make the style a little less hard-hitting, and a little more conversational. One way I can do this is by introducing my interview subjects! Because neither were able to meet with me until next week, I did not include this part in my draft. However, this part will take on a much different style than the article section. This part will read more like a creative piece of fiction, though it will of course be the true stories of my interview subjects. I am really looking forward to integrating this part into the piece because I think it will really change the tone of the project, making it more relatable. My goal is to inform my reader with the first section, and then make them feel really connected personally to the issue by essentially being able to experience through storytelling in the second.

One thing that was really interesting however, was taking the very dry and technical language of my initial source and making it more journalistic. Instead of using legal jargon to dance around what I was really trying to say – I could outright make an opinionated claim without having to back it up with a source. I found this really refreshing because I really had to restrain myself from explaining my opinion in my┬áinitial source. This is why I found the in-class “translation” exercise so helpful. I essentially used this translation method to interpret various sections of my original paper that weren’t too bogged down with legal jargon. Overall, though it was definitely a nice change of pace I think I can go one step further and make the language even more conversational. I think the style that I wrote in for this draft was a really good first step in understanding my topic and converting really dry material into something meant to be both informative and enjoyable to read.

Lauren Diamond

Lauren Diamond is a Junior at the University of Michigan and a Political Science Major.

2 thoughts to “Genre and Style”

  1. Lauren,
    I can understand that writing in a journalistic style would be the easiest way to write your piece; after all, it’s not too dissimilar from the writing style of academic papers, something that all university students understand fully. With that being said, I am curious to see how your inclusion of the interviews will affect the piece as a whole. I’m also glad to see that you enjoy taking an opinionated stance on dry technical information. Rather than tediously explaining every excruciating detail of your sources and the information presented, you can focus more on explaining your argument to the reader. From what I can tell, you are obviously enjoying this project, and I cannot wait to see what the final draft looks like.

  2. Hi Lauren,
    I think you’re doing a nice job of converting such legal jargon into something much more straight forward and digestible for everyday readers. I know you expressed concerns of the piece not being conversational enough, but it is a difficult task to take something that technical and suddenly make it conversational. The way you’ve converted it from such technical language to something more straight forward is a great first step, and the perfect halfway point to allow you to take it one step further and make it an even more relaxed tone. I’m excited to read the interviews with the women because I think this will automatically give the piece a more relatable tone without you even having to do much more work to get it there.

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