Challenge Journal 2: Aren’t introductions supposed to be easy?

This probably sounds like an odd problem to have, but I can’t figure out how to introduce a section of my Capstone project.

At the beginning of this whole thing, I told myself that I would interview my peers and professional journalists, and then turn them into narrative. But as the project moved along, I realized they would be out of place within my own personal narratives. So I called an audible and decided that I could use that audio in a different section, where these people’s words would correspond with the subject of a respective piece of writing I’d done.

That whole process is going well, except for the fact that it feels like my project is split into two different parts. In my opinion, the solution is an introduction at the beginning of the audio portion, meant to orient the reader with how it fits into this entire process. Obviously, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. I wrote this on my Gateway site:

As a sophomore at Michigan, I started my path toward receiving a Minor in Writing. My first step was to take the writing Gateway course. Below are the three projects I produced in that class. 

Project I details why I write, and it was inspired by a hockey article I wrote for my college newspaper — The Michigan Daily. For Project II, I was tasked with repurposing my old Common App essay. The original essay was about watching my brother James go through chemotherapy, and I transformed it into a personal story that could appear in The New Yorker. After recording a 37-minute conversation with James for Project II, I decided to remediate that audio into a 16-minute podcast for Project III. Below, you can find components of each project.

However, here’s my issue:

  1. The excerpt above reads as if it’s detached from the project. It doesn’t fit the tone of the writing I did for Gateway, but it does accomplish the goal of telling my audience what they’re getting into.
  2. My Capstone is similar to my Gateway. I feel like my voice is currently consistent throughout the entire site, and all of my writing is based in personal experiences.

So, I’m weighing options. I could take the detached approach, admit how the audio portion came to be, and the reader would have no doubts about how it fits into the project. But is it worth having a section in which my tone contradicts the rest of the site?

I know it seems like a trivial detail, but I’ve an entire semester into this. Might as well get it right, right?

One thought to “Challenge Journal 2: Aren’t introductions supposed to be easy?”

  1. Hi Kevin!

    I relate to this. I’ve been repeatedly told that I need to connect the various sections of my project with little transitions at the top, and I just don’t want to do it 🙁 Something about referring to the functionality of your own work within the document seems to cheapen it. However, I’ve been trying to think about it as less of a separation of tone/contradiction as you put and more of a narrative/transition. Your sections connect logically, right? There’s a reason you’re incorporating them. So I’ve thought of them more as continuing the narrative, like transitions in an essay. You don’t necessarily need to say, “I’m now proceeding to discuss x because it fits in the process by doing…” Instead, I would explain the link between the two without referencing your involvement. I’m not sure if that’s helpful at all, but it’s benefited me to think about my explanations in that light.

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