The Final Countdown: Repurposing Edition (Extra Credit Blog)

For this blog I thought I would continue to work on my repurposing project. The peer review process was extremely helpful and the letters told me exactly what I need to work on. My revision plan is a bit more extensive than I expected, but I think I am headed in the right direction.
1. Add multi media: photos and hyper links
Being an advice column, it is important for it to look visually appealing. I am currently in the process of adding images and hyperlinks to make the blog more user friendly and easy on the eyes. What I am still deciding is whether or not to use photos from my own experience or find more “artsy” ones online. I am sure after I play around with the layout a bit more I will be able to decide what the right choice is!
2. Correct my citations
I currently have some incorrect citations in my annotated bibliography. I need to adjust and further research how to cite an anonymous interview by email. Purdue Owl offers some great facts in how to accomplish this. However, my descriptions of the citations are good and I am headed in the right direction.
3. Edit format to match advice column
This is something I am having trouble deciding. Advice columns can be different in nature, however, what I must decide is if I wasn’t to asthetically make it look like an advice column in a magazine or an online column for the magazine. They both will possess the same content, however, the appearance and impression will be different. I think that making this an online advice column may be more beneficial just to allow the readers to clock on hyperlinks and follow more actively.
4. Incorporate side column and fix areas of repetition
There are some areas in my column that I have found repetition For example, The first question I ask in the “packing” section is very similar to what I introduce as the issue “How can I fit 3 months of clothes into one bag?” Adjusting this will provide more fluidity and sound less repetitive. I am planning on adding another brief section/ side column on my own little do’s and don’ts pertaining to the subject matter.

I still have a lot of revisions to make, and who knows, while I am making them I may come up with another idea. The end is near and I can finally see this advice column coming together!

Me, Myself, and My Style?

What a blissful period of time in my life when I thought this whole thing would be easy as pie. Turns out I was mistaken. I did not anticipate the challenges of transforming my blog into an advice column to be so difficult. Yes, that is the point of the project, to expand my horizons and test my creativity, but it is a lot more complicated than it seems. I discovered that when I was writing my advice column I was forcing a lot of things. I found myself embellishing… A LOT. I was forcing words and phrases in places that I really did not need them. This aspect of my writing reminded me of a lesson I learned in high school from the book “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. One of their rules was “Omit Needless Words.” Well it turns out I needed to revisit that lesson and do some thinking in how I was going to establish my voice.

I like to think I am funny sometimes and I think that is definitely prevalent in my writing style. I have not had many opportunities to write freely for non-academic purposes; therefore, my own voice really has the opportunity to shine through. I think that adding a bit of my sense of humor into my advice column will establish my tone for the piece. The way I see it, people don’t want to be told what to do, so if there looking for advice, the last thing I want to do is put readers through a boring list of do’s and don’ts. I have gained a lot of knowledge from my model source in the areas of structure and tone. In the advice column I have chosen to emulate, the author establishes her tone of voice and is consistent with her voice and sentence structure. I think that I am still trying to evaluate how I want my syntax to develop.

I did not incorporate too many new words or phrases into my first draft. I began the process writing what I researched and what I know, therefore it was very much dependent on my tone. There are still areas I hope to expand on from my first draft to my second and I am excited to continue the process!

Research Can Be Fun?

Researching for my repurposing proposal is proving to be a challenge. I am passionate about my topic; however, I have never experienced writing without certain restrictions. Meaning when I take on an academic paper I am very certain in where I have to look for research and how to go about it. Since I am writing an advice column, the majority of the information stems from my personal experience traveling abroad. With that being said the research is by no means traditional in looking on the classic Proquest or Google Scholar.
However the extent of my research has begun researching advice columns and how they are set up. I have done a lot of online research and found some reputable examples, however, since my publication will be in Teen Vogue, I have also been browsing through magazines of a similar genre to get a sense of their appearance and length.
Beyond the physical layout of the advice column, I am beginning to research based on the questions I am asked by the prospective abroad students. For example, the topic of packing is a big topic of confusion for students planning going abroad. My research for this topic is mainly derived from sites like pinterest and various travel blogs. Not only will I be able to compare my work and experience to others, but I will be able to connect my readers with other sites where they can do more research on their own based on my advice. Specifically for the packing topic, Here is an example of a link I can connect my readers to for a more in depth packing list from her campus.com. Click on the photo to check it out!

Packing List

I think the most difficult part of this research and project is differentiating my work from all the others out there. There are many people that have shared their abroad experience, but what will be my challenge is setting my advice apart from others. I am excited to continue looking for more research and hearing the questions asked by future study abroaders!

Repurposing A Journey Abroad

I looked through many academic papers to repurpose, because I thought that would provide me with the most information and substance to create something new. However, as I was scrolling through my library, I couldn’t get off my mind what I am currently passionate about which, as of last summer, is now traveling! For the repurposing project I decided to take eight blog posts form this past summer where I studied abroad in London. I am not necessarily proud of my writing in theses posts. At the time, the last thing I wanted to be doing was blogging. I wanted to get out there and do as much as possible in the short period of time I had in a foreign country, so in turn my blogs were not as informative or enlightening as other bloggers who were traveling the world might have been. I plan on repurposing these blog posts into an advice column/ series of articles for a magazine such as Teen Vogue or Seventeen (clearly need some feedback on what would be best). These three forms of writing display the concept of studying abroad and traveling a foreign place in different ways.

23 Signs You Studied Abroad in Europe: Buzzfeed Video

23 Signs You Studied Abroad in Europe Video

Watching 23 Signs You Studied Abroad in Europe really brought me back to what is was like to study abroad. Although it does not specifically provide advice or tips like I plan to do in my repurposing project, it does provide a description through film of what it would be like to study abroad. Some may argue that this is not writing however, I believe it can be considered writing in that it is like a silent film with text to explain the meaning of each clip. The medium of the clip (a short film clip), provided me with different ideas of how to incorporate images and what images I should incorporate. The exigence on the surface is a short reflection video, but I also thinks it serves as advertisement of the appeal in going abroad. Constraints may be limiting to just Europe, however, in my opinion in provides an accurate snapshot of what any abroad experience could be like. I plan to incorporate information similar to the information seen in this video to not provide advice, but to illustrate the opportunities studying abroad brings—and why all should participate.

Nomadic Matt: Blog

Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt is a popular blog site about a young man who has a passion for traveling the world. His blog consists of different sections on how to tackling traveling abroad. This blog is similar to my starting point in the repurposing project; however, Matt’s blog is in much greater detail. It is not necessarily studying abroad, but traveling in general, and how to do it the right way (through his eyes). I can learn a great deal from Matt’s blog post in that it is set up in a way that is similar to advice columns, but for the most part remains very “bloggy.” The exigence of this writing is similar of what I would like to portray in my articles/ advice columns. For example one of his posts called “9 Ways to Stay Safe (and Sane) in Morocco” is an example of a piece I would like to achieve in my repurposing. Constraints for this site are how many people actually see it? In addition it is great for traveling but limited on advice for “studying” abroad. It provides tips about Morocco yes, but can really be applied to all travel situations. Matt’s blog is a great example to not only learn from, but to include in my research of my repurposing project.

Researching different mediums with a similar topic as my own has helped me define my goals for repurposing project. Observing different forms of travel inspired pieces has narrowed my content and made me realize what direction I should take my repurposing project.

Perez is in, Paris is out…

The definition of a blog, according to Google search, is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.” I cannot say that I religiously follow any blogs. However, when I think of one who blogs one person comes to mind. That is the television personality and famous blogger known as Perez Hilton.

Perezhilton.com is a main hub for acquiring juicy celebrity gossip. Although this blog will not teach you how to dress or how to bake a seven layer chocolate cake, it will keep anyone updated on the latest celebrity news. For many this blog may not have important meaning, however, anyone who has the guilty pleasure of following celebrity gossip has heard of Perez Hilton.

Marios Armando Lavandeira, a 37-year-old male from Miami, graduated from NYU, and began his career doing some freelance writing. He began blogging because he thought it “seemed easy.” Perez provides his readers with a constantly updated look inside the lives of popular people in the media.

Perez ruthlessly attacks any figure in the public eye. In a way, his blog serves as a mode of connection between ordinary people and celebrities. The blog is not all negative. Perez does find time to compliment and endorse those figures who he is a fan of. The name of the blog itself mocks celebrity and notorious famous-for-nothing starlet Paris Hilton. This blog is a funny and easy way to consume popular culture and keep updated with the latest celebrity gossip news. Although the main focus is celebrity coverage, Perez will write about anything in the media that he feels deserves to be mentioned or made a mockery of. The site consists of multiple sections which allows the reader to search, limit the genre of posts, and see what is currently trending.

I would say Perez’s blog is targeted for young adults above the age of 17, due to inappropriate content. The main audience attracts those interested in popular culture. I think that pop culture is the best descriptor for a genre of this specific blog. It covers everything from celebrity fashion to updates on celebrity trials.

Another aspect of Perez’s blog consists of tabloid photographs, which he doodles on. He attempts to not only exploit public figures with their wrong (or right) doings, but also add his own comedic twist to ordinary photos that could be seen in a magazine.

As Hilton’s blog became to grow in popularity, he began to make appearances and gave his opinions on celebrities and their behavior. Perez’s blog is extremely consistent. In an interview he once mentioned that he was in his blogging chair for over 12 hours, which is why I think it is so good. Although the validity of the information can be unclear, Perez serves as the link between the ordinary and the famous.

What is Writing?

Last weeks class discussion made me feel as though I was running around in circles. When I think of writing, the first think that comes to mind is academic essays or teen novels by Judy Blume. I found the class discussion to be very interesting because I was able to hear what other people thought writing was in their definitions. It was rather difficult for me to expand my horizons and view writing as something that can be displayed in various areas/mediums. I was starting to be more accepting of different mediums that were being mentioned as writing and felt I left the class with a more open mind of what writing really is and how it is present everywhere.

Something that stood out to me in Ong’s piece was that writing is completely artificial and “there is no way to write ‘naturally’ in contrast to the same way that oral speech is natural.” Although we discussed in class that writing can be present in multiple mediums, I agree with Ong in the matter “writing is governed by consciously contrived, articulable rules.” Although what Ong explains is straightforward, it further describes how many pieces of work, whether it be plays, music, or a video montage, would not be possible without the art of writing.

Furthermore, the most interesting point I found Brandt making was that although it is presumed that reading precedes writing, one day that may not be the case. I think that this connects back to our class discussion and the point Brandt makes about connecting writing to the arts, in that writing varies among people doing different things. To some writing is an art and to others art is considered writing. I do believe that there is a line that constitutes what writing is and although that line remains a bit blurry for me, I hope to discover what writing means to me throughout the minor.

My goals for the minor are cut and dry in the sense that I want to become a better writer. I have always enjoyed reading novels and articles, however my desire to write was never overwhelming. I feel that writing well is one quality that can enhance a professional career. I have always experienced writing in a strictly academic manner and I believe that the minor in writing will allow me to expand my horizons in becoming an effective writer.