Tone of Experiments

I attempted to make the tone of my three experiments as conversational as possible. For my first experiment I created a listicle, and knowing the type of audience that an article like that has, I recognized that the tone needed to be both lighthearted and funny. The tone for my second experiment, my Instagram page, I feel was also fairly light hearted, even just based on the color and composition of the pictures. For my final experiment, I looked away from the conversational tone more in order to write a piece that was a little more serious and informational. However, the more I wrote it, the more I realized that the topic would be much more well received and more easily read if the tone of it was a little more light hearted-so I tweaked it slightly to be less serious.

Each of my experiments had an underlying theme of debunking stereotypes. As I did each one, I wrote a lot about how many peoples beliefs are wrong or misguided. This was another reason that  I took a more lighthearted and conversational tone, because while I was telling people that they’re wrong, I needed to also not come from a position that seemed rude or uninviting.

Tone Summary

Thus far, the two experiments I have proposed have had a fairly strong opinionated tone, as I have been discussing my experiences/opinions of modern romance. Now, working on my third experiment, I worry that my tone is too judgmental, so I am considering (attempting) to make my piece more objective, although I don’t plan on being successful, at least initially. If this proves unsuccessful, I may try to change the format rather than content, however I’m not sure if my last experiment was modified enough in terms of content to allow this. I’m also wondering if there is a format for my future site that could accommodate/warrant the strength of my opinion? I’m still in the works of developing answers to this, so I am looking forward to my meeting with Ray this week to discuss my thoughts/concerns further!

Rosenwasser & Stephen – Analyzing Style

While analyzing a final exam paper I wrote last semester for HJCS 277 The Land of Israel/Palestine Through the ages, I found it hard to decipher one “go to” sentence shape. I assume this is because after years of English class I have been taught to be cognizant of my sentence structure and vary it as much as possible. One thing I did notice is that I start many sentences with the word “however” (Ironically, I was about to write this sentence as ‘however, I did notice that I start many of my sentences with…”). The use of “however” seems to serve as a way to introduce several ideas within complicated topics. I’ll state one thing, but then use however to show that it’s not necessarily so simple and there are other sides to the argument or other important factors to acknowledge. In this paper in particular I noticed that my diction and tone were definitely more formal. While this make sense for the specific assignment, I do notice myself using a more formal tone in the majority of my writing. It simply feels less risky. I don’t have to worry about constructing a poor narrative or trying to add in a failed attempt at a beautiful metaphor.  Yet at the same time, I don’t want my writing to fall in to Rossenwasser and Stephen’s category of “tone deaf”. It is important to remind myself that casual, humorous, or elegant writing all have their place, and to be conscientious of where I can incorporate them into my day to day writing. 

How I Write: let’s all just cut the jargon!

I really enjoyed listening to Sheilah Murphy talk about her writing process at the How I Write event tonight. One thing that I really identified with Murphy about was her take on academic jargon: it sucks. There is nothing worse than reading a boring academic essay! Why would scholars want to put their readers to sleep, when most of the time their work is actually really interesting and potentially groundbreaking? I have always hated the unspoken “no I” rule within academia, because when I analyze something, whether it be a piece of literature, a political theory, or some social science research, I want to explain my process in my terms so that you can understand me. I actually am in a great English class right now in which the professor recently had us all write mock theses, read them to the class, and then explain to everyone in “real speak” what we actually were saying. It really helps when you are able to understand the writer’s voice, and one major take-away I got from this lecture was that cutting the jargon and using my own voice is ok.