Saturday, June 20, 2015

Twitter, Trayvon Martin, and Writing Research

This week, we have a few key goals toward developing your skills as writing researchers. In this discussion about Trayvon Martin, I'm looking for each of you to develop three skills:

  1. Identify genre conventions (in this case, of Twitter and Mass Media)
  2. Correlate these genre conventions with CHAT
  3. Select relevant quotes from the articles to support your points

Discussion Post Guidelines: One Quote Per Post

For this discussion, you'll have four posts total (1 starter post, and then three responses to classmates).  Each of your discussion posts must have at least one direct quote from one of the three articles (so four quotes total, though you can certainly have more.)

Starter Post: Describe a Genre Convention, Tie to CHAT
The articles describe how Twitter was used to protest the writing and selling of Juror B37's book.  From the articles and from your own experiences, I want you to first talk about the conventions of Twitter.  Then, talk about how these conventions are connected with the social situations described by CHAT.

Response Posts: Build on What Your Classmates Have Written
Your classmates will each be pointing out genre conventions and CHAT relationships.  When you respond to a classmate, you should provide another example from the texts that supports what your classmate is saying.  (And you'll also explain how your example applies.)  Here, the goal is collaborative research - we're helping each other further explore the complex social components of writing.)

You can think of a convention as a "rule" of the the genre.
With Twitter, the biggest convention (rule) is that all tweets are 140 characters or less.  Literally, you can't compose a tweet that's longer than this.  So Twitter limits the quantity of words in a single tweet...but other people can retweet, which is a convention that comes from ecology that allows much wider distribution.  And so you'll want to talk about how this relates to the success of Twitter in preventing Juror B37's book deal from going through.

Example: Novels
If I was talking about the genre of novels, I could say "Because novels tend to be several hundred pages long, one socialization is that people spend hours reading them.  Novels are also represented as being an intellectual genre, so people feel that these hours are productive.  Often, writers will read novels as a way to help them find new ideas for their own writing (as I do with science fiction), which indicates that reading novels can be an activity for writers."

Note that my example covers multiple aspects of CHAT, but I don't go into a lot of detail.  I want your examples to use specific details: pull a quote from the article, talk about the genre convention it shows, and talk about how that illustrates CHAT for us.  And you'll note that none of the articles actually use CHAT - instead, we are using CHAT as our own framework for understanding the articles.

Back to ENG 145 Week 2


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