On Writing Well Part II Zinsser- Methods

{All quotes and ideas from On Writing Well Methods-Part II by William Zinsser, Chapters 8-10}

In part II of On Writing Well, Zinsser delves into the methods of writing. More specifically he talks about writing in terms of unity, lead and ending summaries and the bits & pieces of summaries. Each section is crucial to writing well, and here is why:

Unity is consistency maintenance. The point of view of a piece of writing should be extremely clear to the audience. Is it first, second, or third person? Is the verbage consistent? Are our readers getting lost when it comes to chronology of events? These are all important questions that every writer should be asking themselves. Zinsser goes on to explain that there is also a unity in writing present between the mood and voice of a piece. Do you want your writing to be a formal or informal piece? This leads right back in to the point of view of the piece. Some writers like to take the stand point and voice of an every day person, others like to sound more professional like a doctor for example. Regardless of the voice chosen, it must remain the same throughout. If the voice and mood constantly change, the reader will get lost. 

The leading and ending summary of a piece are crucial good writing characteristics. Every piece of writing needs a hook. What is going to make the reader move on to the second sentence? What is going to intrigue them? Zinsser says their is no formulaic answer for creating a captivating intro and something that will keep the reader locked throughout. The ending summary of a piece should establish some sort of conclusion. It should leave room for reader interpretation but it should also help the reader come full circle with the story. Read More

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On Writing Well Part 1, Zinsser- Principles

{All quotes and ideas from “On Writing Well”-Part 1 Principles by Zinsser (Chapters 1-7)}

“Writing is hard work.”-William Zinsser

The book On Writing Well by William Kinsser offers fundamental principles and insights on exactly what you would expect, writing well, from the perspective of a respected teacher/writer. In the first seven chapters Zinsser touches on seven major principles of writing; the transaction, simplicity, clutter, style, the audience, words and usage.

When writing, what is important?:

Any writing method that helps you say exactly what you want to say is the correct writing method for you. The transaction process, in regards to writing well, displays the overarching idea that there is no one specific way to write well. Good writing is writing that reveals the author. Zinnsser demonstrates this as long as the difficulty of learning how to write by exploring the work of a professional writer and a surgeon who has taken up writing as a hobby. Because writing is so linear and unyielding, it is important to portray personality, humanity, enthusiasm, etc, to showcase yourself and establish relationships with the audience. Print media unlike digital media lacks visible expression, therefore it is crucial to showcase the more personal characteristics of the writer. In doing so though it is important to display simplicity which leads Zinsser into his next chapter.

In regards to simplifying our writing we must strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Good writing is not cluttered. Here is where we want to throw out what I like to call the “fluff” words, or unnecessary cushions we place in our writing. If your writing is too much trouble to comprehend, readers will quickly move on to something more captivating. This is where the editing process comes in. Read over your work, think clearly and ask yourself if you think this makes sense.

Zinsser then moves on to clutter or better yet, verbal camouflage. Here is where we use long and unnecessary words to replace others, to sound more intellectual or articulate. When in actuality we do the complete opposite. We don’t want to confuse and we also don’t want to be overly redundant with our prepositions, adjectives, adverbs and so on. Recognize the phrases that aren’t providing useful information or simply aren’t working. Each word and each phrase should have a distinct job. Although he argues that clutter and simplicity are complete opposites, these two chapters pair very well together.

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New Website

website screenshot

 

I have just finished creating my first Website with Wix, an easy to work and free website builder! Included in my website is my professional portfolio, resume infographic, an overview of my travels, a sample of my artwork and photography, and more! Visit my website here and let me know what you think!

Furman University Social Media- Video Project

Vimeo video Link

My video project is geared towards college students, social media, what we use social media for, and whether or not we find it overly distracting. I was able to interview a few Furman University students, a Yik Yak field marketer, and a Furman Communications professor on their opinions of social media, what they like about it, what they use it for.

Infographic

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Final Draft- Infographic-The Faces of Facebook

For my infographic I decided to focus on Facebook, the social media conglomerate of our generation. The goal of my infographic was to illustrate and portray the average Facebook user, as well as just how huge Facebook has grown since its early development in 2004. I not only wanted to focus on statistics of the individual users but also an overall outlook on nationwide and worldwide Facebook usage. Included in my infographic are statistics pertaining to the average user, countries who are most involved with the online platform, a brief timeline of major events and turning points in Facebook’s early development stages. For aesthetic appeal I placed a large emphasis on incorporating the token Facebook blue color along with the infamous Facebook logo, “like” button, and Facebook messenger template.

Infographic Statistic Sources:

Addictive Lists. “Top 10 Countries with the Most Facebook Users in 2014.” Addictive Lists. 22 Apr. 2014. Web. <http://addictivelists.com/top-10-countries-with-most-facebook-users-2014/&gt;

Noyes, Dan. “Top 20 Facebook Statistics – Updated February 2015.” Zephoria Inc. N.p., 10 Feb. 2015. Web. <https://zephoria.com/social-media/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/&gt;.

Phillips, Sarah. “A Brief History of Facebook.” The Guardian. Web. <http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2007/jul/25/media.newmedia>

Addictive Lists. “Top 10 Countries with the Most Facebook Users in 2014.” Addictive Lists. 22 Apr. 2014. Web. <http://addictivelists.com/top-10-countries-with-most-facebook-users-2014/&gt;

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Draft 1- Infographic- The Faces of Facebook

The Meaning of Composition

What is composition?

In Reading Images by Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen, they define visual composition as the positioning of the elements in digital media that endow different informational values in relation to the other elements around them. Positioning in graphic design establishes importance. It is important when it comes to graphic design and the integration of text with images that we take into consideration their placement, what we want the audience to notice first, and how we establish what Kress and Leeuwen call “Information Hierarchies” in our page or screen designs.

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Typography, Contrast, and Layout

(All Quotes and ideas derived from chapter two, three, and four of The Seven Essentials of Graphic Design by Allison Goodman)

Typography could be considered a hidden art. But just because the consumer may not notice your clever creation of ligature or your subtle shifting of text alignment doesn’t mean the your efforts aren’t crucial to the message. With these type basics, you can communicate anything.”

In chapter two Goodman highlights four major categories of typography which are old style, modern, transitional, and digital.  Old style places more emphasis on a reflection of calligraphic heritage and letterform design with angled letter axis’s via chisel point tools and ancient forms of carving and creating letters. Modern typography deals more with encompassing the trend of clean minimal statements and letter design simplicity.Here there is an emphasis placed on clean strokes and machined-look letters. Transitional typefaces display a contrast between thick and thin within letters. Here the axis of the letter has straightened out a bit more compared to what we had seen with old style typography. Finally, digital typography which allowed for the most typographic experimentation which incorporates elements from the other three categories while including more contemporary attitudes and cultural elements especially from what Goodman calls “generation x.”

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Business Card 101

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Personal Business Card Front

Back PERSONAL BC

Personal Business Card Back (Font: Lithos Pro)

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Professional Business Card Front (Font: Madame Klara)

profeshBC front

Professional Business Card Back (Font: Edition, Gujarati Sangam MN)

The Discourse on Language

I’m sure at some point we have all studied or at least heard of the infamous Michel Foucault, but here is a little refresher:

Michel Foucault was a French modern philosopher interested in the intersection of knowledge, power, and language. In Foucault’s work and discussions he promotes unpacking how knowledge and truth are formed, by whom are they formed, in what context, and whether or not it is included or excluded from the conversation of historical record.

Foucault’s Thesis: “In every society the production of discourse is once  controlled, selected, organized, and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures, whose role is to avert is powers and its dangers, to cope with chance events, to evade its ponderous, awesome materiality.”

So why is this important? Well Foucault illustrates that when it comes to knowledge and the dissemination of information we have both exterior and interior exclusions present. These exclusions we place on discourse control it along with the impositions we place on what is said, by whom, and whether or not the discourse is accepted as true.

Take for example our educational system. Have you ever thought of who comes up with the specific standard curriculum that we are taught? Better yet, who decides what historical events and occurrences are important to record and teach? Foucault wants us to recognize the regulatory nature of knowledge and truth along with the power forces that regulate it. We need to recognize the fact that knowledge and information whether we notice or not is constantly being regulate. But more importantly we need to recognize the societal norms of discourse. A major norm and fault in our “will to truth” or desire to understand and deem information real and accurate in our heavy repetitive dependency on looking at who is presenting the information and whether or not that source is credible.