Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Collaborative Essay Structure

November 11th, 2009 No comments

After sifting through the collaborative essay structures that you sent me, the consensus reveals itself in the below structure. I have summarized your ideas and added some further suggestions for subjects to be discussed in each section. Each section will, I think, require some additional research to make it thorough, but that is a good thing:

general consensus that we should build on and revise Anthony’s introduction; here we also need at least a brief introduction/definition of new media

Literature Review
general consensus that this is where we introduce the frame texts (Selber, Kress, Brooke, Jenkins, and I would add Wesch on YouTube in here) to provide an historical perspective on the main questions: What is literacy? The goal of the rest of the paper is going to be to building to an understanding of how new media challenges that understanding.

Case Study #1: Blogging
Discussion of blogging and its literacy practices, including both examples of and—and this is the most important part—how one constructs such spaces. This is the largest of the case studies.

Case Study #2: Microblogging
Discussion of twitter and its literacy practices, including both examples of and—and this is the most important part—how one constructs such spaces (including the 3rd party app community, API, and cellular usages)

Case Study #3: Video and Remix
Discussion of YouTube and remix culture, including both examples of and—and this is the most important part—how one constructs such spaces (including copyright, intellectual property, Creative Commons, and idea of video as a text)

Case Study #4: Video Games
Discussion video games (1 video game would be best) and its literacy practices, including the games as texts but also how users construct such spaces through their interaction

Case Study #5: Information Processing
Here is the real Web 2.0 discussion, where we think about how we understand, organize, structure, and deal with the massive amounts of information out there. Examples to think about using are We Feel Fine, RSS readers, and so on)

Conclusion, or What To Make of This?
This is going to reveal itself after we put together the other sections, but it will also need to include a brief discussion of the kinds of things that are not covered so that readers understand that it is a limited discussion (that the limited space of the article does not allow for a lager discussion).

We’ll discuss this in class tonight and will divvy up the responsibilities for each section.

The Ethics of Influence

October 25th, 2009 1 comment

I have often wondered where the line between being influenced or inspired by someone and stealing from them is drawn.  Obviously copying someone’s work, passing if off as your own, and receiving some sort of credit for it be it momentary, prestige, course credit, or otherwise is wrong and unethical.  But what if the influence is less obvious.  If I write in the style of another author is that plagiarism.  As an aspiring writer I tend to read a great deal and it is natural to try to emulate far better writer’s work, particularly if you are prone to reading most of an author’s collection in a short time.  But when does that influence become plagiarism.  I think of the different movements in art.  I am most familiar with the impressionists so I will use them for this example.  In 1881 Claude Monet painted “Sunflowers”. This painting used many of the traditional impressionistic techniques; large and visible brushstrokes, calm subjects, open composition, attention to lighting, movement, and angle, etc.  In 1888  Vincent Van Gogh, a post impressionist, painted “Sunflowers”.  The paintings, both having a vase of sunflowers as their subject, look somewhat similar.  Of course there are many distinctions in style but it is known that Van Gogh was inspired by the impressionists and he probably saw the earlier painting. Obviously you cannot copy right an image of an object or a title but I wonder how something like that would be viewed in today’s copyright climate?  Whether it would be frowned upon.  If I admire greatly and attempt to write in the style of award winning author, Cormac McCarthy is that plagiarism?  What if I write a story about a man and his son going south in a post apocalyptic United States in that same style, which is a far too brief description of McCarthy’s The Road?  I think that Siva Vaidhyanathan in Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity might advocate that those things are not plagiarism. Vaidhyanathan supports a loose and balanced copyright system.  A system that “does not prevent artists from taking from the ‘commons’, supports the idea that new artists build upon the works of others, and rewards improvisation within a tradition” (p. 125).   To reach this the author suggests that the protection should “expire on definite dates, thus constantly enriching the public domain with new material” (p. 125).   Vaidhyanathan has given me a great deal to think about and I am anxious to continue looking at this controversial debate.