As the semester and year are coming to an end, I've continued to work on this semester-long project, hoping to improve it by adding important information and revising past work.
I've learned so much about my home country, Venezuela, and also about its current situation and its effect on the population and immigration. Besides, I learned how to design a website in an organized manner so that it attracts readers and makes it easy for them to read its content. The genres we have studied include graphic displays of information, interviews and their write-ups, ROL (short research), citations, and analyses. The broad range of works have helped me use different tools and works to study topics of interest.
Lastly, I only have to work on my reflection letter, in which I will compare my frist drafts compared to the final, revised work to show the improvement I've made throughout the semester in both my writing and my organization, including how I portray my work in my website.
After discussing possible topics for my analyses pages with Prof. Julien, I have chosen three: a rhetoric analysis of Chavez's public speeches, an analysis of Capriles's behavior/posts in social media, and finally _____. Hopefully, through these analyses pages I will study and attempt to explain how Chavez succeeded in becoming the president of Venezuela. Additionally, I will analyze how social media has influenced the way Capriles's campaign works and reaches the population, which will serve as a comparison between Capriles's outreach campaign in 2012 and Chavez's outreach campaign in 1998.
As we read the assigned chapter, I realized I must save absolutely all of my drafts. In order to keep my project organized, I must save them all in a specific folder, so that I will be able to refer to them when I need to. Organization in this project is key, both in the website's format and in its production. With my drafts, I will be able to compare my final product to my initial thought. Also, it will be easier for me to work on improving my work if I have a completed draft to use as a guide.
I must also remember what my compelling idea and central purpose for this website are so that I can find the best way to convey them to my audience.
In class, we discussed Writer/Designer chapter 5, which talks about bias. Bias is a prejudice against or in favor of something compared to something else, usually in an unfair manner. Bias can be seen on the sources that writers choose to support their argument. For example, if I am writing about the 2016 Presidential election and its candidates, but I use sources that are sponsored by Hillary Clinton, I am showing bias towards her (I clearly support her). Generally when writing, bias is avoided, because the author wants to maximize his or her credibility, so sources are carefully selected. By citing his or her sources, the author will also be increasing his or her credibility, because the information will be displayed and presented for the reader to view and research.
For my website, I seem biased, and it is not something I was trying to prevent. I am Venezuelan, which means I have a strong opinion towards the issues that have resulted in my country's current political and economic situation. Through my work, I highlight these issues and present the information I have researched to support my claim, according to my personal beliefs.
As I read the chapters, I made sure to write down the key concepts, which I will use to edit and revise my website. The most important factor to consider is the reader's attention and how to catch it. The people viewing my website won't necessarily be reading it, they will probably only scan and skim through my work. It has been proven that website "readers" tend to focus on the upper left quadrant of the page, so I will try to situate the key information there. To make sure they stay interested, I must create "layers". These layers consist of highlighting key words, creating hyperlinks, using medium-sized images, and dividing my work by using subheadings. Overall, I must keep my text concise so that I don't bore my visitors (KISS method - keep it simple, stupid).
The workbook also included valuable tips:
-using present tense
-avoiding the use of "to be"
-minize the word "and"
-use a moderate number of tabs/pages -- not too few, not too many
-be sure to include your voice in your work
-cite all your work; make sure your citation style fits your topic and audience
-find credible sources -- look at the authors, are they biased? have they been published in other websites? are they believable? is it necessary? why are you choosing this source?
-focus on your assets: pieces of source that you will use to support your argument/information
-make sure your website is accessible
This week during class we talked about stakeholders. Stakeholders are the people are particularly interested or concerned about a topic, not necessarily because they relate to it, but because they want to learn more. Within the context of our websites, stakeholders are those who would visit our work and want to learn more about what we have to say. We discussed who our stakeholders are and who we want them to be. For my website, I believe possible stakeholders are:
b. Social Justice Advocates
c. People interested in international politics and policy
e. Venezuelans currently living in the country
f. Economists who wish to study Venezuela's economic decline
In my auto-ethnography, I am studying the life of Venezuelan immigrants in other countries. To do this, I've written about the political, economic, and social context in the nation, which have led to a huge number of people leaving Venezuela. For my interviews, I will focus on two different types of immigrants, the one that lived in Venezuela until he/she was an adult, and the one that is a second generation immigrant (his/her parents immigrated before he/she was born). My mom, Miriam Cherem, is one of the 2 persons I'll interview. She is the type of immigrant that left Venezuela long after she became an adult. The other person I will interview is Gaby Muller, a first year Emory student, whose parents came to the United States one year before she was born, so she's grown up with the Venezuelan culture in the United States. I will ask them different questions according to their situations.
An infographic is a visual representation of data in an organized, dynamic way in order to present information in a quick and concise way. A great infographic must call the reader's attention in a succinct, clear, and organized manner, while including different colors or fonts that to get the reader to start viewing it. It should have relevant content to keep the reader interested and engaged. The infographic should not be cluttered, for the audience might get lost, and it should not be too long, for the audience might find it unappealing and won't take the time to read it. There must be a balance between written text, graphs, charts and images to avoid a monotonous and boring appeal while also having smooth transitions between these elements so that the infographic flows from block to block in a natural manner.
Audience: English 101 class and anyone interested in understand Venezuela's current sociopolitical situation.
Topic: Venezuela's sociopolitical situation
Organization: I will build my infographic in a chronological way to depict how the election of Hugo Chavez and the reforms he made to Venezuela's political system led to the economic crisis and eventually to the social turmoil in the county.
Elements: I will use pie charts, bar graphs, icons, and images.
Accessibility: to maximize accessibility, I will include picture captions, large fonts and high contrast to make sure that the text is readable.
The Writer/Designer workbook emphasizes ideas that might seem a bit obvious, but it was necessary for me to understand them completely in order to create a great multimodal auto-ethnography. A multimodal work should include visual, linguistic, spatial, gestural, and aural components. These media will help me capture the reader's attention and make him/her engage my work. To convey ideas, text should be used, and these ideas should be emphasized by visual or aural elements. As with every other literary piece, word choice and fluency are key. Finally, visual, spatial, and aural components provide color, feeling, and layout to the multimodal writing. I must keep in mind all of these elements while also considering who my audience is and how to approach them best.
From what I read on these chapters, I think that the most important thing that I must keep in mind when I write is my audience. Word choice, structure, and tone all depend on who I will be writing to and for. I learned that if I don't think of my audience while I write, I will probably lose their attention; they won't be engaged.
Chapter 2 of the Carroll book focuses on the comparison between traditional, physical writing publications and digital writing. It focused on:
Main goals and ideas to keep in mind when I write:
1. Be clear and concise
2. Make sure all images and texts have their citation
3. Keep audience in mind so that my word choice and tone are appropriate
After thinking about my topic choice for the last couple of days, I've decided to select one that I find to be very close to me: Corruption in Venezuela, and people's knowledge and opinion about it. For as long as I can remember, Venezuela has been under a socialist regime. It has been 17 years since Hugo Chavez was elected the president of the nation, and four year since his successor, Nicolas Maduro, became president after Chavez's death. Through this topic, I want to research about this government and how it dismantled the country in such a short period of time. I want to answer many questions, such as how this regime came to power, why the country is now bankrupt, are people aware of the situation, do people at Emory know what is occurring, how Venezuelans around the world and in the country react to the corruption, and what we can expect to happen in the next few years.