Blog post #10: Reflection

Our final project is about the development of e-mail. By showing it grows and evolves rapidly, we want to show our writing behavior is also changing as well. People nowadays more and more like to write briefly and immediately with various electronic devices such as laptop, smart phone and tablet computer. However, whether this trend of writing habit is good or not is still too early to say.

The target audiences of our project are current e-mails users. Most of them have seen the emergence of e-mail and are experiencing the evolvement of it. Therefore, our project could attract the target audiences by showing the history of e-mails and some characters of current e-mails. Moreover, we have made a very interesting video clip as the beginning of our project. It compares the life of  a fast-growing baby with the rapid development of e-mails, which might lead audiences to think deeper about whether the pace of the development is too fast.

The ultimate purpose is to show the rapid development of e-mails and make audience to think about this process. In order to achieve this goal, we use a video clip to make a interesting comparison between e-mails and a baby. Then we show the examples and writing trend of  current e-mails. By applying a specific example of current e-mail writing process, audiences could clearly see the changes of length, content and format. Moreover, we also include a interview in our video to test and verify the arguments in our video.

This project helped me learn more about how to make a rhetoric composition. In order to make our arguments convincing, I had to think about questions such as what are our audiences and how to make our project be attractive to them. Some of the rhetorical strategies played an important role in our project and the process of applying these method also let us have a more complete understanding of our project.



In today’s studio, we recorded all the speeches and add those audios into the final video. We almost finish our product except for the ending speech. We will write the ending speech soon and put it into our final video.


Today we finished the video and tried to record for the audio so that we could turn in the draft on Thursday. We also wrote responses to either e-mails that we composed or the interview. We will probably finish the final product when all the audios are  recorded and added to it through iMovie.

Studio time: Writing minutes

In today’s studio session, we started to compose the introduction video of our project. Danny brought the video he made for the introduction and we thought of a speech for this video. Moreover, we decided to use a screen capture to record a process of composing email. Also, I tried to find some source for the development or the history of the e-mail and I found a paper “Electronic Mail and its Possible Negative Aspects in organization Contexts” might give me some ideas on the influence of email on modern generation.

Blog post #8: Is texting writing?

Texting is a form of writing because it involves organization of minds and words. Thousands of messages are composed by us every day. We text to our friends, parents and colleagues for various reasons such as chatting, seeking helps and exchanging information. Some hold the opinion that texting is not a valuable form of writing. It might be true if you just compare the contents of texting with other literature forms such as novels and portrays. However, texting still plays an important role in our life. It provides a convenient and casual way to content with almost anyone we want. It is hard to imagine that we have to compose a formal e-mails to invite friends to a party instead of sending quick messages. Texting could be not only convenient but also full of aesthetic value. One of the main characters of texting is that it is very succinct. In order to communicate faster and faster, people create instant messaging symbols all the time. For example, someone may use “gr8” to represent “great”, “idk” to represent “I don’t know” and “j4f” to represent “just for fun.” although high-technology have been blamed for the disappearance of  languages, digital literacies like texting are new writing forms and will keep influence the way of communication.

Blog post #7: Commonplaces and topoi

When I read Ball & Moeller’s Reinventing the Possibilities, I chose to start with the abstract to know what it is talking about.I clicked the hyperlink of  particular terms and went to a particular page explaining this term when I encountered something I don’t know.Whenever I finished reading the explanation, I clicked the “Go back to the last node” at the bottom of the page and got back to where I  was reading. This is a very effective way to get a whole picture about the topic that is discussed in the website because I can have access to the key term’s explanation in the text immediately. However, it is possible that I lost some of the pages because not all the pages are linked together. Therefore, readers might also need to use the alphabet navbar if he/she wants to have a detailed understanding of all the information in this website. There are some unified elements in this website. For example, every page have a background photo and there is a hyperlink at the bottom of it to get readers back to where they left. The text is written in different fonts to indicate the various voices from either Ryan or Cheryl.


Hugh Burn uses the video Resolution in 60 Seconds to promote the National Day on Writing. In the video there are two children try to use old typewriter and a electronic device like cell phone. The author might want to use this video to suggest that the writing process nowadays is completely different from that of old times. The author uses some topois in this video. For example, the texts in the video serve as a link that connects the world of writing and children who are playing various writing devices.



Blog post #5: Metacommentary

The video, Medieval Helpdesk, describes a person in medieval time sought help from another person on how to read a book. There are several scenes that seems odd to me. First of all, the whole story seems ridiculous because it is almost impossible that there was a man who did not know how to read a book and had to ask other people for help. Secondly, the dialogues in this video are not likely to exist in medieval time. For example, one person( the client) was worried about the text in the book would disappear if he went on reading and then the man from helpdesk told him that this book can “save” hundrads of pages. Why did he use the word “save” instead of telling the client the content written in the book would last for a long time.It sounds like the client was using a electronic book. Moreover, the client  in the video had to repeat several times before memorized the method of opening a book. This is also an interesting detail because the method is very simple. Also, at the end of the video the man from helpdesk suggested the client to read manual which attracts my attention because most of books do have a manual on how to read it.

I think the author tries to imitate the scenario of modern time where people always turn to helpdesk assistants for some extreme simple questions on how to use electronic devices. In the video, the author use lots of modern elements such as information saving, manuals and professional helper to enhance his/her persuasion. By creating these time conflicts the author looks for “trouble”.

It is the various conflicts between modern and medieval and a sense of humor make the video worthy of analysis.

Blog #4: Antitheses

    An issue we recently talked about in my Econ 402 course is the end-of-term report of President Obama. As the election is coming closer and closer, we started to look back and think about the events happend in past 3 years. It is no doubt that Barack Obama faced more challenges than any other presidents in the history when he put his hand on the Bible in 2009. He had to come up with several effective strategies to save the banking and manufacturing from the cliff and deal with the follow-up effects such as low employment rate and sluggish housing market. Economists agree that President Obama’s effort of dealing with economy crics was “impressive” but his strategies on reshaping the public finances have “misfired”.

The most intriguing topic in the issue is whether President Obama should carry out the $800 billion stimulus assessments or not. Although someone said the money went into direct transfers to individuals such as insurance, social security and local governments, which doesn’t count in GDP. Most of the economists agree that the stimulus was necessary and it was not big enough. Our professor Daniel Wilson of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco concluded that stimulus spending created 3.4 million jobs if we consider the effect though an analysis of state-level employment data. Also, someone mentioned the stimulus is too small compared to the $2 trillion gap in economic activity in 2009 and 2010.

I found it is almost impossible to argue with these opinion because it is unconvincing to refute them without doing research. I would track the source used in these arguments to see whether they are solid or not. Moreover, it is important to find the weak point in their statements. For example, I question about the $2 trillion shortfall and consider whether it is normal or not.


definition paper information list

Topic: Gangnam Style

Things I know about the topic:

  • its influence around the world
  • Who is the singer
  • Its literal meaning: Gangnam, Gangnam Style
  • Why Psy want to created this music video
  • Its meaning in musical performance: a new type of performance style

Things I want to know about this topic:

  • what is the cultural meaning of this video:its influence in culture
  • what is the social meaning of this video: what does it mean to people who crazy about it and imitate the dance

Blog #3: Scholarly multimedia

In the video The Machine Is Us/ing Us Wesch talks about the flexibility of digital text and how it has interacted with human beings. Hypertext and website format have changed greatly during last decades. Most early websites were written in HTML which is used to describe the structure of the document of a web site and provide “link” for new websites. Then HTML was expended and new structural elements such as “b”,”i” and “LI” were added to describe styles of the content. After that, form and content were separated and user felt more easier to upload data to Internet including photos, videos and maps. We are engaged in the reform of website and the website is making use of the our data to change itself as well. In his video, it is obvious that the boundary of text and image has blurred because HTML has been expended in order to provide a more and more convenient way for user to interact with the data online. Also, the line between form and content is nor clear as it was before. People nowadays can use various forms to express the content instead of texting.

In Kuhn’s video, the author uses student film to introduce the features and components of scholarly multimedia. The concept core of the film is telling the story of a student’s iBook traveled to another world. The research components includes religions, culture and modern technology. The conflicts between the “hero” and the priestess reflects the tension of tradition and innovation. Finally, the film uses flames to indicate the influence of digital literacy is a kind of creative realization. According to Kuhn, the story is based on the legend of Prometheus and the film tries to indicate that digital media just like fire in the world of traditional media. In this case, the line between multimedia literacy and traditional literacy such as legends could be vague.

These two videos use many rhetorical writing principles. First of all, instead of telling what is the digital literacy and how it changed the world, these videos includes numerous examples to show the topic. Also, there are a lot of details included in Kuhn’s video such as the structural elements “b” and “i”. Both videos tries to keep viewers with them by continuously providing questions on the screen. In Kuhn’s video, he provides his arguments in the forms of examples so that the concepts are more straightforward and convincing.