Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Know Your Mentor Text

This is a follow-up exercise to the “Know Your Publication” activity we did last week. This week’s exercise involves studying a “mentor text,” or a particular source (in a particular genre, for a particular publication) that uses a similar style that you’re working on for your Unit 3 piece.

With the “Know Your Publication” activity, you looked at publications and online forums where you might want to publish or present your work. Now, let’s look a little closer. Go back to this site (magazine, webpage, YouTube channel, etc.) and find a specific source that you like. This source should not be about your topic — that’s now what we’re looking at it for at this point. You’re just looking at what features (conventions) make this text fit this publication (and this genre!)  This can be an article, TED Talk, YouTube video, etc.

*Remember: You’re not looking for any old text. You’re looking for an article that can be published in the magazine you want your work to be published in, or a YouTube video that fits on the channel you want your video to go on, etc. This should be a source you want to emulate.


Once you find your “mentor text,” answer the following questions:

  • What tone/ type of language does this example use?
  • How does this source use research? (e.g., do they quote from outside sources, use a lot of statistics, etc.)
  • What can you tell us about this source visually (and auditorily, if applicable)? Does it use a lot of imagery and color? Is the layout very clean? Is there a soundtrack?
  • How long is it? (words, pages, minutes)
  • Who do you think is the audience of this source? What makes you think that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to emulate in your own writing? Why? How might you do that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to avoid in your own writing? Why? How will you do that?

Share your answers with the class by leaving them as a comment on this post by W 11/23 at 12pm (noon). Don’t forget to state, at the beginning of your comment:

  • what your topic is
  • who your intended audience is
  • what genre you’re using for Unit 3
  • what publication/forum you’ve looked at (provide a link too!)
  • the mentor text (don’t forget the link!)

6 Comments

  1. Jamani Anderson

    The topic I’m focusing on is how money affects people and their living opportunities?

    The intended audience Im persuading towards is more so young adults and teenagers

    The genre I’m currently using and working on for unit 3 is a non fictional genre

    The publication/ forum I looked at was a website called Time where authors publish their own articles and sources that they used to collect their information from.

    Chow, Andrew R. “Meet Another Billionaire Who’s Hellbent on Rebuilding Social Media.” Time, Time, 21 Nov. 2022, https://time.com/6235171/frank-mccourt-project-liberty/. 

    “Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates.” Time, Time, https://time.com/. 

    The tone/type of language this example uses is a strong tone but more so of an informative tone.

    This source uses research from quotes from outside resources for example like other informational text he includes experiments and other projects to make his information seem more valid.

    What I see throughout the sources used was imagery, color context and the layout is very clean as well.

    As far as the length of the article I would say 2000 words 5 pages 30 minutes

    I think the audience of this source was towards adults and teenagers and what makes me think that is because he’s explaining information about his experiments with social media and how he can rebuild social media into a better platform then it is now.

    some aspects of this source that I would like to emulate in my own writing is how the audience may feel influenced among the sources I used within unit 2 assignment because I want my audience to understand that their’s possibilities that money can affect you in a positive way and a negative way against how you use it and what your using it for.

    I can do so by persuading my audience to learn more about how money can affect the lives of people and their living opportunities from my unit 2 assignment I can use some of that research to influence my audience in a better path of how money is being used and how money can affect people and their living opportunities.

    The aspects of this source I would like to avoid in my own writing is using unreliable information meaning and I would do that by rereading articles and checking to see if its valid information or not this way I know what pieces of information I can use and what pieces of information I can not use.

  2. Brandon Rivera

    Since my topic is more serious and focused on an issue that can affect the future generation I want to target gen z and younger with my informative speech essay. So the best forum and are I would best fit my writing piece would be on Forbes. I had a look at the articles they write and they each tackle different topics about many different things. One of the articles I saw was about Crypto and the most recent scandal with FTX. Another topic was about the “Inside Story Of Papa John’s Toxic Culture.” Each is about a completely different topic but with the same tone.

    The way I noticed that this source uses research is by including it in the piece and creating a hyperlink with that research. The hyperlink sends you to a different page to which the writer is referencing. They do not include the page number, paragraph, or line that they are referencing, just the link to the article or video. The sources use text and visuals to show what they are talking about and explaining.

    I notice that depending on the topic, the length of the articles is about 1-2 pages long. Which falls in line with the length that my informative speech falls under. I believe that the main audience of this source can range from middle-school students to college-level students. And since my own informative speech will be about 1-2 pages it lands perfectly on their page.

    Some aspects of this source I would like to emulate would be the simple to follow and understanding of the information you are reading. The best way that I can think I can do this is by not making my information too long and boring, it has to be short but filled with enough information. Aspects of this source that I would avoid is having to pay to access the reading. I noticed that after a while you are prompted to pay for a subscription to keep reading. Adding a subscription for someone to keep reading what I had to write will limit my audience and get fewer people to be interested to read my informative speech.

    Link to mentor text: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2022/11/21/goldman-warns-bear-market-isnt-over-heres-what-experts-predict-for-stocks-next-year/?sh=1ffcfb592a0e

  3. Henry Ren

    My topic is on How Music Played a Role in American Civil Rights Movements.

    My intended audience is those who may or may not listen to music and understand how much of importance music can have on American social injustice and civil rights movements that left a mark on American history.

    The genre I’m using is a non-fictional educational-type magazine that uses credible sources and interviews.

    The forum I’ve looked at is People magazine, an American weekly magazine focusing on celebrity, news, entertainment, and trends.

    Patterson, Charmaine. “Offset Shares Emotional Tribute to Late Migos Rapper Takeoff: ‘Missing Everything Bout You’.” Peoplemag, PEOPLE, 23 Nov. 2022, https://people.com/music/offset-shares-emotional-tribute-to-takeoff-missing-everything-bout-you/

    The tone of this example is one that is soft, sad, and serious considering it was regarding the sudden death of a huge celebrity.

    The source uses research by interviewing and quoting the sheriff’s county department where the crime took place and also captures the reaction of Kiari Cephus (Offset) and the reaction of fans in the industry. The author references Cephus’s grammy nomination and his paid tribute to the late celebrity with whom he shared his bond to.

    The source is visually appealing by including images taken from Cephus’s media, videos regarding the sheriff’s interview, and various photos that support the points of the magazine. In addition, the author organizes the magazine neatly so that it is easy to read and appealing to the eyes.

    The magazine is about two and a half pages long with 3 images and one video.

    The target audience I think the magazine was made for are millennials and people who are interested in celebrities. I think this because of the vocabulary used and it’s not too formal so it’s able to keep the readers interested.

    I would like to emulate the pathos used because of the words and vocabulary are used to bridge a connection between readers and the information provided. The words deliver all the information necessary and leave the reader in a serious yet interesting mood.

    Aspects I would try to avoid are using so many quotes within my piece. Though they provide a lot of sources, they are kind of lengthy and make it necessarily long.

  4. DavidP

    My project seeks to educate people on how to manage their expectations for a video game as a player and as a developer. My target audience includes players and game developers. I intend on writing my topic as semi-formal article.

    The article I’ve chosen is written in a formal and analytical format. The layout of the article is easy to understand with different ideas being segmented and separated. Other than that, the article is very monotone in design excluding the ads for article about the same topic. The article is fairly short being about a page and a half on word. However, it’s fairly informative and it provides the research that the author used throughout the article through embedded links on key words.

    As for a target audience, I would say that it’s split between everyday shoppers who are trying to minimize their carbon footprint. I say this because large retailers aren’t going to care about one article, but they will care if their practices end up hurting their bottom line.

    The idea of using embedded links to link one’s research is a good idea as it doesn’t mess up the flow of the article while also giving people the option to look deeper into the topic.

    On the other hand, I don’t plan on writing as formally as this article. It works in this case as the topic calls for facts. My article however is based more on opinion and that should be reflected in how I write.

  5. Khandoker

    Ludonarrative dissonance in video games

    Publication: https://www.youtube.com/

    Since I am planning to write a video essay, this video I used as a source for my unit 2 bibliography is a good reference for what I am trying to make. The informative yet sarcastic and humours tone of the video is something I liked. It is also does not go very deep into the study of video games which makes it easier to understand for people unfamiliar with the topic. Since I do intend to write for video game enthusiasts and critics, I have to make sure I include the proper information and terms to maintain credibility of my work. I am still unsure of how to use references in my video and also still working on the script. I also have to make the video itself is interesting to watch and will illustrate the points I am trying to make.

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