For this assignment, you will repackage what you wrote for Unit Two OR Unit One in order to reach a totally new audience. To do this, you’ll chose a new genre* that you think will best reach that audience. You will also write an Artist’s Statement explaining your choices.
Maybe you wrote about the effect of Covid in the Bronx for Unit 2, and you think New York politicians should know about what you wrote. Maybe you wrote about young women skateboarding in the Olympics and you want girls in grade school to know how awesome those athletes are to boost their self-esteem. Or for Unit 1 you wrote about being part of the boxing community and you want people to know it’s actually a great thing to do. In this unit, you’ll think about a specific audience that should know about your Unit 2 article or your Unit 1 Discourse Community (and why). You will then “repackage” or “re-vision” your article to reach that audience.
First, choose from ONE of the following five audience groups:
- Fourth graders
- City Tech Freshmen
- New York City Council members
- Your grandparents or older relatives
- Activist groups (like BLM or LGBTQIA+ Youth, etc.)
Second, once you have decided who your audience is, you will decide how best to reach them. In other words, you will have to choose the best genre for your project. For Unit 3, this genre must be multimodal. You’ll read an article on Perusall about what that means in general (“Multimodal Composing — what is it?”), but for our purposes, it means you need to have words and images or words and sounds or words, images and sounds. In other words, you cannot write a simple essay– this is time for your Unit 2 research or your knowledge of your Discourse Community to come alive! Remember, you are trying to reach a specific audience here. So you don’t want to choose a genre arbitrarily. You want to choose a genre that is going to speak to the audience you have in mind. Fourth graders probably aren’t going to want to watch a TED Talk. Likewise, you probably shouldn’t make a comic book for the City Council. An Instagram page, with well-curated stories might be a great way to reach high-school seniors, though!
A note: I’ll show you some possible genres, but there is one restriction now: No PowerPoints! The reason for this is that PowerPoint isn’t a genre–it’s a tool, a slideshow, basically. You would never just sent a slideshow to City Council and say, “Here you go!” You might use a slideshow when you give a speech (and you can use a PowerPoint in any speech or lesson plan you create for this Unit), but the speech is the genre. Not the PowerPoint.
Composers of all sorts often write an Artist’s Statement for their audience that explains their inspirations, intentions, and choices in their creative and critical processes. It helps the reader understand the process that led to the final product by providing insight into what the author set out to do, how they did it, and what they might do to further improve the piece.
As part of Unit 3, you will write a one-page, single-spaced Artist’s Statement that reflects on your finished Unit 3 Project.
A successful Artist’s Statement should:
- Discuss your specific rhetorical situation and related choices:
- your purpose: why you composed the work on that specific topic, in that specific way.
- your audience: what you understood about your ‘readers’ and how this affected the compositional choices you made.
- Explain your choice of genre and how you worked with its conventions. For example, maybe you created a photo essay. An accompanying statement, in which you explain why you found the photo essay to be the best way to communicate your ideas about gun control (for example), would go a long way toward helping your viewers get the most out of your work.
- Reflect on your composition, discussing successes and limitations. Use this as an opportunity to look back on your project and evaluate the extent of your achievement as well as note what you would have done differently or better.
NOTE: This should be a fluid, cohesive document that reflects on and justifies the rhetorical choices in your Unit 3 project. Do not merely answer each question in list form. (You’ll upload it into the Unit 3 – Artist’s Statement folder in the Google Drive.)
What will I be graded on?
- Appropriateness for audience. First of all, a puppet show is not appropriate for a city council meeting any more than a brochure is appropriate for a preschool class, so, in part, I’m talking about what genre you choose. But I am also talking about topic and diction. If we take the examples of the preschool and the city council meeting, it’s pretty easy to think about. Learning how to use crayons isn’t a real city council topic, and commercial zoning laws aren’t a real preschool topic. Likewise, you would use different diction (and fonts, and pictures, and so on) with kids and politicians. Usually.
- Effectiveness of message. This one is simple to explain, though not always simple to DO. Does your point get across to your intended audience?
- Care. This sounds pretty vague, because it’s going to vary by genre, but basically, this is how much of a finished product you turn in. If this is a more formal paper, or a children’s book, or a brochure for the city council, it should be relatively free of grammatical ‘error.’ If you are writing in Brooklyn English, that’s fine (if it fits your audience, of course), but you still need to be consistent and free of typos and your project needs to look good. In other words, you need to be able to explain why everything that’s on the page, or in the video, or on the webpage, or in the recording, etc., is THERE.
- Artist’s Statement. Make sure you have a fluid and cohesive Artist’s Statement that explains the rationale behind the rhetorical choices you made as well as your own self-evaluation of the project.
Unit 3 – New Audience, New Genre schedule
Thursday June 16: Video lecture introducing Unit 3. I’ll talk about going from text to multimodal genres (like Instagram, or podcasts, or video).
There are handouts on the Course Resources page with information about different genres. Also some how-to videos about how to use a couple of video editors as well as Audacity, the go-to audio editor.
Due EOD Friday June 17 on Perusall: Read and annotate “Multimodal Composing — what is it?” There’s a loudspeaker prompt on page 19 (p 82 of the original text), but you don’t have to read any further than that.
WEEK FOUR: 6/18-6/24
Due EOD Monday June 20 on this Padlet: Create a new post and tell us what you’re going to be doing for your Unit 3 project: topic, the audience you intend to reach, the genre you’ll be using to reach that audience. NOTE: I’ll be creating tech and content support groups through Slack so you can help each other in a real hands-on kind of way. So be sure to do this!
Wed June 22: video lecture. This is mostly to give some feedback and more resources if necessary. Also to talk more about how to do the Artist’s Statement that goes with your project.
WEEK FIVE: 6/25-6/30 (end of summer session)
Due EOD June 27 in the Google Drive: In the folder labelled Unit 3 Project, create a new folder for yourself. In it, upload your project and your Artist’s Statement.