Who Are You Really Writing Your Paper For?

Who Are You Really Writing Your Paper For?

This simple question about visualizing the audience influences how you write your paper

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Normally I do not usually become inspired to spontaneously write anything, however, this is one of those instances where a muse comes to me and slaps me across the face. Basically, this instance involves presenting my final paper for my Shakespeare & His Contemporaries course. The topic of my paper was about how Shakespeare portrayed the outsiders in his plays. Up to the point when I talked about Hamlet identifying himself with Pyrrhus as a hero, my professor had a few words about that particular phrasing. Although it was nothing serious, I was told that Pyrrhus acts more as a villain since he kills Priam, who is the old king of Troy. Although I did not state what I really meant by that use of the word "hero" at that moment, it made me reflect on how I write to a specific audience, in which case I wrote to a professor who knew about the Greek myth of Pyrrhus, whereas I did not.

I started to think about alternative phrases that I could have replaced the word "hero" in order to clarify the context. Clearly, I knew that Hamlet is gory and over-the-top when relating the myth to Polonius, however when I wrote that Pyrrhus was a "hero," I meant a "hero" who fit two contexts: 1. whoever Hamlet considers a hero; 2. a hero in the classical Greek mythological sense, so on par with Odysseus, Theseus, and Heracles. I wrote within the notes of my PowerPoint submission about this and that is what leads me to write this article.

In another graduate course I am taking, which is Teaching Composition, an important term that I learned involves the first-year college students' relationship with their own paper. It is egocentricity. This is NOT egoism, rather egocentricity is formally defined as the tendency to write for oneself, in other words, college students writing a paper only they themselves can understand. This habit becomes a problem when it subverts formal academic language but it also leaves the readers confused since academic language is needed as an agreed-upon vernacular designed to connect the faculty with the students.

In my case, I may have done more than confuse my professor, rather I created a grievous misunderstanding and created the assumption that I thought that a man who slaughters everyone around him, including an old man, would be someone to aspire to (which I obviously do not!). As a result, I was simply told to change the phrasing from "hero" to "man of action." However, the only change I thought needed to be made was specifying what type of "hero" is Pyrrhus, more specifically who Pyrrhus is to--not anyone else--but Hamlet himself. I needed to clarify that this was Hamlet's interpretation of Pyrrhus and not mine. In fact, I barely knew about the Greek mythological figure Pyrrhus except that from his namesake we get the phrase "Pyrrhic victory." Even for my paper, I did not use an unbiased source talking about Pyrrhus--which I asked would be an option.

That suggestion was part of how I tried to mend the image I projected upon everyone in the class. I was not worried about how that case of miscommunication would affect my presentation grade, rather I was more worried about the fact that I might have possibly painted myself in an unflattering way. Even though the main component of my presentation was about how the outsider characters elicit a complex relationship with the audience, who show pity for their marginalities but also abhorrence to the destruction they cause, this experience definitely caused me to reevaluate how I write. A way of doing that is to specify as much as I can in order to be understood.

So even as a graduate student, I continue to have problems with egocentricity. As a result, I have begun to look back at all of the writing assignments that I wrote as part of my college/university educational life and have begun to notice a glaring piece that was missing that I tried to address in the Sample Syllabus assignment for my Teaching Composition course. That problem was this: only writing for a professor or instructor. This reason is why my writing either appeared bland or did not reach the page limit. Not only should there be a WHO but also a WHAT in terms of writing for a reading audience. For example, I should have presented under the supposition that my reading audience might expect the modern context of the word "hero" and not the classical Greek myth context.

I would say that my problem was that I was so fixated on the subject of Shakespearean outsiders that I completely neglected the fact that I was addressing all of this information to a modern audience who might interpret the word "hero" completely differently from how Shakespeare would. If I ever teach a composition course at some university, I would definitely use this experience as an example of what I should expect my students to keep in mind when writing for an audience. I would specifically tell them that even as a graduate student I continued to struggle with it. I especially think that context should be taught, especially in a world where people use the word "literally" when they really mean "figuratively," "really," and "actually."

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If You Have A Project You Want To Grow, Crowdfunding May Be The Answer

The benefits of the crowdfunding phenomenon.

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The idea of crowdfunding is exciting, isn't it? A small town poet can use a platform like GoFundMe or Patreon to sell their work directly to those who are looking for it. A community organizer can not only raise funds for an upcoming event, but they can also keep the funds coming in to raise money for the monthly expenses of running their group. A magazine editor can keep their readership engaged through multimedia as well as tangible perks in exchange for tiers of subscription costs.

Crowdfunding makes it so people can combine multiple engagement styles directly with target audiences for a common cause.

What really makes crowdfunding satisfying is getting monetary confirmation that what one is passionate about is supported. Money rules a lot of the world, and receiving money for creating or providing something for others is extremely fulfilling. Different than just going to work and earning a paycheck. Jobs employ workers to create or provide something that has already had a template of origination.

Crowdfunding is running one's own business of creation or providing goods without a bunch of the red tape. In fact, one could say that crowdfunding has allowed sites like Etsy to flourish. One can now make a pretty decent profit just making pins, Mickey ears, necklaces — whatever one can imagine — and get it directly in eyes of those interested. There's nothing to lose in crowdfunding, just the hour or so it may or may not take to set up the site.

Crowdfunding can also be used for temporary things like school funds, funeral funds, and recovery efforts. Need $10,000 to get through a semester at college? Have a sudden death in the family and need $5,000 to pay closing costs and unexpected expenses? Major world disaster like a hurricane or tsunami destroy an entire majorly populated area? GoFundMe is your answer. You'll most likely get twice as much funds then the goal you set.

There's now many crowdfunding sites out there. Outside of GoFundMe, the three biggies are Patreon, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter. So take your pick, make your page, and get some money!

And just in case you're wondering, yes I do have crowdfunding efforts out there for my projects! One for my personal writings, and one for my magazine.

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From Both Political Parties, College Student Opinions On Turning Point USA

What Is All The Fuss?

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TurningPoint USA is a non-profit organization founded on June 5, 2012 by Charlie Kirk. The organization's mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government. This organization has spread to many college campuses across the country and continues to grow. Although, some people are not fond of the organization and how they present themselves. Some people who disagree with Turning Points views have said things along the lines of the group publishing right wing bias news, only favorites conservatives and can be questionable all together. But no matter what side you may be on, it is up to you to formulate an opinion and make an educated decision. Here a are some quotes from people who both support it and don't.

1. Joshua Aminov- President At The Rider University TPUSA Chapter.

Joshua has been a member of TPUSA for a few years and even became the cofounder of his colleges chapter. He is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable about political topics.

"I believe in Turning Point USA and its mission to promote individual Liberty on college campuses and high schools throughout the country. I believe it is beneficial because of my first hand experience watching students becoming exposed to principles of freedom that they never heard from the teachers in their classrooms."

2. June White- Student At The Rider University TPUSA Chapter.

June will be the 2019-2020 vice president for her TPUSA chapter. She is a dedicated member of helping the club grow and to reach other students.

"I believe Turning Point USA is beneficial to college and university campuses as well as high schools because it provides a place for students from anywhere on the political spectrum to promote fiscal responsibility and free speech while also leaving a platform open for thought-provoking discussion on any issues without labels, such as republican or democrat, getting in the way."

3. Anonymous Student From New Jersey.

This person wished to stay anonymous when answering questions about Turning Point and how this person felt about the organization's image. Like the other two people, this person is also a college student.

'' TPUSA is interesting. I like how they promote discussions and debates on important topics of society. Most people involved at my campus chapter are really cool and for the most part inclusive. What I do not like is the negative image TPUSA has at my university and as a whole. Through my own research, I've found that many people think they are very far or extreme far right. Not that is necessarily a bad thing, but the way some members in the organization portray themselves and TPUSA as a whole is extremely bad. Also, if you do not believe in the same ideas or are very far on the political spectrum in the opposite direction, it can be hard to interact with these people much unless it's for a civil debate."

TPUSA has been around for almost a decade. It has received backlash and hate for their view points, but that does not stop the club members from enjoying a group who all believe in the same ideas. In this type of situation, the best way to formulate your own opinions about TPUSA is to check into it and learn. It definitely is not for everyone, but it can hurt to learn.

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