Class, Fri, 4/14

Voice and Tone

Guidelines for Concept in 60

Responding to Ronson (and boyd and Carr)

In groups: Discuss your responses. Select a a piece to present on Monday that you feel pushes our conversation beyond where it is now.

To Do

  1. Mon, 4/17, class: What are you going to do (have you done) for the Writing as Social Action assignment? Be ready to speak briefly about your project. We will also discuss the responses to Ronson you’ve chosen on Friday.
  2. Wed, 4/19, class: Read Fenton and Lee, chapter 7 (pp. 83–99). Think about possible digital writers you may want to profile for next week (due Thurs, 4/27).
  3. Thurs, 4/20, 10:00 am: Post your report on Writing as a Social Action to this site. Read and comment on the posts of your group members.



Class, Wed, 4/12

Fenton and Lee, Voice and Tone


  • Fastwrite: Do the “This But Not That” exercise that Fenton and Lee outline on pp. 66-67, in regard for how you’d like your voice to be heard in your posts for this course (and perhaps more generally online). Try to come up with at least five pairings.
  • Groups: Compare your lists. As a group, create a set of attribute cards for online writing. (See Fenton and Lee, p. 68.) See if you can come up with at least 10 cards.


List four or five terms that describe you as a reader of the posts on this website. (You can describe either the attitude you bring toward reading the posts, or the affect they typically have upon you.) Write each one on an index card. I’ll collate these terms, and we’ll see if we can use them on Friday to outline the parameters of an authorial tone that seems appropriate for this sort of writing.

Writing: Writing as Social Action

To Do

  1. Thurs, 4/13, 10:00 am: Post your response to Ronson (and boyd and Carr) to this site. Read and comment on the posts by the other members of your group.
  2. Fri, 4/14, class: Discuss your group’s posts. Pick one to present to the class on Monday. I’ll bring in the list of terms describing authorial tone in online writing, and we will discuss those as well.

Written word vs. moving images

When we were told we would be creating a video, I automatically knew it would take more time and thought than just writing down my thoughts. I had to reflect on what is a part of my life that I would like to share with others.

Each classmate’s topic may have been selected because the student came across the idea, felt it was what the assignment required or was an idea they could relate to. By having a connection to the piece, it will most likely be a stronger final product. The personal element was shown in Elyssa and Isabella’s videos because they shared something they enjoy. This can’t always be shown through text because the viewer can’t visualize the emotions that the author is feeling.

With these emotions, comes tone. The tone of a piece can create a humorous video like Will’s or more serious like Jessica’s. Their ideas were both able to be conveyed to the viewer but with images and video the tone couldn’t be interpreted differently by various audiences. If these pieces were only written the message of humor is more easily lost. Seriousness can be conveyed through text but with the help of the images, the point was stronger.

In these pieces, still and moving images were typically accompanied by an audio file. This audio is the written text and description of the topic. These videos and other videos don’t typically have the script also written on the screen. With the combination of words and images, it may be hard to separate the two. If the text was presented on the screen like Peter’s was vs. how many of the others were, it is hard to focus on both elements at one time. The audio may distract from the video or the images become attached to the audio. I find myself associating the images with the audio and not being able to isolate them.

Each video has its affordances and constraints, but finding the right medium to use digitally to portray the desired message is the skill we are trying to acquire.