Assignment 1

Assignment 1 — Voices for Publics

Due Tues, January 21, 12:00pm; upload to GS and e-portfolio

In your first larger assignment we will ask you to explore, identify, and then listen to a non-traditional voice, or what you might conceive as an unpopular voice.  This could be something that we don’t readily recognize as a “voice” – a machine, animal, a plant, etc., or it could be a human voice you don’t like – such as a singer’s vocal sound, an actor’s speaking voice, or a voice that you don’t agree with – such as a political or public speaker you firmly disagree with.

Step 1 — Once you have selected the voice of choice, consider it carefully, or listen to it in several different sittings and record your impressions, feelings, judgments, and assumptions.  Jot down if your reactions changed during multiple re-thinking or listening, and then hypothesize why that might be.

Step 2 — Now you want to take your impressions (those initial, and those that may have changed upon repeated consideration) and put them into conversation with ideas you have gained in lecture, section activities, and readings from Units 1-2. The kinds of questions you might ask, could include the following:

• to what extent did material or physical qualities of the voice dominate my reaction and opinion about this voice?  In what ways did it not?

• what assumptions and judgments about certain vocal features (and their symbolic meaning) shape my interaction with this voice?

• how did my attention to a non-human, or unpopular voice make me re-think my associations and relationship with that voice source?

As useful theoretical background and support for your ideas, we recommend that you also read “Voice” by Amanda Weidman (Chapter 20 of Keywords in Sounds, eds. Novak & Sakakeeny, 2015), esp. 232-234.

Step 3 — Once you have logged your impressions, analyzed your reaction, and applied materials and knowledge gained from class, you will now create a thought-piece based on this experience, but you will produce two different and contrasting formats of writing crafted for a public audience. 

Please choose one from each column to represent the two contrasting examples:

Column A

• a blog post 

-a short diary-style text entry on a website

-writing is punchy, concise, and to the point to connect with audience

-provide commentary or discussion on a particular subject or topic

-posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order

• a vlog post (that includes written text)

-a posted video online that shares the vlogger’s ideas, opinions, daily life

-shared on social media sites, and popular on platforms like YouTub

-combines video and images with supporting text

-meant to provide deeper context to a blog by using imagery 

Column B

• a newspaper piece

-geared towards general readership, could be local/regional community

-articles are mainly informative and relatively short; of general inter

-does not usually contain any citations 

(should be no more than 2-3 pages for this assignment)

• an academic article

-geared towards scholars

-contains in-depth description & analysis 

-refers to research and other scholarship

-contains citations and bibliography in order to document evidence

(should be no more than 2-3 pages for this assignment)

Here are a few links of some examples of these genres, though you might have many others in mind as good models.  Please consult with your section instructor for vetting your ideas and if you have any questions.

Blog: https://www.hypebot.com

Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG7dSXcfVqE

The Current: https://www.news.ucsb.edu

Open access academic journal: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cgpc20/27/1?nav=tocList

As you write and create for each of your chosen public formats, ask yourself to imagine an ideal reader/consumer of this piece – what would a reader of blog expect?  What would a reader of a short academic article expect?, etc.

Final Step — Review and polish your writing, and submit each of your two contrasting formats by uploading them to Gauchospace by Tuesday at 12:00pm; and by loading it to your e-portfolio. There are multiple ways to load this work onto your e-portfolio: you can do this by creating a separate “menu” called “Assignments” or “Projects” with, perhaps then, a sub-menu that has “First Assignment”; or, you can post it and create a link to each thought piece.  What is most important is that somewhere you indicate that this is connected to Assignment 1.

Click here for further guidance on preparation and grading expectations.