Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Statement of Purpose

For this photo essay, my audience will be the general public, specifically anyone who travels through any mean, whether it be by train, car, bus, or plane. My audience will also include anyone interested in aviation, safety, my fellow classmates, and teacher. This photo essay will be placed on an online blog, so anyone searching the web about the topic of safety may stumble upon my essay. Most people would probably be viewing this at home, on their computer, but it could also be viewed at a library or on a smartphone. The time at which a person views this essay could easily shape how they perceive its information. For example, if the person viewing it was just in a car crash, or saw plane crashes all week in the news, it could skew their thought process about the information they are viewing, and make the viewer think of my information as false or bias. The purpose to which I am writing this essay is pretty simple: I want the general public, or any person that travels, to be informed and more aware about the safety of the main types of transportation, cars, trains, and buses, compared to air travel.  Most people assume flying is inherently dangerous, and travelling via ground is always much safer, so my purpose in this essay is to inform people who travel about the safety of airplanes vs. means of travel on the ground. I need to do this by not being biased towards air travel, since I am a pilot, and give all of the facts and safety data for all means of travel presented in a coherent manner. This way, I can assure that the audience has a clear sense of what the information I am presenting means, and they can take away a clear message from the essay. 

Design Plan

My main purpose for this essay is to get more people informed about how safe air travel, especially in the US, really is. I wish to do this to get more people boarding flights instead of using ground travel because they think it is safer, and also to get more people involved in aviation. Many people who would otherwise be interested in an aviation career do not pursue it because of safety concerns, and there is a declining amount of pilots each year.
Medium & Production:
            I will be using photographs of planes, cars, trains, and buses to present my information in a visually descriptive way. I want to show what the safety equipment is like on each type of transportation, as well as showing what the average vehicle for that mean of transportation looks like. These will all be included in the photo essay, along with a description next to them, which will then be posted on an online blog.
Ethos – I will try to use descriptions and pictures that show that I am not biased towards any mean of transportation, and that I am just trying to get general information of means of travel out to anyone who is interested. I do not want to make my essay seem that my viewpoint on travel is the only correct one.
Pathos – I would want to evoke the emotions of my reader by showing them different pictures of car, plane, train, and bus crashes alike, so they can see how deadly each one is, in order to sway their view about safety. The essay will be mostly serious and descriptive.
Logos – I will use statistics about the amount of crashes, deaths, and number of people who use each mean of transportation. I will do this in order to get the viewer the most information possible about the topic.
            I will have my statement of purpose in the beginning of the essay, which will give the viewer a brief overview about what the photo essay will include. After this, I will have multiple slides, each containing at least one photo, and a description next to each photo, to show why it is in the essay and what its importance is. I will attempt to end the essay with an overall statement of what I think the viewer should reflect on as most important at the end of the essay.

            I will show my photo essay to friends during the drafting and finalization stages. I will do this to get their opinions on the essay, ask them what I should change, and see if they got the overall message I was trying to convey. 

Photo Essay

Closing Comments on Photo Essay

I believe my photo essay came very close to what I had envisioned for it during the design plan stage. My goal was to give out general information about the safety of air travel compared to cars, buses, and trains, to the general public, or any person that travels using any of these means. I believe I put the information and statistics in a clear and coherent manner, where any third party viewer could look at the essay and see what the intended message is supposed to be. The only thing I did not get in  my photo essay that I wanted was pictures of train/bus crashes, and instead showed what normal ones looked like. I believe I gained some good knowledge on what a photo essay is, how to make one, and how to convey an overall message using this type of essay. Overall, I think the photo essay turned out how it was planned, and gives the intended message.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The connection between writing and design

The discussion about writing and design has helped me to understand that communication is not just the words people are saying. Communication has to do with how something is said, or written, and what the purpose behind those words are. The communicator has to have an overall goal or message for what they are writing. On top of purpose, the communicator has to think of who their audience is, and what type of people will be listening to or reading what they are communicating, and design has a very large role in this communication. Written communication in blank text is not going to have the same effect as communication with pictures, graphics, or charts next to it to help the audience better understand the message the communicator is trying to convey. This is why communicators, whether they are using written or vocal communication, need to consider what type of design and purpose their communication should have before doing anything. Communicators have to understand how different types of design will affect not just their audience, but random people reading from a third person view. Communicators must use a design that not only enhances what they are communicating, but is also unbiased and non-offending. Because of this, there cannot be truly good communication without good design next to it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What I think about blogs

I believe blogs are a useful tool for an average person to get information out to people that they see as important. They are relatively easy to setup, so anyone with an opinion on anything can start writing away and have people from around the world comment on their beliefs or experiences. A blog can be as useful as the writer or reader makes it. If the blogger only writes a few sentences a week about mundane topics, they probably would not see much use for the site. On the flip side, an activist could blog ten times an hour and have thousands of people come help their cause. There is no specific description for a blogger. A blogger is simply anyone who has created a blog and wants to share an idea or experience with others around the world. The usual type of person that blogs is someone who  is very vocal about their stance or opinion on various topics or experiences, and want those experiences to be seen by all. For me, a blog could be very useful by just helping me get rid of a day’s worth of stress by just writing it out, and possibly having people comment on it giving suggestions on how to deal with said stress.

As for using a blog in a writing class, it could be very beneficial to writing students. A class could use a blog in order to easily share and communicate ideas on similarly studied topics, to not just their classmates, but to anyone studying the same topics. In this class, I think we will use blogs in this class to share writing assignments with other students, allowing them to get better ideas on what to write for their assignments, and also allowing them to suggest how the blogger could better their writing in the comments. This blog will be more of a personal online journal, since we probably would not be putting any links in the blog posts. This type of blog would be very much like the personal online journals described in the article. This is because what the students will be writing will be personal and opinion driven, and would explain what they think about certain topics. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Abilities As A Communicator

1. What I do best as a communicator is argue with facts and knowledge. Whenever I have an argument about anything, I clearly list all of the facts pertaining to the argument and why those facts and points prove my side of the argument is correct, not using emotions to sway opinion. I am not a good fiction or narrative writer. I have trouble thinking of ideas for that sort of writing. I am better at non-fiction or argumentative writing.
I am also good at quickly responding in texts or emails on my phone. I am able to clearly express any thoughts I have.

2. I believe I speak well and fluently.

3. No, not really.

4. I have never been asked to, but I could probably make a poster, but not a website.

5. I am comfortable with most aspects of writing. The most difficult part for me is getting all of my ideas written down, and putting them where they need to be to make the best paper.

6. I like to believe that I am funny, but that might be just a personal opinion, and not fact.

7. Yes I do. I like to think about how current events will affect me, the country, and the future in general, whether it is politics, economics, or anything else.

8. I have never composed song lyrics.

9. What gives me pleasure when communicating is when my audience completely understands the points I am trying to make, whether it be written or spoken word.

An area where I am not as strong as a communicator is with fiction or narrative style writing. I could also improve on using visuals and electronic tools more efficiently in my writing.

I could be a more confident communicator by thinking of and structuring out everything I want to express before I express it.

I would like to focus on and improve the ability the efficiently put thoughts into spoken or written word, in a coherent and logical way.