Week Ten Technical: Blog Review for Technical Errors

Reviewing my blog was easy. The checklist was very helpful. When going through the ‘Blog Writing Checklist’, I picked up on so many mistakes.  I had to:

  • rephrase sentences.
  • spell out numbers less than 10.
  • add and correct references.
  • correct the use of apostrophes.
  • shorten my sentences.
  • correct the punctuation in the use of ‘however’ in the middle of a sentence.

I also spent a lot of time categorizing and adding tags to my blogs.  I worked out how to make it easier for my tutor to access my posts by adding each category to my main menu.  By reading each blog aloud, I was able to improve the wording in my sentences.

There were issues on the checklist that I did not find in my blogs:

  • I did not have the word ‘i’
  • I only used ‘it’s’ when referring to ‘it is’
  • All of my sentences ended with a full-stop
  • All proper nouns were capitalised
  • I used the correct words
  • My subject/verb agreements were correct

This was a very good process to go through.  I hope that by using this checklist, that I have picked up on all my mistakes.  I believe that I have improved my blogs dramatically.  I hope that you all have enjoyed reading my blog posts throughout the term.🙂

Reference
CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007: Week 10 Blog, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week Ten Practical: Review Your Blog

What were your major challenges and how did you overcome these?
I found that this assignment was very time consuming. I also was very sick for two weeks which caused me to fall behind. As I work full-time with two jobs and am a full-time university student, I found that it was very difficult to catch up. I was falling behind more and more each week. I overcome this challenge by taking 9 and a quarter hours off work for a week (this is all my boss would allow). I managed to get a lot done in this time, but I was still behind. When my holidays began last Friday afternoon, I worked extremely hard to complete all my blogs.

Was it too hard/too easy/about right?
This assignment had an appropriate level of difficulty. The only hard part about this assignment was finding the time to complete it.

Has it helped improve your writing?
I have noticed that after completing all the activities, my writing and my knowledge of grammar and punctuation have improved. I am able to help my peers with suggestions to improve their writing, as well as pick up on mistakes in my own.

Is the layout clean and easy to read? Is white space used appropriately? Have you used headings in a way that attracts attention to key points?
The layout of my blog is clean and easy to read. Each blog is clearly titled based on the week and the activity. I have categorized my blogs and have each category as my main menu.  The blogs are all left aligned and utilize a good amount of white space to improve readability. I have also used some images to catch readers’ attention. I have also utilized headers in order to attract attention where necessary.

Have you completed all the tasks?
When I went through the blog requirements checklist, I found that I had not written a reflection about Week 1 Technical: Quiz 1. When I went back to read the blog requirements for Week 1, I noticed that we were not asked to reflect, just to complete the quiz. I did however add a quick reflection to my blog to ensure that my tutor knows that I completed the blog task. I also had not written a reflection about completing the Week 2 Practical: Register a Twitter account and follow 20 journalists. I quickly added a brief reflection in my blog.

Week Ten Inquiry: Write a Short Review of a Site/Product

I chose a health brochure that informs readers about the effects of secondhand smoke. It appeals to me because I am against smoking and most especially against people who smoke around children.

The most effective logos are those that have a simple message and a simple design (CQUniversity 2015). The brochure has used a very simple logo of the word ‘Quit’. The letter ‘Q’ is created out of a no smoking sign. The logo uses the colours red and blue. The red is only used in representing the lit end of the cigarette in the letter ‘Q’. The logo is accompanied by a ® symbol. This symbol means that it is a registered trademark.

Psychologically, different colours promote different feelings (CQUniversity 2015).  The brochure’s colour scheme is made up white and different shades of blue with a great use of white space. According to the QSX Software Group, these colours used together can represent health, understanding, seriousness, safety and cleanliness. As this is a health brochure, the colours used are very appropriate for the message they are trying to get across.

White space provides the eye with distinctions to avoid overcrowding (CQUniversity 2015).  The brochure has made use of white space by having large margins and spaces between headings and text. It also breaks up the text with the use of images.

Font can set the context and affect understanding (CQUniversity 2015).  The brochure has used sans serif fonts which are easy to read.  The consistency of using the same font style throughout makes the brochure look very professional.

Words are the most critical part of any message (CQUniversity 2015).  The information in the text is very succinct and uses language appropriate to the target audience. It uses both concrete and abstract words. Where abstract words are used it is often quickly clarified by the following sentence.

The purpose of photos and graphics is to support the message and gain attention of the reader (CQUniversity 2015).  The brochure has used a number of images of children. Two of the images are of a child with a parent. The images are appropriate as this brochure’s main message is to inform people of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke on children. It also identifies parents as role models for their kids and the use of the child and parent images support this as well.

Overall, this brochure was very well done. It used appropriate language. It used both concrete and abstract words without losing meaning. The text utilized aspects of colour, font, white space, images and having a logo. All of these aspects support the brochures message.

Reflection
This was an interesting task for me.  I was very passionate about the topic of the brochure I selected.  I was able to identify the effectiveness of the use of different aspects used in the brochure.  It was intriguing to learn about the different meanings represented by colour.  I had never really thought of words being either concrete or abstract.  I found the Week 10 lesson very useful.  It was good to learn that abstract words can be interpreted in a variety of ways and that it is best to use concrete words to ensure readers get the intended meaning.

References
CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007: Week 10 Lesson, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Quit Victoria, 2007, Secondhand Smoke and Your Children, viewed 21 September 2015,
http://www.quit.org.au/downloads/resource/general-brochures/secondhand-smoke-your-children.pdf

QSX Software Group, 2002, Color Meaning, viewed 21 September 2015,
http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html

Week Nine Technical: Active and Passive Writing Test

Before I took the test, I read up on active and passive voice (Benner 2014). I thought that I had a good understanding of what active voice was. The test proved that I still don’t fully understand.  This test was very difficult.  Not knowing how many correct answers there were made answering the questions difficult for me.  That, and I didn’t really have a good grasp on what active and passive voice was.  In my first attempt in the quiz I got all of the questions incorrect. They were not entirely incorrect however. See below:

results 1

Test results

I was unable to identify all of the sentences that used active voice. I also mistook some passive sentences for active. Active and passive voice is not as easy as it appeared on the website.

I did not attempt this test until I got 100% because the activity did not state to.  I did go over the correct answers though.  I also went back over what active and passive voice is.  I need to remember that active voice is when the subject does or “acts upon” the verb in a sentence (Benner 2014).

References
Benner, ML 2014, Active / Passive Voice, viewed 21 September 2015,
http://www.towson.edu/ows/activepass.htm

The Business Writing Centre, 2012, Active and Passive Voice Lesson Post-quiz, viewed 21 September 2015,
http://samples.businesswriting.com/tests/active_voice_post.html

Week Nine Practical: Review a Peer’s Storify Submission

Twilight City Street Party a Bittersweet Celebration
I chose to review ‘Twilight City Street Party a Bittersweet Celebration’ by Heidi Petith. It is a story about the Mackay Street Party that was held on Saturday 29 August.

Who do you think is the audience?
At first I was convinced that the audience was only Mackay residents. The more of the story I read, the more the audience expanded. This story can appeal to a broad audience. The story of hardship from the newsagency owner’s would appeal to other small business owners that have been affected by city renovations. The inclusion of school students participating in the event would appeal to other school students in the region. Anyone who enjoys street parties, stalls, food, concerts and experiencing arts would also be interested.

What did you learn about the event?
I learned that a lot goes on before big events such as this that not many people know about. It is rare that small business owners’ hardships are recognized.

What else (if anything) could be included that would make the story more interesting or have more impact?
If Heidi was interested in making her audience more informed about the negative impact of the event, she could do more research into other business that were affected. Heidi has a lot of positive information about the event. If she would like more balance in her story, she could benefit by adding more information about the hardships leading up to the event.

If the structure is confusing, how could it be improved?
I do not find the structure confusing at all. Each tweet and link are placed directly with the information relating to them.

What do you like about the story?
I really liked the way that the story shows both the positive and negative sides of the event. The use of pictures and videos in her tweets and links to other websites help the reader get a feeling of what the event was like. It also causes readers to feel sympathetic to the businesses that were affected leading up to the event.

Reflection
This was a great activity.  I hope that my review was beneficial to Heidi.  I will use this review to evaluate my own Storify submission.  I think it will help me to better think about my own writing.  Hopefully I will be able to be very clear on my audience and create a well-structured Storify.

Reference
Petith, H 2015, Twilight City Street Party a Bittersweet Celebration, viewed 20 September 2015, https://storify.com/Heidi_Petith/twilight-street-party-a-bittersweet-celebration

Week Nine Inquiry: Review Two Different Examples of Curation

Both the TripAdvisor and CNTraveller websites have the same purpose of providing the audience with a list of the top hotels in the world. The TripAdvisor’s list is based on traveler reviews. The CNTraveller’s list appears to be based on the opinions of a group of contributors. Both websites use text and images to show the reader each hotel in sequence from the best and working their way down.

CNTraveller
The CNTraveller’s list paints a wonderful picture using a large piece of text to depict an experience of being in each hotel. This eloquent sentence is one example of the impressive use of imagery, “So, as you wallow in the alfresco wooden hot tub, watching horses silhouetted against the magnificent sunset, it’s easy to forget that you’re on a holiday and pretend that this is forever” (Condé Nast 2015),  The text is also accompanied by an image which moves down as you scroll through the text.

With the large body of text for each hotel, it could become quite frustrating when planning a trip away. With both the text and image, the audience can really get a feel for what their experience will be like at each hotel. This could sound too good to be true. The list does not have any reviews or ratings to help provide reasoning for each hotel being in the top 20. Without evidence, the audience may be sceptical.

TripAdvisor
The TripAdvisor list lets the photos tell the story. It uses more images to show, rather than tell, the audience what each hotel experience will be like. These images are accompanied by a quote from a review of the hotel.  The use of quotes is powerful in itself.  For example, “This is what a magical hotel is supposed to be! The rooms, staff, location…all perfection (TripAdvisor 2015).” These quotes make you want to know more.

It does not have much information, but with a simple click, the audience can view the hotel in more detail without leaving the TripAdvisor website. They can see all of the reviews, ratings, prices and more. This would make the audience feel less sceptical and be more likely to agree with the list. The audience can use the reviews to make up their own minds about the hotel. The TripAdvisor website is very convenient as the audience can even make their booking through the TripAdvisor website.

Reflection
This websites in this activity took my mind to another place.  I found myself day dreaming of holidaying.  I loved looking at beautiful locations and reading about what I might experience there.  Before I began this activity, I was unsure of what content curation was, so I googled it.  Content Curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter (Mullan 2011).  I felt more comfortable beginning this activity once I understood what content curation was.

References
Condé Nast, 2015, Gold Standard Hotels 2015, viewed 20 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

Mullan, E 2011, What is Content Curation?, viewed 20 September 2015,
http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Resources/Defining-EContent/What-is-Content-Curation-79167.htm

TripAdvisor, 2015, Top 25 Hotels — World, viewed 20 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1

Week Eight Technical: Quiz Eight

This quiz was a bit difficult.  It took me two attempts to complete this quiz. In my first attempt I had three questions incorrect:

Company X has announced a restructure. Thirty positions will be made redundant in an organisational restructure. The company restructure aims to save money. In the last financial year, the company lost $3 million.
Select one:
a. The company has announced it will axe 30 positions because it is losing money.
b. The company has announced it will sack 30 people because it is losing money.
c. The company has announced it will cut 30 positions because it is losing money.

The correct answer was option ‘c’. I chose option ‘b’. I thought that making someone redundant meant they were being sacked. In future, I will look up the definition of words that I am not sure of.

Thirty women from Japan were in a tour group. Which sentence is correct?
Select one:
a. The group comprised 30 women from Japan.
b. The group comprised of 30 women from Japan.

I chose option ‘b’. I have often heard people say, ‘comprised of’ that I automatically believed it was correct. I did not realise that comprised means ‘to be made up of something’ which makes the word ‘of’ redundant.

Which of the following is not a cliché, according to the Times online style guide as noted in Hicks (p.140).
Select one:
a. situation
b. gunned down
c. crackdown
d. reportedly
e. said

The correct answer was option ‘e’. I chose option ‘c’. I misread this question. I somehow thought that it was asking which was a cliché. It was a silly mistake. I should make sure that I read the question properly before submitting an answer.