Self Reflection

Revision Process

Step 1: Determine audience

Following my conference with Andrew, I knew that the first step I had to take was to figure out whom I will be writing my midterm revision proposal for. My midterm draft was written essentially for Andrew and anyone who happens to be a fan of reading about online discourse communities (I can’t imagine that many people my age outside of this class would be).

The first decision I made was that I wanted to write to people around my age. Specifically, I decided that since I was writing about Kickstarter, I’d make my intended audience recent college grads looking to get into the world of startups. Why? I wanted my revised midterm to be useful to people outside of my class. Writing more about discourse communities would honestly bore most people to death, including me if I had to write more about it. To make sure that I kept focused on my goal of writing a useful piece, it made sense to make my audience what I specified earlier.

Step 2: Determine genre

Then, I got sidetracked and started thinking about what I’d actually write in my piece. In my head, I was essentially saying what I’d write until I realized that a slightly modified transcription of all my thoughts would make for an effective genre. I did a little more brainstorming and decided that I wanted my genre to be somewhere of a cross between those Gizmodo articles I mentioned earlier and a transcription of a lecture similar to that of a TED talk. This way, I could combine the best of both worlds – I’d get the more accessible language of a blog post as well as the level of detail and conciseness of a transcribed TED talk.

Step 3: Research/Write/Edit/Delete/Repeat

Unlike many people, I prefer to research, edit, and revise a paper as I go along. I don’t prepare anything beforehand except for a bare outline (only headings and titles). I find the freedom to explore in writing to be super helpful in fishing for new ideas and weeding out bad ones after writing them down. During my this step, I made sure to constantly look at my writing to see if I am making progress on the goals I set for myself in the revision proposal. I did run into a couple of hiccups.
Once, I was tempted to break my “one bold line per heading” goal because I couldn’t decide between two important points under my “What makes a successful Kickstarter project creator” section. Several times, I had to add and move headings around because I’d write a sentence or a paragraph that just didn’t seem to fit in with my existing organizational format. For example, “Putting it all together” didn’t come into being until I was almost done with my revision. However, after moving some sentences around, I realized that I could just bold one line and move on. As for the examples I chose, I used both projects I had funded and projects I wanted to fund. Why? I generally only am interested in projects made by competent project creators, so I looked for good and bad traits in all the projects I studied.

What was successful?

What is success, anyway? To me, being successful with this project means writing a piece that I’d be interested in reading from start to finish. In order to keep me interested, a piece must: 1) Be easy to follow, 2) Have a well-organized structure, and 3) Keep me reading by presenting new and interesting facts one at a time.

By this measure, my midterm draft was not successful. I’d get a little past halfway done reading and then get bored (happened during my editing process). On the other hand, I’d say that my revision was mostly successful. I hit the first two points on the nail because I wasn’t confused at any point during my writing or reading process. I clearly labeled each section of my piece and got to the point in the first couple of sentences of each section of my piece. It also had less bold text and formatting, making it a cleaner and sleeker looking piece.

What wasn’t successful?

I’d say that the only part where I wasn’t fully successful was my third point. While I was definitely hooked on reading my revised midterm (didn’t get bored or tired of reading it), I felt like I started to run out of material to present at the end. My first guideline of connection literacy was the longest with the most support and examples, but guideline 2 and guideline 3 got progressively less text and therefore evidence to support my claims. Why is this so? I’m not completely sure because I haven’t been away from my midterm long enough to be able to approach it with a fresh mind. However, I think that this misstep resulted from not giving enough thought to the way I defined connection literacy. Although I changed my definition multiple times, the definition I settled upon is probably not perfect; maybe I could’ve mixed and matched portions of the three guidelines to make two or three, distinct and equally as important rules.

Conclusion

All in all, I am pleased with my midterm revision. I definitely changed up some points I really wanted to from my midterm. Besides everything I mentioned above, I finally got the chance to clarify that the creators of the Pebble Watch were not successful Kickstarter project creators among other changes.

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