Brief Summaries Edit
"Multiple Media of Texts" Edit
Chapter 6 in, What Writing Does and How It Does It: An Introduction to Analyzing Texts and Textual Practices, is about exactly how all the different media that a text can come in change based on the reader. This Chapter presents, "The Multiple Media of Texts," in which Anne Frances Wysocki discusses the rhetoric of texts and the fine details of how aspects, such as typeface, change the meaning of the text. Of course, Wysocki also, as the title suggests, discusses this through all media of texts. However, all of this is controlled by the author, who in any case, is the rhetorician. Based on the way a text looks or the way a text is designed, reader's are able to immediately tell what the audience is intended to be given the genre of the text. For instance, an academic essay as part of a book will have one look to it (smaller sized font, mostly in Times New Roman, almost no pictures, etc.) and a children's interactive website will have another (big letters, a playful typeface, a myriad of colors, etc.). Whatever the case may be, Wysocki discusses the different ways these media are rhetorical and how so.
"Why Blog" Edit
"Why Blog," is a chapter in Alex Reid's, Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. In this chapter Reid discusses the incentives to blog and some helpful ways to go about starting a blog. Reid blogs himself and talks about his blog and why he started in this chapter as well. Blogging is something where the authors have little to no control over who reads their blog. However, there still are intended readers. The brilliant thing about blogs is that there is no one genre, a blog can be about literally anything. Blogs, too, can come in any form, though they are restricted to electronic posts, meaning they need not be only words, they can be videos, pictures, or audio posts.
Social Contexts Edit
Patters are essentially the base of what gives anything meaning. Without patterns within a social context, theoretically readers wouldn't be able to comprehend what words are written on a page. So not only does everything have a pattern but everything also has a social context that defines and limits the way readers can identify (in this case specifically) texts. I think, although Wysocki doesn't spend the entire chapter discussing the social context of something, it's one of her main and most important points. Wysocki's reading really opens up the readers' eyes as to how much of a text really has social context and depends on a situation, and that would be the entirety of it.
One of the more interesting points that Wysocki mentions in this chapter is that color has a significant social context. The example she mentions is that "in China, for example, the traditional color of a bride’s clothing was scarlet and the color of mourning was white." This is something important to note as an author or presenter of visual texts.
Blogging, as Alex Reid discusses in his writing, also has social cues and contexts, depending on the blog that you are creating. Style, font, images, colors, all of these elements make a contribution to the type of blog that authors present. Reid gives many suggestions on how to go about blogging that make blogging less intimidating. His rhetorical piece works in the sense that he isn't writing for young teenagers that want to start a blog because technologically that's where our world is standing now. Rather, this chapter in the book is written for college level and older individuals who are looking to start more academically oriented blogs, though not to be misunderstood, he isn't saying those who want to start other genres of blogs shouldn't. In this respect, Reid's chapter, and his whole book.
These two texts combined give really thoughtful insight on how to analyze better your own text as an author, think more critically about your texts and readers and how to two will fit together, what impact you want your text to have, and what medium fits it best. Moreover, Wysocki and Reid, though at different levels, both go into depth, questioning the reader as a means of guiding them to analytically opening a blog or composing a text. Reading these two helped me get a better perspective into what questions I should be asking myself about the media and my readers as well as allowed me to feel more comfortable branching out into different media.
Works Cited Edit
Wysocki, Anne Frances. "How Onscreen and Paper Texts Incorporate Words, Images, and Other Media." The Multiple Media of Texts (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
Reid, Alex. "Why Blog? Searching for Writing on the Web." Alex Reid, 2011. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.