Problem of Smartphone addiction in 21st century!
For this project, you will write an informative text–a digital report–that illustrates what you’ve learned from your research (from Unit 2 and the additional sources you will gather in Unit 3), including areas where different voices in the conversation agree/disagree and what major conclusions you are able to draw from that research. In total, you are required to use at least 8 sources. A report is a document that is built of factual information. While reports can take various forms, they share one thing in common: the primary goal of a report is to present factual information to educate an audience in some way. Your digital report can take any shape you want as long as it can be distributed digitally and include digital links and visuals components. For example, you might choose to create your digital report on a website such as Wix.com, a blog such as WordPress.com, a Word Document, or a PDF.
For this project, you will use your research to explain the “conversation” around your issue for someone who is not familiar with the nuances of the information around this topic. That means that you will have to assume your audience has not read your sources. How would you explain the topic to a friend or family member who knows little about this issue?
Your purpose here is to have your reader understand the topic well enough that they feel comfortable joining the conversation. To do that, you’ll have to organize your topics in a way that makes sense for your reader–perhaps with subheadings and bullet points. Further, you’ll want to focus on your research question: don’t just dump everything you learned so far in a document–that would likely confuse and overwhelm your reader. Instead, think carefully about the information that a reader who is curious about your research question would need to know in order to try to form an opinion on that question. In other words, your purpose is to help an uninformed audience get the knowledge they need to form their own stance on the issue.
The following questions are designed to help you decide what information you will present in your report:
- What background information/context will my readers need to have in order to understand this issue? How much of this information is generally accepted by all parties and how much of it is contested?
- What terms, ideas, and/or references will need to be explained/defined? For example, are their major phrases, concepts, or hashtags that people who participate in this conversation use frequently?
- What are the main stances or perspectives related to this issue? How can I present each of them objectively and fairly?
- What solutions/answers have been offered in this conversation? Which ones are most popular?
- What complicates this issue? For example, if there are several suggested solutions to this problem, why have some or none of them been implemented? Or, what makes this problem difficult to discuss or solve?
- How should I organize the informational report so that the order of the information makes sense for my readers’ experience and understanding? Remember that you should use the digital report your advantage. You can use hyperlinks and embed images to further inform your reader about the conversation surrounding your research topic.
Reports are a common genre of writing, but they can take many forms, depending on the purpose and audience. One thing that is consistent across all reports is that they are informative, so make sure you aren’t taking a position or arguing for a particular viewpoint in your report. A good example of an informative text is something like a Wikipedia pageLinks to an external site. or an informative websiteLinks to an external site.. If you look over these examples (and the ones that will be provided for you in this unit), you’ll see that informative writing takes many forms–but one thing they have in common is that the focus is on explaining, rather than arguing. You can also look at this student example and this one.Links to an external site. You’ll also see how these informative sources use research from various sources and synthesize those sources to present the topic to writers: in other words, the writers of these texts don’t organize the writing by discussing one source, then the next, then the next. Instead, the writers of informative texts decide what they want to explain and then use sources to back their explanations. The report you write for this class will be at least 1000 words long and will be created as a digital text (also called a web text). A web text or digital text is a text that is meant to be consumed by a public audience on the internet (rather than in print form) and so it’s designed very differently than a traditional essay.
What makes this genre different from composing a traditional essay?
- Visual rhetoric: This assignment does require at least one visual element besides your text. You can choose if those will be photos, illustrations, charts, graphs. If you look at examples of reports online, you’ll see that the genre allows for much more visual interaction than a printed text (like a book chapter).
- Page design: As you plan your report, think carefully about page layout, use of color and formatting. Again, when you are creating a web text, you not only have more opportunities to think about page design–effective page design is an important part of the genre. Effective page design for a web text helps establish your ethos as a writer and help your audience read more easily.
- Citation: In web sources, like online reports and articles, sources are referenced through hyperlinks. I recommend that you review this resource, created by FIU’s Digital Writing Studio: Digital Writing and CitationLinks to an external site.. The entire video is incredibly useful for this project, but you can see the section on hyperlinking starting around 6:55. You can also see two real world examples of hyperlink citation Example 1Links to an external site. and Example 2Links to an external site..
- Provide sufficient background knowledge
- Use at least 8 sources
- Organize around points of disagreement
- Use photos and illustrations: graphs, charts, pictures of me
- Use headings and subheadings
- Write short paragraphs and simple sentences
- Be informative
- Differentiate between your words and the words of your sources
- Use hyperlinks or word processing program for sourcing
- Write long sentences and long paragraphs
- Organize by source
- Attempt to persuade anyone
- Wait until the last minute to write this paper
Organization:This report is supposed to be informative. You should be explaining the problematic nature of your topic to someone who doesn’t know much about the topic. So you should think about what background information the reader needs and then two or three areas in your topic where people disagree and then explain what different people say about each area. Please remember, you should not be trying to convince anyone of anything. Only helping them to understand the controversy.Paragraph/Sentence Length:People don’t like to read long sentences. Especially online. This is the Snapchat/Instagram generation. Seriously, how long is your attention span. Think about it. So don’t write long sentences. Don’t write long paragraphs. Make things easy to understand. You are trying to inform. In order to be effective at that, you have to write something that someone is willing to read.
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