For my class this week, we were tasked with reading an essay from a fellow classmate and giving our feedback and thoughts on it. I had the privilege of getting to read Kelly’s piece on her blog Can I Have A Bite. Her blog is really great too and you should check it out if you have the chance. Warning: You will be hungry after because the pictures on her blog are so spectacular! Anyway, my review is down below. Click through to read if you’d like!
Until Next Time.
Peace & Harmonies,
Kelly’s essay focused on highlighting the differences between Print Literacy and Digital Literacy. She focused on the affects of digital media on forms of print media, specifically how social media has affected the lives of young people. Her argument was fairly solid and she provided examples throughout to reinforce her argument. I think she did a good job of utilizing a variety of sources. There was a really great balance between using sources from the course and sources from outside the course. The mix of the two made her essay strong when it came to providing examples of the ideas and concepts discussed. Additionally, she expanded upon the concepts discussed in her sources, linking them to other ideas. This was especially apparent here:
“The article, “Keep a Diary Using Nothing but an Emoji”, points out the huge transition in journalism, in which “Emojiary” offers people journaling in fun and easier experience. People can now use emojis to represent their thoughts, instead of writing furiously writing words on a black piece of paper…Some people use other forms of popular social media sites, such as Tumblr, as an everyday journal. The awesome thing about Tumblr is that you customize your blog to fit your own personality. You can include your favourite style of music, funny pictures, gifs and more.”
This demonstrates an ability to take the concepts and apply them to other real world examples; a skill that is very important to have.
As the focus was on the effects of digital literacy, many of her examples fell into the digital category. To strengthen the argument, it would have been a good idea to discuss print literacy a bit more simply to give more definition to what the world was like before the transition to digital literacy. This helps to define the change and why it is so significant. Structurally, the essay is sound. I was able to follow her argument from beginning to end without any confusion. This worked in her favour because I was able to find her argument quickly and without too much hassle.
The only area of improvement that I noticed was in grammar. There were a few missed tenses here and there. None were exceptionally noticeable and they did not detract from the reading; a quick final proofread would remedy those errors. The other major thing that I noticed was that the overall tone of the essay felt a little too colloquial. This refers to it feeling as if it is in a very relaxed, personal style as opposed to a more formal, academic feel. One way that this could be remedied is by not using contractions. Contractions are often used in common language and are not used in academic writing. Another way of creating a more academic feel is to avoid using common phrases. As an example,
“The awesome thing about Tumblr is that you customize your blog to fit your own personality. You can include your favourite style of music, funny pictures, gifs and more. It’s amazing how far technology has taken us and how we can’t even imagine this possible two decades ago.”
This section could be changed to feel more academic by not using the phrases like ‘the awesome thing’ and ‘it’s amazing.’ The middle sections that talks about what can be included on a Tumblr page could be made to feel more formal by generally speaking about what users can do to personalize their Tumblr blogs. While the colloquial style fits in better with the blog, as an academic piece, the style should adhere to a formal style of writing.
In closing, I very much enjoyed reading Kelly’s essay. She did a great job bringing together all of the various ideas that have been discussed in class and highlighted the major aspects of digital literacy. The piece was easy to read and understand, which makes reading academic concepts easier and makes them feel more accessible. Her informal style, while not as suited for academic writing, makes it easy to hear her personal voice. Overall, a solid body of work.