The use of science in advertising is a subject that fascinates me for as long as I can remember. Thus, this project was the perfect opportunity to clearly reflect on an ad and on the rhetorical use of science in it and express it in a new genre: photo essays.
The first thing I had to do was to find the ad. It didn’t take me too much time since I already had in mind that I wanted to use something related to health (Mouth Lotion, deodorant…) because the use of science in these ads is frequent.
The second and most interesting step was analyzing the ad. This was the first time I watch an ad like 100 times trying to find snap shots and components to analyze. Is it enough? Am I going to far? Were too questions always on my mind. Every time I noticed something I noted it down on a notebook. This was useful since it helped me organize my thoughts. In fact, the purpose of using science in ads is obvious, but looking at it closely make you notice things and strategies that I never noticed before as a consumer (the use of colors for example). I organized my work in a 3 columns matrix: observation, analysis and conclusion.
The third and most difficult part was then start the writing. As a non-native English speaker, finding elaborated words and syntax takes me time. I then started my writing early and tried to finish the whole essay during the weekend. It worked! I was able to finish everything before Monday and had the whole week to read and read again in order to improve the quality of my writing.
Two stages were really beneficial for the revision of my essay: the peer review project and visiting Professor Colvin during Office Hours.
On Monday, during the in-class peer review, I took a look at my peers essays which inspired me and made me notice that mine was too formal and too analytical. I had to tone it down and make it more reader-friendly, more joyful: but not too much!
When my peers read my introduction, they pointed at the fact that my introduction was a bit long, scattered but mostly too broad. I knew then that I had to be more specific: clearly state the stance, address the audience and work a bit on the tone. I found it really helpful to see other’s work and their remarks to know where I stand. Am I off topic or not?
Then during my visit to Professor Colvin’s office, we went through the whole essay, photo by photo. The professor indicated where more analysis could be made and where I pushed it a bit. She advised me to shorten my intro as well and be clearer.
On Thursday morning, I read all the remarks (from peers and professor) I noted down.
I revised my text accordingly. Finally I’ve shown my writing to my roommate as a last reading before submitting and then I worked on displaying it on my Website.
All in all, I found this project very interesting. Primarily because it is the first time I write in this genre and I found it was a good and adapted way to express my ideas. Secondly, the subject interested me. Finally, reading my project after all the revision I feel satisfied of what I’ve done. But mostly, this was a very formative experience when it comes to the process. I think I succeeded in following the steps recommended by the professor (introduction, peer-review, OH…).
I also feel this project brought me a step closer into reaching the ultimate goal: becoming a good communicator.