By the end of the session, you should be able to
- comment in writing on the range of different ways that writers use presentation in different texts
- explain in writing how the presentation features create specific effects
- analyse in writing how meaning is given through presentation
Presentation is everything. If you don't get the reader's eye, you have failed. In this presentation-first world, catching the eye and keeping the reader hooked are the two things your presentation should do.
But... you can use presentation in a much more subtle way. If you're really clever, you can find much more gentle ways of getting your ideas across.
Writing never happens in isolation. It's important to check out what happens in the real world. What's more important is to think about what is important for you.
- What's the purpose of your writing?
- Who are you writing for?
Make a list like this one of the aspects of presentation you can see in the type of text you want to present. Then put them into rank order. Which are the most important? Re-arrange your list so that the most important features are at the top. Cut and paste the list as you go.
Then think about why they are used. Each of these aspects (on a website anyway!) is expensive to produce and is a long way from very early websites. Websites used to be about content. Now they are about how they are presented.
Do a google search for your name or a hobby that you're interested in. Look at the first 10 results returned. Which is the best site? Why? What is it about the presentation that works best? What doesn't work?
Now you have identified all the conventions of the presentation. The conventions are just the regular things you'd expect to see. Like the conventions of a fairy story are 'Once Upon a Time', talking animals or wicked witches, young children in danger and wicked stepmothers, everything has a convention - a tradition - things you expect to see. These things make it what it is.
Once you have determined what is there, you need to think about why it is there - what does it do? Why do we have headlines, why do we have subheadings? What do the pictures do? Add this to your spreadsheet.
To move on you'll be thinking about:
- comparing and contrasting the effects achieved by different writers in different texts
- evaluating how effective the presentation is
- commenting on how the presentation links to the main ideas or purpose of the text