Week 10 – 3. Technical: Blog review for technical errors

a. Review your blog against the ‘Blog Writing Checklist’ on page 3 of the activity sheet.

☑ Weekly activities are clearly tagged or categorised so teaching staff can access posts easily.

☑ All references to ‘i’ as an individual word (and its relational words i’m, i’ld) have been capitalised.

☑ If you have used ‘it’s’, it’s because you are referring to ‘it and is’ as a conjunction. This is the ONLY time an apostrophe is used in ‘it’s’.

☑ All sentences have a full-stop at the end of a sentence.

☑ If you have made reference to an external website or reading, you have referenced the original source or created a direct link to the original website.

☑ All references are consistent, and correctly punctuated for the referencing style you are using.

☑ If you have used a figure, it is in keeping with the rule: spell out numbers under 10, use figures over 10 unless the number starts the sentence.

☑ All proper nouns are capitalised.

☑ You have correctly used apostrophes as plural or possessive. Every time you have used an apostrophe, ask yourself whether it is possessive or plural, and depending on the answer, then ask yourself if it is being used correctly.

☑ Check that you have used the correct words in your posts – common errors include quite/quiet, for example. You should pick these up if you read your work aloud.

☑ If you have used the word ‘however’ in the middle of a sentence to indicate a shift in sentence direction, consider whether it needs a semi-colon before the word (eg. The dog was black; however, it was easy to spot at night because it was very shiny.)

☑ Review subject/verb agreement. (eg. If the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular – ‘The dog is shiny’; not ‘The dog are shiny’.)

☑ Revise the length of your sentences. If your sentence is more than a couple of lines in your blog, it needs to be shortened. Shorter sentences have greater impact and are more active generally.

☑ Read your work aloud. Every sentence, every post. If the sentence sounds awkward, rephrase it.

b. Did you find the questions difficult? Did find many issues?

I found this checklist easy to follow and complete, and I did not find many issues with my blog structure or writing at all. I think that I have done a sufficient job with my creation of post content.


Reference List

Ames, K 2015, Week 10 – Blog: Blog submission checklist, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week 10 – 2. Practical: Review your blog

a. Is the layout clean and easy to read? Have you used headings in a way that attracts attention to key points? Is white space used appropriately?

I tried to ensure that I used an easy to read theme in the design of my blog, that uses headings of a different colour to attract the reader’s attention. I also used this colour in my hyperlinks, and used italics and bolding to highlight important headings, sections and information.

I selected a theme that used a nice and simple sans serif font, as according to Ames (2015, p. 4), they are slightly less informal than serif fonts, and they can still be readable in large blocks of text if the font is big enough.

As for white space, I tried to ensure that my text did not take up the whole page by having wide margins on either side to provide a visual break (Ames 2015, pp. 5-6).


b. Have you completed all the tasks? Check that you have completed all blog requirements and ensure that you have responded to all weekly requirements. Check this against the ‘Blog Task Requirements’ on page two of this activity sheet.

WEEK 1

☑ 1. Inquiry Review news articles

☑ 2. Practical Register your blog

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 1

WEEK 2

☑ 1. Inquiry Review Trendsmap

☑ 2. Practical Register a Twitter account and follow 20 users

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 2

WEEK 3

☑ 1. Inquiry Review media coverage of an issue of interest

☑ 2. Practical Register a Storify account and reflect on Storify

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 3

WEEK 4

☑ 1. Inquiry Review poorly written and a well-written news stories

☑ 2. Practical Plan for Assignment 3

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 4

WEEK 5

☑ 1. Inquiry Review an article that has impact because of sources and speech

☑ 2. Practical Interview two people

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 5A and 5B

WEEK 6

☑ 1. Inquiry Review a Cirque du Soleil media kit

☑ 2. Practical Photo essay

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 6A and 6B

WEEK 7

☑ 1. Inquiry Review a newsletter

☑ 2. Practical Review assignment 1

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 7A and Quiz 7B

WEEK 8

☑ 1. Inquiry Review a social media platform

☑ 2. Practical Write a review of a social media platform

☑ 3. Technical Quiz 8

WEEK 9

☑ 1. Inquiry Review a curated collection

☑ 2. Practical Review another student’s Storify submission

☑ 3. Technical Active and Passive Writing test

WEEK 10

☑ 1. Inquiry Review a website/brochure for formatting

☑ 2. Practical Review your blog – tasks and reflection

☑ 3. Technical Review your blog – technical accuracy


c. Reflect on the blogging tasks. Write a few sentences on your views of this assessment. What were your major challenges and how did you overcome these? Was it too hard/too easy/about right? Has it helped improve your writing?

As someone who did well at English throughout highschool, I found these blog posts rather easy to understand, and I was able to complete them without any dramas. I thought that the assessment was structured well in terms of making weekly posts, which for the most part helped me to keep on top of the assignment. Due to full time work, I did begin to fall behind a little toward the end of term, however, because none of the tasks were particularly onerous, it wasn’t too hard to catch up.

I think that my major challenges were getting used to the CQU Harvard method of referencing, and trying to structure my responses each week so that they weren’t just nonsensical ramblings. This has improved my writing by making me more likely to create a plan of what I am going to write before I actually write it. I don’t think that it was too hard or easy, I personally found that it was just challenging enough to keep me interested and thinking hard.


Reference List

Ames, K 2015, Week 10 – Impact of design, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week 10 – 1. Inquiry: Write a review of a magazine/website

Consider yourself as a visual consumer. Find a website/brochure/magazine you like and reflect on what it appeals to you. Write a short review of the site/product on your blog, making reference to points addressed in this week’s study materials.

I began this exercise by looking up website inspiration sites for examples of what is considered good design. I then stumbled across http://compliments.dk/ and it appealed to me as a visual consumer immediately.

Although the website takes up the entire screen width, there is still a great amount of white space around each section in the grid layout to prevent overcrowding (Ames 2015, pp. 5-6).

They have utilised a very clean, bold and easy to read typeface for their headings, that stands out and grabs the reader’s attention (Ames 2015, p. 4).

According to Ames (2015, p. 3), the use of the colour white promotes the ideas of cleanliness and elegance,  which is fitting for the selling of high quality furniture, and therefore their use of large amounts of white is aesthetically pleasing to me and makes sense.

The final visual aspect of this website that I really like is the way in which they have used photographs. The use of a hero image at the top of the page supports the written content well and grabs the viewer’s attention (Ames 2015, pp. 4-5).


Reference List

Ames, K 2015, Week 10 – Impact of design, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Compliments 2015, Compliments, viewed 22 September 2015, http://compliments.dk/

Week 9 – 3. Technical: Active and Passive Writing

a. Complete the test at http://www.businesswriting.com/tests/activepassive.htm

These are my results:

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b. Did you find the questions difficult? Did you have any problems in specific areas?

I had a little bit of trouble with wording some of the sentences, as I found that I was changing some of the words because in my head they seemed to fit a bit better. However, when I read the correct versions I was then able to see how they rearranged the original words to make sense. I was, however, able to identify most of the performers of the actions, and then able to move them to the subject position easily.

Individual Question Reflections:

  1. I changed the ‘sends’ to ‘receives’ which made the sentence more confusing because there were two performers instead of one.
  2. I didn’t realise that the self-audit was not actually considered the performer and that I should insert ‘we’ instead. Also, I didn’t realise that I could/should simplify the second half of the sentence like in the correct example.
  3. I think my example follows a fairly similar concept to the correct version, but it is just worded in a slightly different way.
  4. The only difference here was that I didn’t omit the second ‘have’.
  5. In this one I stuffed up a bit as I rearranged the entire sentence, although I think I still managed to make it into active voice.
  6. My example was fairly similar to the example, except I accidentally omitted ‘most’ and ‘may’ without thinking.
  7. This one confused me slightly, as I did not understand that I was able to create an active voice without explicitly stating a performer, hence my insertion of the word ‘you’.
  8. I struggled with the arrangement of this one, as it was a longer sentence and had a few more actions and performers to consider.
  9. I found this question extremely straightforward and easy, and got it correct.
  10. This question was also easy, as I got it almost exactly the same.

Week 9 – 2. Practical: Review a peer’s Storify submission

Who do you think is the audience? What did you learn about the event? What else (if anything) could be included that would make the story more interesting or have more impact? If the structure is confusing, how could it be improved? What do you like about the story?


I chose to review Kate Newton’s Storify, ‘The Already Outstanding Ekka Show Ramps Up Discounts on Transport‘, as I thought that she did an excellent job of covering a very interesting aspect of the event which many people would not have considered. Her focus on the transport to and from the event and how this affected the event attendees was very well thought out.

I think the main audience of the article would be people who are local to Brisbane and attended the event this year or are looking to attend in the future. It is informative to these potential future attendees as it provides helpful details about how to get to the event next year, and it is also a nice reflection on the event for those who did attend.

I learnt that the event attracts half a million visitors over 10 days, which is much larger than I originally thought. I was also not aware that the event had been running for 138 years, or that Translink added over 370 extra bus, ferry and train services to help accommodate for transport to the event. Therefore, I think that this story was extremely successful in educating readers with a variety of interesting facts.

The only way that I could think to improve this story would have been to perhaps have a few more twitter interviews of attendees, stallholders and event organisers (with pictures) to showcase the individual experiences of the event and give the story a bit more of a personal feel.

The structure, however, was very good and I have no recommendations for improvement, as I feel that she introduced her most important information first and spread all of her tweets and other media well throughout the story and in appropriate places.

Overall, I like the diversity of the information that she included, and that she decided to take a slightly different angle when covering the event, whilst still including the basic facts.

You did a fantastic job Kate 🙂

Week 9 – 1. Inquiry: Review two different examples of curation

The 25 Best Hotels of 2015 (data driven)

Gold Standard Hotels (written by editors)

Consider the differences. If the purpose and audience is similar, how does the way the information is structured and presented make a difference to the way it might be received?


The two articles appear to be similar in purpose and audience, both are trying to show potential world travellers the best hotels in which they can stay in multiple countries. However, their presentation of this data or information is vastly different, and therefore both articles have a very different style.

The list of hotels on the article ‘The 25 Best Hotels of 2015‘  on tripadvisor is generated by star reviews out of 5 by users of the website. This content was not curated by any editors, and therefore no real editorial decisions were made in the collation of the data and content of this article. Instead, members of the audience itself voted on hotels based on their own personal experiences, and therefore were the generators of the content. The problem with rankings used in data driven journalism is that rankings can be difficult to understand and analyse (Diakopoulos, 2014). Diakopoulos (2014) suggests that for rankings to be authoritative, they still require editorial decisions to be made as to what should be included or excluded, and what algorithms need to be used to determine the data. The problem with this article is that unless these editorial decisions were made, the top ranking hotels could potentially be any hotel if they had received a good overall score. For example, if a small hotel had only received one or two reviews, but they had both been perfect, five star scores, it could potentially be included on the list along with huge hotels that have had 100’s of reviews both good and bad that had averaged out to a higher score.

Because of this, the article does not appear to be very personal in its delivery, and readers are unable to see a written description that describes someone’s personal experience at the hotel. It appears less like a genuine recommendation and more like a automated list that contains a few photos that only just manage to capture the feel of the hotel.

The ‘Gold Standard Hotels‘ article, however, is written by editors who have collated the data that they have found, but have then taken the extra step to give the article a more personal tone by focusing more on generating their own written content to accompany the list, depending on what they believed would be of most interest to their readers (Ames 2015, p. 1). They also made editorial decisions on the inclusions of photographs, where they presumably narrowed down their selection of photographs for each location to just one photograph that best supported the mood that they were trying to express in the written section.

This style of article is more likely to appeal to people looking for a descriptive review of the hotel, and it may have a higher influence on them due to the personal nature of the writing.


Reference List

Ames, K 2015, Week 9 –Content generation vs content collaboration, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Condé Nast Traveller 2015, Gold standard hotels 2015, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

Diakopoulos, N 2014, ‘How news organizations can rethink rankings’, American Journalism Review, 24 October, viewed 22 September 2015, http://ajr.org/2014/10/24/rethinking-news-rankings/

tripadvisor 2015, Top 25 hotels — world, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1

Week 8 – 3. Technical: Complete Quiz 8 (Words)

Did you find the questions difficult? Did you have any problems in specific areas?

For this week’s quiz, I got 8/10 on my first attempt.

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Question 4 confused me slightly, as I took the stance that we shouldn’t write as we speak if we speak very informally. We should not use contractions or slang in professional writing.

However, after reviewing the question, I realised that it was referring to using simple language to get your point across, and that active and clear writing was the easiest to understand.

For Question 8, I had never realised that ‘comprised of’ was a redundant phrase, but I guess I now know for future reference!