Find an article or listen to a presentation that uses signposts. Identify the signposts and explain how they help the audience follow the article or presentation.
A signpost refers to the strategic placement of words or terms that direct readers or listeners to the most important or relevant points. They indicate the main point in a written text of speech, the scope of the text or the speech, and focus of a speech, well-defined argument, or position and transition of ideas. For example, in the below extract by Khasawneh and Abu-Shanab (2013), the highlighted terms show what signpost is.
Additionally, an observation of the above extract from Khasawneh and Abu-Shanab’s (2013) article reveals that the author use the signposts to indicate strong topic sentence, and what he intended the readers to focus on, as well as the scope of the topic, the flow of ideas, and his main arguments. It can further be observed that a quick glance over the extract shows that signposting presented the authors with a tool to provide readers with an idea of the article’s content. In my case, the signposts assisted me to assess quickly whether the article is worth reading or whether it would support my studies.
Choose a piece of writing from a profession you are unfamiliar with. For example, if you are studying marketing, choose an excerpt from a book on fashion design. Identify several terms you are unfamiliar with, terms that may be considered jargon. How does the writer help you understand the meaning of these terms? Could the writer make them easier to understand?
According to Patoko and Yazdanifard (2014), jargon refers to a language, particularly terminology, which is unique to a certain profession or trade in their respective professions. In my experience, a jargon may be meaningless to an audience that does understand its meaning, as it is tends to be made up of unfamiliar vocabularies. It is essentially a type of language applied in a certain context rather than outside that context. The context is often a certain profession or trade. Often, the key element that differentiates a jargon from the other language used within a text is the vocabulary. Hence, jargon is basically a technical terminology used by individuals within a certain profession.
For instance, in the below extract from Masaud-Wahaihsi’s (2013) article on Information and Communication Technology, the jargons that can be identified include” multiple intelligence, verbal-linguistic intelligence, mathematical-logical intelligence, musical intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, spatial intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and interpersonal intelligence.” They are unique to IT professionals. I found them difficult to understand at first. However, the author has explained them in bullet points to make it easy for non-IT professionals to understand.
In the above extract, it is clear that the key driving force for using the technical jargons or terminologies is to enable precision or allow for efficiency of communication particularly when discussing finely differentiated details. The languages used are peculiar to ICT professionals. I believe that theorist in the field of ICT may have invented the abovementioned jargons to make it clear they are referring specifically to certain terms to avoid confusion between the lose meanings of the term «multiple intelligence» that is in general use and the more specialised meanings of the ones used in certain specific discourse. I also believe that the ICT theorists may have invented the jargons for purposes of identity, as they see a need to describe certain concepts that may not belong to other fields of study.
How does your self-concept influence your writing?
Self-concept refers to an individual’s subjective description of oneself, of what one thinks or perceives about oneself (Lane 2008). I think of it as the labels that I tend to consistently use while describing myself to others. It affects my writing as it reveals how I depict my attitudes, perceptions, or behaviours while writing subjectively. This is particularly true, as in order to describe to others some details about me, I have to first understand about myself. For instance, while I have a great voice, I do not believe I can be a great musician. Therefore, I am not likely to expose myself as a great musician while writing about my musical skills.
However, I must also acknowledge that apart from determining my behaviours, self-concept also influences the manner in which I communicate with other people. Indeed, in many instances, I have demonstrated and reinforced my self-concept (Bach & Grant 2009). On the other hand, when communicating with other people, I get to know them better, as well as to be able to do a more detailed comparison with my self-concept, as a result reinforce my self-concept. For instance, when they depict themselves as being smart, I would compare them with my understanding to determine whether I am smarter, and in that way, strengthen or weaken my self-concept.
What does the field of psychology offer concerning the self-fulfilling prophecy?
In psychology, self-fulfilling prophecy refers to how people’s expectations predetermine one’s behaviour (Madon et al. 2011). Technically, how people behave is merely a response to other people’s earlier expectations. Therefore, the human expectations have a way of affecting one’s mentality, motivation or drive to achieve a goal. In a practical case scenario, when people convey their positive expectations using verbal and non-verbal cues that an individual has a potential to achieve a goal, the subject of their approval becomes self-motivated to fulfil their prophecy.
In my view, self-fulfilling prophecy is essentially a speculation that causes itself to materialise whether directly or indirectly because of the positive feedback between the believer and his behaviours. In technical terms, a positive feedback by a teacher regarding a student’s performance in maths would evoke the student to be motivated to perform better. In which case, a student would often change his attitude to align with what is professed about them publicly. Overall, what I have learnt regarding psychology’s contribution to self-filling prophecy is that when a person receives positive feedback to encourage him to change his attitude, it motivates them or energises them to reach their perceived potential.
How does the process of perception limit our view, or expand it? Can we choose how to perceive things?
How we perceive things potentially expands or limits our viewpoints of something. In turn, the perceptions we have developed regarding certain issues determines our attitudes towards certain issues, people or events (Pickens 2005). Perception refers to a systematic process characterised by the selection, organization, and interpretation of information (Johnston 2012). While perception may be viewed to be a psychological and cognitive process, the manner in which we perceive events or people fundamentally influences how we communicate. This is the reason we will speak positive of a sports team that we perceive favourably than what we would do for sports team we do not fancy. In other words, perception affects our attitudes and ultimately how we favourably or unfavourably interpret things, people, or events. Indeed, throughout my life, I have perceived many people, events, and in most cases made sense of my perceptions by relying on preceding experiences to assist me to sort out and organize the information that I should take in. In turn, these have affected how I communicate.
Therefore, I believe that when we have a positive attitude towards certain people, things, or events, we are more likely to expand our knowledge about them. This enables us to interpret them holistically, or expand our view. The opposite should be said of when we have negative attitudes. Therefore, we can choose how we perceive things depending on our attitudes. A positive attitude would mean an expanded view. A negative attitude would imply a limited view.
Make a list of benefits and drawbacks to each of the listening styles discussed in the reading from “Contemporary Public Speaking”.
The key listening styles include people-oriented listening, content-oriented listeners, and action-oriented listeners.
In people-oriented listening, we are more interested in the speaker than what he says. It is beneficial as speakers, who are charismatic motivate us to listen keenly. However, it also means that we may concentrate too much on the speaker that we forget about the message.
In content-oriented listening, we are more interested in the message of the speaker. It is beneficial as the listeners get the message. However, losing interest on the speaker may de-motivate the speaker to be enthusiastic (Watson et al.1992).
In action-oriented listening, we concentrate mostly on what the speaker’s plans for action. Its advantage is that it motivates results, response or action. However, we may end up forgetting about the speakers’ equally important ideas or concerns (Watson & Barker 1995).
In time-oriented listening, we concentrate on messages we are likely to understand fast. It is beneficial as we get to take note of important points only. Similarly, we may end up forgetting about the speakers’ equally important ideas or concerns (Watson et al.1992).
The reading from “Contemporary Public Speaking” refers to psychological noise as one of the distractions you might experience. Identify strategies you have successfully used to minimise the impact of the specific psychological noises you have experienced.
Psychological noise refers to mental barrier made up of biased judgements or preconceived prejudices that a communicator or the listener has against himself, herself or someone else (Wong 2013). A logical example is reading a book written by an author I have known beforehand and therefore believe is incapable of making sense. In such cases, I have often found it difficult to finish a chapter. For instance, while recently reading a famous book by an author who had recently been implicated of plagiarism, I quickly developed a bias for his books.
To avoid such psychological barriers, I would often begin by identifying the implicit bias and acknowledging the fact that the bias would form a barrier towards understanding the concepts in the book, despite their validity. The next strategy has been to seek out the company of other students or professionals who, I believe, demonstrate high egalitarian views and are too objective to entertain implicit perceptions. This has been helpful, since their objective arguments have often inspired me to remain objective at all times. Another strategy is engaging in extensive research on the topic a book explores and making a mental comparison of the points explored. I believe that this strategy has been the most effective. For instance, whenever I realise I have some bias towards an author, I consult other books to ascertain the points. In most case, I have often come to realise that my bias is unhealthy, as the points explored by other authors have often related (Ross 2008).
When is a longer resume justified? Explain.
A longer resume would be justified on grounds that a job candidate would have to provide holistic details regarding his or her work experiences and any other detail relevant to a job. I believe that in communication, details are significant as they prevent vagueness or confusion on the part of the recruiter. Indeed, by attempting to be extremely brief, some details are bound to be left out. At the same time, by excluding certain details that the recruiter is looking for, a candidate may be considered unfit for a certain job.
Is it important to consider the rhetorical situation? Provide a justification for your view.
A rhetorical situation refers to a natural context of individuals, relations, events, as well as situations that invite utterance, which relate naturally in a situation and obtains a meaning (Hauser & Kjeldsen 2010; Bitzer 1968). For instance, in a typical classroom situation, an assignment given in an English course would clearly state the purpose of an assignment, which provides an explanation of what students would be expected to show regarding the knowledge of an audience they are considering and the genre they are working in.
For instance, in an assignment where students are expected to write a rhetorical analysis of a 2016 US Presidential Campaign, students may be informed that their purpose is to provide an “analysis of the reasons an advertisement communicates particular information. The audience would be the teacher, researchers and other students, as the genre of the paper would be a “typical academic paper,” which would be subject to teacher assessment and peer review. The student would then be asked to take a position that is argumentative or thesis-driven. Overall, when students are provided with all these information, they would be geared up to enthusiastically “enter into a conversation” (Hackney, S & Newman 2013).
Let’s take the topic of tattoos. Imagine you are going to present two informative speeches about tattoos: one to a group of middle school children, and the other to a group of college students. How would you adapt your topic for each audience and why? Provide an example or explanation.
When presenting the speeches, I will keep in my mind first that I am talking to different kinds of audience with different understanding and knowledge. Therefore, I would need to adapt the speeches to fit their specific interests and needs, as any irrelevant information would not be appreciated. This would require audience analysis to understand their vital needs. I assume that middle school students would only require basic understanding of tattoos. My speech would, therefore, only outline tattoos, their definitions, and their advantages and disadvantages. Delivery would be through simple language without any jargons. On the other hand, college students would need exploring the deeper understanding of tattoos as they are more culturally aware. This would include theoretical frameworks for tattoos, cultural and sociological impacts to different societies and their communicative significance. The language may be framed using jargons.
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