Emma Torrance

Writing for a Communications Journal

Journal Overview and Citation Practices

I had difficulty finding submission guidelines for my journal, but the average article used 21 resources ranging from 16 sources up to 28. The average number of words was 8100 or between 9 to 11 pages. I used 14 sources in my articles which resulted in 18 different direct quotes. I need to do more primary research and get more scholarly articles for my article. This will help me by having more voices to construct the conversation with.

I choose the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications. It’s the only journal committed to undergraduate research in communications in the country. The online journal was started in 2010 so it’s relatively new. Some common topics are technology, social media, image restoration, and journalism.
The author uses phrases like “according to” frequently to introduce quotes. She also starts a sentence with an author’s name putting the year in parenthesis behind the name for correct citation. For summary the author uses introductory phrases like “overall” and “finally” to conclude her findings.
According to Rubin (as cited in Lee, 2009), audiences can be divided into ritualized and instrumental audiences. A ritualized audience focuses on the medium itself, rather than the content. The ritualized audi¬ence is more habitual in their actions. In comparison, an instrumental audience, who is goal-oriented, selects the media based on their content.
According to Sicilia and Palazon (as cited in Lee, 2009), “the gratification of individual needs in a virtual community depends on the perceived value of being a member” (p. 17). Virtual communities offer functional, social, and entertainment values. The functional values allude to an individual’s need to give and seek information and advice. Social values cover friendship and social enhancement. Finally, entertainment values are fun and relaxation from an individual’s interaction with others.
The author starts out by introducing the first voice of the passage Rubin. She does this by using the common introductory phrase “according to.” The author goes on to define some terms in the article that are not common knowledge. The author uses “in comparison” to help define the terms and show how they are different. Her next sources are introduced the same way using the phrase “according to.” The author goes on to dissect the quote by defining the terms functional values, social values, and entertainment values. She signals the end of this section of the article by using the word “finally.” The two different paragraphs do not talk about similar information. One talks about audiences and the other talks about virtual communities. I don’t think the voices have a relationship. I think the author used their previous research to hit on some important points.
I think for the journal I have chosen that any communications topic is acceptable. Communications is a very broad genre, so there are plenty of subjects to talk about. This will make it easier to choose an article to work with and also more interesting as there is more to read about. The author from this article uses citations frequently and makes it easy to notice when someone else is speaking. I think this relates well to the readers as most of them are probably undergraduates.
Bushelow, Elizabeth. "Facebook Pages and Benefits to Brands." Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 3.2 (2012): 8. 2012. Web. 4 Sept. 2013.

Definition Practices

The article I chose to use is “Corporate Use of Environmental Marketplace Advocacy A Case Study of GE’s “Ecomagination” Campaign” by Kristi Lee Jacobsen. She uses a few definitions in the introduction to help the reader understand what the article is about. For the term Marketplace advocacy she uses the help of another researcher to define the term. “Marketplace advocacy is one specific tool being used by corporations worldwide. This powerful strategic communications tool, a form of issue advocacy, is used by corporations to promote a product, service or industry function while influencing policy and public opinion (Miller, 2012).” This definition is what the entire article is about, so it is very important to have a clear understanding of what it means. I think the author assumes that the reader does not know what marketplace advocacy is. The term “issue advocacy” on the other hand is not defined yet so the reader is supposed to know what that already means or they might be lost. Overall I think the author gives a good definition of the term and that the reader will have a clear understanding of what is being discussed.
Issue advocacy is defined later on in the literature review. The author again uses another researcher to help define the term. “Issue advocacy campaigns are used by corporations to reduce the potential for government intervention resulting from public calls for investigation. These campaigns aim to inform, educate, and persuade the public about the positive contributions the corporation is bringing to society and the economy (Miller, 2012).” Since the author felt the need to further explain what issue advocacy is, it seems that the reader doesn’t know the meaning. I think by defining both marketplace advocacy and issue advocacy the author has established common ground with the reader. The terms have only one definition. There are not several different meanings for the terms.
Jacobsen, Kristi L. "Corporate Use of Environmental Marketplace Advocacy A Case Study of GE’s “Ecomagination” Campaign." The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 3.2 (2012): 76-84. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

Style of Dense Passages

The article I chose is “Crisis Management and Sports in the Age of Social Media: A Case Study Analysis of the Tiger Woods Scandal,” By Blair Berstein.
The first passage talks about a strategy to handle a crisis.
“Third are integrating strategies that aim to generate support on issues beyond the crisis event, including bolstering and transcendence. Bolstering is defined as the attempt to create credibility based by referencing prior good behavior (Brown, Dickhaus & Long, 2012; Len Rios, 2010). On the other hand, transcendence, which is used to deflect attention onto something else, is placing a fact or sentiment in a larger context that viewers are not currently seeing (Brown, Dickhaus & Long, 2012).”
Even though bolstering and transcendence are defined, their definitions are not the most clear. It feels like it is written for someone who has a background in crisis communication. To put bolstering in simpler terms it means to focus on something good the company or person has done in the past instead of focusing on the crisis. Transcendence is putting the focus on something good the person or company is currently doing, but is not in the spot light.
“According to Steven Fink, crisis is defined as “an unstable time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending-either one with the distinct possibility of highly undesirable outcome or one with the distinct possibility of a highly desirable and extremely positive outcome” (1986, p.15). Some experts on the subject have placed emphasis on the idea that crises create as much opportunity for organizational perseverance and growth as it does for failure (Burnett, 2002; Fink, 1986).”
A crisis is a time of trouble where action needs to be taken. The author goes on to define crisis as having a possible bad end result or a good one. While crisis is normally seen as a bad thing, it can have a positive outcome. It can teach people to work together.
“There are three basic categories with which all crisis are classified: crises that befall an organization or individual, those that are manufactured, and those that escalate from an accident (Curtin, Haymen & Husein, 2005).”
The three types of crises are never defined further in the article and can be a little confusing. The first type of crisis could be drug abuse or a sex scandal. A manufactured crisis is a man made crisis that could be when executives earn too much money and their employees aren’t earning anything. The employees bring it to light and the public is outraged. An example of a crisis that escalated from an accident could be the BP oil spill a few years ago.
Overall, I think these 3 excerpts help the article. If someone is reading this article they most likely have a background in communications and would know the prestige abstractions that are mentioned.

General Academic Style

The first article I looked at is “Is Generation Y Addicted to Social Media,” by Jaclyn Cabral. The second is “Online: A Case Study of Advocacy Nonprofit Communications in the United States,” by Linda Kurtz. The first article has a very long literature review unlike the second one which is very short. Both articles are heavy on the nominal style. They use a lot of nouns and give a lot of definitions. For example in the second article, “Young (2000) designated three conceptualizations of nonprofit-government relations: complementary, supplementary and adversarial. Complementary organizations partner with the government, helping to carry out the delivery of public goods largely funded by the government. Supplementary nonprofits fulfill a demand from the people for public goods left unsatisfied by the government. Finally, adversarial organizations prod the government to make policy changes and to maintain accountability. These organizations may also be called advocacy organizations, whose activities are based on policy analysis, research and the channeling of information to the necessary bodies (Hudson 2002).” The author uses two different authors to define different types of organizations. The authors speak to each other and build off each other. Young gives the definitions and Hudson ends the paragraph by putting the different types of organizations into one category.
From the second article, the author gives a definition, but only uses one other author as a source, “Generation Y is defined as those born between the mid-1970s and the early 2000s. This population has grown up with a majority of the technological advances, such as computers and the Internet. They have established relationships with technology and strongly understand its various uses. According to Jones, this generation is considerably more likely to use social networking sites and to create profiles than those of older generations. 20” This quote defines Generation Y very clearly, but there is no conversation between authors.
The discursive I is not really used in either article, but statements about the argument are. In the first article “however” and “this study focuses on” to me are signaling phrases that the reader needs to pay attention. “However, because social media is a large segment of Internet usage, this study focuses mainly on the top four social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn.” This quote makes it very clear on what the article is going to be about. From the second article “this research aims” stands out and draws the reader’s attention. “This research aims to identify the factors that influence how nonprofit organizations in the United States use the Internet for communications.” Again, the beginning of this quote is a signaling phrase and draws the reader’s attention.

Knowledge-making Cues

I chose the article “Women in TV Broadcast News: Reporters and Sources in Hard News Stories,” by Mariah Irvin. The article is a quantitative study. In the methods section the author does not use “I” at all. The author uses a lot of agentless expressions. An example would be “This study has collected data on the association between the gender of broadcast reporters and the type of story they are assigned, as well as whether male sources are cited as experts and used more often than female sources.” Another example is “This study has analyzed the evening newscasts of the Big Three commercial broadcast, non-cable networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC.” The author uses “this study has collected” and “this study has analyzed” to talk about the work done instead of saying “I collected” or “I analyzed.” These phrases focus on the activity more than the actor. The author does not insert herself into the writing at all. I think it is more professional this way. An example of a limiting expression in this quote is fairly. “Women have been fairly successful in breaking into the news business.” Another example of a limiting expression is generally. “A majority of studies showed that women are generally considered less capable of relaying news and events than their male colleagues, which could be seen as backward considering that today more females news than males.” In this quote “shouldn’t” is a modal of moral obligation. “When studied through an audience perspective, these journalists had the potential to influence attitudes about sexuality and gender, but it shouldn’t be that a woman’s value is reliant on her sexual appeal (Nitz et al., 2007).” “Every four years, presidential candidates and their messages dominate the news cycles of almost every news outlet.” In this quote the verb “dominate” characterizes the statement.

Introductions and Conclusions

The article I chose is “Assessing Network TV Ad Watches in the 2012 Presidential Elections,” by Stephanie Petrich. In the introduction limiting expressions are used. An example would be “Everywhere voters turn, it seems they see political advertisements during an election year.” The author used the word “seems” which indicates a lack of certainty even though the statement is obviously true. The author acknowledges a knowledge deficit by saying “Prior studies have not provided much attention on the evaluation of the advertisements themselves that major media outlets choose to cover.” This is a topic she feels needs to be covered. She wants to “provide further insight” and “encourage future research” so that there will no longer be a knowledge deficit. The author also gives a few basic definitions in the introduction. An example would be “Ad watches provide an outlet for the media to discuss key campaign advertisements and provide a check on the factual information presented to voters.” By giving the definition of “ad watches” the author clues the reader in as to what the article is going to be about. The conclusion the author stills uses limiting expressions by saying “Additionally, this study tried to provide insight into why media outlets picked up certain political advertisements in the 2012 presidential election campaign.” By saying “tried” makes it sound like the author may have failed in her goal. The conclusion engages in moralizing statements. An example would be the word “should” in the following quote “Further research should be done on the media outlets’ political leanings, the analysts they chose to use for the ad watches, and how the ad watches of the 2012 presidential election compare to past presidential election ad watches.” The author is suggesting what future research should be focused on. In my opinion the last two sentences of the conclusion are fairly repetitive. “However, even without this additional research, this study contributed to the current research on ad watches in the 2012 presidential election. All in all, there is still a need for future research on this topic, but this study has added to the discussion of ad watches and political communication.” I feel that “contributed to the current research” and “added to the discussion” are saying the same thing.

Summary of Good Academic Writing in Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications

My original paper was about corporations, more specifically the big five, and their influence on society. It gave a general overview of media influence and then talked about specific circumstances where the media has a large Influence. For example there was a section on the media influence in politics and another section on body esteem. The writing in the journal sounds very professional. The authors use other researchers to build off eachother and to back up what they say. Definitions are given for terms that are not commonly known. The authors keep their opinion out of the article.


1. Background: The journal I am writing for consists mostly of research papers and studies. My original paper was a research paper, but I changed it into a lit review. I then changed it back into a research paper so now it is a mix of a lit review and a research paper. Which do you think is more appropriate? The lit review style or the research paper style?

2. How can I improve the overall flow of the paper?

3. How can I make the paper more focused?

4. How can I incorporate more scholarly voices and how can I orchestrate them better?

5. Do you think I should cut the summary of what the different corporations own?

6. Do you think I should focus on The Big 5 corporations or just corporations in general?

Media Post Publications

MediaPost.com is a website that publishes articles and blogs about the media, advertising, and marketing. The website is aimed at professionals in those areas. It’s a “complete resource for industry news, events, jobs, contacts and research.” Besides owning MediaPost.com, the Media Post company owns MediaPost Communications an “integrated publishing and content company whose mission is to provide a complete array of resources for media, marketing and advertising professionals.” They also own the MediaPost Directories which contains over 150,000 contacts and resources. They have an E-newsletter, two other magazines, and an event planning company. I think the target audience is anyone who has an interest in the media, marketing, or advertising.
“Time Warner Cable Posts Mixed Results: Net Biz Up, Video Down” By: Wayne Friedman

The article talks about Time Warner Cable and their mid third quarter results about their revenue. The article talks about all the different things the company owns and how they are doing. “residential video sales from sank 4.5% to $2.6 billion.” “Phone/voice business slipped 6% to $498 million.” “its business services unit went up 20.5% to $594 million.”

Anyone who is shareholder or interested in becoming one would want to read this article. “Net income attributable to shareholders sank 34.2% to $532 million, while operating income rose 6.0% to $1.16 million.”

Project 2 Revision Plan

Part 1: Planning
MediaPost publishes both online and print articles. For my article I will write for the print version, Media Magazine. The magazine covers the world of media like broadcasting, print and online media. The online articles are very short and report on the latest news. My article will be longer than the typical online article and will inform on something that is not necessarily new.
The audience for my article will be people who are interested in media, advertising, marketing, and technology. The audience won’t necessarily be scholars, but it will most likely be a well-educated group.
The tone of my article will need to be more conversational. The purpose will be to inform the audience about media ownership. I will need to be more focused and pick a specific topic from my first paper.

Wiki 8

For project three I was thinking of writing blog entries. It would be a blog about the day in the life of a typical 20 something person. It would follow a person’s daily activities and what media they are exposed to. At the end it would go into who owns that media so the reader realizes the influence of the Big 5. The audience would be any one who is interested in the media. They wouldn’t have to be highly educated. I would have to explain what the Big 5 are and discuss corporate ownership, but in an easy to understand way. The purpose would be to inform people of corporate ownership, but also to entertain. I will have to make this more conversational than the first two papers. From writing the first two papers I know what the companies own and the definition of corporation.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License