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Præsentation engelsk

Helle Riis

on 21 March 2014

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Transcript of Formidlingskurset

Climb up and down
the ladder of abstraction


Back ground



Source: The news triangle is found in the text Multimedia Journalism (2010) in the course compendium.
The news triangle

Consider the subject for your communication task.
Consider the target group and the medium.
Ask yourself:
Space craft Pioneer 10, 1972
Go to your favorit news webpage (English), and find examples of:
active verbs
varied sentence length
use of word ordering for emphasis
Exercise – 5 min.
They add an extra syllable to the verb, and the verbs tend to resemble each other:
, eat
, swimm

Prefer the present or the past tense:
Walk, eat, swim.
Each verb takes a distinctive form.
Take it easy on the -ings
“We live in an era of gratuitous inventions and negative
improvements. Consider the beer can.”
John Updike

“A healthy 17-year-old heart pumped the gift of life
through 34-year-old Bruce Murray Friday,
following a four-hour transplant operation
that doctors said went without a hitch.”
Jonathan Bor
You have to make a:

communication task

You will only be evaluated on the report,
but the communication task has to be attached.
Communication task & report
To give students experience with the communication of results of projects and other study activities in Cultural Encounters to target groups outside the university, by their own choice.

In the course we will work with how to combine the tools of communication practice with the reflections of Cultural Encounters
Purpose of the course
The opening of the article should answer the readers initial questions:
followed by: how and why

Source: Multimedia Journalism (2010) in the course compendium.
The beginning/opening of the article

The headline must:
1) sell the story (via the news values)
2) be understandable
3) have coverage in the body text/be backed up by arguments in the body text
4) be ”positive” - not contain ”not” or ”non”
5) be easy to pronounce
6) be as short as possible
7) fit the introduction in the body text

It must not:
1) contain exaggeration
2) be meaningless
3) contain misunderstandings
4) be a negation (avoid: not, non) or contain a questionmark
5) contain clichés (unless you use them in a new way)
6) contain abbreviations
7) repeat words (avoid the same words/actions in headline and subheadline)
Guidelines for the headline:
Finish the sentence: "I want to tell that..."

- ”that” makes the difference, avoid ”about”.
Choose a message
What news stories from yesterday do you remember?
It's new – it just happened, or we just found out it happened
It affects a lot of people
It's relateable
It's sensational
It contains a conflict
News values

”The physical make up of the man and woman were determined from results of a computerized analysis of the average person in our civilization.”

”Anyone from a scientifically educated civilisation having enough knowledge of hydrogen would be able to translate the message”

The senders preconceptions
Who is your target group in terms of gender, education, political points of view, knowledge on the subject, self understanding, language?

Avoid the sender trap: if I like what I write, my reader will like it too.

Target groups are often obstinate: That's what make them a target group. Think about smokers, who do not react to campaigns.

Visualize! Think about your reader. Imagine the reader. Then write.
Target group/reader/receiver
Read the two texts and consider the differences in styles of narration.
Rewrite the news story into a feature with an explicit first person narrator (an I/we).
Or rewrite the feature into a news story without the first person narrator, but with the utterances of sources.
Exercise: Genre and narrator
Rewrite "your room"

Specific language
Active verbs
Order words for emphasis
Vary your sentence length

Be specific:
If you include a location: what does it look like?
If you include persons: what do they do?
Exercise – 10 min.
Begin your sentence with subject and verb, then let weaker elements branch to the right. It makes meaning early.
The minister decided to... Rebels ceased control of the airport...

Order words for emphasis. The period acts as a stop sign, and the readers eyes are drawn to the white space before and after the period.
”The Queen my Lord is dead” (Macbeth)

Set the pace with sentence length. Vary sentences to influence the readers speed.
As the train lured into motion, Seebiscuit was suddenly agitated. He began circling around and around the car in distress. Unable to stop him, Smith dug up a copy of the magazine and began reading out loud. Seebiscuit listened. The circling stopped. As Smith read on the horse sank down to the bedding and slept.
The structure of the sentence
Active verbs create action, are informative and illustrative
a football player”, ”Peter
football”, ”Peter
across the football field”.

Verbs can refer to the content of the text:
through this years first surplus.”

Let the verbs do the job:
a few stairs and
the door and
it behind him. Moonlight
through the curtains, he
of his clothes and went into the bathroom.
1. Two articles that supported each other (a news report and a feature). The articles in combination tried to renew how ethnic minorities are represented in the danish media.

2. An exhibition where the visitors produced the content of the exhibition during their visit. Through its form the exhibition discussed the position of the receiver and the sender and who was able to produce knowledge on the theme of the exhibition.
Two examples of communication tasks from last semester

What presupposition do I have of my target group?
Do I exclude someone through language, layout, medium etc.?
What qualifications does it take to be the receiver of my message?
How do I respond to that I as a sender defines what knowledge is?
What kind of power is hidden in that?



My new Ferrari California
Leif Becker Jensen: "Den sproglige dåseåbner". P. 154
Roy Peter Clark: Tool 22 in "Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer".
Online source: Peter Roy Clark ”50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer”
Online source: Peter Roy Clark ”50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer”
Online source: Peter Roy Clark ”50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer”
Jan Krag Jacobsen "24 questions for planned communications"
Source: Hanne Løngren i Ingemann m.fl. (2003) Faglig formidling – praksis og konsekvenser
knowledge that...
knowledge how...
knowledge by acquaintance
Leif Becker Jensen: "Den sproglige dåseåbner". Pp. 37-47
"We protect ourselves against new knowledge. If it were not this way, we would not be able to build up coherent and consistent personalities which make it possible for us to make sensible decisions in our everyday lives" p. 48.

"There has to be a mixture of new information and well-known information in a product if it is to be accepted" p. 49.
Jan Krag Jacobsen: "24 questions to planned communication"
Source: A description of news values can be found in: "Multimedia Journalism" (2010) in the course compendium.
“Civilization is a stream with banks,” wrote Will Durant, working both ends of the ladder. “The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.”
Rewrite one of these abstract sentences:

”She was annoying”
”It was a lovely day at the beach”

Make it specific: 10-12 lines.
Exercise – 5 min.
The top talks to your intellect: what does it mean?

The bottom talks to the senses: Can you make an example?
Metaphor and simile help us to understand abstractions through comparison with concrete things.
Full transcript