Friday, March 12, 2010

An Idea for Our Report

Hey everyone,

As the heating team met today after class, the idea came up to include a quote from the heating plant supervisor Jim Franklin. I bring this up to the whole class because I was wondering if for consistency, we would all like to include at least one quote in our respective sections. It could make our writing more personal as it did when Kolbert added her characters. Ours would be on a smaller scale, but I think it's something we should consider and decide on.

Also, maybe we would like to discuss consistency with photos as well. Would everyone be willing to commit to providing at least one photo for their section? We could use it at the beginning of each section with the heading, perhaps.

Finally, I have a separate question regarding the electricity team. This might be over your heads, but I hear every now and then that a lot of electronics take energy when they're plugged in even if they're turned off. I personally use a power bar for most of my electronics, and I turn it off every night. I'm curious to know if that makes any difference in my carbon footprint, and if so, could we promote the use of power bars for the campus especially with the student body living in the dorms?


  1. I think this is an EXCELLENT idea--the photos, and the quotes. In fact I'd encourage people working in each report area to try to gather a collection of potential quotes as well as several possible photos. We could potentially do something like include good photos/quotes that were not actually in the report in an appendix at the back--or use them in a special "campus only" edition. Just some ideas off the top of my head.

    As for the phantom loads, if Doc P sees this post, Jason, he'll have some things to say about that topic!

  2. Will we need to ask people for permission to quote them?

  3. I would suggest that each report, as part of the revising process, be run past the university employees who helped with the data. This can serve for both fact-checking and accuracy of the presentation of the data, AND for allowing anyone quoted to respond to it.

    I also suggest that when we get to the stage of sending the draft versions out, we do that using a common "intro" email text so we're sure that everyone is conveying the same message about the goals for the report. This would include how the quotes are intended to function rhetorically in the ultimate larger document.

  4. Just curious, do we ask someone if they have a quote they'd like to have included in the report, or would we just be quoting something they had said at some point in time that works cohesively in the report?

  5. In response to Steph's question, I would say that my instinct is *not* to ask people if they have a quote they'd like included--I think that would tend to make most people self-conscious. (An exception might be--say you're already taking notes--the person speaking happens to say something that is so well expressed or so startling to you, you say, "Wow--that was really well said," or "Wow, that is an excellent point; I want to be sure I get that down right." And then you could read back what you have, asking them to help you get it right)

    But generally I'd say that as researchers working with people, you should be looking not only for information, but also for language that might work in a "Kolbertian" way. You might want to skim some of the sections of chapters where Kolbert chooses to quote verbatim rather than paraphrase and see how she uses those.

    We'll be returning to discussions of Kolbert post spring break/post information-gathering, so we can also include some time on how she operates *as a writer*.

  6. Jason, I completely agree with you about the powerstrip idea. It is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately too. I think it would be really great if the dorms (and even academic buildings) could have some kind of campaign about unplugging appliances when not in use. I know that in my apartment, I always unplug our toaster, but my roommates are still having a hard time understanding why. It would be great if that data could be out there, or maybe even posted by electrical outlets... Anyway, it is definitely a recommendation that the electricity team (Elizabeth and I) will definitely consider.

    Additionally, I agree that quotes and pictures would be a great idea. Elizabeth and I had already been planning on taking pictures because there is so much that the university has done in regards to lighting. It would help illustrate things to the average reader and make the information accessible and, perhaps, more engaging.


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