17 Mar

As you finish up the drafts of your main stories…

…keep in mind a few pieces of advice from us.

First of all, take a good look at the directions. The main story is a chance for you to bring together the things you’ve learned through your interviews and research, so you want it to be a more comprehensive look at your topic than your interview story. You should also incorporate three voices — from three strong interviews.

Also remember to apply everything you’ve learned so far about communication values, writing an engaging lead, avoiding bias, developing a strong structure (resist the urge to wrap it all up with a conclusion — you’re better off using a strong quote) and using the very best quotes from your conversations with sources.

When it comes to structure, you want to avoid source chunking: writing about what Person A said, followed by Person B and Person C. Instead, figure out three main themes you want to hit and write different chunks about Theme A, Theme B and Theme C.

16 Mar

A few tips as you work on your ASFs

A lot of you probably have questions as you develop your alternative story forms. Remember you need to have two distinct ASFs. And it’s really easy to just want to do the bare minimum here, but ASFs take a lot of work → you’re making information digestible quickly. Here are a few tips for pulling them off:

      Read the directions!! Make a checklist to keep it straight.


      The data needs to match the format — so a timeline wouldn’t work for showing change in numbers over time.


      A lead is necessary (the piece needs to be able to stand alone, as well as complement your story). If the program doesn’t let you include a written introduction, then include the lead in the Word document you submit in Learn@UW.


      Make sure you include transitions and have a logical progression of data (particularly important for number issues).


      Be sure to highlight key findings in the transitions – something might not stand out to the reader just from the chart.


      Attribution should be clear throughout.


      Make sure you’re actually providing a new synthesis of data, so a map with a bunch of addresses and no other information isn’t much more than what we would see if I did a Google Search for the same thing.


      Avoid extrapolating beyond what you know.


    Avoid plagiarism!!! This includes copying or recreating the charts someone else already made.
06 Mar

Extra office hours with Stacy this Friday

If you’re looking for a little extra help on your IS main draft, or you just want to talk about how things are going in J202, I’ll be having some additional office hours on Friday, March 10, from noon to 3 p.m. in my office. (I had originally planned to be in the 5th floor lobby, but I think it’s going to be in use by a grad student conference.)

Sign up for a slot here — or just drop in! go.wisc.edu/0310stacyofficehours

02 Mar

Slides from Monday’s talk

I asked Jeane Kropp from Hiebing if she’d be willing to share her slides from Monday’s lecture — I have quoted her often this week! I’m sharing them here so you can hang on to them going forward — she shared a *really* valuable strategic framework with you. Hang on to it!
Message Strategy

You can find the slides here.