Home Forums Circularity MIKE STRAUSS:  COMMENTS FOR 3.4

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      MPatterson: Was sharing this class with someone the other day… they thought the agreement section followed immedately by the turn (I love you all, but…) seemed a little patronizing. They prefer people to just get to the point, the conflict right away. Do you ever find that with the AND statements or is this just a matter of knowing your audience?

      If your audience is larger than 2 it’s likely you are overestimating how much they are all on the same page as you. The Agreement piece can be brief but it is essential to being sure everyone starts with the same focus. Jumping right into the conflict makes me as reader/hearer decide without benefit of explanation if I really agree that it’s a conflict. So mentally rather than thinking along with you I may be internally arguing with you.

      daeisenhauer: Climate seems like a really hard nut to crack when it comes to connecting with audiences and motivating positive action. Is it a narrative problem, or something else?

      There is a lot of “baggage” when mentioning climate to a large audience. You need to find the place where all the audience can agree on. Years ago I did it this way: 1. Before the industrial revolution there was a lot of coal and oil stored underground. 2. But since then we have taken huge amounts of it out and thrown it into the atmosphere. 3. Therefore, we could reasonably guess that, in some way, things are different. Any reasonable person would agree to those but might not agree as to the degree of seriousness of the consequence…but it’s a step towards that place of agreement. It’s a narrative problem only in the sense that we too often start with “climate change is a serious problem”…which is starting with the conflict. If the person doesn’t believe that then it’s their cue that they don’t need to pay further attention. So start in an area of agreement.

      Joanne Grady: I’m intrigued with how this applies in scientific journal articles as they have specific guidelines and expectations?? I see it more for how we communicate with public and others about our work.

      Joanne, did you watch the AAAS video? It addresses precisely this point. Very important. A journal article is a perfect vehicle for narrative.


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