• The Swales Model: Is it Helpful for Academic Arguments?

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    Last week, my Writing and Digital Media class period was dedicated to taking our scholarly webtext information and using “The Swales Model.” What’s the Swales Model, you ask? Here’s a little background info.

    Basically, the Swales Model contains three strategies that linguistics professor, John Swales, created to help refine an academic argument. The three steps are:

    1. Establish a territory

    2. Establish a niche

    3. Occupy the niche

    Under these steps, Swales suggests that you focus on specifics in order to improve the argument. The specifics included (1) claim centrality, make topic generalizations, or review items of previous research. (2) counter-claiming, indicating a gap, question-raising, or continuing a tradition. (3) outline purposes, announce present research, announce principal findings, or indicate structure of a research article. Following those guidelines, I gathered my information and began to fill it into a “mad libs” structured exercise. This is what I came up with for my topic that discusses privacy issues for teens on social media sites:

    “In recent discussions of social media privacy for teens, a controversial issue has been whether or not teens take much consideration into managing their privacy settings on social media sites. On the one hand, some argue that teens need custom privacy settings for their profiles. From this perspective, statistics show that only “9% [of teens] say they are ‘very’ concerned when it comes to third-parties accessing their data.” Today, teens seem much more willing to share their most intimate information with the general public. John Titlow, author of #Me: Instagram Narcissism and the Scourge of the Selfie, describes public sharing as “getting a feeling that you’re peeking through a window of a world you’re not supposed to have access to.”On the other hand, however, others argue that teens can handle the public profile life. In the words of Marwick and Boyd, two of this view’s main proponents, say “what matters is not whether or not teens are speaking in public, but how we support them as they try to learn how to responsibly navigate the networked public spaces that are central to contemporary life.” According to this view, Marwick and Boyd seem to make note of how allowing more relaxed privacy settings create a learning process for teens. In sum, then, the issue is whether teens need custom privacy settings or should they have the freedom to share their information through a public profile.

    My own view is that if teens are mature enough to have social media profiles, they should be able to manage their own privacy settings . Though I concede that custom privacy settings are beneficial for the younger generation, I still maintain that teens will try to tip-toe around privacy settings. For example, new Facebook users can easily lie about their age when signing up for the social media site to bypass any strict privacy settings. I was about thirteen when I made my Facebook account, and since that is considered “underage” for a profile, I lied and entered a different birth year. Although some might object that strict privacy settings will prevent privacy issues on social media for teens, I would reply that these settings will have to be further developed in order to do so. The issue is important because teens have the ability to disregard privacy settings on social media websites and share more personal information with the public.”

    This in-class exercise was so helpful. I think that I have a lot of information, so the Swales Model organized my information a lot better. We were asked to not use our Swales Model result word-for-word in our scholarly webtext, but I think it really helped me focus my idea. I was able to zero in on exactly what I wanted to talk about. Tomorrow in class, we are going to start moving our projects onto whatever platform each of us intends on using. I’m using Storify as my platform, and I can’t wait to see the final results of my project!

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