Isaac Gordon (b. 1927): Researching Writing Lives

The moment that I chose to write about Isaac Gordon I knew that his memoir was going to be individual and rich with new information for me to fully explore. I have learned a lot about life in Jamaica, I found it most interesting when I found out that many birth records were lost or never created, therefore some Jamaican citizens do not actually know their birth date. I feel as though I have developed as a researcher and a blogger. I found researching somebody’s life for the first time interesting, as it was a blank canvas that I was responsible for filling.

I feel as though, through writing this blog about Isaac’s life, I have contributed to the public history of Jamaican life and certain things that would not have ben explored in the past. Such as, the popularity of migration to America and England in search of work. There was a lot already online about the wind rush generation of Jamaican people travelling to America. However, I feel that by using Isaac’s memoir to display this, I have added a more personal outlook on this topic by displaying the struggles that he faced. As opposed to the articles available online, that mostly focus on the positive aspects.

I have found it extremely useful working closely with the other students on this module, helping each other to proof read and develop our blogs. I enjoyed reading other students work and relating it to my own, it has taught me that it is just as useful to explore others work as well as your own, in order to improve my own writing style. The research aspect of this module has been beneficial in me moving on with my studies and it has set me up with the skills that I will need to progress onto further study.

Before taking the writing lives module, I had little experience with blogging, only doing it on a module called digital Victorians in the second year of my course. I have learned that it takes time and patience in order to get your blog to look professional and appealing to the eye of the reader. This module has also made me more aware about my writing style and how I need to change it in order to fit different contexts. For example, my writing style needed to change when writing about sensitive aspects of Isaac’s life, in order to do his life and writing the correct justice.

Through this module, I have learned that social media can be very influential and it can reach a wide audience of people. This is the first time that I have used social media to share not only my work, but my classmates work too. It is a great place to research topics through hashtags, you can find information that you would not be able to find on search engines such as google or Bing.

The main points that I will take away from being part of the Writing Lives project are.

  1. To take feedback from your peers on board and use it in a productive way, in order to progress your writing style and make your work better.
  2. That social media can be used for a wide variety of things; it can be used solely in a social way and in an educational and professional way, making connections with many people around the globe.

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