Ch. 5 Writing Assignment: Twitter

Until mid-2017 Twitter forced its users to practice extreme conciseness with tweets limited at 140 characters. National Public Radio put Stephen Thompson, one of its music editors, to the test. “I approach Twitter as a science,” Thompson says. He sees well-designed tweets as online equivalents of haiku, a highly structured type of Japanese poetry. Thompson believes that tweets should be properly punctuated, be written in complete sentences, and of course, not exceed the (then) 140-character limit. His rules also exclude abbreviations. (Greene)

Here are two samples of Thompson’s mini reviews: “Mos Def is a hip-hop renaissance man on smart songs that look to the whole world and its conflicts. Slick Rick’s guest spot is a nice touch.” The second one reads: “The Phenomenal Handclap Band: Chugging, timeless, jammy throwback from eight shaggy Brooklyn hipsters. Starts slowly, gets hypnotically fun.” (Greene)

Although Twitter now offers its users a 280-count character limit, that doesn’t mean those extra characters should be used. Marketers from the Forbes Agency Council (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. chimed in with their thoughts in this article (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. In fact, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey claims (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. that users aren’t posting longer tweets for the most part. A more recent article (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. states that only 1 percent of tweets reach the 280-character limit with the most common length of a tweet being just 33 characters.

Your Task: Review your favorite album/song/book/TV show/game (this is your choice) in 280 characters or fewer, following the rules below. However, if you choose to use 140 characters or fewer, an extra 5 bonus points will be added to your score!

Your finished product will be typed in a Word document with your name, the name of what you’re “tweeting” about, and your “tweet.” Remember, your tweet should be no more than 280 characters. Note: this exercise does not require you to open a Twitter account and does not require you to post your tweet to Twitter.

How you will be graded:

  • Your assignment should be uploaded as a .docx, .doc., or .pdf file. Tweets will not be graded on Twitter. (5 points)
  • The document should include your name at the top, the topic of your tweet, your tweet, and your character count (see below). (10 points)
  • The tweet should be a coherent, complete sentence(s). (5 points)
  • The tweet should include the subject of the tweet (see example above). (5 points)
  • The tweet should be properly punctuated with no misspellings. (10 points)
  • The tweet should be no longer than 280 characters. Please note that characters are not the same as words and the character count includes spaces. (15 points).

**To find the character count in Word, highlight the tweet, go to the review tab, and locate the word count option. Please include the number shown after ‘characters (with spaces).’**

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