STUDENT SAMPLE – Nothing Says Tough Like a Tutu

Audio essay by Julie (WRTG 3020 – Fall 2011)



My intended audience is college- age students who have taken a Gender Studies class and understand sex as the anatomic and structural make-up of one’s genitalia and gender as what an individual personally feels he/she is regardless of his/her reproductive organs.  I want to target these individuals who are interested in evaluating and discovering how his/her expresses his/her gender.

My other target audience is my parents.  I want them to see the positive impact they have had on my gender expression.


My main purpose is to inspire my audience to think about how their gender expression was influenced by experiences and others around them.  I want them to think about what they were taught about what is means to be a man or a woman.  I aim to enlighten my viewer’s that one accepts and rejects ideas of gender expressions, while telling an entertaining personal narrative.

I also aim to illustrate to my family how they shaped my gender expression.  I want to demonstrate how they went against the typical gender expression norms and how, as a consequence, I do not believe my gender expression is typical of societies norms.  I also aim to thank my parents for encouraging me to be more than just a pretty face and a stay at home mom.


I plan to expand on the traditional idea of what it means to be a woman while exploring my gender expression.  I will illustrate to my audience that everyone has the power to accept or reject ideas that experiences and others have taught her/him about what it means to be a woman or a man and can choose her/his own gender expression for herself/himself.  I also plan to thank and illustrate to my parents the positive impact they have had on my gender expression.

Conversational Context

I enter into a conversation about gender expression. I analyze instances in which experiences in my life and people around me have influenced my ideas of what it means to be a woman.  I encourage others to think about what characteristics they believe a man or a woman should have.  I expand upon the typical traits of a woman and decide that I will choose characteristics of what it means to be a woman for myself and want others to do the same.


Digital Storytelling.  This impacts my approach to telling the story.   I must depict my stories well, so that a listener can create a vivid scenario of what I am trying to describe. I must also be weary of how I present the story.  I should attempt to tell it as if I were having a normal everyday conversation.   This approach allows me to create vivid images in the listener’s mind, tell a personal story while remaining anonymous, and potentially impact my audience more than if I were to have formatted this piece as a written essay.

Rhetorical Strategies

Ethos:  I used many details and made sure not to contradict myself. For instance, in the introduction of my story I state, “While I do not agree with everything I have been told, what I do believe to be the most important is that a woman is equal to a man.”

When I bring this notion up in the body of my narrative, I describe how I was taught raised to believe that a woman is equal to a man.   I make it clear in this paragraph that I agree with this idea and that I believe it to be avital part of my gender expression. Essentially, I do not make contradictory statements, which allows the listener to trust what I am saying. I make sure that my story is easy to understand by introducing my topic and then giving clear examples of everything I introduced the reader to in the beginning of my story.

Pathos:  My delivery style is very unique.  I am able to change my voice to convey seriousness or playfulness.  For instance, when I am describing how long I played basketball, I state “an impressive two seasons,” I change my voice so that the listener can tell I am being facetious and playful.  I also build anticipation in my mini-narrative of the karate-grappling match by setting the scene and then pushing the scene into action.  I use descriptive words so that a listener can imagine what is happening.

Logos:  I have a concise and well-organized personal narrative.  I introduce the characteristics I learned of what it means to be a woman in the first paragraph.  I then go into further detail of each characteristic by telling a mini-story about each.  I finally analyze each characteristic and explicitly state whether I chose to accept or reject this characteristic as part of my gender expression.  I then conclude my story by expanding on my characteristics and depicting what I learned from analyzing my gender expression. This makes my story easy to follow and listen to.

Composition Approach

I recorded my essay in Garage Band.  When I was recording, I made sure I was in a quiet place and used The Female Narrative Noisy effect to hopefully block out any unexpected background noise.  I then recorded my essay numerous times until I sounded natural.

What I am Most Proud of

I am very proud that I was able to compose a personal story describing how my gender expression came to be.  Majoring in an area of science, I am not used to writing personal narratives, so I was very proud of myself for creating a detailed narrative with humorous, serious, and meaningful points.  I am also glad I was able to learn how to compose a digital storytelling project.  It enabled me to see the impact digital storytelling pieces can have on others.  Lastly, practicing composing my piece over and over again allowed me to sound natural and more interesting to listeners.  I was also able to see my own flaws in my transcript and correct them.


Nothing Says Tough Like a Tutu By Julie

Transcript of Nothing Says Tough Like a Tutu