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Report on Research

The two types of writing I have chosen to compare are the this is my time York University ad
campaigns (particularly posters and website banners) and the course description sections of the
York University enrolment module.
this is my time Ads

Regardless of the medium used to deliver these ads, the format of the message remains
uniform across all platforms; commercials, posters, billboards or YorkU website banners/ads.
This campaign is targeted towards both current York students and those looking to enrol and
serves as a testimonial for the achievability of success at the university and ultimately as a luring tactic. The ad consists of the concise but emboldened phrase this is my time, with a backdrop of a student and his/her academic background. The use of all lower-case letters may indicate that York University forwent formality in favour of making the ad as welcoming as possible.
The lack of other words used in the ads also allows for a more personalized interpretation by
students. They are left to fill the void and ponder what [their] time truly means to them. The
use of students from various ethnic backgrounds and disciplines in these ads then strengthens
this interpretation by providing them with a visual depiction of a version of themselves, in the ad
itself. In the TV/Youtube versions of these ads, viewers are given the opportunity to hear the
thoughts of the students in the ads and they often expressed their ambitious plans for the future.
This corroborates our theory that York University wants to evoke a sense of ambition in its students/potential students through this campaign.

Course Descriptions

In contrast to the ad campaign above, course description pages on the York university
enrolment module are often convoluted pieces of writing filled with broad and vague pieces of
information concerning the course at hand. Information about course prerequisites, the scope of
the material being covered and course objectives are often crammed into a paragraph with little
regard for literary aesthetics. A table with a prerequisite catalog and segmented course attribute
listings would be extremely beneficial in furthering the pages objectives. And though the course
descriptions are in themselves concise, having to construe semester long courses into a couple

sentences, the quality of the information provided varies heavily from department to department
and within individual course listings. The course description page exists primarily as an informative tool for students to understand the nature of the various courses offered at the university.


Although the course description section is a more substantive piece of writing in comparison to the singular phrase in the YorkU ad campaign, there are significant similarities in their
objectives. Apart from the didactic aspects of the course description section, it is also designed
to entice students to enrol in specific courses. This is most evident in the course descriptions for
elective courses, where tantalizing words are often used to gauge the interest of students disinterested in a specific topic of study. For example, in the description for the course AP/HUMA
1971, the course is described to be an exploration of childhood over time and space and exudes the impression that it is a boundless expedition for knowledge.1 The romanticization of
these descriptions serves just as much as a persuasive technique as the concise and thought
provoking my time message. The my time campaign seeks to lower its audiences barriers
and provoke ambition where similarly the course description page occasionally serves as a
temptress in luring students to the desired courses. Both pieces of writing are also readily available through the YorkU website for students that are enrolled. The ad campaign however,
doesnt require a log-in to be viewed whereas the course description page does. This again, is
due to scope of their target audiences mentioned previously.

The reason why these similarities ultimately exist between these functionally different forms of
writing is because of York University and its profit motive. The university as a whole is a business environment and the majority of writing it administers is keeps both its financial and legal
interests in mind. As stated above, the myTime ads are used as a recruitment tool and the
course descriptions are used in enrolment persuasion. They ultimately work in harmony to further Yorks interests.

AP/HUMA 1971 - Course description page