1. Travel Writing Review
Individual assessment Written Critique Length: 1000 words (exclude the reference list and appendices)
Task: In this assignment, you are required to write an academic review (or a constructive criticism) of non-academic travel writing. You are to choose ONE of the travel articles listed below for this task.
Konecki, A. (2016, July 26). Pura Vida. Wanderlust. Retrieved from https://www.geoex.com/blog/pura-vida-costa-rica
This assignment is designed to meet the following objectives:
It is timed so that you get some early feedback.
The topic requires you to do some vicarious travel and thus get you in the ‘mood’ for the study of travel and tourism. Also, it allows you to experience destinations through someone else’s eyes.
This assignment requires that you read critically, and so serves the objective of encouraging that habit in all of your reading.
In writing this review, you will learn or reflect upon and refer to academic tourism literature to ‘make sense of’ non-academic writing.
You will learn a little geography – don’t forget to “read” that map you include
You should read a selection of academic book reviews (available to obtain through the Library Search) for some examples and also check through book review magazines and newspapers to see how pieces of writing are reviewed professionally. Also, there are a range of readings on the My Unit Readings (Talis) site that will help you learn about travel writing (e.g. Blanton, 1997; Krist, 1993; Murphy,1992) as well as travel journalism (e.g., Cocking, 2018; Hanush, 2014)
The notes in Appendix A are edited from the premier academic tourism journal, Annals of Tourism Research, and should give you some ideas about how academics do this task. Some things to include in your assignment:
You should only use about one-third of the word limit for the critical summary of the content.
You will need to do some research on (at least some aspect of) the featured site/destination/etc. in order to comment on the author’s veracity.
As part of this review, you are to include or attach a map that shows the geography of the journey of which the author writes. This map could be of the entire trip or of the principal location where most of the travel occurs.
Some commentary is needed on the presentation, design and structure of the article: are there any audio and/or visual aids that come with the article? How is the writing divided into paragraphs? Is it done in a meaningful way? Is the layout of the article effective in presenting the article to its intended audience? These are just a few of the elements that go into the “making” of an article.
You should endeavour to find out something about the author as a travel writer, and/or as a person.
Consider whether the article is (potentially – sometimes it is not obvious) funded or sponsored by an external party/organisation. How this has impacted the quality and accuracy of information and created any bias in the article?
Include the full publications details. Where and when the article was published? Use a book review in an academic journal (e.g. Current Issues or Annals) for a model of what to include.
You should also look at the comment section of the article (if there is one) in order to consider what the other readers have thought about the articles.
Think about how these authors go about preparing for their travelling and how they relate to the ‘world’ through which they are travelling. What do they say about it? What do they omit? What judgements do they make? Have they a right to judge? What motivates their travel?