The Edgar Snow Project and a Ton of Words

By Autumn R. Neal

The main task in building the Edgar Snow Project website is combining the five sections that my class mates and I worked on individually in the spring semester. We each had our own exhibit consisting of a few years that we divided up and named based on significant changes in Snow’s life.


The first thing I had to do was make all five of our essays into one complete text. The challenges behind this have been that we all have different writing styles, different ideas about which information should be included, and different ways of presenting that information. My first step was to rewrite all the text so it sounded like one person wrote it as opposed to four. Obviously, there were quite a few areas where the original author did a better job than I could have. There were also some sentences that were worded so well I had to find a way to make the text flow but still honor what they wrote.

The next issue was the amount of writing we had. If I remember correctly each of us wrote 2000 words that were divided up between the main narrative, exhibit item descriptions, and other information attached to places on the map. Did I say that before? The website is an interactive map. It will show Edgar Snow’s life in terms of his movements around the globe. Each important stop will have a clickable dot that opens an item. The items will be photos, articles, letters, and excerpts from books or journals. I’ll write a post specifically about the items at a later date. Back to the main point, that’s almost 10,000 words. That is way too much text for one page. I had to reduce that number to 3000-4000 words. It was difficult choosing what to delete, keep, or try to incorporate into exhibit items. I guess we’ll see how well it worked in the next few weeks.

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