I. Understand that writing is a practice which involves a multi-stage, recursive and social process.
I believe I had accomplished this goal albeit a lot later than I would’ve liked. Generally I am rather independent so learning how to cooperate proved to be difficult but necessary. Without a thorough discussion of ideas and a number of drafts, my thesis would have been not only impossibly difficult, but almost inherently unworkable as well.
II. Understand that close and critical reading/analysis allows writers to understand how and why texts create meaning.
Early on I was set back by trying to find a singular definition for “The American Dream.” Quite frankly this singular definition does not exist. This led to significant difficulties in the forming of my thesis as well as starting my paper. Only through comparisons of various definitions of the “American Dream,” presented by various authors, and polls and cross referencing them to each other was I able to define what the “American Dream” meant to me and what it meant in terms of my paper.
III. Understand that writing is shaped by audience, purpose, and context.
By having an idea of what I wanted this paper to be, as well as having a general idea of what I was going to find, I knew that the purpose of the paper would be to ultimately address the shortcomings of the United States in terms of fulfilling the American Dream. I knew I would end up talking about the income inequality and it shows, as the main points in my paper focus around the economy and social mobility.
IV. Understand the role of information literacy in the practice of writing.
During my research paper I found a lot of often times conflicting facts. There’s a lot of statistics that can be thrown around and it was important for me to learn how to understand it properly. Had I not achieved this goal, my paper could have been very different, especially when announcing numbers given by polls. It’s important for me to learn how to use the data in the way that benefits me, and in a way that accurately represents what my research conveyed.
V. Understand the ethical dimensions of writing
My paper was very factual and at times could be very wordy. I had to learn how to take the information given to me and represent it accurately without trying to twist their meanings. I also learned that I could not just take someone’s data and just put it in my paper without proper citations. Although it would be easier for me to just put all the stats and data in my paper and talk about them after, I knew that I had to properly mention each source as I brought it up.