Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.
I feel that my work throughout this Comp. II course has definitely been an interactive and social process. With each piece of feedback and each revision, I have acquired an increased sense of improvement for my work. My professor, Dr. Hodges, provided me with thorough feedback on my Causal Argument essay. His feedback included critique on my reference section, which I was then able to fix. It also included advice on how to change my approach to the topic. My approach started out very linear, and with this advice, I realized I needed to take a different path. I feel like my work made some great improvements by the second draft (the Causal Argument Rewrite). I basically changed my approach from “reading fiction is bad for you” to “reading more nonfiction is a great way to sharpen your brain.” After then showing my revision to a friend, I was able to fix some wording and grammatical issues.
Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities.
I have experience with reading text critically to analyze it. This is apparent in my Safer Saws assignment, where I analyzed the claims made by five separate people about a table saw called the SawStop. The saw is special because the blade stops before your hand can touch it. Each claim I analyzed had a different view of the saw. For example, an article written about a competitor saw (the Whirlwind) saw the SawStop as an inferior product. I was able to analyze the type of claim made by this article and whether or not it is reasonable, logical, and persuasive. I also feel like I learned a lot about close reading through my Research Paper. This is because I happened to write a lot about close reading in my paper, thus informing me more on the topic.
Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.
I feel that when I first wrote my Rebuttal Argument essay, I didn’t fully take into account the audience and context. I aimed to make the essay about how I think teachers should rethink the way they teach reading to kids in elementary through high school. With the help of prof. Hodges, though, I was able to state my claims much more effectively in my Rebuttal Rewrite essay. I acknowledged that my target audience was grade school teachers and restated my claims in a manner that would be more well-received by them. My tone in the original essay was more harsh toward this audience, using phrases such as, “teachers have the wrong idea.” After revisions, my tone was lighter and more logical, using phrases like, “Grade school teachers often have a difficult time expressing the joy of reading to their students.”
Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.
The Visual Rhetoric assignment was great practice for using illustrations in writing. I gave a thorough analysis of a thirty-six second Ad Council video. I did this by pausing the video every few seconds, taking in what I just saw, and putting it into words. This improved my ability to describe a scene in such a way that if someone hadn’t seen the video they could still visualize it with ease. Throughout this semester, I have discovered many sources that I have incorporated in my writing. In my Whitepaper, I provide a master list that contains all the sources I used in my Research Paper. For each source, I give a brief explanation of the content of the article and describe what the article proves. This was a great way to organize my sources and keep my research feeling more clean.
Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation.
I always make sure to cite my sources properly when using a quote or paraphrase from them. This can be shown in my Rebuttal Argument essay. I found an article from the Pennington Publishing Blog that describes why students don’t get much out out reading assignments when they chose their own books. I used the quote in my essay and made sure to attribute Mark Pennington in the essay. I also used proper italicization for the title of the blog. It is unfair when people take information from others without proper attribution, and downright wrong to steal someone’s exact wording. This highlights how important it is to credit sources properly. All the sources I used can also be found in my Whitepaper, along with a description of what each source contains and what they prove.