Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.
Before taking this course, I thought it was just going to be another writing course with a research paper at the end. Print it out, hand it in, done. But this was not the case at all. This course taught me to think. Professor Hodges put a lot of emphasis on the analyzation of writing, and how it’s just as important as the writing itself. If I didn’t clearly understand my topic, or what audience I was writing for, then I would need to go back and figure out exactly where I wanted my paper to go. A lot of the rewriting process was done in my head, and then I had to sort my ideas out into a clear progression and publish them in a paper. I think my best example of this is my Definition Rewrite. I think this shows my work clearly in ideas that flow well.
Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities.
Until this course, I had no idea that various sources could be used so well to prove the same point. Before, I would just insert block quotes here and there to prove that I was using sources, but I didn’t really give it too much thought. Now, using my sources and adding them to my own ideas gave me a much bigger picture in my head of my topic. They all came together to help prove not only my point, but also those of the other sources. And since not all sources were written from the same viewpoint, I got to collect several different opinions of the same idea and put it all together.
Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.
My topic is a very vague one, and it could apply to almost any audience, so my job in analyzation was a tough one. Even though it’s probably not as good as it could be with a lot more time and energy put into it, having an entire semester to deliberate on whether happiness is created or inherent, and whether we have the power to change ourselves despite the circumstances, was eye-opening for me. I went into the project thinking that it would be an easy topic, and it certainly wasn’t. Not by a long shot. But I learned so much from choosing this topic, and from the clear feedback provided.
Core Value IV: 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.
My paper would be nothing without first-hand experiences written by the authors of some of my sources. My best demonstration of this is my Rebuttal Rewrite. The author of my source experienced very closely how bad circumstances can ruin your life. But he chose to overcome that by looking at his circumstances and deciding not to let them run his life. He changed for the better. With my topic, articles like these are crucial, as first-hand accounts are needed for a relatable aspect and context.
Core Value V. 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 learned a lot in this course about taking all views into account. Our job as writers isn’t to convince other people of our personal opinion, it’s to know the facts and put everything out on the table in a calm, fair way. Readers shouldn’t feel like they’re being overwhelmed by the writer’s opinion. They should know the facts and be able to decide for themselves. Overall, this course has really changed my thinking about how to approach writing, and they’re not things I’ll soon forget.
If half of what you say is sincere, thirdlady, you got more than your money’s worth out of a composition course! I’m gratified to hear echoes of so many of my own opinions about writing in your reflections here. My goal is always to help my students be better thinkers; better writing automatically follows, like a prize.
Or a parting gift. I miss this class already.
Of course it also occurs to me that nowhere in the five paragraphs you’ve written about your own work have you identified your research topic. As with all writing, specific illustrations would certainly help make this a persuasive argument. Just sayin’ 🙂