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.
Prior to this course I wasn’t used to having my writing extremely critiqued. Composition II really opened my eyes to what critique and rough drafts really are. Getting feedback was like a gut punch and I almost didn’t know how to take it. However, it pointed out necessary ideas that needed to be altered or strengthened. I feel the best example of this was my Causal Argument/Causal Rewrite. I was trying to execute the idea that technological advances in our society have eliminated any means of physical activity and that this was taking a toll on our health. While I regret not being as interactive on word press as I wanted to, I saw the feedback provided by my professor. Although I had a good base I was lacking specific scenarios to connect with my reader. A lot of my argument was general and did not get up close and personal to relate to my audience. My professor offered me a scenario and I took it and ran with it. I described a comparison between manual labor that once needed to be performed and how we get our physical activity at the gym in today’s day and age. After finishing and rereading I was so satisfied with how relatable and effortless to read. This grew my confidence in the writing process and I now have more faith in the development of my writing.
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.
A lot of the topics that we discussed in class did not have my full support at first. Each class we had made you question your thought process and had you second guess your belief on a certain topic. This was beneficial as it is often hard to stray away from concrete opinions voluntarily, but when you’re posed with a counter argument to an idea that you thought was solid in your head it can get your mind churning. I felt this way when we read about Stone Money. Money is so important to us as humans and we value it so much that we lose focus on what money actually is. When we started to discuss this in class my first instinct was to brush it off, as money is something that I personally value especially as a young adult paying off college tuition. I also am a very strong supporter of the free market economy and the U.S. monetary system as a whole. When I listened to the audio I felt myself getting defensive which was actually quite comical to me that I was letting pieces of paper dignify how I felt. However, as I listened more and wrote about the topics that they included I grew more interested with the point that they were getting at. I felt myself nearly panicking while I thought about the chaos that would ensue if the dollar ceased to have value suddenly. I started thinking of all the places I use money and how I very rarely use paper money any more. This is a scary thought when we look at numbers going in and out of our bank accounts and realize how delicate a system supports the value of the dollar. The research also broke down how economists are able to manipulate people’s view of money to control inflation which is complex in itself. After reviewing all of these sources on top of discussing in class with my professor and peers I came to a completely different concussing than I came in with. This is the first time that I actually broke down my thought process and used the sources around me to dig deep into why I view the world in certain ways.
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 the the best analysis where I had to dig deep and go through it with a fine tooth comb was the Visual Rhetoric assignment. At face value, analyzing a video second by second with no other information, but the visual aspect seems impossible and useless. However, after doing one in class I was impressed with how much we could gather from just subtle details and movements. When I went to do this on my own I felt determined to really look for everything possible in each frame. Without any sound or context in heightens your awarenesses to the details that were well thought out in the video. Small details like items in the background or certain items in focus are lost when you’re listening to the context of the situation. I went through every frame and developed my take on what the video was trying to get across. While doing this self reflection I realized that I never listened to the video with the sound on to see if I was correct. I went back and listened to it and my analysis gave me a really good interpretation that was quite accurate to the actual context. It was a very satisfying feeling and I felt that I successfully viewed this assignment in a rhetorical and complete manner.
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.
I feel that My Annotated Bibliography best demonstrates the expectation of academic writing and locating support for my claims. Before researching my topic I had a bit of a pit in my stomach about finding adequate sources. I saw the 10-15 source requirement and was a little intimidate to say the least. However, once I started to research and read through articles I realized that one topic flows right into the next. If you stay concentrated and take the time to read through, you will find other ways to word your research questions which helps to find more complex sources. I felt that I gathered several unique sources that were not restricted to one part of my argument. Instead I was able to peel back layers of a point I wanted to get across and support from many different angles. This helped me to strengthen the support for my ideas and made me feel more confident in the research I found for my paper. I also found very quality sources ranging from government agencies, to pier reviewed articles, to well trusted organizations. I felt that I took my time in explaining the background and how I used each topic within my paper. This actually helped to organize my thoughts as well and I actually went back to make some revisions after discovering different ways to shape my support throughout my paper.
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 feel that again My Annotated Bibliography fairly and responsibly represents the sources of all the information with appropriate citation. I explained in detail my thought process and how I used each of these sources to shape my argument. All of my sources are credible and well constructed, providing information that could be used for a number of different topics. That being said I used them in a complex way to support my arguments specifically and used their contents to relate to my reason for using them in the first place. This very much goes hand in hand with Core Value 4 as holding the sources of our information is of utmost importance to the integrity of our entire paper.
I got chills reading the description of your Stone Money epiphany, Minutemen. Writing courses are rarely credited with changing the narrative of a student’s education, but they have that potential when they’re approached as “thinking courses.” I hope you would find that a fair characterization of this particular section of Comp II.