Reflection – Giants

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.

This is probably the core value that I believe I grew in the most this semester. Searching around the web for sources and data has always been one of the things I looked forward to the least when putting together a writing piece. That being said, as I began working on the white paper, I found that for every source that I found, a bigger piece of the puzzle that was my hypothesis was uncovered. I knew that very article I found had the potential to make my argument that much stronger. Ultimately, the assignment that I feared the most, the white paper, ended up being one of the easier to complete and more helpful of all the assignments that I completed. I believe that this assignment helped me to grow as a student efficiently.

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 think I put a lot of work this semester into becoming better at analyzing the context of a story and coming to the correct conclusion that the creator of said story expected me to arrive at. My best instance of utilizing this skill was in the Visual Rhetoric assignment. I think that this assignment taught me that I really need to absorb every single piece of information out of what I am given, regardless of how meaningless it may seem. That assignment had me pausing once a second and scanning that frame for sometimes as long as many minutes. I think it also taught me a lot of patience, and I learned that often times you won’t see the authors true intent until you really look closely.

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 think that this is the core value that I struggled with the most throughout the semester. This is because I often times have trouble figuring out who exactly the author is trying to communicate with. I think that the assignment where I displayed this the bets was the Purposeful Summary. This is because I feel like that in order to understand each story that I was writing about, I really had to analyze the text and decide who exactly the authors were writing for and what point they were trying to convey. In explaining the counter-intuitivity of these article I came to further understand what the author was trying to say, and became a better reader, and in turn, a better writer, in the process.

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 think that I really grew in this area over the last couple of months of our semester together. Specifically, I believe that I became better at using alternative sources and turn them into something that is good for my argument. I showcased this skill best in my Rebuttal Rewrite, where I took some statistics that could have buried my argument if used in a certain context, and turned them into things that could actually help build my argument up. This skill is necessary in writing because it allows you to not only defend your own statement but to build it up further. I think that I didn’t really start to understand how important being able to do this was until I was tasked with writing my Rebuttal argument.

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 believe that I certainly came a very long way in this regard, starting almost instantly. Before this class, I didn’t really take citation seriously. Crediting my sources was not important until it was due. This class changed that, because I realized almost instantly that a failure to at least record my sources as I build my argument would result in me not achieving a grade that I was satisfied with. I think that my Annotated Bibliography is the best testament to this. I was always looked at the citations at the end of every assignment to be the mundane ending to the task, but I realized that sources need to be compiled as they are accessed, and staying on top of your sources will actually help you a great deal in processing certain information.

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