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.
The perspective that my writing was “good” when I first started this class rapidly changed once I started to receive feedback from my professor. Because of the his helpful critiques, I was able to develop my work to lengths that I didn’t know were possible. Most notably, in my causal argument, I demonstrated the ability to interact with others to better the quality of my own work. Because of the dialogue between my professor and I, I had the opportunity to make multiple revisions over the course of a couple of weeks. But, being able to work with fellow classmates and view their work on the blog, had also opened me up to many different styles and techniques when it came to writing. Because of our collaboration on improving my work from the very beginning, towards the end of the semester, I had begun feeling more confident in my work and in the way I try to persuade my readers.
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.
Writing to a broad audience isn’t always the most effective method to get people to be intrigued by what you have to say. Distinguishing who the essay intended for, and boldly directing the claims toward that narrow audience, will greatly benefit how well the point is perceived. Through all of my short essays, but specifically in the Definition essay, I made it clear that my work was intended for toxic fitness influencers, teens, and the parents of those teens. By narrowing my audience down, it is easier for a reader to understand who I am trying to defend and who I am trying to “tear down.” By understanding what side my audience agrees with regarding my arguments, I was able to accumulate many simple ideas, then later synthesize them into complex topics.
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.
In my causal essay, I specifically called out the toxic influencers that are recklessly harming and endangering our youth. Due to my understanding of the purpose of the causal argument, I knew I had to analyze who I was targeting, and pick out pieces of evidence that would best demonstrate why my side of the argument is correct. Calling out to this specific group of influencers shaped my writing because even though I am arguing against their actions, I have to remain calm and show them respect so that I don’t lose their interest. I also wrote to try and persuade them to change their toxic behavior to a behavior that betters the health of their viewers. I understood that I couldn’t allow the influencers to feel disrespected by me, but I did have to guide them into thinking that they were in the wrong, by slowly giving them evidence that proves they are dangerous to our youth.
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.
In my visual rhetoric, I have demonstrated the ability to incorporate and evaluate illustrations to support my own ideas. I viewed the ad, Veterans Crisis Prevention, posted by Ad Council, without any sound and essentially used the visual clues that the director included in the video to determine what was going on. The video was centered about war veterans that experience the harsh realities of life when they return from service, but without listening to the audio, it was much more difficult to grasp that deeper/hidden meaning that the director intended. I had to contextualize what I was seeing without any audio, and connect it to the prior knowledge that I had on veterans. After carefully interpreting the video without audio, I concluded that the techniques and tactics the director used were carefully placed to convey sympathy for war veterans and to highlight the hardships that they face.
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.
With the number of sources that I have pulled pieces of evidence from, it is only fair that I attribute the author of those sources, not only in the references list, but throughout my writing as well. I have done this in all of my short essays, but more importantly, I have reasonably cited and respected any work that wasn’t original in my final research paper. Because I have kept track of my sources, with help from including them in the white paper, I have not had the fear of unintentional plagiarism as I went about the research process. I knew that once I was done, I would have accumulated the citations and purposeful summaries of those sources, which would later help me distinguish my own original work, from the helpful evidence presented by outside influences.
Very strong work, GF. You’ve clearly achieved some epiphanies during this grueling semester of self-critique and revision. Your entries here (true of all arguments) are strongest when they’re specific. Compare how persuasive your #2 entry is to how vague your #1 is. Revise if you have the time, energy, and inclination. The latest draft is never the last until you’re dead.