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 have never taken a course that was as writing intensive as this course, but as the semester comes to an end, I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome of my hard work. I was taught many new techniques, such as how to write academic summaries and properly revise a paper. My argument for this semester was to find proof that serial killers cannot be declared legally insane, all while providing context into what makes a serial killer. With help from Professor Hodges, I demonstrated my newfound skill for research, gathering sources, and summarizing each source to bring together for a cumulative research paper. My new revision skills were demonstrated through the process of writing my definition rewrite. Professor Hodges gave me much needed suggestions to improve my writing, which I happily applied each time. Each stage of revising my arguments throughout the semester has been valuable and has taught me things that I had not learned before. I will carry this knowledge with me for the rest of my career, whether it is for school or in my career. My favorite part of this course was being able to research a topic that interested me and being able to share the knowledge I have gained with others.

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. 

One of the first things taught to our class was the concept of purposeful summaries. A purposeful summary gathers all the knowledgeable information from a source and is written using our own words to help create a better understanding of the source material. The plentiful amount of sources I cited followed along the lines of differences in types of murder, criminal insanity, and the makeup of a serial killer. To create a purposeful summary, I had to gather sources that were useful to my topic and analyze each one. After careful analysis of the articles, I was able to summarize the information that would be useful when writing my arguments. I demonstrated my ability to analyze and create meaning best in my white paper. The final product of my white paper is filled with detailed, purposeful summaries that helped me best drawl the conclusion that serial killers cannot be classified as insane in a legal sense. I had never been introduced to a white paper before taking this course, and I am so grateful that I now know how to structure one. The white paper created the foundation for my writing and became very useful to me when explaining new ideas in my argument.

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 demonstrated core value 3 best in my visual rhetoric argument. Like many other components of this course, I had never heard of a visual rhetoric argument. After going over examples in class, we were tasked with writing our own. I chose to watch an ad on responsible driving. The characters in this clip were supposed to be going on a trip but were responsible when they found out that everyone in the car had smoked, so they were unable to drive. I watched this video without sound and was able to analyze and explain each action. After analyzing each clip in the video, I had to dig deeper and understand why the director chose the elements that he did. The visual rhetoric assignment taught me to analyze what the purpose of the ad and the elements were to make the video more effective.

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.

My annotated bibliography illustrates my ability to locate, evaluate and incorporate evidence into my writing to support my own ideas. In this assignment, I briefly summarized the sources that I used during my research, and I was able to explain how I used these sources to support my own ideas and interpretations. Each source I used contained different ideas that I was able to reflect on in my own writing. I had to pick my best sources and compile my own ideas based on the way I interpreted these academic sources. This assignment was new to me, but with explanations and examples from Professor Hodges, I felt comfortable enough to dive right in and begin. After being applauded by Professor Hodges for my hard work, it is clear that my ability to locate, evaluate, and incorporate evidence has significantly improved since the beginning of this course.

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. 

Core value 5 was best illustrated in my research paper. In my research paper, I illustrated my complex ideas and provided insight as to why I have come to this conclusion. At the beginning of this course, I set out to write about the making of serial killers. At first, I was focused on proving that all serial killers were abused as children but not all abused children became serial killers but after extensive research my thesis has evolved into the idea that the complexity of a serial killer makes it impossible to credit one factor to the making of serial killers. In return, these numerous factors for serial killings make it impossible to diagnose a serial killer as legally insane. The knowledge I gained from my sources made an easy explanation into a very complex and almost impossible explanation as to why serial killers kill.

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3 Responses to Reflective-shxrkbait

  1. davidbdale says:

    I’m delighted and gratified by the progress you’ve made this semester, Shxrkbait. You kept my inbox flooded with updates and never flagged in your efforts at self-improvement. Your final product shows the results of all that hard work and determination.

    It’s odd that, after all the attention you paid to details, your Reflective Statement is so vague in its claims. This reader waited until #5 to discover the topic of your research and hypothesis. Other readers would not have been so patient. You probably don’t need the grade boost, but this is still improvable if you’re so inclined. Share the specifics of your journey so readers will want to tag along.

  2. shxrkbait says:

    Thank you! I will take this into consideration and add more details to this assignment. It has been a pleasure collaborating with you this semester!

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