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.
Throughout the semester, I did a large variety of research for my final paper. My thesis on empathy in plants required scientific evidence as well as an understanding of philosophy. In my White Paper, I developed new ideas through repeated key words I found in previous evidence. I had discussed my topic with my philosophy professor to see if he could help me find proper definitions and theories that would apply to emotion in plants. Of course, Professor Hodges was an excellent collaborator to brainstorm ideas with that could support my thesis and develop new key words to search for sources. I would get stuck on how I could find new ways to present my ideology, and Professor Hodges helped me look at the topic from different perspectives to strengthen my claims.
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.
In my Definition argument, I connected the ideas of empathy, altruism, and behavior. To do so, I pulled from philosophical, psychological, and scientific texts. I explained how empathy can be seen through altruism, and altruism can typically be seen through behavior. Relating this to plants took another comparison of rats with altruistic tendencies, and further comparing that to the behavior of plants. Introducing this topic required me to get into the mindset of someone who has never been exposed to these ideas, so I could explain it in a proper manner. On the other hand, I had to reflect on my own perspective of the topic to express that into writing. It took time to collect the resources and see how they could be used in a specific order to help a reader understand my topic in a clear way.
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.
The Visual Rhetoric argument required me to deeply analyze the choices in a video and study the meaning the creator put behind those choices. I reviewed camera angles, lighting, clothing, setting, and the actions of the characters to understand how a viewer would interpret different styles and decisions. I had to read between the lines to process what the creator’s intention was. While this was based off a video, the assignment allowed me to think about my own writing. I reflected on my own audience and what wording and phrases can do to entice, or scare away, a reader. It helped me understand that certain language can be used to draw a reader in, and that slowly presenting evidence can convince them to understand argument.
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 Causal argument demonstrated how I used sources to strengthen my claims. I researched key words to find the main evidence used to show that plants have empathetic behavior. I used academic sources for the best, reliable evidence. It took multiple sources that I analyzed to reflect my own ideas. Most of the sources simply showed the behavior of plants, which I used to explain how that behavior is an example of empathy. My best source was from an extraordinary scientist who discovered a lot about the connections of plants and fungi. The excitement she had about her findings fueled my writing to display the same amazement. That enthusiasm could better persuade my reader’s to find love for the ideas I was explaining.
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 always follow the rules of ethical writing to ensure sources are fairly credited. My Stone Money essay was based more on my resources than personal perspective. It required me to completely reference the sources and evidence I acquired. I made sure to name each article or podcast, along with the authors or speakers, to give them the credit they deserve. If I was pulling a direct sentence, I used quotes and referenced who said the line. In many cases, paraphrasing was the best option to explain my interpretation of the authors, while still mentioning the source. When an idea was my own, it was made known in order to separate the credit. Proper citations are incredibly important to respect the original voice of the evidence.
This is actual narrative, BV, a defense of your fulfilment of the Core Values that gives readers insight into the specific choices you made, the process of finding a personal truth, and the thrill of sharing those insights with other readers. I’ve been honored and gratified to collaborate in the process. Thank you for a wonderful semester.
My favorite: “That [my] enthusiasm could better persuade my readers to find love for the ideas I was explaining.”