Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.
On the first day of class, when the rewriting and extensive feedback aspects were laid out, I was worried. I can be lazy and writing multiple drafts and incorporating mounds of feedback was not a task I felt up to. However, the workload was quite manageable and I felt compelled to write to the best of my ability, mainly to avoid the scorn of David Hodges’s feedback, which never fails to miss an error or phrase that can be improved. The Stone Money Rewrite serves as a good example of the development processes of my writing. My first draft was lackluster. There was a slew of information provided to potentially include, from the NPR articles to the Milton Friedman essay. I didn’t know where to start. Yet the topic was interesting and really got me thinking about the fictional and absurd quality of money, something we do not stop to question very often. After the feedback, I became more aware of the concept of “cows and chips.” I made sure to include relatable examples in my rewrite, such as references to Monopoly. Overall, the process of rewriting with the feedback allowed me to see where I went wrong, change those areas, and rethink my entire first draft to create more fluid, fleshed-out writing that was not as rushed as first drafts can often be.
Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities.
Writing my research position caused me to sift through numerous sources of information to craft a paper that dealt with a single, narrow issue: the therapeutic benefits of video game playing on autism. The Definition, Causal, and Rebuttal rewrites highlight the different discourse areas I had to fuse together to cover my topic. To begin, I utilized several academic journals that explain these issues in medical and scientific jargon. I needed to reach a fuller understanding that I could easily convey to the readers, so I referred to popular sources like NPR and the Huffington Post. Combining these two disparate forms of information caused me to come to a midway point, one that combined the hard-to-understand concepts of the academic journals with the simple prose of average online publications. I came to the conclusion that many works of writing say the same things, just in different language. The writer’s job is to find the way of conveying the ideas that will catch and maintain a reader’s attention.
Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.
The Summaries assignment made me analyze the rhetoric of my own and others’ writing. I had to simplify what someone else said by finding the essential points, then craft them into my own style. Following with the theme of the course, I had to pick out what made these articles counterintuitive. For instance, I took the lengthy article on lending companies denying people loans because of their social media content and summed up the purpose in a few paragraphs. I tried to say only what was absolutely necessary for the readers to grasp what was counterintuitive.
The Visual Rewrite was very interesting. 30 second ads fly by, assaulting the subconscious in ways that are hard to pinpoint. Judging my video frame by frame allowed me to see the purpose that the creators put into each visual moment. No frame is unintended. Although entirely visual, this assignment parallels the purpose of writing: no frame should go to waste, just as every word should serve a purpose. Since I watched in silence, I had to surmise who the targeted audience was, which turned out to be adults who are engaged in domestic violence situations. Since several classmates analyzed the same video, I was able to see numerous takes on the scenario, picking up on nuances I had overlooked.
Core Value IV: 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.
Since my thesis deals with video games, I found information on several games that backs the assertion that certain ones can alleviate symptoms of autism. Writing my Rebuttal Rewrite, I found out about a game titled Social Clues in a University of Southern California article. I was able to illustrate the game’s creation and gameplay due to the information in the article. Since I had gone down a technical rabbit hole, I needed more than just description. I had to provide the science behind the app, a set of principles known as evidence-based practices. This term led me to an extensive journal that described evidence-based practices and how they are the standard in effective autism treatment. Since Social Clues incorporates these principles, I was able to highlight the specific aspects of the game that make it therapeutic, namely the relatable stories and emotional connections provided in-game.
Core Value V. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation.
In every assignment, I included the appropriate referencing and citations that credit the authors whose writing I used to aid in developing my own ideas. Academic honesty is of utmost importance in college and in all endeavors. Plagiarizing someone’s words undermines all of the work they did, and is a sign of disrespect. In my Stone Money Rewrite, I made sure to give Milton Friedman credit by using his name and referencing the title of his work. I included his name, and the authors of the NPR broadcast I also used, in the Works Cited section. Every piece I wrote in this class included a Works Cited section, ensuring that I can not be accused of plagiarism or academic dishonesty.
To conclude, I wanted to note that I appreciate the time and work you (Professor) put into this class. I have never done a class entirely online before, and it was always interesting seeing my classmates’ work. The environment will thank us for not wasting the unthinkable amount of paper we otherwise would have. Your knowledge of the ins and outs of writing is impressive.
On one of the first days of class, I remember you talking about God at one point, inquiring whether we are created in his image or if we create him in our own. From that moment on, I knew we were on a similar wavelength. You give off good vibes, Professor. I appreciate your humor and laid-back attitude, and your ability to inspire us to question what we thought we knew and to use our words to dissect absurd and counterintuitive topics. You are not afraid to speak your mind, evident from your copious and insightful feedback. Most professors or teachers will leave ambiguous comments scrawled in illegible red ink on essays. Your lengthy and direct comments always helped me see where I went wrong. Although our class was quiet and none of us may have a very close rapport with you, I think we have all learned a lot about the intricacies of writing. For one, I know we will hesitate the next time we are about to use “you” in our writing.