Goal 1: I used a multi-stage process in my writing, and took into consideration the feedback provided by my professor.
It has been hammered into my head since I was in middle school that writing a single draft is rarely, if ever sufficient. It is necessary to seek feedback from one’s instructor, in order to produce the most satisfactory and least shreddable draft of a written work before it is to be turned in, with the exception of this very assignment. In order to acknowledge this goal, I requested feedback from Professor Hodges on nearly every assignment, and did my best to work his notes into my writing. This can most clearly be seen in my Stone Money Rewrite, in which I attempted to make my writing less bland, as well as elaborate further upon the ideas explored in my essay. In addition, I also asked for Professor Hodges’ input during class, so that I could submit the most satisfactory work.
Goal 2: I critically analyzed texts to help form and support my own ideas.
Regurgitating the words of another author is not true writing. More often than not, it is mere plagiarism. Without critically examining sources, one runs the risk of parroting the ideas of others, rather than expressing unique views. To avoid this, I examined my sources very thoroughly, and ultimately used the words of others to help support my own ideas, with my own words. The strongest example of this is most likely my causal rewrite, in which I weave the philosophy of Southern Baptists and the words of a Rabbi into my own ideas, drawing conclusions that support my thesis from existing parallel philosophies. Examining the words of certain Jewish individuals helped me to understand the opposing argument, and then explain it away.
Goal 3: I wrote with a clear purpose in mind, while considering as broad an audience as possible.
While writing my paper, I considered my final goal of convincing my audience that my thesis was in fact correct. This was couples with my goal of amusing my audience with scattered satire, which gradually decreased in concentration as I became more focused on my primary goal. Furthermore, I wrote with hopes that my paper could be read by anyone, and that any given individual (except perhaps an angry Jew) might be convinced by my research and my writing. This is best shown in perhaps any of my portfolio arguments, with the possible exception of my definition rewrite, as it is rather strongly worded and may seem aggressive when taken out of context. Throughout my research, I kept my goals in mind, and did my best to accomplish them.
Goal 4: I used my literacy skills to find information, then use that information to my advantage.
Having the literary equivalent of raw mathematical data is all very well and good, but it is only a starting point. After performing my research, I synthesized the information that I had collected to support my thesis. This can best be seen in my rebuttal rewrite, in which I used various facts about the Mormon’s baptisms for the dead to refute the argument that these baptisms are harmful. In this same essay, I used the words of a Rabbi to argue that the only issue at hand is a misunderstanding. The information itself was found with my knowledge of research tools, and I did not make a single claim that was not backed by some sort of evidence.
Goal 5: My writing tells the truth, gives credit where credit is due, and is respectful.
There is a fine line between good writing and deceit. While my writing may contain rather stern-sounding criticisms of certain Jewish practices, it does not resort to name calling, and it does not imply that the Jewish faith is any more or less valid than the Mormon faith. Furthermore, my writing only states what it can demonstrate to be true by either tangible or theoretical evidence. It does not make a claims out of nowhere or deliberately make claims that are shown to be false. This is seen in my definition rewrite, in which I strongly, but respectfully, claim that a certain Jewish practice is harmful. This claim, however, is backed by concrete evidence, and this evidence is properly cited—obviously, I did not know everything about my topic when I began to write, and still do not. My writing avoids plagiarism, and is altogether ethical. This can be seen in any of my essays.