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.
Coming into College Composition II, I thought I was familiar with the basics of writing. I would pick a topic, find sources, and write. There was never any drafting nonsense. Once I wrote and proofread, I was finished. After a semester in this class, I have become much more comfortable not only in the repetitive process that finding sources, forming ideas, communicating thoughts and developing a paper presents, but I have welcomed the frustrated feeling that overcomes me when I read my own work. Before I was introduced to the write and shred attitude of this class, I didn’t enjoy feeling confronted by my own paper. Now I look harder for sources, challenge my own writing, and think a little deeper to convey my points.
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.
Transitioning from point to point without making it obvious is a problem I always face when writing. My papers get choppy and boring when I just spit out one sentence after another. My research paper for the end of the semester contains many points, some closely related, others not so much. After watching many visual pieces in class, struggling to write my short assignments, and receiving some serious constructive criticism, I was able to understand a bit better that each subject can branch off of another. I am able to develop and build new arguments and points based off of what came before. In visual rhetoric pieces, one thing happens after another, a snowball effect. Finding the meaning in a written or visual piece by analyzing its claims has helped me become stronger in my own writing.
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.
Many of my writer’s block moments have been solved when I take a step back and study my writing from the perspective of someone who has never read that specific text before. I realized throughout my college writing career, and this semester specifically, that people are usually not writing for themselves. I am able to write in ways that appeal to certain groups of people to shape a meaningful paper, and I am also able to shift that appeal in different ways, thanks to the help of Professor Hodges. When reading others’ writing, I now keep in mind their intended audience when analyzing their claims to better understand their message. A more concise piece of writing is created by knowing who one is speaking to, where one is coming from, and what one wants to convey.
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.
Without research and sources, writers would be left to their own devices. I admire that I am able to use the work of others to build my own writing up. My research allows me to develop my ideas, based on the evidence I have collected. By supporting my personal beliefs and opinions, sources give my writing a strong base to work with. In addition to using these sources to my advantage, I have recently found it easier to locate sources that are related to any topic I may be pursuing. Composition II has given me the motivation to find new evidence for pieces I write. The usefulness of gathering reliable sources is evident when writing a paper suddenly becomes easier, thanks to the research done.
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.
As I stated in my response to Core Value III, writing is not done for the author alone. It is important for the author and the intended audience to know where certain ideas come from. Forgetting to cite a source is considered a big deal and is most often deemed plagiarizing, but it is hard to forget citations when the words are not your own. As I collect research, I now note right away the credible source for citation. When applying the quote, idea, or thoughts of others, I consider the work they put into constructing that writing. I am hopeful that they would be appreciative of being acknowledged in the writings of others, and hopeful that another author would do the same should they ever use any of my own writing.