“WHAT I LEARNED IN COMPOSITION IS…”
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.
One of the most interesting activities we did in this class was the visual rhetoric assignment. It caught me off guard when I was told that visuals would be a very important part of writing, which now seems so obvious. Being able to analyze each detail second by second helped me to understand an author’s (or in this case, a director’s) intent and the purpose of each detail. After analyzing my video on the original assignment, I thought I had exhausted every detail I could from the video but Professor Hodges’ feedback show me just how deep the analysis can go and just how much can be inferred from the details of the video. It also helped me to realize that watchers of the video make all these inferences as they watch the video at regular speed which speaks to how coherent videos (and arguments) must be to hold the audience’s interest.
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.
Never in an English or writing class was I tasked with writing a paper solely on the rebuttal of topic but it helped me to understand what opposing sides of an argument may be thinking which only strengthens my argument that much more. Another helpful skill that was taught to us was understanding the different types of arguments and claims. This helped to focus the contents of my arguments and the organization of the essay.
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 amount of rewriting that Professor Hodges’ made us do reinforced the importance of analyzing what has been written and how that even after numerous rewrites, we should never be satisfied with our work. There is always something that can be improved even after the piece is fully publish.
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.
The Rebuttal exercise is a good example of evaluating evidence to support ideas. Having to make claims from the statements in support articles as well as opposing articles makes for a well rounded exercise forcing us to make claims for the side we may oppose personally but must make for argument purposes. It also teaches to listen to what other sides of a topic has to say rather than focusing only on what you want to say.
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.
Professor Hodges taught us that an argument on a topic does not simply have two sides that are black and white. With his “What’s the opposite of a black sneaker” presentation, he showed us that the opposite of one argument is not the other side of a square, but any other point of a circle of infinite interpretations. There is not one simple agreement or disagreement but many varying levels of support.