Reflective- Alpacaqueen

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.

After only having experienced high school composition courses prior to this course, this class was radically different. At the beginning of the semester I told Professor Hodges that my goal in this class was to not only be a better writer but a better thinker. I felt as though each assignment had purpose behind it which encouraged me to take the time to explore a variety of sources and revise my work. In particular, my definition essay was one piece that I not only revised after discussions with Professor Hodges, but allowed me to discover the thesis in which I wanted to research for my final paper. With the help of Professor, he not only gave me consistent feedback when I needed it, but guided me to sources and ideas that played a big role in my essay. What I originally had intended as a piece on why organic food is bad turned into a paper on how more diverse food biotechnology sources should be adopted instead.

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. 

I believe my rebuttal essay most accurately demonstrates my knowledge of this core value. It is one thing to read and gather information from a variety of sources, but I’ve realized it takes a real writer to take that information and craft it into a well developed piece of writing that incorporates both sides of the argument. In my rebuttal essay, I learned to use sources that supported my claim to boost the credibility of my arguments while also utilizing sources that offered opposing views to then refute, making my thesis even stronger. When reading my sources, I’ve become able to use a keener eye when picking out which information will be of greatest use and how I can combine different claims into one coherent argument.

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.

One example in which I placed a lot of emphasis on rhetorical analysis was the Visual Rhetoric assignment. This task opened my eyes to a new method in observing a piece of work. I realized that rhetoric does not solely come from text, it can be found abundantly in even a thirty second infomercial. This assignment taught me to look deeper than ever before in the purpose and methodology behind the commercial, from actor’s behaviors and emotions, to camera angles, to minute details in the distance, everything is done with purpose. This assignment taught me to place more detail into my own work and pay closer attention behind the intentions of any piece of rhetoric.

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.

In many of the assignments I’ve completed throughout this course, if not all of them, the overall goal of the work was to not only regurgitate the information I’ve collected on a subject but rather take that information and then apply my own representation of its significance. From the beginning we were taught to “summarize with purpose”, even when recording our weekly class notes. I think that the Stone Money essay most fittingly represents this concept. In this assignment, I examined a variety of sources that discussed the abstract concept of money. Using this information, I synthesized the information and crafted my own interpretations of the meaning behind how we value currency.

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 feel as though my annotated bibliography is the best representation of my understanding of this core value. Through this process I learned how to correctly cite each of my sources, both on their own and as in-text citations and continue to practice academic integrity. In my bibliography I was able to collectively compile fifteen of my most useful sources and label them with a description of the overall background of the source along with how I used it. This helped me convey the information in my bibliography and research paper in the correct manner, without misrepresenting or plagiarizing the material. My sources came from a variety of websites and journals. Whether it was an opinion piece on the disadvantages of organic foods or an public poll on GMOs from the New York Times, all sources deserve to receive the proper credit.

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