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.

During the course of this semester, I have worked alongside Professor Hodge to get the most out of the class and more importantly, my work.  My professor continuously gave me constructive feedback on my work and during our meetings, we conceptualized what exactly I was going to write about for my 3000 word research paper. I knew my topic, but narrowing it down to my main thesis was a challenge. After a few back and forth responses during my hypothesis post and a couple face to face meetings, I was on the right track and confidently so. Through social interaction, I was led to explore places involving my topic that I never would have thought to be, although they were right under my nose! This was the beginning of my understanding that all good writing is a social, repetitive process.

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.

It is extremely important to read critically and understand where a writer is coming from to correctly translate their meaning into your own writing. In the safer saws exercise, the class was challenged to dissect an article and accurately describe the claims being made, as well as the type of claim. By doing this, it helped us understand the strength of a piece of writing, as well as its success overall. This core value was also demonstrated in our rebuttal posts, where we had to read an opposing view and refute the claim without distorting what the author was trying to say in the first place. Critically reading other’s work allows us to accurately get our own view across, since we fully understand the point being made. Let your opponent know that their work is worthy, but they are wrong.

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.

Writing is shaped by the audience, indeed. During our visual rhetorics, we each chose a video to watch (with the sound off) and began analyzing each frame to understand the context of the argument being made. In my case, the argument being made was the importance of “seizing the awkward” to help your friends who are struggling with their mental health. Through visuals of failed attempts at conversation and an overall uncomfortable vibe, it was clear to the audience that something was wrong, with or without volume. It wasn’t until the very end when “Find out how you can help a friend with their mental health at seize the” appeared on the screen that I had finally made the true connection, that wasn’t far off from what I was thinking anyway. This helped me understand the importance of accurately describing what is going on to your audience so you do not lose them.

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.

It is extremely important to have your work be literate and accurate. In my research paper, I had to spend numerous weeks to prepare to even begin writing my research paper and even then, constant revisions were made to make my claim crystal clear to my readers. There was also a lot of research that needed to be done, some of which I kept throughout the entire process, some of which I got rid of, and some that I gathered towards the end of my research. It was all for the purpose of removing any information that was unnecessary; things that would possibly leave my writers confused or create distance from the main idea. Making sure my point is clearly made must also involve having accurate references to “cover my ass.” I understand the importance of sharing my knowledge with my readers.

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 understand that taking credit for work that is not mine is the biggest no-no when it comes to writing (or really in any case.) Remaining ethical during the process of my research paper was extremely important to me, as I did not want to fail at something I’ve been taught since I began taking english classes as a young girl. I believe my bibliography accurately portrays this intention of mine. I included all the main sources I used in my research paper, what each source provided, and how/why I used that information in my work. You automatically fail a paper, yourself, and your professor if you are unsuccessful at remaining ethical in your work.  This is the most simple and what I also believe the most important core value.

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