Reflective Statement – CarsonWentz

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.

Once it became our job to find a topic to research about I knew I wanted to pick something with gun control because this topic interest me.  It then became a struggle for me to narrow down on a specific thesis in this gun control topic because there is so many different factors.  I had partially narrowed down to homicide rates, and was still stuck, and thats when feedback and conversation with Professor Hodges allowed me to finally get to a really narrowed thesis.  It was in one of our meetings that we talked about the research I have already done about homicide rates, and the characteristics in a city that trends with higher or lower homicide rate, when Professor brought about the topic of finding two cities with similar characteristics, but with different gun laws, and examining the homicide rates.  This was truly helpful and is what I ended up researching for my research paper.

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. 

Throughout the semester, there was a lot of researching, which brought the need for reading critically many times.  One of the first assignments we had to do was the “Stone Money” assignment where we had to listen to the NPR’s broadcast, and read about the island of Yap’s money system and bitcoin.  The idea of “money is fiction” was an idea that I have never really thought about before, and after reading and listening about it multiple times, it brought new ideas to me that I was able to write about.  From critically looking into these different sources, I found that the same type of money system the people from Yap used, it very similar to our’s today, with credit cards, mobile banking, and even bitcoin.

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.

The assignment that I really had to analyze the purpose, audience, and contexts of other texts was definitely the “Safer Saws” assignment.  There were many different sources for this topic from lawyers, safety commissions, the owner of Safe Stop, customer reviews, and even a video of showing the Safe Saw technology in action.  It really made me think and realize that each different source had a different viewpoint and was writing with different purpose.  It was very interesting to see that the technology made by Steve Gass that would save many saw injuries from happening does not have everybody’s approval to make it mandatory for all saws to have it, but realizing the different audience’s purpose to disagree made sense.

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.

The best assignment that demonstrates this value would be my visual rhetoric assignment.  This assignment was very interesting to me because it made me really think about what the people who make the commercials think about when making them.  Within every screen shot, there was so much happening, and to interpret those illustrations, second by second, was actually more challenging than I expected.  This is a good example of this value because it wasn’t just writing what was displayed, but we had to interpret and explain why certain things were done a certain way.

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. 

Throughout the semester a lot of research was done on my topic, which means a lot of sources need to be credited in my writing.  My bibliography best demonstrates my ethical responsibility and that is where the sources are for my research topic.  This semester I was taught a new way of citing our sources, unlike the MLA style I have done so in the past, which was actually easier.  Many different articles, journals, and studies were used in my writing and I was positively sure that they were cited when used.

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