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.
Throughout the course, Professor Hodges has focussed directly on development. Through multiple stages and rewrites, a good example of this Core Value is my Stone Money assignment. On that assignment, I was given lots of constructive criticism and important feedback that I used in my rewrite. This course has taught me the value of multiple drafts, and the role that feedback can play in the writing process.
Another example of this core value was in the research assignment. My original concept was for a solution for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that involved constructing islands out of bottles and topsoil. This idea did not even make it into the final paper, due to the realization of its impracticality after doing proper research.
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.
In the research assignment, my focus was on cleaning up the pacific garbage patch. This idea seems like a no-brainer, obviously ocean pollution is a problem. The focus of the paper shifted to questioning why the problem had not been dealt with yet, and that is an answer that I had a bit of trouble finding. At first, I was worried that the paper would not be effective, because it is hard to argue with something that seems so universally agreeable, but after looking at multiple sources I came to the conclusion that nobody wants to clean it up simply because it’s too hard of a job. This was not something that I expected to find. Some sources said that it would be too expensive, some sources said it simply was too big of a job, but the truth seemed slightly more clear after reading multiple sources. The truth that I found was that nobody believed it was that big of an issue. It’s not something that has shown its destructive capabilities quite yet, and nobody wants to take responsibility for it. Here is my Original proposal, complete with the bottle-island idea.
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.
My post on Gerrymandering is, in my opinion, the best piece of writing that I produced this semester. The purpose of the exercise was to practice a strong opening, something to grip the readers. Knowing the purpose of the intro, and by combining the things that I learned in the lectures, I think that I was able to successfully create a powerful opening that fulfilled every requirement for a strong opening.
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.
Again, I think that the Stone Money assignment shows a good example of this core value. The illustrations that I use in my paper, in this case referring to the parallels that I draw within my paper, make the concepts easier to understand. Professor Hodges himself commented on how nobody else drew the comparison that I drew between the purchases of fake things, and the abstract nature of the Yap currency. Describing thoughts without drawing these effective parallels can hinder the overall successfulness of the paper.
Thoughts and ideas can be difficult things to articulate, and sometimes it can only be done using descriptive language and painting mental images. This is something that I think was accomplished well in the research assignment. Using descriptive terms and shocking statistics, the problem of the garbage patch was displayed in a way that does the problem justice.
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.
Every paper written this year had a sources cited page. The White Paper that was assigned was essentially a large sources cited paper. It described each source to be used in the research assignment in detail, and even delve into how each source would be effective in the context of the paper.