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.

I’ve learned that the most important part of writing is researching and thoroughly exploring the topic. It was crucial to fully immerse myself in my topic to develop my own  ideas and to understand the ideas of others. While researching for my research paper, I tried to keep an open mind and look at each source without bias.  Once I understood my topic, writing was just a matter of putting my thoughts to paper. Writing is social in its nature. Writing is meant to communicate your ideas to your reader. If you fail to communicate, then the paper is a failure. The development of writing is also a social process. It involves getting criticized by others and editing it to make it better. A person can’t work alone and make good writing.

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. 

For my research paper, it was important to to include sources from different points of view. Because I was refuting a wide spread misconception, I refuted sources from the common point of view and used opposing sources to support my own argument. I needed to include information from both sides to have a well rounded paper. I used a wide range of sources and combined them all to support my argument. I used an original newspaper as a story to refute. In my definition essay, I used a new and old research to show what the bystander effect was and why it happened. I also used research to give alternate explanations to events that the bystander effect is commonly used to explain.

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.

Understanding my audience is important when trying to convince them of my ideas. It is very important not to attack them. If they get personally offended, they get defensive. If they get defensive, then they will not give my ideas a chance. If I have no chance of convincing my audience, then I failed to complete my mission of persuading the readers. I would just be wasting my readers and my own time. It was very important to not alienate my readers in my rebuttal essay. I tried not to insult them by creating a straw- man argument that would be easiest to refute. Instead, I tried to show that I understood their perspective. Then I showed that I think my own point of view made more sense and explained why their ideas were flawed.

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.

Writing is easy. The hard part is researching enough to build a solid foundation of knowledge and forming developed ideas to write about. Evaluating sources was a large part of my research paper. I found that a newspaper article contained large amounts of misleading or false information. This caused me to closely examine all of my sources to ensure that they were factual and that I fully understood them. Supporting my ideas and perspective is very important because evidence is what separates strong ideas from nonsense. A claim is useless without evidence supporting it. It is also important to minimize biases. It is easy to find information that supports your ideas. It is harder to look at all of the information and extrapolate an idea from it but it results in a much stronger idea.

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. 

Taking something out of context is dangerous in writing. If you take the oppositions argument out of context then you lose the respect and trust of the audience. They will assume that you do not understand their point of view and they will get defensive. If you need to resort to this, it means that you don’t have a true rebuttal and you have to stoop to misinterpreting the opposing argument. I had to be careful to do not do this in my rebuttal essay. It is important to fairly represent your opponents.

Citing sources gives credit where credit is due. I am not the only person that is knowledgeable or that has contributed to this topic. My paper only builds on others and I would be lost without them. Citing sources also allows my readers to review and analyze my sources. They can confirm that they were not taken out of context and they were used without a bias.

But I’m particularly proud of my Polio Notes.

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