Reflective – Joe Mleczko

I Eat Core Values for Breakfast

Composition 2 is now coming to an end. This course required research and (of course) the use of words to convey certain ideas. While the many small assignments can be used to display how I met the ideas of the core values, the research project is by far the most impressive and is definitely the best projection of core values 3, 5, and 7.

The first core value to be addressed is core value 3, which states “Understand how texts represent meaning and how the processes of writing and reading create and interpret meaning.” My basic understanding of what this means (which is kind of ironic…) is that reading and writing is important, to help better understand the world we live in. My best example of meeting this core value comes from interpretation of the New York Times article written by Richard Perez-Pena. Personally, I read this as a stab at abolishing affirmative action. Instead, for my writing, I used the part of the newspaper article that proved states have maintained diversity without affirmative action, as fortification for my proposal to abolish affirmative action. I, in no way, changed what Perez-Pena was saying; however, I recognized my ability to take some of what he said and help mold it to my idea. Therefore, depending on how text is used, it can hold a variety of meanings. Failure to recognize this could result in the misuse of researched information.

The next core value, number 5, states “Understand the role and use of information in writing.” Core value 3 focused on my ability to understand the importance of the meaning of texts that I read and wrote. Core value 5 highlights my ability to find and use information from external sources in an appropriate manner. What better way to prove this ability than with a research project? Finding information is of course the first step. I looked only at relevant sources to not only my writing, but my readers as well. Eventually my cited works included peer-evaluated journals, government websites, college websites, and newspaper articles from well acclaimed publishers. Not only was I looking to prove my point that affirmative action creates more evil than good, but I had to refute the strongest proponents of keeping affirmative action. After finding all the pieces of information I needed, I then had to use them appropriately and fairly. I used sources that lent support for the success of the abolition of affirmative action to substantiate my claims. For refutation, I presented the opposition’s claims, and rejected them with evidence for the contrary. Ultimately, through my research paper, I demonstrate the importance of information to substantiate my claims, and believe that I accomplished this core value in an appropriate manner.

The final core value for composition 2 is core value 7, which says “Understand the power and ethical responsibility that comes with the creation of written discourse.” To me, this is by far the most important idea to understand as a writer. I am a huge advocate of the spreading of accurate knowledge for the greater good of mankind. This is not a task I take lightly either. I want my readers to understand the material I am writing about. It is that fact that results in the massive amounts of background information I provide in my research paper. I believe that if the reader understands all or a lot of the information there is to know about something, he will be able to make the best educated decision as possible. Obviously my paper proposes something I believe in, but I must respect anyone’s decision (even the opposition) if it is supported by knowledge (However, I may feel inclined to dissuade them…). Once again, my research paper is a great example of the responsibility I take in providing sources adequately and appropriately, while I use certain language to appeal to my specific audience. Words can be very dangerous when used incorrectly. That is why I choose every word carefully as to not provide false or “accidentally” false information.

In review, the course material and assignments of composition 2 demonstrated the importance and power of a well substantiated argument. That is not to say every well substantiated argument is “correct;” however, an unsubstantiated argument does not stand a chance.

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2 Responses to Reflective – Joe Mleczko

  1. davidbdale says:

    That’s nice work, Joe. I especially like the example of Perez-Pena’s article, from which you were able to extract evidence contrary to its author’s intentions. It was wise and correct of you to do so, and extremely smart of you to remember having done it so you could share it with us here. That’s just the best not the only thing I admire about your work here and throughout the semester. I feel privileged to have been of service to you twice and gratified you signed on for a second semester. I hope it was as constructive for you as it was fulfilling for me.

  2. allyhodgson93 says:

    i like your title !

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