As Composition II reaches the end of the semester, a reflection on the lessons that it has taught us is in order. While Composition I incorporated all seven of Rowan’s core values for the first year writing program, Composition II placed much more focus on three core values in specific that are related more closely to the research process in writing.
The first core value to be addressed – Core Value III – calls for students to “understand how texts represent meaning and how the processes of writing and reading create and interpret meaning.” This core value is probably best executed in my Definition Essay. In the essay, I wrote about how the belief that employers or law enforcement officials being able to see our Facebook pages is an invasion of privacy is entirely dependent on what is truly considered an “invasion” of privacy. While on the surface it seems obvious to say that unintended audiences viewing our profiles is a complete intrusion into our private lives, I offered the suggestion that perhaps the invasion is more of a tool for our benefit than it is for our demise. I explained how companies are able to better target advertising to our specific interests by tracking our Facebook activity; I also exposed the way that the British government is using a national data collecting system that invades the privacy of British citizens’ lives, yet is being used as a force for protection and national security. Both of these points place the concept of privacy into a much broader category, interpreting its meaning in a way that is different from what is obvious on the surface. Through my research, I was able to “create and interpret meaning” of what is truly considered an invasion of privacy.
The second core value – Core Value V – says that we must learn to “understand the role and use of information in writing.” This value was most crucial for the final research position paper mostly because of the lengthiness of it. I used a total of ten cited sources in my final paper, which was a lot of material to sort through to find what pieces of them would work best in my paper. Without an understanding of the “role” of information in my writing, I would have never been able to construct a meaningful 3,000 word essay that successfully utilized the research I found. Understanding the proper use of any information and incorporating it into an essay is probably the most crucial lesson to learn for writing in college.
The last core value – Core Value VII – is to “understand the power and ethical responsibility that comes with the creation of written discourse.” This value was also probably best highlighted in my research position paper, again because of the length of it. In all the shorter argument papers, I only discussed individual aspects of the larger focus that my entire research paper was about. In the complete paper, I was able to deliver a more substantial argument, giving much more background information and incorporating all aspects of the topic into one longer paper. I used the power of related factual information to responsibly report on a current issue.
All seven of the core values were inevitably used throughout the course of the class. But these three values were the most essential for building arguments and fulfilling extensive research. Taking Composition I and II has undoubtedly made all of us better writers, and we are now well equipped to be successful in the remainder of our college endeavors.