Reflective — Jon Gonzoph


            Throughout the semester, I not only learned a wealth of information about my topic, but also an amazing amount of information about how to evaluate topics. I learned how to analyze any source for meaning, and how to sublimate that meaning into my own creations. I’m now more knowledgeable about the worth of different kinds of sources, and what is appropriate in a college level paper. Finally, I came to a startling conclusions about the reason why to write in an ethical manner.

Core Value III. Understand how texts represent meaning and how the

processes of writing and reading create and interpret meaning.

Throughout Comp 2, I completed a myriad of assignments that relied on analyzing the meaning and arguments of others, and then blending it into a position of my own. My research paper forced me to analyze a multitude of sources on the link between violence in games and increased aggression in real life for effective research, and I wrote the definitional essay with the intent of diving which research strategies worked and which did not.  My next two papers on the same topic demonstrated that I could clearly used research from any source to support my own conclusions; in the rebuttal essay, I refused to use sources that came to the same conclusion and instead spent much of the paper showing why sources that seemingly contradict my point of view in fact support it. I believe that my research paper not only shows that I can interpret the meaning of others, but also create new points of view as well. Consider my casual essay, which is focused on an argument against the two most common types of aggression testing. There were few studies on this topic, so I had to interpret the tests directly and create my own conclusions about their effectiveness. Finally, I gained a good deal of knowledge about how to analyze arguments presented on a visual level, as my visual analysis shouls show.

Core Value V. Understand the role and use of information in writing.

            The process of writing my research paper shows that I clearly understand this core value. Most of my sources are from academic journals; this shows that I understand that my audience expects a formal paper supported by strong, proven sources, and not a paper supported by weak opinionated ones. With a topic as controversial as mine, where even the academic studies disagree on both cause and effect, anything but the most respected of studies is rendered quite ineffective. I was not only able to use information that was framed in a context that supported my thesis, but also took information from studies that tried to disprove my thesis and used it to strengthen my own argument.

Core Value VII. Understand the power and ethical responsibility that come with the creation of written discourse.

Ethical responsibility is a tricky subject, owing to the diverse amount of different viewpoints on what is ethical, as well as the existence of moral relativity. Nonetheless, I believe that I came to my conclusions through logical and reasonable methods. When using sources that contradicted my thesis, I made sure I did not distort their viewpoints or write any intentionally misleading statements. By using sources that ran counter to my own viewpoint, I demonstrated I was willing to accept and understand points of view different from my own. Finally, I attempted to reach a conclusion that my research and rhetoric supported, and not make any wild leaps of logic. Instead of jumping to the conclusions that violence in video games does not cause any adverse effects, I stated that there is not enough evidence currently to support this viewpoint, and that the people who indulge in it based on such flimsy evidence are, in fact, ignoring their own ethical responsibility.

Further, I realized that violating this ethical responsibility is detrimental in the long run. While distorting your opponent’s views and creating straw men will make your paper initially seem stronger, any significant research into the topic will reveal your deception. This will in turn hurt your own ethos, and a reader will be less inclined to believe anything you write, even if it does adhere to ethical standards.

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