I believe I have achieved the primary goals of College Composition II through my writing. The three goals I specifically achieved are Core Value III, Core Value V and Core Value VII. This course definitely made me realize that writing is indeed a multistep process that takes a lot of time and effort. I think it’s easy to see, specifically in my writing, when an ample amount of thought and time has been put into the writing or not. I have reflected upon my work throughout the entire semester, and I think my writing has positively improved. I fully understand and feel that I have achieved the goals of the Core Values. I can see that my writing has enhanced as I compare my most recent work, with my work from earlier in the semester.
Core Value III consists of understanding how texts represent meaning and how the processes of writing and reading create and interpret meaning. I learned that some writings can be skewed and words can be twisted in an attempt of the writer proving his or her point. I have the ability to analyze and evaluate various types of persuasive writing of mine, my peers and published texts for defined elements of argumentation and effective argumentative strategies as well as for evidence of research quality. I realized that sometimes you may come across information that seems like it would be useful for your paper, yet it may not necessarily be relevant and support the argument you’re making. I can demonstrate the ability to use elements of effective argumentation and research. I learned that although I located some information relating to my topic, it may not be best to use it if the source is not completely reliable. I feel that my writing conveys that I have explored and learned about a complex issues and then developed and communicated a point of view that builds on and expands the ongoing textual discussion. For example, after weeks and weeks of research and writing papers on the topic of divorce rates relating to the economy, I feel I have a strong understanding of the topic. I have a good understanding of how academic and technical information is displayed visually (through graphs, charts and tables) and I can apply argumentative analysis to visual arguments, such as advertisements or websites. When watching videos from the Ad Council website, I learned there are several ways you can go about analyzing visual arguments. Initially, I watched the video without volume several times, and tried to have an understanding of the video with just the visuals and no text or speak overs. Once watching the video with volume, I was more able to understand the concept of the video and what it was trying to convey.
I recognize the goals of Core Value V, which consists of understanding the use and role of information in writing. I know how to use information from sources that are associated with the formal production of academic and disciplinary knowledge, including observations, interviews, surveys, books, journals, online data, documents, diagrams, spreadsheets and various others. It is important to make sure that the information from these sources is legitimate, as you are likely using it to support and back up your argument. I can independently identify and chose information and sources appropriate to the rhetorical situation as defined by audience, purpose, and context and explain my decisions. I am able to use information from sources to contextualize, develop, and interpret knowledge claims within a specific discursive context. There were many times when I found good and relevant information to support my topic, but I did not necessarily interpret and analyze it to the best of my ability in order to best utilize the information.
Core Value VII consists of understanding the power and ethical responsibility that come with the creation of written discourse. I know how to use research, sources and texts appropriately to develop and support my writing with details and evidence. It is good to have information and research to back up a claim you are making, but it is no use if the information you used for support is illegitimate. I use rhetorical appeals responsibly, prioritizing logical appeals over emotional ones and avoiding fallacious reasoning. I have come across plenty of research which could have helped support my claim, but it may have been from a source which had a biased view or perspective on the topic; therefore I felt it was best not to use that information. My research and writing reveals an honest attempt to appropriately understand the constituencies and various points of view on an issue or topic. I searched for information regarding two different views on my topics, and analyzed different sets of data to successfully provide support for my argument. I also recognize the quasi-logical nature of persuasion and the inability to draw indisputable conclusions.
In conclusion, throughout the semester I have reflected on and critiqued my own as well as my peers’ writing. I am able to use writing for inquiry, learning, thinking, communication, and argumentation. I understand and can articulate the rhetorical effects of visual and electronic texts. I also understand that there are different types of information and different ways to interpret information. I have learned that deciding what information is needed is based on audience, purpose and context. I found that there are several ways to find information effectively and I know how to evaluate its quality. I can effectively incorporate information into my writing and use valid forms of reasoning, evidence and persuasion. I understand my responsibilities and rights as a writer, including the expression of opinions that may counter those of authorities. These core values serve as a good base line for the material to be taught in College Composition II, but I think it is more of the way this information is taught and presented to the students that determines the impact it has on the student’s writing. In my College Composition II class, my peers and I were always provided with interesting articles and websites which revealed current events and things that were actually going on in the world at that time. I think since we were taught to practice these core values on such current events, the reading and writing skills were retrieved and comprehended better, since we were working with pieces of writing that were actually intriguing and interesting. Overall, I feel not only my writing knowledge has improved, but my general knowledge as well thanks to College Composition II.