Artifacts and Analysis

For my before and after example, I will look at how success in my first essay allowed me to be able to build greatly on that and come up with an even stronger Essay 2. In Essay 1, I was happy to receive a maturing score. Of all the things that I did correctly, I’d say the best part was how I broke down my though process to the reader and helped them follow me while I go on about how I came across my conclusion. I indicated how some aspects of the dock made no sense, and that’s what started my inquiry. From there I was able to reach my CIQ in a way that the reader would understand. From then on out, I was pretty set on my argument that genres can transform due to influence from an outside force. But once I got there, I was not able to remains as tentative and speculative as I was in Essay 2. I was really proud of essay 2 because, while I was writing it, I felt like I had nothing new to say, that I was just reiterating in a different tone what I’d already said in the first essay. Instead of coming up with a bunch of whole new ideas. And in this task, I surprised myself. In the paragraph that starts “I do NOT believe…” I effectively offer a refutation to my ultimate point that one person can change/choose the genre of a place, leaving the reader to consider the alternatives to my theory. The best part is that I didn’t even know I was doing it. I spoke directly from my thought process and was able to create cohesion that really presented my argument. Eli even left a comment saying that it was “Whole paragraph is wonderful. You stay tentative, speculate, and interpret. Well done.” I knew that if I could be this effective staying tentative and speculative without even trying, then in my next essay, I should focus on these aspects to add that last kick to my final revision. And because of this idea, I think that my final draft of Essay 3 rocks and that I used all of the aspects of rhetoric to my advantage. This final analysis shows that I should stay positive when I feel like I don’t have much and just start working through because that’s when you really have to dig for what’s not obvious, and those are the best, most powerful points.

Screenshot of Paragraph from essay 2 described

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For my second artifact, I will look at one of the worksheets we did while working on revisions. We were given a long quote from Paul Heilker and were first told to vulgarly disagree with whatever he was saying, regardless of if we actually agreed or not. This was hard for me because ultimately I agreed with what he was saying and was not able to find a rational reason to say I disagree without completely making something up. Even though it didn’t offend me personally, I took the role of someone who may feel like Heilker’s comment was an attack at them, and used a very defensive argument, “Who is Heilker to tell me that I’m incomplete without genres? He doesn’t know me.” Doing this helped me understand how to think from different perspectives as I consider my argument. Next, we were to agree and disagree tentatively. This was much easier, because I could think in terms of my own mind while agreeing, but also practice what I used in the previous one, the thoughts from a different perspective. I was able to agree with his overall point, that genres are parts of what define us, but that I did not agree with his argument of us being “fractured and discontinuous” without them . This was perhaps my strongest of the three because I was forced to look from two perspectives and have them work together in creating an argument. The third one came as probably the easiest, but ended up the weakest. When I got to this one, it was almost a relief because I could finally just say how I actually felt about the passage without having to adjust it for a different view. This actually made me think more close-minded and I pretty much reiterated what he said; saying that genres complete us in different ways and that that supports his argument of us being fractured and discontinuous. I just said what first came to my mind and went with it, without considering anything else. This resulted in an overall weak response. What I took from this exercise was that the strongest points come from when you think outside your own frame of reference. If I challenge myself to think contradictory to my own brain then I’m able to stay tentative (like I did in Essay 2, after this exercise), come up with different arguments, and find different ways to convince the reader of my point.

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Essay from Anthro 102

For my last artifact, I’ll take an essay that, in comparison to how I can write using skills I’ve learned in this course, was written very poorly. It was a one-page essay on whether or not Koko, the famous mountain gorilla, can use sign language. I got a 10/10 on the assignment, but going back through and reading it now, it is not good. Nothing about it is cohesive. I could tell that it was not something that I cared much about. It was very impersonal. Compared to my presentation essay, which was about something that I had experienced, observations that I made, it was just bland. I failed to use sources effectively. I just kind of threw them in there and described what they said, I didn’t add anything to them that went farther, like we did in citation packaging. Instead of just saying in the last part, “There wasn’t much signing in the video about her birthday.” I could have gone on to say something along the lines of “I could speculate that there is some sort of sign her caretakers use to explain to her that her birthday is every day once a year and is a fun day and she gets presents and treats. This shows a sense of remembrance of an event, and the ability to communicate that sense.” It’s not something I know for sure, but it’s a point worth bringing up and inquiring about. In an earlier part, I talked about how Koko specifically signed the words “sad, bad and frown” and I just left it at that. If I were to rewrite this, I would follow it up with something like, “Since she can sign these words during a time of sadness (her friend dying) there is an example of emotion. Since she can convey that emotion, she is communicating.” Using no more information than I had before, I was able go from what was before just a blatant observation that anyone could have made to an analysis of what it means to communicate and how Koko shows that. To conclude my essay, I simply stated “Overall, I think that Koko can communicate with sign language”. This is not very critical and is hardly a thesis statement. I could have said something more like “I believe that because Koko shows all these signs of understanding communication, then we should accept that she can effectively use sign language.” This artifact has shown me one, that I have improved a lot, and two, that revisions can bring a whole lot to an otherwise bland paper.

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