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Reflective Essay

By sassy_girl16 Mar 31, 2014 1122 Words
Reflective Essay
This semester in 1010 has definitely been challenging for me, but I have learned a great deal. Although I’m not a fan of writing papers, I do have to agree it has helped me increase my knowledge in English composition. Before this semester, I had no clue in the world what rhetorical skills were, and now I am writing a paper on them. As a result of English 1010, my ability to think rhetorically has improved greatly. This semester in English 1010, I have learned how to use attributions in my summary papers. When I first came into the classroom, I didn’t know what attributions were, better yet; I had no idea how to include them into my papers. An attribution cites the publication you are writing or referring to so your audience will know where you are getting your information. In my summary of I Won. I’m Sorry I provided a clean attribution at the beginning stating, “Bedford/St Martin’s published I Won. I’m Sorry. 2012 by Mariah Burton Nelson where she argues…” I learned from the format of summary’s what order attributions should present. They should start with the title, then author, publication, and last, publisher. This section really taught me how to present “the gist” of a summary and how not to babble on. I have also come to understand audience and how to incorporate them into my papers. Every paper this semester, such as rhetorical analysis and source evaluation, has taught me to effectively present my information to my audience. Every paper we wrote has had a different audience. It has ranged from an academic audience centered on Facebook to an audience centered on surrogate mothering. Audience plays a key part in everything we do in life, whether it is music, art, or writing a paper, we will always have an audience that is watching. In my argumentative paper on surrogate mothering, I describe, “These parents are wanting a child, and they should be guaranteed that their money and time would not be wasted because of one woman’s decision.” This is a direct statement to my audience, which would be surrogate mothers or surrogate parents. It shows how I am writing directly to my audience in a way that they will understand. English 1010 has not only taught me that it is critical to include audience into a paper and to consider whom you a creating or writing to, but also how to produce a problem-solution thesis statement. My argumentative essay taught me how to create and use a problem-solution thesis statement successfully. A thesis statement is the main idea of someone’s essay and is the central thought that they are trying to express. Depending on the writing situation, a thesis may be a statement of fact, a statement of personal opinion, or a statement of persuasion. Thesis statements actually take a lot of steps and planning. It should only be one sentence and cannot be a question. It has to be detailed and specific so your reader or audience will understand what your paper is about. This semester I have learned to write thesis statements that outline a specific problem that needs addressing, and I show this in my argument paper. It taught me how to carry a thesis throughout a paper and how to refer back to the thesis for ideas. The thesis is the main idea of the paper so every other idea in the paper needs to branch off of the thesis. My thesis statement proclaims, “To keep a surrogate mother from choosing to keep the child, each state needs a law to specify that surrogate mothers cannot keep the baby.” This describes my problem and my solution in one short, simple sentence. Although I have learned quite a bit this semester, there are still some things I can improve on. Throughout the semester, I have learned how to use rhetorical appeals, but I still need a little improvement. When I came into the classroom I had no clue what rhetorical appeals were, and I had no idea how to include appeals to emotion, logic or character into my papers. Now I have a better idea of what each appeal means, but I need to work on how to use them throughout my papers. Writing my papers, especially my rhetorical analysis, I had a rough time trying to explain what the author was convincing me of. Were they using appeals to character, emotion, or logic? This is what I am confused on. In my rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream Speech I wrote, “It represented a firm stand for equal rights. He spoke out to confront the issues of racism in our nation.” I believe this quote is an appeal of emotion but I’m still not sure. Since we didn’t study rhetorical appeals in to much depth, I am going to have to practice a lot for me to understand fully. To help me comprehend rhetorical appeals I can try to pick out appeals in any publication I read. I also could use work on evaluating sources. In this semester of English 1010, we learned how to evaluate sources, and source evaluation could go many ways. I understand that source evaluation is proving if a source is credible or not, and I understand the steps of getting there. What I am not so sure of is how to judge the credibility of each step. I am confused on how to judge if the evidence or bias is credible. In my source evaluation of Student Teacher Interaction on Facebook: What Students Find Appropriate, I explain, “Evidence includes: statistics, opinions, and references of other texts. Mostly appeals to logos because of the survey taken.” I do not think I went into a deep enough analysis of the evidence. I did an okay job on this assignment but I think I still need some work. I will continue to put forth effort in expanding my knowledge on evaluating sources by practicing my judgment. Overall, this semester has taught me to think rhetorically. As this paper comes to an end, it makes it all more real that my first semester as a freshman in college is finished. Yahoo I’m done! I have never been a fan of English; I’ve just always had a mind set that I have to do it. But this class has actually taught me a lot about writing and composition. I’ve learned so many new things and that makes me pleased. Nate you are an awesome teacher and I am happy to have you for 1020 next semester. I thank you for teaching me so much. See you in twenty-six days!

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