Reflective – VoxPopuli

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Once I submitted the first draft of any of my assignments, I knew my writing had a long way to go before it was truly finished. My first drafts simply laid the foundation for my final drafts and nothing else. In order to turn my work into a polished portfolio version I took ample advantage of the “feedback please” System to recursively improve my writing in stages. My LTE best demonstrates this development process. While working on my LTE I responded to feedback 3 times. Each time my writing got a little bit better as I slowly morphed it into a finished product. Looking back at it now I find the differences between the first and final drafts astounding.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

When researching for any of the three main portfolio assignments I completed this semester, I examined many author’s points of views. During this process I analyzed the rhetorical strategy that they used build and fortify their arguments. I used the knowledge gained from this process to better develop my own ideas and arguments, and join in on the academic dialogue. One specific assignment where I contributed to this academic/cultural conversation was my LTE. After analyzing the article I decided to respond to I researched social media privacy, reading several articles before I began to form my own ideas on the subject. After I formed my original ideas on the subject, I put them into writing, contributing to the existing conversation.

Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

Throughout the semester we examined the rhetorical elements of letters to the editor, OP-EDs and editorials in detail. We specifically researched the rhetorical situation of letters to the editor thoroughly in order to better our own letters. Additionally, when writing my OP-ED, I tailored my writing to a specific audience. I realized most of my readers likely had some background knowledge of China’s human rights abuses but were not experts on the subject. In order to bring them up to speed I decided to add in background information on the events I mentioned in my writing. This benefited my audience by giving them the context necessary to fully understand what I was writing about.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

All the works in my portfolio incorporate outside sources that help illustrate my point or educate the reader in some way. Throughout the semester I used available research tools to pick out reliable sources that supported my argument and strengthened my writing overall. I also peer reviewed several of my peers’ editorial drafts, evaluating their research quality, bolstering mine in the process. My OP-ED best illustrates this core value. In my OP-ED I linked to a variety of outside sources (7 in total) that helped reinforce and contextualize my ideas and arguments, making them much more persuasive then I could be alone.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

It is important to honor our ethical responsibility as writers. In addition to making sure we properly cite our sources, I learned it is also our responsibility to not miscategorize or misrepresent other author’s words when we incorporate them into our own work. If we keep this responsibility in mind when writing, we can preserve our academic integrity. In all my writing this semester, I kept this in mind by citing my sources by linking to them and by making sure I was staying true to the original author’s argument. This can be seen in especially  in my LTE. Throughout the writing process of my LTE I was careful not to misrepresent the words the of the author I was responding too. I also made sure to link to any outside sources I referenced.

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