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.
This course was unlike any other English class I’d taken before. It is only due to frequent feedback loops between the Professor and myself that I was able to grow as a writer. Every assignment pushed me to my absolute limit, required an almost absurd amount of preparation, and, most importantly, countless hours of iterative revision. No single essay was written perfectly on my first try: each piece of work required discussions with my peers and the Professor to ensure the general readability of my work and, above all else, that my essays were as brief and clear as possible. The Editorial for Portfolio exemplifies this journey of iterative revision based on social responses to my work. Throughout this journey, I learnt to adjust my work given the feedback I’d received to maintain the balance between brevity and clarity. After clarity began to suffer due to my texts being too condensed, I modified them to make them more clear.
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.
Out of all the assignments, the Letter to the Editor was the one where I had to think the most critically. The LTE was not just analysis and incorporation of other people’s views, it is fundamentally a reaction someone else’s entire opinion. I was granted an opportunity by writing this essay to think more critically than ever before and question underlying assumptions of other writers and, more importantly, my own, which ended up in my taking a stance in my LTE that contradicted my beliefs at that time. It was here that I could synthesize all of my previous scientific knowledge and combine it with critique of another author’s work in order to produce my own authentic work.
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.
Closely intertwined with core value 1, this value is best proven by my Editorial. It is easily noticeable that all of my assignments have been written on extremely specific topics. Out of all them, the topic of the editorial was least known to the average reader, meaning my editorial was least suited for the general audience, which is something I was unaware of before receiving peer feedback. After that I altered my work to account for context and ensure that any reader could understand it.
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.
Due to the peculiar topic of my Op-Ed, it required the most research because of the scientific and statistical nature of most of my claims. For the other essays, anecdotal evidence and a brief overview of current news were sufficient. The Op-Ed had premises about areas, e.g. human health, where simply anecdotes or news stories alone would’ve been comically insufficient evidence. When making claims that affect, even possibly endanger, the entire human population, maximum objective data is required, i.e. statistics.
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.
Every essay required summarizing other people’s ideas to varying degrees. Out of all them the Letter to the Editor required the most effort to summarize: the other assignments were predominantly my own opinions fundamentally, backed by objective claims which are less difficult to misrepresent. The LTE however had someone else’s opinion as the foundational premise for my own writing, which required careful precision from myself in order to fairly summarize their views. If I had been unfair to the original writer, whose work I use as a premise, that would’ve made the claims and arguments of my own writing (a reaction to theirs) invalid.