Portfolio Revision Plan:
- expand on points introduced in the argument introduction
- try to show to the readers through the portfolio that skills that were said to have improved, improved
- tie in the English 1101 learning objectives to argument
Over the course of the semester in English 1101 my rhetorical writing ability developed significantly, having learned new techniques to form deeper and more organized arguments. I learned how to better think critically about specific topics that my arguments concerned. Completing blog posts weekly allowed me to practice techniques learned in class and projects allowed for the culmination of new writing and thinking skills to be applied to a more extensive, multimodal outcome. Additionally, class discussion helped me to improve my oral communication skill set and diversified my analysis of discussed topics, improving my critical thinking process. The areas I saw the most improvement during the course was critical thinking and organization and depth of argument. I began to ask why a writer included a specific element or why a movie presented a certain tone, rather than just thinking about what the writer included or what the tone of the movie was. My oral communication ability still needs work, however, and through out my years at Georgia Tech and beyond I will take every opportunity I can to improve this.
Learning Outcomes for English 1101
In writing a blog entry on Eli Kintisch’s “Into the Maelstrom”, I utilized critical thinking skills by analyzing the way the text targets a specific audience and looking at general trends pertaining to this audience in scientific writing. This allowed me to get deeper understanding of the argument of the text because the audience and the purpose/argument are directly linked.
“It details struggles that she faced along the way and turns the article into somewhat of a motivational story. Almost any reader can connect with and appreciate this story – from your average Joe to an expert in the field.”
In this passage I showed how the writing style changed the purpose of the text and therefore changed the targeted audience. The article detailing personal struggles pushes the audience to a more broad, less educated base, while simultaneously shifting the purpose to more of an entertainment piece. Being able to critically think about the meaning behind the trend I was observing allowed for a deeper analysis of the text.
Group: Bharat, Eli and James
- What I like:
- choice of text (Truman’s Show)
- deep analysis
- video scene
- What needs improvement:
- “The Really Big One” analysis
- argument + relationship with science
- knowledge/information leads to action
Quotation Sandwich Practice (11/2)
Original text –
“John Toon’s article, titled ‘Robot Helps Study How First Land Animals Moved 360 Million Years Ago’, is published in the Georgia Tech News Center website, which has a very small, scientific-focused audience. Samantha Cole’s article ‘Robot Replicates How Our Ancestors First Walked On Land’, on the other hand, is published in Popular Science and has a much more broad, and low-level audience. The first thing you notice when you read Cole’s Popular Science article is a blaring half page ad, while on the Georgia Tech News Center site the first ad is at the very bottom on the webpage. This difference points to the differing types of organizations Popular Science (money driven cooperation) and Georgia Tech (nonprofit academic institution).”
Revised with Sandwich –
“John Toon’s article, titled ‘Robot Helps Study How First Land Animals Moved 360 Million Years Ago’, is published in the Georgia Tech News Center website, which has a very small, scientific-focused audience. Samantha Cole’s article ‘Robot Replicates How Our Ancestors First Walked On Land’, on the other hand, is published in Popular Science and has a much more broad, and low-level audience. The first thing you notice when you read Cole’s Popular Science article is the quality and significance of ads on the page (as shown below).
Popular science is a business designed to make money, and because access to online articles is free, they load the page with ads. The primary purpose of the publication is not to actually inform its readers, so Popular Science is perfectly fine having ads cause more visual stimulation than the actual article. The Georgia Tech News Center site, however, is quite different. The first ad is at the very bottom on the webpage and the page looks like this when you first click on it:
–ran out of time–
“Curious” by Kim Todd
Kim Todd’s piece investigates the complexities of curiosity and why its part of the nature of humans. She asserts that curiosity is both a vice and virtue in that it can lead to innovation, but can also lead to conflict and drawbacks.
“For much of history, though, coveting the secrets of the world and mulling over mushrooms and vipers threatened to drag one from thoughts of God. Religious and worldly contemplation were at odds. omas Brooks, an English nonconformist preacher of the early 1600s, warned, ‘Curiosity is the spiritual adultery of the soul. Curios- ity is spiritual drunkenness.'”
Understanding of quote –
This quote explains how years ago, curiosity was seen a defying god and caused conflict. This explicitly furthers her point that curiosity can be a vice or virtue.
Ted Talk: Emily Grasslie
While curiosity exists in everyone, it needs to be sparked. You can’t be curious about something you haven’t been introduced to. Technology does not lead to further curiosity it is the people and things that led to the development of technology that drive curiosity.
“We should all be curiosity correspondents.”
Understanding of Quote –
This quote demonstrates that curiosity is within us all and we should pursue it.
Transforming Science Purpose
The purpose of our translation is to allow for greater access to an important piece of high level research at GT to a lower level audience, inspiring interest and potentially increasing future involvement and support.
Popular Science and GT News Center Article Comparison
These two articles cover the same topic but are extremely different. In Popular Science, the article has a much broader audience (hence the name Popular Science), uses less scientific vocabulary, and is quite a bit shorter. The GT news center, on the other hand, goes much further in depth, has a more narrow and interested audience, and uses higher level scientific vocabulary. Another major difference is the quantity and the type of ads. On the GT website the ads are exclusively advertising Georgia Tech related things. The Popular Science website is littered with ads advertising everything from Nissan to PayPal.
In-class Spinning Science Reflection
- Peer project grade
- Rhetorical Awareness: Competent
- Stance: Mature
- Development of Ideas: Mature
- Organization: Mature
- Conventions: Exemplary
- Design for medium: Mature
- For my project, I learned that my conclusion wasn’t extensive enough and my introduction includes irrelevant information. Also I need to expand on my points in my body paragraphs and clarify my stance.
- I plan to first organize my thoughts in order to improve the clarification of my stance. Then, will add to the intro and conclusion paragraphs with further analysis on rhetorical devices in the ad.
Out-of-Class Spinning Science Reflection
Although the photo essay genre of writing is not widely discussed (I had not heard of it before this assignment), it is becoming increasingly popular. Websites such as Buzzfeed and Clickhole almost exclusively post articles in the form of photo essays. In writing my photo essay, I found that it has an extremely intuitive design, especially when analyzing visual advertisements. When analyzing a certain part of the advertisement, I was able to just insert a snapshot of the evaluated part to provide visual aid to the reader and make my point easier to understand. After contemplating the arguments I wanted to make, I chose the pictures that best helped the reader understand what I was arguing. I hope the reader learns to always question scientific claims in ads and do some research before investing in a product or service.
Spinning Science Introduction
23andMe is a relatively new company with the goal of providing direct to consumer genetic testing to allow customers to find more about themselves. Dispite reports of the inaccuracy of the testing, consumers continue to buy into this product and the company’s value has skyrocketed to $241 million since being founded in 2008. This could be attributed to their successful ad campaign.
The ad I chose to spotlight does a great job utilizing all forms of appeals to convince the viewer to buy their product. The ad opens with a slide show of comforting images most of which are of people smiling and a voice saying ‘this is a story… about you… the incredible you’. This opening scene evokes pathos, and inspires self-love and the passion to find out more about yourself. The ad continues a voice saying ‘it starts with your DNA’ and simultaneously showing a picture of a finger, with its print emphasized, which is a universal symbol for the uniqueness of a person. In its description of the company, the ad makes a point of letting the potential customer know that the product ‘includes reports that meet FDA standards’, which is an appeal to ethos. Upon further research, I found that the in 2013 the FDA forced 23andMe to discontinue a major part of its service that reported on the health of the consumer because it ‘had not obtained the legally required regulatory approval resulting in concerns about the potential consequences of customers receiving inaccurate health results.’ On October 21, 2015, the FDA approved a revised version of their service and the company begun selling their full service again. The addition of ‘includes reports that meet FDA standards’ into the ad instills confidence in consumers who may have heard about their issues with the FDA. The emphasis on science in this ad adds to this confidence and is the center selling point in this product.
Description of first week video process…
What steps did you find most effective/least effective?
I found that, with this project, spacing out the time I worked allowed me to be more efficient and productive, as is the case with most work. Whenever I go stuck, or experienced “writers block”, I did something else like got some exercise or ate a meal. This allowed me to clear my thoughts and start fresh when I begun again. What was not effective was trying to film this project while my roommate was sleeping. I had to be as quiet as possible while still trying to sound confident and poised. I ended up have to wait until the following morning (the morning it was due) to film it.
What part of your project do you like the best?
I definitely value my script over all other parts of the project. I put much more time and thought into the script than the filming process. If I had managed my time a bit better this may have not been the case. Also, I made a point of reading over the script numerous times before filming so the delivery was smooth.
If you could redo any part of the project would you redo?
If I had the chance to redo this project I would definitely try to structure my time better. I ended up spending a lot more time writing the script than doing the other parts of the project. I feel like I would have a much higher quality project if I organized a plan for completion in advance rather than just diving in. They say that time management is one of the biggest takeaways people have from college and I definitely learned that here.