Friday, November 14, 2014

Reflecting on the synthesis essay

First of all, I completely psyched myself out about this paper. I kept putting it off and I finally reached a point where I just felt that it would be completely impossible to get done. And then I actually started working on it, almost instantly I realized that I was making it much harder for myself than it ever needed to be. Having never written a synthesis paper before, I looked at it as this impossible to complete task, where in all reality, it was actually quite easy to accomplish once I sat down at my laptop and began the work. Having the information and research given to us was beyond amazing, the packet that we were given was jam packed with extremely useful articles. This subject is not one I would have ever thought to research and I am really glad that it was chosen for us. As far as my purpose and design plan goes, I think I did a relatively good job of sticking to it because, after all, about 75% of my purpose and design plan was written after I had the majority of my paper done. I almost enjoyed writing a synthesis paper... I enjoy writing in general (it is in my blood after all) and I thought it was really interesting to learn a new writing style. To be taken out of your comfort zone is never SUPER fun, but in the end you always reap some awesome benefits. For example, I learned that I can totally write a decent synthesis paper without making an ass of myself. The only thing I really messed up on was not including Blinder. I have already uploaded my paper... but, i am going to go back and add a section in one of my paragraphs about him... shhhhh!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Purpose Statement & Design Plan for Synthesis

Purpose Statement
Since this paper is supposed to be an argument regarding the changing of the working world of the 21st century, my purpose needs to revolve around using my sources in the best way possible and making sure my argument is as clear and concise as possible. After learning about it, I have realized how difficult a synthesis paper can be, but I have also learned that it can be extremely beneficial to the person writing it and anyone who reads it. So, by using the sources from our packet, mainly Sennett, Judy and D'Amico, Friedman, Peters, and Vitae, I hope to effectively argue that success in the working world of the future will include changes in: ability to adapt, the self, and skills and education.
I think that the information and conclusions I'm drawing from that information would interest someone who is my age or younger. Perhaps even much younger, like high school aged, who is already thinking about their future. To reach this target audience it is most necessary to appeal to logic, proceeded by emotion. Most people when they think about their future either stress out because they have absolutely no idea what to do, or they are completely at ease because they already have a clear picture in their head of what they want to do. I think this paper can appeal to either of these people if I execute it successfully. Most importantly I want to write this paper for someone like me, who has an idea of what they want in their future, but no idea of what to do or how to get there. After reading through this packet and starting to establish an argument, I've learned a lot about how it applies to me and above all I want to possibly help someone else see that there is extremely fruitful information in this packet about the working world of today.
The context that this essay needs to be in is relatively clear, it is about looking to the future of the job world for any young adult who wishes to be a part of it. Anyone can view the paper at anytime since it is up on the blog, but my hope is that young adult hopefuls for the working world take the time to at least skim it because I think it could be helpful.

Design Plan
Ethos: I showed credibility by effectively using our sources that were extremely helpful. Not only by picking and choosing solid quotes, but also by giving enough background on each of the individual authors to show how credible the sources that I chose to use were.
Pathos: I think this subject is easy to make young adults in my target audience care about, because it is so vital to their future if they want a successful career life until they retire. I know I don't want to work a minimum wage job forever and not make any kind of difference, but maybe by making changes and moving forward with what we think of the working world, finding a place to call your own in the work force is entirely possible if not unavoidable.
Logos: Since this is the first ever synthesis paper I have done, I think I did a very good job of incorporating logic into the subject. It is a rather easy subject to have a logical enforcement. If you want work, you need to be prepared for change.
The medium for this is a synthesis argument. It is an academic essay that needs to be between 6-8 pages. (I know if I go into more detail and emphasize certain things that surely I can make it longer, but for the time being I am just so happy that mine is 6 pages.) It is an academic synthesis that I tried very hard to use proper adult language and complex sentences for.
The arrangement for this argument was what I think I found most difficult. It was tough to decide what argument to put where, how much emphasis to put on different subjects and even just figuring out what quotes I wanted to use. I finally decided to go personal, education, and technology as my three main topics that I went into more detail about which related back to my thesis that people have to constantly be prepared for change and changes in the working world.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Writing question 2: My definition of work

Work is something that is hard to define. I work on my homework, I work by doing different tasks at my job, I work on my relationships with friends. Although work can't be defined by one simple action, there is a pattern I realized in all those statements: the work might not be something I want to do, but it is something I have to do in order to achieve certain goals I have set for myself. Whether the work I am doing is something I enjoy or hate, there is an outcome I am seeking to attain from the completion of whatever work I am doing. Work doesn't have to be something you have to force yourself to do, it can be something that you enjoy as much as leisurely activities, but there is something I am hopeful to accomplish by completion of work. Work wouldn't include something I am doing strictly for fun, I can have fun working on something, but watching Netflix isn't work. In my opinion even if I were to get paid to watch Netflix shows I already planned on watching that wouldn't be work. Now, if I were to be paid to watch something I didn't want to watch, maybe then that would be work, but I'm still iffy on that.
My definition of work is reinforces what Ciulla said because you can't simply call one thing working and call it a day, working has many different faces, from the monk meditating to the painter painting. I think I believe that work is something that involves necessity, it is something we have to do in order to accomplish a larger set of goals we have for ourselves. It can be for a job, but it can also just be something that you work on to express yourself or better yourself as a person.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reflecting on my Rhetorical Analysis

As our first academic paper of the semester, I'm happy with what I've put forth. My confidence level is a little shakier than with the photo essay, but I'm still proud of the work that I have done. As far as sticking to my statement of purpose and design plan, I think I did my best. The design plan was more straight forward being that this was an academic paper with clear directions as to font, layout, and language. The hardest part concerning layout and the pictures was getting the ads to be where I wanted them to be, while having the text not become secondary. Originally I had hoped to make the pictures stretch across the page since 3 out of 4 are landscape, but that just wasn't possible seeing that once everything was typed out and in MLA format. I think that the pictures lose almost a bit of their impact by being on the smaller side, but I think that my analysis brings the parts of the photos that are too small to light. But, I still think I did a good job of writing in an academic way while still being able to reach my target audience. I think I stuck to my purpose as far as the subject matter I was analyzing. Since my focus is the environment and the wildlife that inhabit it, I really do like the ads I chose. I had finalized them after I wrote my statement of purpose and design plan, so I think they are very fitting for what my topic is. I think I tried my best to stress how important ads can be throughout our daily lives. We see them every day, but a lot of them are pretty much about unimportant things and the WWF ads are actually of import. My main goal was to make sure people took the time to consider those ads as much as any other ad that might be internalized by them. As always I think there is room for improvement, but all in all I'm proud of what I have done so far and I think that I have laid a good foundation for myself. If I improve upon I think I already know what I need to do. I think I can do a better job of bringing all four pictures together and following through thoroughly with my purpose. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Statement of Purpose and Design Plan for Rhetorical Analysis

Statement of Purpose
Purpose: My motivation for this rhetorical analysis is to continue with the groundwork I laid for myself in the photo essay. I want to stick to an emphasis on the environment which is why I chose to use WWF ads. After reading my paper I hope my audience will have a better understanding of what the ads that WWF is trying to portray and make people think about. Because that is their general purpose: make people think about the important issues concerning our environment. The main situation that makes me want to have this as my subject would just be the state of our planet as it is presently. The best possible outcome of this paper would be people taking more time to consider the impact they have personally and that they can indeed make a difference. Seeing ads like this is not uncommon, they are in magazines, they’re all over the internet on different websites, and there are a plethora of them if you take the time to do a simple Google search. The best thing that could happen with my analysis would be people actually being able to internalize the ads they see so very often. The worse possible outcome would be that people just completely ignore the subject and don’t give it any thought. I have faith that my essay will encourage people to give it thought though and don’t foresee a “worse” outcome. This paper could change the situation because it could make people become more introspective when they see something like a WWF and have a better understanding of what it means and what the purpose of it is.
Audience: As always on a small scale my audience is my peers in class and my professor. But, on a much larger scale I want my audience to be anyone who has had their interest piqued when they saw a WWF ad or an Ad Council ad about the environment. My audience could even be someone who has very little understanding of the environment and wants to learn more and try and comprehend the ads they see about the environment. The age range of the targeted audience would be high school to college and even a little older, the people who can make the most difference in our future society.              
Context: The context, since it is posted on my blog is a little up in the air. Because of the fact that anyone can view at any time of day, or night for that matter. So they context really all depends on when someone comes across my blog and finds it interesting. In the school context it would be reviewed during our class time which is at 2 in the afternoon.

Design Plan
Strategies: Going off of my statement of purpose I will need to make sure that I write in an academic language that still translate to my audience and make it easy for anyone to understand. Keeping the attention of my audience will be key and I think I can achieve that by choosing ads that that age group would find interesting. Formatting and the flow of the essay will be paramount because it’ll keep their attention and keep them focused on the subject at hand.  
Ethos: To effectively employ ethos I will need to show my credibility on the subject. I think that my photo essay was a good start and if I try and keep the same theme going that I’ll be in good standing. Obviously I will need to use more effective academic language and show that I am a credible source.
Pathos: I will have to make sure that I try my best to make the readers care about the subject of an analysis on WWF and Ad Council ads. I think the ads speak for themselves quite a bit so I already have a good foundation laid for where my text needs to take the readers.
Logos: I will have to be logical and have a solid structure as to where my argument goes and have it lead somewhere that the readers can follow. I have to give myself credibility so they can rely on what I’m saying.
Medium: With this being an academic essay, the medium used is pretty clear: Word. It will all be text and include between 4-7 photo ads that I will select with thought and consideration over where exactly I want my paper to take people’s minds.

Arrangement: The arrangement will take some more thought because I still need to set in stone what pictures I will be using for the ads that I am analyzing. The order to which I utilize the pictures is really important because it will determine the flow of the entire paper so that is what I need to focus on most. The actual text of the paper will flow properly if I choose wisely the order of the ads. Arrangement will be key to the effectiveness of my paper and it will also be key in keeping people’s attention and determining where the argument will go.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Looking back on Photo Essay

First of all, I want to say how much I truly enjoyed composing a photo essay. I have never done anything like this before and hope I get to do something like this again. I'm extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish. Could I have done better? Absolutely. Am I still pleased with what I put forward? 100%. But, I know that there are always things to be improved. One thing I know for sure that I am going to go back over before our final submission of our portfolio is my sentence structure. When we did the advanced editing in class it said I wrote my introduction at a 7th grade level; although I was aiming for a younger audience I definitely was not aiming that young, so I know that I can maybe make my sentences and word choices a little more advanced. As far as my design plan goes, I think I stuck to what I was going for, for the most part. For my strategy I stated that I wanted to try and be as captivating as possible so people do not get bored and I think I did a pretty good job of that. I personally love the pictures I chose to use (obviously) and I think that narrative does nothing but enhance the photos. I definitely enjoyed using PowerPoint as the medium, and it was just as I said in my design plan: very easy to use and manipulate. I honestly didn't even try using Word because PowerPoint was such an enticing option and it really made it fun and easy to manipulate the photos and texts. I'm very glad that I made the text and photos coexist as I said for arrangement. When I typed out the design plan I still had no idea where I wanted to go with the order of the pictures, but I'm still pleased with what I ended up doing. I tried to start on a lighter note and ease into more serious notions with the tone of the pictures and I think I did that relatively successfully. And, as far as ethos, pathos, and logos go I think I tried my best to stick with what I laid out for myself in the design plan. Obviously I used language anyone could understand if I wrote at a 7th grade level (I'm not dwelling I swear). I also think that I stood by my emotional attachment to the subject and tried to convey as much emotion as possible. I think I tried my best to be logical as well. I didn't try and cover anything that would be beyond a younger person's dimension, but I still don't think I dumbed anything down too much. Again, I really enjoyed composing the photo essay, and overall I think I was pretty successful. That is to be determined though. I'm getting the anxious feeling that before we submit our final portfolio there will be a decent amount I want to change.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"The Beauty of Earth" Photo Essay

“Peace on Earth” 2013. Starved Rock State Park.
“Crawling Towards the Sun” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Reminder” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“The Wild Life” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“The Caged” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“The Free” 2014. Warren Dunes State Park.
“The Rift” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Balancing Act” 2014. Warren Dunes State Park.
“Cartoons Come to Life” 2013. Joliet, IL.
“Nature Expressway” 2013. Chicago, IL.
“Zoom Zoom” 2013. Tinley Park, IL.
“Out of Place” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“In Need” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Unrequited Love” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Pitching In” 2014. Joliet, IL.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Design Plan for photo essay

 The Beauty of Earth
Strategies: My strategy should come from where I started with the statement of purpose, in which I decided that I want my photo essay to be about the beauty of nature that a lot of us forget about sometimes and how even the little things are worth preserving. Also in my statement of purpose I decided that the group of people that I am targeting is young adults in my age group and even high school aged teenagers. So I would need make sure that I strategize to meet their interests. If I know anything about young adults, which I think I do, it’s that we grew up with distractions (TV, video games, the internet, etc.) and it is really hard to keep our attention. So, the main part of my strategy will be to format my photo essay in a way that captivates the readers eye and makes them want to read through the whole thing without moving on to the next new and exciting thing.                                                              
Ethos: I will play to reader’s ethos by using a language that is familiar to them, without dumbing anything down. I will also need to be explicit with my stance and how much this really does mean to me, if people don’t think I care about the subject than I am giving them absolutely no reason to care themselves.
Pathos: I will appeal to readers’ emotions by putting as much of my own into it. The environment is something that is vitally important and I think that people should have a myriad of emotions concerning it. The emotion that I want to appeal to the most would be empathy.
Logos: I will appeal to logos by being as logical as possible. Basically “We live on the earth. We need the earth. Help maintain the earth for the sake of our lives.”

Medium: As far as mediums for our photo essay go I could either use Word or PowerPoint only because I’m not skilled in any other medium that is comparable to those two. Just from experience I can imagine that using word would make it hard to format the photos and text the way I would want to so I’m automatically leaning towards using PP. I think that PowerPoint would be the best use of my time and energy and I would be able to format everything the way I would want. I would still have to include my narrative so there might be a part that I would type in Word, but I think for the actual photographic part of the photo essay I will use PowerPoint because I will be able to manipulate photos and texts much easier and with more purpose than I would be able to in Word.

Arrangement: Well I know that I will have multiple pictures and a narrative. I definitely want the narrative to be spread out with the pictures if possible to do that in PowerPoint, just because I would prefer for the two to coexist rather than be two separate entities. As far as the arrangement of the pictures I am not so sure. I could either do a season kind of arrangement where I bring the reader through the different seasons and showcase all the different types of beauty in the different seasons or I could do close up and landscape pictures, growing bigger and bigger as the essay goes on. So as far as arrangement there’s a lot that still needs to be determined. It ultimately depends on what pictures I decide to do, which I should do post-haste.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Purpose Statement for photo essay

The Beauty of Earth

Purpose: My motivation for this photo essay is to highlight the unreal magnificence of our planet that a lot of people (myself included sometimes) take for granted. There are things about our planet that most people consider beautiful like a colorful sunset or a full moon, but there are many things that people do not notice. I want to find as many beautiful objects of our planet and put them on display. In the end my motivation is also to show that there is so much beauty with preserving and most people don’t even consider it. I hope that after seeing my photo essay people realize that there is so much amazing stuff around us all the time and you don’t even have to pay anything to enjoy the majority of it. There are a lot of things that contributed to me picking this as my topic, I’ve always had a love of nature and animals but I’ve never taken it much past appreciation. My freshman common reader was garbage land and ever since then I’ve always had something gnawing at me to try my hardest to make a difference and I think it is finally about time I start. The best possible outcome of people seeing my essay would be that they take more time to enjoy the little things that the planet has to offer us: the way a breeze makes the tree blow or how impossibly still water can be if there is not current or disruption. In all honesty I don’t really foresee a “worst possible outcome.” I suppose the absolute worst thing would be that other people find the subject matter boring, which would almost defeat the purpose of this being done in the first place because I want to educate people. I suppose that along with people thinking that it is boring, I could not catch people’s interest which is the opposite of what I want. I guess that this could change the situation by maybe changing people’s outlook on our environment, maybe people would take more steps to reduce their flow of garbage to landfills or maybe reduce their carbon footprint just a little bit.

Audience: On a small scale my audience is my peers in class, who will have to help edit and will see my topic from start to finish. On a larger scale my audience would be anyone who uses the internet and reads blogs and happens upon my blog. So as far as planning my photo essay according to who my audience is I think that I need to make sure that I’m most concerned about piquing the interest of people in my age group, because most of us disregard nature and the beauty of earth and learning more about what makes it worth preserving. Along with people in my age group I should target high school aged students because they can also help work towards a change in attitude that could eventually lead to more of a concrete change in the way things are.

Context: Our class meets later in the afternoon, so it is after everyone has had lunch and maybe a few classes and they are starting to get burned out for the day. In order to keep people engaged and interested in my photo essay I will have to work to make sure that I am going as deep into my photo essay subject as possible. As for it being posted on my blog that makes things a little more interesting because the time of day that anyone chooses to view it wholly depends on that persons schedule and even what time zone they are in. I would think that someone looking at my photo essay online would find it interesting to them no matter what the time of day because it was something they chose to click on, but the same things that applied to my classmates would apply to anyone on the internet: making sure that my topic is interesting and thoughtful enough to keep people interested and perhaps even wanting to know more about what I have to say further down the line.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Communication resposibilities

What are our responsibilities to each other when we blog?
I think the number one responsibility that we have to each other when blogging is complete honesty. If you are going to blog than you may as well put it all out there because that is kind of the point, is it not? If I was going to start a blog about my life, for example, I wouldn't go on about how much fun I have bowing my copious amounts of money because that just isn't true. I would talk about my family and my dog and my school and the myriad of emotions I go through every single day. The only other responsibility I can honestly think of when blogging would be to take it seriously. I have never started blogging because I have always found other ways to vent or communicate my feelings, and in all reality I just never saw the purpose of it. This class has already started to put in perspective for me how truly amazing blogging can be so I am excited to see how this goes. And, above all I will keep my personal responsibilities in mind: to be honest and to take it seriously.
Do we have responsibilities to others when we communicate? 
This question was on the trickier side for me to answer. I do think we have responsibilities to each other when we communicate but I cannot quite put my finger on what exactly they are. I think the first ones that come to mind are the two I said for the previous question, to take it seriously and be honest. If you aren't taking the communication seriously than either party is bound to walk away with nothing, and if you aren't honest you aren't putting your true self out there for people to get to know. I guess to answer this question as in depth as possible I would have to imagine a specific communication situation. So, for example, I will say that the situation is a lecture hall full of students listening to one very boring teacher. In this instance I would think that I would want to focus on the responsibilities of the student: they would need to listen, be attentive and focused, participate when necessary, and take notes. Now other than the note taking I think that listening, being attentive, and participating are all responsibilities we have to others when we communicate. See, all I needed to do was put it in perspective for myself and I was able to come up with a clear cut answer.

(You would think that after typing it all those times I would have spelled responsibility right at least once, but every time I had to use the auto-correct function, who knew that word was so tricky to get right on a keyboard?)

First ever sincere blog post

Questions asked in class:
What do you want to learn?
Well since I am still trying to decide what I want my major to be I suppose this is as good of a time as any to actually learn and research animal and planet conservationism. Mainly what I would like to learn about is whether or not that is the path I want to take. That path being dedicated to helping animals and conserving the environment we do have so that people after us can experience the beauty of earth the same way that we have been able to. I want to be one person that helps make a difference and it is about time I start acting like it. So I guess the long and short of this broad question would be I want to learn what I want to do for the rest of my life on earth.
On a smaller scale, if asked this about this class, I am excited to learn how people in the year 2014 can put together projects and essays. Technology has come a long way and I am excited to learn how to make a presence on the internet with a blog.
What is your motivation in the communication situation?
I have no idea how to answer this... What is my motivation? I guess it would be to get as much of my opinion or knowledge out into the communication situation as possible, try and make my point as understood as possible.