Friday, December 9, 2011

Assignment #15- Final Reflection

It's always hard saying goodbye but my journey has finally come to end for Writing 101-11. As I look back to my first blog post I noticed that I did achieve certain goals that I wanted to accomplish during this semester. I still wouldn't change my goals that I had now as a writer even though I'm familiar with college writing because in order to become a better writer you must start from scratch.
In my first blog post I said that I wanted to learn to communicate with my audience and paper, and I learned how to do that by including the purpose, genre, tone and audience. This helps me organized my whole paper so it can be aimed at my certain target. I also stated that I wanted to learn from others and I did by learning their techniques that helped me.
Some strengths I still have to develop is to try to elaborate my ideas without stumbling over sentences or just by not repeating things over and over again. Another strength I have to develop is making sure my purpose fits everything that is needed for it without adding certain things I don't need. Some weaknesses that I have to develop on is building a strong thesis. This has always been a struggle without a good thesis your paper doesn't have good structure.
Overall I achieved some goals but I still have more to learn.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Assignment #14- Planning for Revisions

For my portfolio I chose to revise is my arguing position essay. The strengths of this essay is that it has a strong clear thesis that's focused on what I'm trying to argue about. It's also a thesis were it can be argued by other people if they disagreed with me. Another strength is that I use a lot of evidence to support my claims and my whole paper is very well organized. Its focused on the point I'm trying to make across.

Two weaknesses are that my evidence might not be efficient and it may be very weak. My statements may not be strong enough. Also my purpose might not be focused on my audience if I tend to go off topic. I might need help making my sentences stronger. Another weakness might be is that my introduction may be weak so it's going to make my paper have a bad start.

In order for me to revise my essay, I am going to make sure that everything can be backed up with strong evidence so the audience can understand why I chose to say that and can see what's behind it. When I write the body of my paper I will make sure that everything is in-order. I will make sure my audience fits my purpose and tone. As for my introduction I will start off using some evidence so it can lead to my thesis smoothly. Overall I have to stay on topic and argue my position well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Assignment #13- Your My Favorite Paper..

My favorite essay that I had to write for this class was the arguing a position assignment. I enjoyed writing this essay because I got to inform people about an issue that people are still debating and dealing with. Writing is not a problem for me but when I'm assigned to write about something that requires my opinion on a topic it's the best feeling ever. It's as if I can put all my angry and opinion on how I feel about the subject. I got to explain what the law is doing is wrong. Come on a teen can get married to an adult by parent permission but if a teen dates an adult its against the law? Seriously?! Its a joke. 

Although the ad analysis was going to be my first choice because I got to study what was the whole purpose behind the ad was. But then I changed my mind because the arguing a position assignment felt like it was something important for me. It was important because the issue about the the law allowing teens to get married with parent permission should be banned. A teen has their whole life in front of them to discover and marriage isn't always the best choice for them. Live life and enjoy it as your young. So I got to express my opinions on how I feel about it and it made me feel good letting it all out. It was a topic I was passionate about. Also it went great with my writing style because informing people about an issue that's not talked about much helps bring the issue to light.

P.S: Thanks for the easy blog post! :)) 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Assignment #12- Thinking Critically about Evidence

Thesis: The law should not allow teens to get married to people who are 18 and older because they are considered to be minors,  they have their life in front of them and if it's illegal for an adult to date a minor then why can they marry one.

  • My most compelling argument is my claim that it is against the law for an 18 year old to date a person younger than them. But yet they may get married if the teen's parents agree with it. This is strong evidence because many people had went to jail because of this issue. There is proof of people who are spending time in prison for child molestation just because of the age difference. It is only logical that this problem can be proved with evidence of these cases. Since this is my strongest claim, I am going to make sure I focus my introduction on it and provide enough evidence to support my claim throughout the paper.

  • My weakest evidence is my rebuttal to that claim is that teens may run away from home with their older lover if they can't get married to them. I argue that parents need to make sure teens get their education first so they can go the right path. This is my weakest evidence because although parents may try to get their children to do good the teen might not listen. To strengthen this part of my argument, I will try to convince my audience that there's more to life then just marriage.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Assignment #11- Analyzing and Writing Arguments

I analyzed the essay "The $78 Million Bag". In this essay, the writer had a good argument and knew what his purpose was. He made sure his point was made across. However, they had a good argument but didn't back up their claims with enough evidence. They would use numbers and "facts" but didn't cite their sources so it made it harder for the audience to trust them. This taught me that I should always make sure I support my claims with evidence and make sure I cite it because if I don't it doesn't give the reader my trust also it doesn't seem reliable.

Also as I was analyzing "The $78 Million Bag" I noticed that the essay seemed to use a informal tone where they were trying to relate to the audience. However, they should have been formal because it lacks to the audience that they can't presentation their purpose professionally because legalizing marijuana is a serious issue. It was as if the writer was talking to a friend instead of the people of Chicago.This taught me that I should always first debate on if my topic is a serious or non serious problem so I know that I can get my point across that way I want readers to respect me or take me seriously.

Lastly after analyzing this essay, I came to conclusion that the writers used more of their opinion on the issue instead of facts. This is where it went downhill for them because you won't convince an audience what should be done if you don't state facts and support all evidence. It just explains to the audience what you want to be done instead of what should be done. This showed me that I should always make sure I have facts in my paper that have evidence behind it if I want to state an issue that I feel should be fixed.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Assignment #10- Thinking About Peer Review

The new peer review process we recently tried was something interesting. I enjoyed it because its always good to get different peoples opinions on your paper instead of one. This process was very effective because when we read our papers out loud we can catch our own mistakes such as spelling errors. Also the people in our group can comment on what they feel should be improved and how they feel about the paper. The way it can be improved is that we should do peer reviews on more than one person's paper in the group, by doing two peer reviews instead of one it helps us get more feedback. 

My specific strengths in peer reviewing is finding misspelled words and pointing out where the writer should elaborate their ideas more. My specific weakness while doing peer review is that I'm too nice when it comes down to commenting on what they are doing wrong. This is bad for me and the writer because I can't help him/her improve their weaknesses. I can't be mean on pointing out mistakes if the writer is my friend especially because come on...thats my buddy haha I don't want to be tough on their paper.

Peer review is always helpful. It's the most effective and best process when it comes down to fixing your papers. It is helpful to do peer review for earlier stages of the writing process. I feel that doing peer review in larger groups are better and more helpful because you get more opinion from other people. Everyone has different point of views. I feel that we don't have enough time to complete our peer review if we do it one day because it makes us rush through the questions and therefore we can't take our time to finish it. But I feel that we should take two days to finish our reviews so we can focus and make sure we can help improve the writer's paper. 

Overall, peer review is very useful regardless if we do it in a small group or large! :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Assignment #9- Patterns of Writing

Errors are something every human being makes. Especially when it comes to writing papers. Its a common mistake everyone makes. Unless your a robot who writes non-error stories their first time! But sadly your not, your only a human being. As I look through my first two graded essays I have wrote for this class, I caught a couple of mistakes I make often.

1. In my writing I tend to repeat certain words over and over and OVER AGAIN! As I read them out loud and notice this error it just makes my paper sound soooo STUPID. I repeat the key terms often and this causes my writing so sound dull. It also causes my writing to fall downhill because it shows that I cant get my point across. The way I plan to avoid this error in the future is that I'm going to use different words that are similar to what the point is about because when you repeat the same word over it just makes you want to stop reading the paper.

2. The second error I caught why writing and revising my two papers is that I have a comma problem. Unfortunately this is a big problem when it comes down to my papers. I have trouble with putting the comma where it should. This causes my writing to have no pause in it for the reader. Also it crumbles my sentences all together. The way I plan to avoid this error is make sure that I use commas in a series for example when you list certain things you need to break it up with a comma. I'm going to use commas after certain words like: and, but, or, for, so yer and nor. Also I'm going to make sure to uses commas after introductory phrases.

3. The third error I notice that I tend to make in my writing is by not having an arguable thesis. This causes my writing to not have reason why I'm writing the paper in the first place. At times my thesis is not strong and it causes my paper to have nothing for a person to argue about. In the future I plan to avoid this problem by making sure I have a purpose of writing my paper and I have to make sure that my thesis can be arguable. I plan to make sure I get much of peer review as possible so I can have somebody help me improve it.

There you have it I make mistakes but I always try to fix it because that's how your writing will improve. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes but it's normal. You can't become a better writer until you learn and improve your mistakes.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Assignment #8- Thinking About Arguments

The article I chose was "The $78 Million Dollar Bag." This article is about how the city and county specifically Chicago spend $78 million every year just to arrest and jail people for possession of marijuana. Certain people like John Fritchey is considering legalizing marijuana due to the money. Marijuana arrests are made to all different kinds of people but mainly focused on African Americans. Police are locking up people for a dime bag and letting people with guns slide. There has been 23,000 arrests per year for pot by Chicago police. These arrests take up to 84,000 police work hours every single year. Larry Suffredin feels that these arrests are wasting people's money when their dollars should be used for more serious charges. All arrests are made into a criminal case which costs money. Cook county residents are paying every single year $70 million dollars to arrest people carrying marijuana. These people who are arrested usually get released after post bond. That's money going down the drain. After all the math is done the article states that $78 million is spent a year to arrest and jail "a bunch of black guys-only to throw away their case." Also added to that $10 million taxpayers spend to jail the ones who grow and sell pot. Although taxpayers want a change in the policy, certain elected officials such as Emanuel haven't discussed it. Other officials have been informed about the problem but nobody has discussed anything. There are certain ares of the county where people are getting a ticket for marijuana possession. But theses laws are confusing people and make it harder to follow.

This article was the most interesting one out of the rest. It had some information that I never thought would happen. It introduced me to the marijuana game and what's happening with the arrests with it. I somewhat agree with the article because I do feel like police are wasting their time on making arrests on little bags of marijuana when they can catch real criminals. We are wasting so much money on these stupid arrests. I also chose this one off the list because I wasn't in the mood to read the rest of the articles, the title was catchy so it was the first to catch my eyes. It has interesting view points but I feel that it lacks a counter argument. Overall it has good evidence and proves it's point.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Assignment #7- Reflecting Back..

Boy oh boy it's time to reflect back on my writing...shockers it feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote and posted my very 1st blog. It's crazy how time goes by so quickly! But as the days go by we are getting closer to the midterm and class is starting to really kick in on my writing skills. Looking back at my first blog, I'm starting to realize that my writing has improved as I write more and more blogs and attend class. I feel that I am making progress on my goals that I wanted to achieve. So far writing 101 has showed me how to communicate on paper with my audience. There are specific aspects of this class that helped me as a writer. For example, the peer review we do is extremely helpful. It's great having somebody else open your eyes on mistakes that you didn't notice you made while writing your paper. Also having discussions on different writing techniques helps me realize how to improve my papers. Everything we are doing so far in class is useful but what I would like to change about the class in order to better facilitate my learning process is that I feel that we should have more peer reviews on a paper with different people. Like for instance we should do two peer reviews then one from two different people. This is helps because everyone has different opinions on what they feel can help make your paper better. Another thing we should do is work in groups together so we can discuss topics on writing and its always better learning different techniques from other people. It helps improve your writing skills. Any-who Ms. Spencer is doing a great job on teaching us how to get better in writing by making us do the blog posts and assigning the chapters from the book to read because the book contains lots of information about writing that I didn't know about. Now as for my writing, it has changed somewhat since the beginning of the semester. I started to consider what the tone, purpose, audience and genre is before I continue writing my papers because it really helps you break down what you're trying to say in your paper. I feel that my writing has improved since the semester started. The blogs help the most because it explores different prompts. In other words writing 101 is a helpful class to take.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Assignment #6 Compare & Contrast

Purpose: The purpose for writing my literacy narrative is to tell a story about my past on how I became a better writer. As for my ad analysis the purpose was to inform people what the ad represents, I had to study every detail the ad people are trying to describe and had to break down what the message was behind it.

Audience: The audience for my literacy narrative was basically anybody there was no specific age group, it was meant to be read by anybody who enjoyed narratives. But for my ad analysis the audience was targeted for anybody that smokes, especially for smoking parents; in a way it could have been targeted for the public to show how serious smoking is.

Tone: My literacy narrative had a humor tone in it. I told my story in a funny way in order to show my audience that my experience taught me a lesson and was something to look forward to in the future in case something like that happened to me again. My ad analysis had a very serious and sad tone. It was a wake-up call to anyone well mainly targeted to smoking parents what can happen to their child if they continue to smoke.

Genre: The genre for my literacy narrative was very informal because it told a story about my past. When you tell a story to an audience about your life it's suppose to be told in the way you talk not given in a speech. And as for my ad analysis the genre was formal because it was informing the audience in a professional manner.

Similar: Both papers have a purpose, tone, genre and audience.

Difference between papers:The different rhetorical situations between these two papers will strongly affect the way I write my papers because I'm telling my story for my narrative so its based on what I want it to target. As for my ad anaysis it is written from my point on what i feel like the ad people are trying to show. For example if i wrote my narrative essay more like a speech then telling a story it will change everything about it like the audience and tone of it. Same goes for my ad analysis. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Assigment #5- Smoking Kills You Faster then Anything Else

Okay so I came across to anti-smoking ads that really caught my eye and I'm having a difficult time choosing one so please let me know which one is more better!

Choice #1

Purpose: The purpose of this as is to show that children of parents who smoke are most luckily to die earlier because of the choice their parents make.  It shows that smoking can cause the death of their children faster than anything else. Also it proves that if parents smoke they are 

Audience: The audience for this ad particularly is meant for parents who smoke that have children.

Genre: This genre of this ad is anti-smoking. It is very similar to other anti-smoking ads it proves their point that smoking can kill anyone in its path.

Tone: The tone of this ad is very serious and sad. Just the text itself explains that “Children of parents who smoke, get to heaven earlier.” The tine is a wakeup call for smoking parents. The dark background shows that the child is an angel in heaven due to the halo above the child’s head. What’s catchy about this ad is that the halo is from the cigarette smoke and shows that, that is what got the child there in the first place. I think the advertisers chose this tone for this particular product because it shows parents that they are risking the lives of their children just because of a choice they make. 

Choice #2

Purpose: The purpose of this ad is to show that guns are not killing people; people are killing themselves by smoking. It shows that one cigarette can ruin your whole life and kill you faster than a bullet itself.

Audience: This ad is meant for anyone that smokes. There are no people included in the ad so it shows that there is no specific age group.

Genre: This genre of this ad is anti-smoking. It is very similar to other anti-smoking ads it proves their point that smoking can kill. Also that people are killing themselves instead because of the choices they make. 

Tone: The tone of this ad is very serious. The dark background shows that the gun is on the table loaded with cigarettes which are supposed to be bullets.  As the gun lays there you can see that it has been fired due to the smoke coming out and the cigarette laying there. It shows that a life was taken and there's more lives at risk. I think the advertisers chose this tone for this particular product because it shows how deadly smoking can be. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Assignment #4- It's Just Revisions, Not the End of the World

   It's just a first draft not the end of the world! Seriously. Drafts are never perfect especially your first one. But it gives you an opportunity to improve all your mistakes and see how to make it better. I know one fact for sure is that practice makes perfect even if it means you have to write more then one draft. There will be times where you write your first  draft and think its the best thing you ever wrote and then the teacher hands it back and its like a SLAP IN YOUR FACE! It ends up being the worse first draft you ever wrote. True story happened to me but you can't give up and think your a bad writer. Nobody is a bad writer we are each unique by having our own writing styles. So cheer up buddy!
   My final paper looks somewhat different from my first draft. In my first draft I didn't put the outcome of what happened when i submitted my paper to UIC. It left my audience wondering if I ever got accepted. So i decided to fix this by ending my paper with the result of what happened because I know people hate endings that leave them guessing. Right? Well maybe it's me. My final paper is similar to my first draft because I had added so much detail possible when I first wrote it so it was not lacking any details whatsoever. I had reworded some parts and just made it sound better then before. Also I fixed all my mistakes I had.
   I didn't make major revisions to my paper because it all focused on what the topic of story was. The way I organized it was by telling every detail possible of what happened that day and what happened to the paper. Everything was in place for the paper.  
   After revising my paper I learned to catch what my mistakes were. I love revising my papers because I learn what kind of writer I am and what my writing style is. As a writer I tend to go into detail to much sometimes or at times I'll add something that's not really important like something EXTRA. That is something I need to know how to control because when you add something extra to your paper that has nothing to do with your main focus it distracts your audience. 
   Peer review is great for fixing your paper. Peer review guided me to make the revisions I did because my partner was able to point out that I forgot to add the main thing at the end! OMG I can't believe I didn't include it!! Ahh!! But thanks to her I did it!  Also rereading my own paper made me catch all the spelling mistakes I had and details I was lacking. 
   The strongest aspect of my paper has to be the body of the entire essay because it contains much detail possible. It uses metaphors so the audience can visual  exactly how I felt that day. The story goes in order and doesn't leave the reader questioning what happened after? Also it has a humor tone to it so it doesn't sound boring. I don't feel that I had a weak aspect in my paper. The only weak aspect I can say is that it doesn't contain strong vocabulary so it sounds informal but at the same time it's a narrative it isn't suppose to sound formal. Right? Yes I'm right! 
   Rough drafts help you improve as a writer. If you get a bad grade on your first draft it will be okay! It's going to help you improve your paper so you can meet the standards. Remember it's just a first draft! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Differences Between a C paper And an A paper?!

There is a HUGE difference between an A paper and a C paper. We always want to aim for the A but there are three qualities we need to understand in doing so.
These three qualities are:
  1. Structure and organization
  2. Focus
  3. Grammar   

1) Structure and organization is highly, I mean highly important!!! You need to have your ideas well organized so it's not all over the paper. Your paper needs to have an introduction, body paragraph and a conclusion.
  • Introduction- Introduce your topic with a brief summary on what's your paper about.
  • Body paragraph- State and support your ideas
  • Conclusion- Wrap up all your ideas with a good ending 

Without organization your paper will not flow from sentence to sentence. If your paper has bad or no structure and organization well you might as well throw that baby in the trash if you think your going to get an A with that! 

2) Your paper needs to focus on your main idea that you are trying to show to your audience. This is where you need to go into detail and really focus on each of the point you are trying to make. 

A C paper example:

  • I walked my dog today and got hit with a car. I hate wearing a cast. Great my birthday is coming up. Oh my life sucks. I have school tomorrow. I hate rain.
Now you see how the sentences aren't focus at all, also they are lacking details. Plus it's all over the place!! Now let's see if we can fix this. Now this is an A paper.!

  • I was walking my dog today in the cold rain and out of nowhere a truck came speeding down on Kimball street. I was grateful that my dog ran out the way but unfortunately I wasn't lucky. I got hit and now I have to wear a cast for three weeks and my birthday is coming up. Oh my life sucks right now. 
See how the sentences are focused and go into detail on what happened to the person. Remember you need to focus your ideas one by one you cant't just jump from place to place. If you state something important make sure you focus on it instead of getting off subject. So stay on topic!


3) Proper grammar is needed for an A paper. If your paper has so many spelling mistakes and other grammatical errors it just shows your audience that you didn't take your time to write a good paper. So why should the audience suffer?? Seriously you need to grow up at a point and learn to fix your mistakes!! A little bit harsh right? Well that's life get over it. If your paper has so much grammar mistakes your reader will be more focused on that then your paper. In other words it distracts your reader!

C paper example:

  • Do you need anything from the store mom that was the last thing that came out my mouth before that car pulled up right next to me and shot ma brother. Their where three guys in that white van. 

Noticed the mistakes yet? Lets's make changes....
A paper example:
Do you need anything from the store mom? That was the last thing that came out my mouth before a car pulled up right next to me and shot my brother. There were three guys in that white van.

Just make sure you have someone reread your paper to see if they can catch the mistakes you didn't notice. Peer review is your friend!

The most easiest thing for me is focus because I don't have trouble staying on topic. I always make sure that my sentences flow smoothly together. What I have trouble with sometimes is grammar because I tend to make many mistakes without noticing until someone points it out. But in general I don't have a problem writing a paper I just happen to lack details many times. It's not that hard to write a good paper just makes sure you put work in it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Assignment #2- Generating Ideas

I may write about my experiences about my high school years of writing papers. Writing papers during high school helped improve my writing skills. It also thought me to put all my thoughts down on paper. There was a specific teacher who I had my senior year that was very strict. She didn't accept anything that didn't meet her standards. I would write a paper thinking it was an A+ paper and would later get it back with so many mistakes and it brought me down a little bit and made me feel like I was a sucky writer. But then she made me realize I had strong arguments but need to know how to break them down. She showed me not to give up and helped me explore my writing skills more. A con might be that I wouldn't have enough details to support the topic.

Another topic I may write about is when I had to write my college statements for UIC and Loyola. It showed me how to write about myself in a descriptive way and in a short summary to describe what I'm about. I usually don't like bragging about myself or in general writing about myself but these college statement essays opened my eyes and showed me I had so much more skills then I realized I did. The one con that might be applied to this topic is that it wouldn't be interesting for the audience.

The last topic I might write about is when I first when to Barnes and Nobles for a field trip. I discovered that their where so many interesting books that caught my attention. I had brought a series I think it was called THE BABYSITTER. It was a scary novel that made me want to keep reading and reading. It was the first time a book really caught my attention. A con can be that it might get boring and my ideas might be all over the place.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Become a Better Writer..

     Being a good writer doesn't happen in a day. It takes practice and experience. Don't get me wrong there are people were writing comes naturally to and for others no. As for me I love writing, but it's not a passion it's more of a hobby. I never really have a tough time writing my thoughts on paper, but you can never have too much practice, that's why I decided to enroll in English 101. Well to be honest I was required to take it, but if I wasn't I still would have took it because college writing is somewhat different then high school writing. High school writing doesn't make you focus as much colleges require. For example you can write anything for a high school paper and you can get away with it, but college papers make you put much effort and thought and if you try to write anything professors won't accept work that they can clearly see it's done at the last minute.
     I'm taking this class so I can advance my intelligence and learn to break my thoughts down on paper without stumbling over a sentence. I want to learn to use words that strongly show emotion and have power to make the paper outstanding. Using certain words can make a paper come to life. I would like to gain better writing skills also I want to learn how to communicate on paper well where the reader can relate and understand. A paper speaks to a person and depending how you write your audience can understand where your coming from. I want to learn techniques from other writers that can help me improve.This is something that you can never have to much experience. I know taking this class it will help me become a stronger writer then I was before.