For my final artifact, I chose an assignment from my Senior Seminar class with Dr. Michael Harker during the semester of Fall 2016. The genre of this assignment was Prezi and was presented in Prezi with an interview. For this assignment, we had to discuss what we wanted to do when we get out of college. At the time I wasn’t sure, so I chose something that has always interested me, which is editing. We had to find a book on the topic of this as well as do an interview with someone who currently has this job. I chose someone that I have heard of from my internship at the time, she was the intern editor there her name is Shannon Pruden. Her point of view for the job was very discouraging for me. She has had a hard time finding her way into the editing world based on her location and her current home situation. But she brought to light for me that nothing is easy to achieve if you don’t make the proper sacrifices that you need for your future. I felt that I could have gone further in my research for this project on the works of editing; that I could have expanded more on what I read in my book I chose called “Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do”. My strengths I felt in this project was my interview with Mrs. Pruden. I felt that I touched on the matters that I was most concerned with and that I touch based on the important matters of the editing world that she finds herself currently in.
For my seventh artifact, I decided to choose an assignment from my Business Writing class with Dr. Yunye Yu during the semester of Fall 2016. The genre of the assignment was an infographic and was a group project. I took charge over the project and handle research of the assignment. We were supposed to create a mock-up plan for a non-profit organization and so my partner and I took on creating an after-school care plan for Atlanta to help better the community. I had an easy time with this project from working with a non-profit organization before. Though I felt that my partner could have helped with the project more and doing further research on the topic with me, I wouldn’t change a thing from this assignment. I felt very strong about it as well as the presentation that we completed for the class. This project helped me to gain the confidence in presenting my work to others and getting their feedback in a professional environment. I felt confident in knowing the information and being able to explain my plans to others.
This was a Service Learning group project in my Techincal Writing with Dr. Robin Wharton in the semester of Fall 2016. For this assignment, we had to work with Little One’s Learning Center to help improve their business. For my part of the project, I worked on research and creation of their social media. The genre of this assignment was social media and the purpose of it was to be able to help this business make it their absolute best. Though I truly enjoyed working on this project it wasn’t easy; I felt that we took on too much from this group and that the business used us for their advantage to get as much work done through us. I felt that as a group we should have solely focussed on one of their requests. But overall I felt that we did a wonderful job for them and that our work met their requirements. The audience that we were trying to reach out to for this assignment were those who are associated with Little One’s Learning Center and the people they want to be associated with them in the future. It was a hard project to work on, but the work experience taught me a lot like never take on more than you can handle and don’t let someone else speak for you. My three other group members would say the same.
I completed this assignment in my Grant & Proposal Writing, 4510, class with Dr. Baotong Gu during the Summer of 2016. For this essay, our audience was the Grant viewers who would be reading our proposal for the non-profit organization Furkids Animal Shelter and Rescue. The genre is a persuasive essay to convince the Grant to accept Furkids proposal for money. The purpose of the assignment was to assist a non-profit organization of our choice and to help them apply for grants that would help them to receive the product or money they need for their organization. This was a group project; in my group were Lea Nelson and myself. My role in this project was Leader; I handled contacting the organization and setting up a meeting with them to discuss what they would want from their grant proposal. Throughout the project, though, Ms. Nelson and I collaborated and assisted with every part of the proposal and nothing was Okayed without either one of our consent. I selected this piece because I feel that it shows how I have grown not only in collaborating in group work but how I have grown with writing outside of my comfort zone. I always thought that I could never write in business format and create something for a company, but this class really helped me to see my potential in other possible fields that I may want to look into in the future. I think there are many strengths in this project; it is well organized, well put together, and met the requirements of our client. Something that I think we could have worked on for the proposal was the set up of the document. Maybe try a different template to give it a more professional edge to it. I think that would be my main focus on changing something out of this proposal.
This assignment was from my Multimodal Composition class with Dr. Mary Hocks during the semester of Spring 2016. This class helped to shape my interest in working with multimodal. I never was very good when it came to using computers and this class beyond helped me to try my best and learn further. The assignment that I chose was a collaboration with a group. I worked with Jordan Abraham, Gustavo Garcia, and Meghan Hughes. For our project, we had to create a blog, which is the genre, that discusses something going on in the world today that also reflected in our everyday lives. We chose Invasion stories which can be seen throughout movies today and in the past as well where it reflects moments that occurred in history. For this project, I felt that our strengths were the different ideas that each of us brought to the table. By choosing each story that we chose whether it was a movie or a book I feel that it helped to get our point across. I wouldn’t change anything that we completed in this project, mainly because I wouldn’t change anything without discussing it with my group member but also because I felt that we showed our best work in this piece.
For my third artifact, I have chosen my assignment that was completed in my Persuasion: History, Theory, and Practice, 3080, a class that I took with Dr. Kelly Elmore during the semester of Spring 2016. For this assignment, we had to read an article and analyze the content inside this and make points on the good and the bad of this essay. The genre of this essay was an analytical essay and the audience of this essay was to bring awareness to those who don’t know how to create a strong argument in their essays. Showing them the little things that can be improved on to strengthen an argument. The article that I chose for the assignment was called “Sexism Hurts Us All”. I am always curious to see what is happening with sexism and the different studies that are being conducted so analyzing this essay was an exciting thing for me. The strengths of this essay that I had was although I had a strong interest in the topic of the article I wasn’t afraid to point out the flaws of the essay and the things that needed to be added on to it. And the things that I would change about this essay was finding more sources that could have backed up the topic of the essay I was analyzing and the grammar in the essay as well.
My second artifact is from my class of Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition, 3050, taught by Dr. Elizabeth Burmester during the semester of Spring 2015. Our audience for this essay was those who are interested in the topic of Technology and those who have followed along with Neil Postman who wrote Amusing Ourselves to Death. The genre of this text is an argumentative essay, to discuss both sides of the argument whether technology becomes dependent or not as well as to state our opinion on the matter. Overall, the purpose of this paper was to create a bias-free argument on your chosen topic and to discuss the points that you would make on either side and then at the end determines your own personal opinion. This piece is really important to me because it was one of the first classes that I took that determined my concentration as an English major, and looking at this essay I have seen how my writing has grown just from taking this class. From its teachings, and it’s lessons I have learned a great deal from this class so I really wanted to find an essay from here that I could put in my portfolio to reflect where I started out in my college career. Looking at it now, and re-reading what I had written, I definitely needed a lot of help with this essay. My argument it pretty solid from either side, but I never truly determine my own voice that I have. I don’t make it clear which side of the argument I am a part of in the end of the essay. That is something I would really like to change. I feel that it would make the paper a lot stronger than what it already is.
I selected this assignment for one of my artifacts from my Editing 3140 class with Mr. Donald Gammill during the semester of Fall 2014. The genre of this essay is the research essay. The audience for the essay was for those who did not have a previous understanding of the non-denominational Christian religion. I felt that this piece has shown my growth as a writer and editor of grammar. The strengths of this piece, as pointed out to me by my teacher, were my unbiased voice, and authentic voice and the structure of the paragraphs and the way the research is laid out. For my Editing class, we had to edit a paper that we have previously written from another class. I chose this one because I knew that my grammar and sentence structure could use a lot of help. I had written this essay in my Perspectives Culture class, I didn’t have anything else to work on because I had yet to take any English classes besides the required ones. The assignment was a self-edit, our teacher Mr. Gammil was to go over it for us first, and give us an idea of what direction we needed to go in when it came to editing our essays. I wish that I had had more time to make my changes to this assignment, unfortunately, I was one of the few that hadn’t gotten the edits until the end of the semester giving me not enough time. I would have changed the sentence structures as well as the many, many grammatical errors in this essay.
Loving A Life that Glorifies Christ
Non-denominational Christian’s bible-based institutions that are not formally aligned with an established religious denomination but are historically Protestant and have no rituals. That is the definition anyway. I was curious to understand exactly what this meant to be a non-denominational Christian so I asked my neighbor, Mrs. Jennifer Patterson, if I could interview her and join her family for their next visit to church. This day just so happened to be Palm Sunday and their church is North Point Community Church. This experience was far different from what I am used to when attending church; I learned about the beliefs that the nondenominational Christians have of God, baptism, and about how they bring God into the lives of children and teenagers. I learned the fundamental aspects of their religion, the traditions they follow, how they have no rituals other than reading the bible, the best lesson to that Mrs. Patterson feels is taught, her involvement in the church, and the involvement the church has in the community. When we were setting up for the interview, we took a good fifteen minutes to prepare for the questions prior and some random ones came up as we got into certain topics on the religion. The questions lead to new understanding of what it is to believe and how this differs from both the Catholic and Christian churches.
Before the Patterson family became a nondenominational Christians they were Baptists, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Christians and when they became Christian it leads them the place that they are now; very happy with the church and what they believe in. During the interview, Mrs. Patterson and I talked about the lessons that they have been taught, but one lesson, in particular, she found the most important was to love thy neighbor and love thyself, meaning doing good towards others will not only make you a better person but bring you closer to God. The main lessons that everyone follows are loved God and love your neighbors. When asked about rituals that they do, the only traditions and rituals that are done are attending church, and the basic holidays like Christmas and Easter, as do both Christians and Catholics.
In the non-denominational church, they do not baptize a child at birth. They believe that when you let the lord into your heart and believe in him with your whole heart is when you should be baptized. This is very different compared to other religions. Some religions believe that a child should be baptized a few weeks after the birth, with the fear that if the child passes before being baptized the child will be damned. To nondenominational Christians, babies have not yet committed sin because they have no comprehension of what that is, so they have nothing to be washed off. Being baptized is a sacred act to all religions in different ways; all of them follow the meaning that you are washing away your sins and letting God into your heart. Another belief of the nondenominational church is that Jesus Christ is everything; he died on the cross for us and paid the price for all of our sins. As long as we believe in Jesus we are wiped clean of our sins, as long as you have accepted him as your savior, even if you have committed sins. Putting emphasis on anything but Jesus is sin meaning anything that takes the importance off of Jesus is the sin.
This isn’t a direct quote from the bible but an explanation of the passage of Jesus knocking at your door and you have the choice to answer him if you want to let him in, he gives you the chance to prepare yourself and be ready. This means, that if you want to let Jesus in, you have the choice, but if you’re not ready for him then he will wait. This goes for everyone including the children and teenagers of the church. They believe that in order for the children to see God, they have to find different ways to let him in their lives, coming up with new inventive ways to keep their attention. They don’t stop bringing their children to church or give up on bringing Jesus in their lives; what they do is find different ways to let God in. Which brings me to what I had viewed at the North Point Community Church. This church was a very large church, I would compare it to stadium size. There were, I believe, four other auditoriums just in that building, along with a basement, and a game room for the kids. In each of the auditoriums there were giant screens and in one of those auditoriums was the speaker being videotaped and broadcasted in the church as well as to six or seven other churches around Georgia. It was by far the biggest church I have ever seen. The biggest thing that shocked me when I was at the church was that they have a rock band up at front; it felt as if I was at a rock concert while singing songs about Christ. I didn’t know what to think of this until Mrs. Patterson pointed out to me that this was the churches way of reaching out to children and teenagers. It was their way of bringing them in, letting them know that God can be shown in all different kinds of ways, not just from reading the bible.
For those who believe in the faith, spreading the word of the gospel is what they are supposed to be doing for God. For the Patterson’s they don’t believe in going door to door to talk to some of their neighbors about Christ. They believe by doing good deeds for them, asking their neighbors if they need anything and helping them in their time of need will do the trick. By doing good, the neighbors may ask what faith they believe in, and where they attend church. Like the main lesson that is taught, love your neighbors, and love God, and great things will come your way.
When visiting the North Point Community Church, I was not sure what to expect since it is different from my own experience. What I learned though is we are all God’s children and it doesn’t matter in what way it is preached. The ritual is not what is important, it’s that Jesus is an important person to hold in our lives. Something that Mrs. Patterson said had stuck out to me while I was interviewing her; I had asked, “What kinds of attitudes, values, and behaviors does your religious culture encourage?” She replied with, “Loving a life that glorifies Christ.”
Co-Dependent of Technology
Technology has had good qualities that have helped the world to develop into something great over the years, however, there are also bad qualities that affect our everyday lives that are making things more difficult. Neil Postman talks about the disadvantages of technology, such as the media, television, and education, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman points out how television has changed the structure of contemporary discourse that these new ways of learning are inferior, but television isn’t the only technology to change this. There are other factors that have contributed, and there are advantages and disadvantages of technology that Postman hasn’t considered. Other writers who agree with Postman, for example, would be Mark Bauerlein with his book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans. Other writers who disagree with Postman say that there are some great advantages to the use of technology, such as Sue Jansen The electronic Bribe: Power & Knowledge in the Video Age. With each of these authors, they use both Francis Bacon’s Idols and Aristotle’s Rhetorical Appeals to create the flow of their speeches and writings. Technology can lead us to great resources and to another level of understanding the world and these writers help to explain the pros and cons.
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman is about how television has negatively affected the level of public discourse in contemporary America, and it considers media in a larger context to achieve this. Postman talks about how social media has caused our grasp of knowledge to shrink. When talking about television, Postman discusses the negative side effects it has on not only adults and teenagers, but on the minds of children. For example, he goes on to discuss Sesame Street. Eugene Rubin did an interview on Neil Postman for an article called Stirring Up Trouble About Technology, Language, and Education, Rubin asks Postman why he thought that Sesame Street is bad when so many parents and educators think that it is wonderful. Postman replies, “My complaint about Sesame Street is that it makes children love television, not school. It is a terrific television show and really uses all the resources of a visual image-based medium.” (Aurora and Rubin, 1989). Postman feels that parents use television to do their job of parenting, of interacting with their children, teaching them how to read, to speak, and so on. Postman continues to talk about how Americans are not paying attention to the psychological and social effects that technology has on our culture. Through Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals, Postman uses all of the appeals; ethos, pathos and logos. He shows credibility, emotions, and logic throughout the text, discussing The Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. Each of these great novels shows rhetorical appeals to consume their readers.
Francis Bacon’s Idols set out to explain what others use for arguments to persuade their readers as Postman does in his book. Postman uses the idols of Tribe, Theatre, and Marketplace. The one he doesn’t use, as much throughout the book is Cave. The Idol, the Tribe, means family, community, alliance and allegiance. Postman uses this example to demonstrate Tribe: “Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities, and commercials.” (Postman, 1985). Postman blames American’s as a whole for the cause of using social media as a way to entertain each other, instead of just talking with one another. The Idol, Theatre, means tradition, dogma, received knowledge, and superstitions where Postman’s bias lies. Postman inquires Theatre in his book to explain how America has strayed from a tradition that tradition being able to talk to one another, “[It] is not that television is entertaining but that it has made entertainment itself the natural format for the representation of all experience. […] The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.” (Postman, 1985). The last Idol that Postman uses is Marketplace; this is discourse, rhetoric, advertising, marketing and social media. With this, Postman uses his diction and words to get across what he wants the world to know and uses this Marketplace to persuade them. “The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products.” (Postman, 1985).
The Electronic Bribe: Power & Knowledge in the Video Age by Sue Jansen is an article that talks about Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, Imaginary Social Worlds by John Caughey and Sense of Place by Joshua Meyrowitz. Jansen compares each of these books with the other while reviewing them all together as one. The article shows how Jansen uses Aristotle’s rhetorical analysis by using logic, credibility, and emotions keep the audience engaged. The credibility lies within the three books, which she uses to compare and contrast the situations of technology. When comparing Meyrowitz and Caughey to Postman, she mentions that Postman is more “convinced that his message is too urgent” (Jansen, 1987), and it “is too urgent to be conveyed by the cadences of caution”(Jansen, 1987). Jansen’s bias towards Postman is that she thinks he is singing a certain “intellect, by favoring certain definitions of intelligence and wisdom and by demanding a certain kind of content…” (Jansen, 1987) Through this quote, Jansen is using logic to explain how Postman’s bias is through his position from one being a man and two, from being of the older generation not understanding the benefits that are given through technology. From what Jansen is saying, she finds that Postman projects arrogance when writing about what he thinks is correct. Jansen uses Bacon’s Idol of Theatre in the way that Postman writes in his book, stating, “According to Postman, television entertainment now provides the model against which all course is measured.” (Jansen, 1987) This proposes the thesis that Postman has stated, continuing with her mentioning: “Postman points out that the world staged by television is pervaded by discontinuity…” (Jansen, 1987). Bauerlein’s book is similar to the point that Jansen made in her article about Postman’s book. Along the lines of what Jansen talks about Postman and Bauerlein, it is determined that his word is the most important when discussing about the future generations. In Bauerlein’s book, The Dumbest Generation, he believes that something new and disastrous has happened to America’s youth with the arrival of the digital age which eventually leads to a collective loss of context and history, a neglect of “enduring ideas and conflicts.” This is where Postman and Bauerlein’s views meet. They both use the same Bacon’s idol Marketplace and talk of how the future generation is going to be co-dependent on technology, but what they neglect to see, is the good it can result in which Jansen tries to point out through each of the writers that she states in the article.
Though technology is a great thing in helping us progress and strengthens our society as a whole, technology can have a negative effect on our culture when it is being used in the wrong way. Postman talks about some of these reasons as to what is wrong with social media and television, when they became an important part of our lives, especially for younger generations. Baurelein’s work touches on the subject of the younger generation losing their intelligence due to technology. For comparing and contrasting the different matters as to what others have said about technology and determining the better outcomes of it in Jansen’s article. Following through an interview of Postman, we learn further on the points that Jansen has made as Postman being arrogant when really he was just trying to point out the negative point rather than the positive point in with Rubin. Each article and book demonstrated similar views as to what Postman had discussed while showing explanations of Francis Bacon’s Idols and Aristotle’s Rhetorical Appeals. Though there are many advantages to technology, the disadvantages are starting to weigh out in the effects that it has on society. There has to be a way to grow with technology, without letting technology take over.
Aurora and Rubin, E. (1989) Neil Postman: Stirring Up Trouble About Technology, Language, and Education. Available at: http://aurora.icaap.org/index.php/aurora/article/view/62/74 (Accessed: 9 April 2015).
Bauerlein, M. (2008) The Dumbest Generation. New York: Penguin Group USA.
Bizzell, P. and Herzberg, B. (2000) Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. 2nd edn. Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Jansen, S. C. (1987) ‘The electronic bribe’, Theory and Society. Springer, 16(4), pp. 621–628. doi: 10.1007/BF00134919.
Postman, N. (1985) Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse In the Age of Show Business. New York: Viking Adult.