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Emilie Keller ENGL 1102-036 Ms.

Rand April 30th 2013 A Look-Back through the Semester


In my opinion English 1102 most resembles a talk show that has different guests all discussing the same topic. The reason that I believe this is because we had many different projects, homework assignments, and daybook entries and almost all of the assignments had to deal with some form of conflict. Conflict was the major topic discussed in this course, and we always dealt with it in some way, whether it was discussing conflicts, watching a movie about a conflict, or writing a paper about conflict. This picture is just meant to depict a talk show, although Conan and Jay look like theyre arguing about something, who knows maybe theyre having conflict!


The ideas that I would try to emphasize the most if I was teaching this class would be what we learned the first couple days: the difference between conflict and an argument. I believe that this was the most influential part of class because it really set the tone for the entire semester. Coming into this class I basically thought that a conflict was the same as an argument. I now know that conflict is on a much bigger scale and that conflict is everywhere, always a part of life. If I were to teach this class I would start with having a daybook entry asking the students to tell me about a time that they got in an intensive argument with someone, and then ask them to write about a conflict they had; I would do this before explaining the difference of the two to see how the stories are different and if anyone grasps the concept of conflict versus arguments without needing it explained. After this I would focus on conflict, just as Ms. Rand did. I think that she did a very good job in explaining conflict and providing examples on it. I would also show movies like she did, and find interactive things online to further help my students understand.


Throughout the semester we always focused on conflict. At the start of the semester the type of conflict that we focused on was inner conflict. We were told to write a paper about a time that we had a conflict with someone, even if it was just as a little kid. The paper that I wrote was about my ex, who treated me like complete crap and made me lose all my friends. There was always a conflict in my life whenever he was around, so instead of focusing on one specific argument that we had I focused on the relationship as a whole, and all the terrible things he did to me. In order to look at the inner conflict of other people we took a look at the movie, The Truman Show. This movie was a good example of inner conflict because Truman had to figure out how to do things for his self and how to break free of the world he thought he knew. For the second half of the semester we focused on conflict on a worldly basis. The major paper that we had to work on for this half of the semester was the inquiry paper. We were to choose a topic relating to conflict, mine being why teenagers at work were so lazy, research it and write a lengthy paper on it. This was a rather easy assignment because we were not simply stating facts back to our reader, it was more of an interactive paper in which we had to put our own opinion about the topic in various places. In order to understand worldly conflict we did many activities and watched the movie The Pursuit of Happiness. This was a really good movie and showed the struggle of a working man, and how someone who has nothing can rise to have everything. It really made me think about all the conflict in the world, whether its struggling to make ends meet, or having your wife walk out on you. Another activity we did to emphasize conflict was the interactive online game Spent, in which we had to pretend like were down to our last thousand dollars to see if we could make it through the month. This

game was actually really difficult because it has some major life decisions like avoiding to pay your car tickets, and therefore getting it repossessed. The final assignment that we had to complete was the multi-genre project. This project was simply taking our inquiry paper and turning it into a visual aspect. It was kind of difficult to pick out three specific genres, having to keep in mind our audience and how we wanted to present our information. In the end I decided to use a website, because it is the most versatile and easy to navigate, an online poster because it is easy to organize information in an appealing way, and a meme because it appeals to teenagers easily. This project ended up very well for me, and I am proud of the work that I did, with this project and every project. This class was very easy to me and I found all the topics we did interesting. Ms. Rand did a good job in showing us visual aspects and examples throughout the year. I would recommend this course to other people, and if I had the option I would take on of Ms. Rands courses again!


The unit of study that was the most helpful to me was the second half of the semester: writing the inquiry paper and working on the multi-genre project. The inquiry paper was extremely helpful to me because I got to write a paper on the work ethics of teenagers and it really opened my eyes to how lazy people at my work are. This paper was kind of difficult to find information for, but I ended up using Time magazine as my main source because they had many articles and discussions on Generation Y and why they are lazy. Once I found all the information I needed it was easy for me to write the actual paper and add my opinion on the topic. After I wrote this paper my eyes were opened to how lazy teens are, all the time now servers ask me if they can pay me to do work for them, and I silently laugh inside knowing all the research Ive down. Turning my inquiry paper into a visual aspect was also helpful to me because it made me think about my audience and how I could relate to them. Realizing that my audience will affect how I write my paper will definitely shape how I write in future courses. I think that I did a good job on relating to my audience through my different forms of that project, and I am satisfied with the outcome of my project.


My writing successes in this course were definitely the inquiry paper. I was very proud of the fact that I wrote an outline and actually used it for once. Although it was difficult for me to find information at first, I pushed through it and kept looking deeper in magazine archives, and I eventually found all the information that I needed. Once I had all the information my paper seemed to come naturally. It was very easy for me to follow the outline that I wrote, and to make sure that I was addressing my thesis completely. I think I did a very good job at answering my thesis completely and whole-heartedly, and even throwing my opinion in on the topic. This topic really makes me mad at work now though. Every time a server asks me if they can pay me to do work for them I get angry, I dont understand why they are so lazy. In all my research I know the reasons are the parents and management, but coming from parents where I had chores and had to work, and a good first job in which I was in charge, it just disgusts me. Overall though I am happy with the outcome of my paper, the research I did to find the answer to my question, the way I approached the topic in my paper, and how I added my opinion when it was needed.


What I have learned about writing through this course is to use outlines and drafts to the best of my abilities. Using outlines really can develop your paper and save you from revising a bunch of times. Using outlines can really help you decide who you want your audience to be as well. Audience will always be a key factor in the writing process because you have to write accordingly. If you are writing a paper about texting, your audience will probably be teen agers so using big words would be a bad thing to do. Another thing that I learned throughout the semester was to use the appropriate genre for your writing. The genre that you pick also depends on the audience that you are addressing. Again, if youre writing about texting and teenagers you could write a paper that resembles a texting forum, so that it appeals to your audience and yet you still write an affective paper. I will definitely use the things that I have learned throughout the rest of my college career and life, always trying to focus on my audience and write the appropriate genre for that audience.


To me, the inquiry process reminds me of a fight between two people. Now Im not saying that this is a bad thing and the inquiry paper made me angry or anything, its just the suspense building up to the fight. When two people are about to fight they develop a reason, start to argue, gradually get angrier and more aggressive, one throws the first punch, they wail on each other, and then the fight is over. The reason that this reminds me of the inquiry process is because of the steps I had to take to write the paper. First I had to plan out a proposal for what I wanted to write about: developing a reason. Next I had to research a lot, to gain a lot of different information and resources: getting angrier and more aggressive. Then I had to plan out an outline to follow throughout my paper: starting to argue. The next step was to start drafting out the inquiry paper, which took a lot of time and dedication: throwing the first punch. Writing and revising the paper was a long a tedious process: wailing on each other. And last but not least finishing the paper and citing my sources was the end of my paper just like the end of the fight. Each step of the process took careful planning and drafting. Each decision I made determined how the paper would end up, whether it was a good decision or a bad one. This is also like a fight because it is the decision that people made before the fight that lead them to where they are, about to beat each other up. Sometimes people make good decisions in fighting, like I made good decisions in my paper. The good decisions that I made were to follow my outline and draft repeatedly until I had a paper that I was satisfied with. At the same time there are people that are just aggressive and mean while fighting, and just want someone to beat up on. These people make overall bad decisions

within their lives because they just have pent up anger. The bad decisions that I made within my paper were that I worked a lot and could have spent more time on my paper. Although I am very proud of the outcome of my paper and although I got a good grade I feel like there is always room for improvement and that I could have spent more time and dedication on my paper. But the past is the past, and not everyone is perfect, sometimes we have to suffer for our brilliance to shine.

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