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English 101 RP Essay
Transcript of English 101 RP Essay
The Participatory Culture
Issue Situation Question: Developing your critical inquiry question
Zooming and Panning
10 on 1: Employing a representative example
Developing a thesis
Understanding My Presentation Essay
My Presentation Essay
Prospective Look at English 101
English 101 was like climbing a mountain. I started out with a weak understanding of how to write a college paper, but as time went by I slowly climbed my way into a better understanding of the literary requirments of a college essay.
Read Presentation Essay
English 101 is based around working with participatory cultures as well as being a member within one. The term, Participatory Culture, was coined by Henry Jenkins and his coauthors back in 2009. Jenkins explains in his report
Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture
Media Education for the 21st Century
, how new technology is changing social spaces thus altering the ways individuals inhibit and interact with these spaces and other individuals. A participatory culture is a culture where artistic expression and civic engagement is encouraged. Information is shared by novices and experts alike and everyone feels safe contributing to the group. Everyone is an active participant within this culture, sharing and creating new ideas is all a part of the process.
10 on 1: Employing a Representative Example
10 on 1 means 10 observations and ideas regarding 1 piece of evidence. 10 on 1 is not an exact number, but rather it emphasizes the importance of having one solid idea that can represent and demonstrate a whole idea. Employing this concept is important in English 101 as you will be tasked to provide a representative example with both of the major essays in this class. With the first essay, everyone in the class was given fan fiction to use as their representative example, but with the second essay, we were expected to discover our own example to use.
Issue Situation Question: Developing Your Critical Inquiry Question
English 101 is a literary class with a strong emphasis on writing. As I stated in the overview, we do not simply write about a given topic, rather we are asked to read a certain article and then develop a critical inquiry question based on the ideas presented by the author of the article. To help in developing our critical inquiry question, we were tasked with an assignment that had us first develop an issue, than a situation and finally we ended with a question. These questions are not meant to be simple questions that someone can answer with a yes or no. These questions ones we do not know the answer to at first, but as we further develop our essay we are supposed to slowly discover the answer to our question.
Zooming and Panning
Zooming and Panning is an important concept when constructing an academic essay. Zooming implies looking more closely at a detail, example or idea that lies within your essay. Zooming can help in expanding your idea as well as providing more depth to your paper. Panning into an idea is quite opposite from zooming. Instead of zooming into a specific idea, you pan out and look at the larger implications of your idea, asking yourself the question of “so what." Panning and Zooming are both necessary in order to write a complete paper. For some people one of the concepts is easier to implement than the other.
English 101 was unlike any English class I had taken in the past. Rather than analyzing novels, poems, and articles, like I have in past English classes, English 101 put a greater focus on developing our skills as writers. We still read published essays and articles in this class, but we did more than simply analyze the text. We were first instructed to analyze the text, and then take those ideas put forth by that author, to develop a critical inquiry question that would act as the foundation of our essay. In this presentation, I hope to give you incoming English 101 student, a good understanding of what you will be learning over the next quarter. No matter how dull or irrelevant English may have been to you back in high school, my goal is to show you how and why English 101 is relevant to you throughout the rest of college and your future career.
Journey to the Top
Throughout English 101, you will be writing essays that discuss topics from certain readings. In order to bring in the ideas from these readings, you will be expected to refer back to the text using methods such as quotes or paraphrasing. The academic strategy of bringing a text into an essay is called a citation package. A citation package involves first introducing the writer and title of the text, providing the quotation, paraphrase or summary and finally leading out of the summary by writing about what the quote is saying in your own words and then showing how the quote, summary or paraphrase connects to your overall idea. The citation package is very useful in demonstrating to your reader that you understand what the text is talking about and how it connects to your own writing. Before I used citation packages, I would cite irrelevant information and sometimes provide too long of a quote. Citation packages helped me discover what is really necessary in my essay and gave my quotes a stronger role in my essay.
Seminars are something you are probably used to doing back in high school. They are a great way for students to discuss a text and help each other understand it deeper. Unlike in high school, discussions in college will involve much less of the teacher and more of the students in the class. In a fishbowl discussion, the class is split up into multiple groups and each group gets a chance to have their discussion in the middle of the class while the other groups observe the conversation from outside the “fishbowl.” Fishbowls give more people the opportunity to speak and can make people more willing to speak since the group will be smaller.
Critical Inquiry Essay 1: Joining the Conversation
Developing my first English 101 essay was no easy task. In high school you are taught how to write persuasively and narratively using the standard five paragraph format. College writing expects you to write essays on a rather new level. I say this as a warning to you, future English 101 student, no matter how good you were at writing essays in high school, writing your first college paper might be difficult due to the unfamiliarity with its style.
Understanding My Presentation Essay
In order to get a better understanding of my presentation essay, some background of the essay I chose to revise is needed. For my presentation essay, I chose to revise essay number 1. In this essay I discussed the roleplaying forums in fanfiction and how they compare with fanfiction stories written by only one author. My CIQ for this essay was: to what extent can a fanfiction story that is written by a single author provide more depth and personality compared to a story written by a committee of writers?
My Presentation Essay
I constructed my presentation essay in three parts. First I did a major revision of the entire essay (this was before I introduced Pratt into the essay), through revising and understanding my essay better I then found a way to discuss Pratt’s literary concepts into my essay, then finally I did one last major revision of my essay by polishing up grammar and refining some of my ideas and evidence. The initial revision of my essay was not a difficult task, but it was a time consuming one. I used the conference and editing notes given to me by my teacher to aid in my first revision. In my first draft that I submitted, I had an issue with not enough zooming and not answering the “so what’s” in my essay. I assessed and fixed these issues while polishing the ways I presented some of my evidence in the process.
Prospective Look of English 101
English 101 is necessary process that all college students must go through in order to become more advanced writers. English 101 helped me get out of my comfort zone of writing the standard five paragraph essay and helped me develop a writing style that is more advanced and useful for college writing and beyond. I don’t plan on becoming an English major or pursuing a career that is dominantly literary and written work. However, I do plan on majoring in business and pursuing a career in management. Writing isn’t the dominant tool within business, but it is an important aspect that is commonly used. With business, I hope to one day work for a corporate office and with that I will be required to write advanced leveled papers to my associates. Business isn’t primarily a writing occupation, but advanced writing skills are needed to excel in this type of work. Also, even if I choose to pursue another career other than business, being able to write a quality resume will aid me greatly in looking for a quality job. English 101 teaches you innovative writing that will be useful in college and pursuing your future career.
Artifact Example: In his essay, “Affinity Spaces; From Age of Mythology to Today’s Schools,” James Paul Gee describes his own term for the groups of people we call a community. Gee illustrates to his readers, through multiple examples and explanations, why the term “community” is inappropriate for most situations. The term affinity spaces is what Gee comes up with as a better or more appropriate way to talk about these groups of people. Gee’s “Affinity spaces,” are comprised of eleven features that aid in defining to what extent can a space be considered an affinity space (66). Individuals in an affinity space are bonded by common interests and goals, such as writers in a fan fiction community or players in an intramural sport. Affinity spaces are comprised of three main components: content, portals and generators. Content is what draws in the individuals to join that specific space (a video game, a sport), while generators help in the development and improvement of that content. In my essay, I would like to put a focus on the aspects of the portal within an affinity space. “A portal is anything that gives access to the content and to ways of interacting with that content, by oneself or with other people” (63). In other words, if a room were to represent the content within an affinity space, than a door would represent the portal that allowed access to that content. Lots of times portals can be simple, such as game disks or a website URL, but I would like to focus on how portals can be something a little bit more complex, such as something being a combination of a generator and a portal. My question is: To what extent can a generator of an affinity space also act as a portal?
This artifact is an example of the progress I have made constructing my introductory paragraphs. This intro paragraph was taken from the second essay that we wrote in English 101, over James Paul Gee and his affinity spaces. Compared with my introductory paragraph from my first essay (and any essay I wrote in high school), this intro did a much better job at summarizing the idea that I was going to focus on and displayed that I have a strong grasp of what I was asked to write about. One concept that I implemented in this intro that I didn’t do in my previous one was, using quotes and examples from the author we were asked to focus. The idea of an introductory essay in any scenario is to introduce the concept of what is going to be talked about and sometimes also to bring in a question or hypothesis. What better way to introduce a concept then to bring in an actual quotes and ideas from the author? In my essay above, I wanted to focus on the concept of a portal within an affinity space. Since portals were going to be the main focus of my essay, I didn’t want any confusion with the concept. To accomplish this, I brought in a direct quote, from Gee, which explains exactly what a portal is. I then went on to put this quote into a citation package (another literary approach I learned then developed in this class) to show that I too fully understand the concept of a portal. Another development I made in crafting my introductory paragraphs was, setting up the question that my essay was going to be about. Through the use of examples and a citation package, I was able to explain the ideas of an affinity space and smoothly lead into my question. In a few short months my development as a writer has grown immensely. This can be seen through this introductory paragraph.
My Peer Response Letter to Jack Brenner
This was the letter that I wrote to Jack regarding his essay number one (he wrote a similar essay regarding my essay). The purpose of this exercise was to provide constructive criticism and praise regarding different aspects of their essay. I mainly chose to work on content and idea in the letter regarding Jack’s essay but he chose to include word choice regarding the letter about my essay. Doing peer reviews is not a new practice for me as my teachers in the past have had me do this process many times in the past, but this was the first time I gave a response in the form of an entire letter. Doing this assignment allowed each of us to dig deep into the content and form of each other’s essays. Peer response assignments were always a bit irrelevant for me in the past since the feedback I would usually receive was very shallow and often confusing. Partaking in this assignment enabled me to form a deeper understanding of my own essay and allowed me to edit my essay with greater complexity and clarity. Not only did this assignment aid me in understanding my own essay, but it also helped me become a better editor of other people’s work. I always had trouble in the past identifying issues with the content of other people’s essays, but doing this assignment helped me to figure out what to look for and how to fix some issues in their essay. For example, Jack gave an intriguing example using slenderman in his essay number 1. The slenderman example worked well in his essay, but it lacked any examples from the fanfiction website. Through my observation, I was able to suggest that he go back through fanfiction.net and find a story about slenderman. This peer response letter was very useful for me in improving my essay, but it also aided in my development as an editor.
My CIP #6 Question-Hypothesis-Question
In this assignment we were tasked with taking an example, such as drug lords or fantasy football, and then write some commentary over the subject until we arrived at a tentative question that was interesting and that we didn’t know the answer to. We then proposed a hypothesis regarding the question and then finally we went ahead and repeated the whole process until we felt as though we arrived at a reasonable question and hypothesis. When I first did this assignment I wasn’t entirely sure on what I was supposed to do, so instead of focusing on one topic like I was supposed to, I did the QHQ on two topics so I didn’t develop either idea as much as I could have. This assignment was supposed to aid us in developing a quality CIQ question that we could use in our second essay, but unfortunately for me I never arrived at a quality question in either of my ideas. For my second essay, I didn’t use either of the ideas that I did my CIP #6 on. At the time that I did this assignment, I was struggling immensely with the whole concept of developing my thesis. I focused too much on the big picture when I could have developed something smaller such as word choice. If I were to do this assignment over again I would keep on developing my idea of drug cartels because that is the one I actually was able develop adequate questions for.
My R-P Essay
My R-P essay illustrates my development within literary and writing cultures in college and beyond. I started out with a feeble understanding on how to write a college paper, but as the weeks progressed I slowly developed a richer knowledge on all the parts needed to construct a college paper. In my R-P essay, I used a mountain as the background of my power point essay. This mountain represents the climb that my knowledge of literary concepts went through. As a class we started out by learning what a participatory cultures was and what was needed for us to be active participants within the culture. With each slide, I slowly made my ideas climb up the mountain representing the progress I have made throughout the course of English 101. All my slides are placed in chronological order of when each concept and idea was introduced to us. I start out by detailing each week and how these weeks progressed us into our final portfolio. After presenting the concepts I learned in the first eight weeks, the slides begin to near the top of the mountain. Before I reach the top though, I first discuss my presentation essay. I examine how the concepts I learned in prior weeks aided in developing my presentation essay and the process and organization that went into developing my finished product. The goal of my design choice was to express my development throughout English 101. I used a mountain to show how this class was a literary and intellectual journey. It was not an easy one and there were more than a few issues making my way up, but as time went on I improved significantly in my literary knowledge and my understanding on how to develop a college essay.
I was given the opportunity to be a moderator of a group, which is basically keeping the conversation going and making sure everyone gets the chance to participate. While doing this, it was obvious that there were more dominate people in the discussion, but I also noticed that as the conversation went along I didn’t have to moderate as much since more people were willing to talk. As time went on the conversation kept digging deeper into our subject matter and allowed all of us to gain some new perspectives. Fishbowl discussions were beneficial for me because I was able to understand more clearly some ideas and it even opened my mind to additional questions I wouldn’t have otherwise wondered.
In my first English 101 essay, we were tasked with writing an essay that joined in the conversation of fanfiction communities. To do this, we first developed a question about the aspect of fanfiction that we wanted to talk about (CIQ). We started out not knowing the answer to our question but as we further developed our essay, the answer or lack thereof became clear. A quote by Kristen Dombek and Scott Herndon summarize writing the first English 101 essay nicely. ”Learning how to linger productively in uncertainty long enough to develop meaningful, complex ideas is at the heart of learning to write well at an advanced level. Feeling stupid, in other words, is part of the process” (Critical Passages: Teaching the Transition to College Composition). Lingering not knowing the answer to your question is all part of the process of writing in college.
Obtaining evidence for this question was a rather simple task, but dissecting this evidence for substantial information that I can use, was more difficult. For my evidence I chose two distinct (in style and depth) roleplaying forums and one single author written fanfiction story. In these pieces of evidence, I looked at depth, character personality, character dialogue, and many more aspects needed to answer my question. To my surprise, I never arrived at a concrete answer. When all my research and analyzing was done, I discovered that quality of roleplaying forums depends on a number of factors and that it wouldn’t be fair to criticize or praise this culture of writing as a whole.
The more difficult part of constructing my presentation essay was finding a way to incorporate Pratt’s concepts into my essay. It wasn’t so much not being able to find a way Pratt’s ideas would work in my essay, rather it was deciding which concept would work best with the flow of my writing. I could not decide whether to discuss how contact zones and safe houses work with roleplaying or how transculturation of roleplaying forums affects fanfiction as a whole. I eventually decided that discussing contact zones would work best with my essay and the original CIQ question that I posed. Finally, the last editing process was rather simple. I focused more on how my incorporation of Pratt flowed with the rest of my essay and I made adjustments to ensure clarity and quality was present.
I chose pro football for my second essay. It worked as a good example for me since it was broad enough to where I had plenty to talk about and discuss. Choosing a representative example is important when writing academic essays. A single example that can demonstrate all the aspects of an idea, has a much stronger appeal than multiple examples trying to demonstrate the aspects of an idea.
My work in my essays, for example, I had a strong grasp of zooming into my ideas but I lacked the ability to pan out and look at the larger picture. In my second essay, I fully discussed how the players in the NFL are generators and portals but I never panned out my thinking to discuss why this mattered in the discussion of affinity spaces. I was able to create a great essay on pro football, but I was unable to fully develop my concept of affinity spaces within pro football.
An example from my work with this assignment is when I presented an issue I had regarding fanfiction. The issue I identified was regarding role playing within the fan fiction community. I was at first interested into why a group of people would participate in role playing forums. Through my research, I inferred that it is simply out of fun. This led me to wonder about the quality of role playing forums compared to a story written by a single author. Doing this issue, situation and question assignment was very useful with developing a good question that we could write an entire essay on.
In English 101 you will be expected to participate in this class as though it is a participatory culture. There are always going to be opportunities to voice your idea but even more opportunities to absorb ideas from others. In addition to participating within a participatory culture, you will also be tasked with studying out different examples of this culture such as fanfiction. You do not get to sit back and watch this class progress. You will become a member of a culture that will only go as far as you yourself are willing to go.
"Capital Punishment should be a valid form of punishment because it's a reasonable way to provide closure for some families and it helps bring down some crime rates, mainly murder. Capital punishment may not stop crime at all, but it will definitely bring down the rate. So why should people take a way something could possibly save people's lives? I feel people need to better understand that this is a great way to solve some problems, it’s dark but sometimes it is needed. In a circumstance that contains an inhumane murder, rape, beating, or just a strong criminal offence, I feel Capital punishment is necessary. I am a Christian myself, and I feel killing is bad, but if I knew that my family and I could possibly be in danger due to the number of murderers still alive, I still would not take a chance letting that one murderer live. If they did it once, they can definitely do it again." (Conclusion from an essay I wrote in English my sophmore year of high school)
This was the conclusion of an essay I wrote back in high school. The topic was regarding capital punishment and where we all stand on the subject. As you read, I supported the idea of capital punishment and voiced my reasons in my conclusion. Reading back on this conclusion, I noticed that I did a good job of making the essay more personal by bringing up some of my own background information. This is the conclusion of my essay, but this could have easily been the intro to my essay. I made the mistake of bringing in a few new ideas over the subject and I even posed a question that could have been answered with its own paragraph. Compared with my conclusion from my presentation essay, this ending lacks many aspects that makes conclusions unique from other paragraphs in an essay. In my presentation essay, I properly summarized my paper and presented a proper closure for my writing. English 101 taught me the importance of having a strong introduction as well as conclusion. College papers are not judged just on the quality of the content, how a writer brings in the subject and then leaves it, is just as important.
In order to make my final portfolio neat and easy to understand, I decided to put everything onto a single power point (prezi). This may seem like an overabundance of information on a single document, but I organized my portfolio in a way that flowed smoothly with all its working parts. The first 21 slides contain my R-P essay, which I intend my audience to review first. My R-P essay examines my learning throughout English 101 and gives a prospective look into how this class will benefit me in the future. The slides slowly climb up the mountain to represent my progression as a writer and as a member of a participatory culture. These slides also show the progress I made into developing the concepts and ideas I need to construct my presentation essay. Once the reader finishes these first 21 slides, they will be at the top of the mountain where I summarize my development as a writer and give the link for my presentation essay. I want my reader to understand the hard work I put into my presentation essay and English 101 in general. After reading my presentation essay, my audience will be directed towards the last part of my portfolio which are my six artifacts that are floating with the clouds. My artifacts give examples of the strides I have made throughout English 101. The order in which someone will read my portfolio and the design that I placed my content in, are all part of the overall experience I want my audience to be a part of. My final portfolio is a picture of my journey through English 101.
My Final Portfolio