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The Terms and Conditions of My Life According to Jimmy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By dbshipper
Words 1643
Pages 7
Reflective Self-Analysis My portfolio demonstrates my understanding of persuasive writing. My idea of persuasive writing is that a good essay will affect the reader in some way shape or form. I believe combining effective uses of logos, pathos, and egos along with structure are very important. My persuasive writing reflects the way I think about argumentation in general. I can see how easy it can be to write a paper arguing a point, but not doing it in the correct manner. For example, if a writer just argues his point without giving any strong evidence and offers no counter-argument the paper will not be effective in persuading the reader. While my writing demonstrates strengths in organization and thesis development, I will continue to work to improve proofreading skills and sentence structure. What’s helped my writing this semester is that I feel confident about work. My writing demonstrates my strength in organization. A lot of this strength originates from class activities and notes. The class that had the biggest effect on me was when we learned about rhetorical analysis structure on page one of my handwritten evidence. In my notes I specifically write down the structure along with extra notes under some categories so I fully understand how to attack the assignment. This led to me getting a perfect ten score under the argumentative structure part on the grading rubric on my rhetorical analysis essay, which is titled “Exposing Education.” Since that learning moment from class I knew that having a well-designed structure was a key to my persuasive writing success. In all my papers after the rhetorical analysis my rubric scores were perfect tens. In my opinion if my thoughts are organized and presented neatly, then my argument will result in being strongly developed. Another in class assignment that had a major impact on my success in organization can be found on page two and three of my handwritten evidence. The assignment included both a visual chart and a free write that in the end helped me organize my thoughts and choose my proposal topic. Through this assignment I learned I wanted to write about cheating in sports. That thought then lead to me asking the question, “What causes players, staff, and referees to cheat?” (In Class Assignment 1). In my free write portion I began to start writing about my thoughts that came along with my question about cheating in sports. I wrote, “My topic might deal with how sports and the image of sports are changing. I would need to find an event that happened in the world that caused this. Drug use is more prevalent and tattoos are extremely common to find on athletes” (Free Write 1). After this assignment I was able to narrow down my topic to the effect of American culture on professional baseball. Having my thoughts organized at such an early stage made my argumentative structure for the causal argument powerful.
My thesis development also improved over the entire course of this class. The in class assignment “Proposal Argument: Getting Started” helped my thesis development skills vastly. On page five of my handwritten evidence I decide my general choice of proposing to legalize PEDs in Major League Baseball. I specifically write, “ Legalizing PEDs will in result help everyone. Players would not have to sneak around or attempt to buy drugs from untrustworthy people. Since the beginning of PED use, MLB team revenues have spiked. Crowds want to see a lot of offense, including long-distance homeruns. Players now won’t have to sneak around and players are less likely to put their health at risk” (Free Write 1). This is long and very general, but it helped me develop a good thesis just by getting by original thoughts on paper. The thesis I ended up using in my paper states, “The MLB should legalize all performance enhancers for all players because in this era, it is the only way to truly level the quality of play and it makes sense financially for the Majors” (Legalizing PEDs: A Necessary Change 2). This thesis is straight to the point unlike my free write. Also I put more thought into the points I feel are most important about the subject and only state those in my thesis. I’ve learned that length is not a key to a thesis being successful. Most times if a thesis is too long the tension can get lost. My thesis development was able to improve from the in class activity called “Slowing Down Your Thinking” on page four of my handwritten evidence. I learned that a thesis is stronger in the enthymeme structure, which is having both a claim and a reason. I also learned about the difference between enthymemes and refined enthymemes. The difference is between these two types of enthymemes is simply narrowing the topic and putting in more thought to the wording of the phrase (In Class Assignment 1). This activity helped me write my strongest thesis, which states, “The pressures that exist within American culture have given professional baseball players the ability to justify the use of PEDs, which has resulted in their use becoming more prevalent” (America’s Effect On Baseball Drug Use 1). In my writing I need to improve my skills in proofreading. I think my confidence helps my writing, but also hurts it. In my papers I tend to miss grammar mistakes consistently. Also sometimes I don’t re-read my work carefully enough so I miss places in my paper where I need to develop my ideas more. For example, in my rhetorical analysis I quote Saxon writing about the vast number of liberal arts classes he took in college. I explain the quote by saying, “Saxon is trying to inspire his audience. He reminisces about all the subjects he took through liberal arts and the different effects each subject had on him” (Exposing Education 4). My ideas in this quote explanation are not completely clear and I need more development. In my Deep Revision I attempt to fix this specific problem in “Exposing Education.” I replace my old quote explanation in which I write, “Saxon is trying to inspire his audience. He reminisces about all the subjects he took through liberal arts and the different effects each subject had on him. Saxon portrays to his audience that more than just learning took place. The liberal art classes he enrolled in also caused him to discover himself. Saxon wants a similar experience for his audience. If students use academic subjects to help learn what they are passionate about, what doesn’t interest them, and what is important to them, then classes start gaining a lot more value” (Deep Revision 4). Another weakness of mine in my writing has been MLA in-text citations. This section of the grading rubric has been low sometimes, and has been high only on one paper. The most significant missteps came in my causal argument where did not include page numbers into my in-text citations and in my rhetorical analysis where I even completely missed an in-text citation in my essay. My progress this semester has shown improvement in my writing abilty with every assignment. Even if my grade did not improve with every paper, I know that through every formal and informal assignment I became a better writer, student, researcher, and critical thinker. The post-formal essay writing exercises helped me become a better critical thinker. They forced me to analyze my work on a more personal level instead of an academic one. I was able to explore what my strengths and weaknesses were along with how I could improve on them in the future. I became a better researcher than I was at the beginning of the year. I simply did not know how to find legitimate sources which is why at the time I chose to write about Ken Saxon’s essay opposed to me doing my own research about Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” I feel confident as a writer that I can attack any topic strongly with my newly found confidence of being a good researcher. I can apply the knowledge I learned from this class to my future classes and career by taking the aspects of critical thinking, communication, and personal responsibility skills I developed over the course of this Writer’s Composition class. I know how to review my work in a critical thinking matter. Meaning, I can now review my work on a completely different level of analysis in which I discover how my work affects me. I learned how to better communicate my ideas in a clear and effective manner. I know how to clearly state and explain evidence behind my reasoning. I learned personal responsibility in the sense that it is important to tell the truth. Lying to an audience or reader disqualifies any point given by the writer. All of these course objectives are important to me and I know I will bring them to the next stage of my life.

Works Cited
Shipper, Dillon. “American Culture’s Effect On Professional Baseball’s Drug Use.” Causal argument. University of Texas at San Antonio, 31 March 2014. Print.
---. “Causal Argument Notes.” In class assignment. University of Texas at San Antonio, Spring 2014. Print.
---. “Deep Revision: Exposing Education.” Deep revision. University of Texas at San
Antonio, 30 April 2014. Print.
---. “Exposing Education.” Rhetorical analysis. University of Texas at San Antonio, 26 February 2014. Print.
---. “Legalizing PEDs in Major League Baseball: A Necessary Change.” Proposal argument. University of Texas at San Antonio, 21 April 2014. Print.
---. “Proposal Argument: Getting Started.” Free write. University of Texas at San Antonio, Spring 2014. Print.
---. “Rhetorical Analysis Notes.” In class assignment. University of Texas at San Antonio, Spring 2014. Print.
---. “Slowing Down Your Thinking.” In class assignment. University of Texas at San Antonio, Spring 2014. Print.

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