Various Topics

Monday, February 27, 2006

Challenging Assignments

The last couple of weeks, we have been busy working on our first essay. This project has been a time consuming assignment, we have been revising it over and over with the intention of getting the correct rhetorical body structure and content. This it has been a good opportunity for us as students in two ways:
First, to exercise our writing skills as we intend to write the essay, and the second is to use our analytical skills in the document.
We had also an assignment about “The letter from the Birmingham, Alabama”, which turn out to be challenging as well. The reading of the document was kind of complex. I read the document several times over and over, and looked up in the Dictionary for the meaning of the words, which I ignored. Then I was able to provide my interpretation of the document.
The letter from the Birmingham Alabama was a document that found it very interesting. Once I have figure out the content, then I came out to the conclusion that Dr. Martin Luther King had used very powerful arguments to clarify his views, avoid future misunderstanding and persuade the audience about his views.
Working on these assignments has allowed me to enrich my vocabulary gradually, by learning the meaning of new words. Another benefit that I need to acknowledge is that in the process of excising my writing skills, I am gaining a little more confidence as in writing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New experiences and concepts learned

When we write sometimes we can see things in our own way, and it is easy for us to persuade us into believing that we have done the best. If we come to the point, where our progress in writing becomes static and our view becomes limited, then as a result our perspective could be distorted as well.
For the last couple of weeks we have been working in elaborating our own essay. The purpose of elaborating this essay is to follow the rhetorical guidelines that we have learned in class. Our instructor has requested for us to assist one another by participating in a peer review. This was something new to me and even though I experience some kind of hesitation at the beginning, I learned to accept it. Later on, I realized that this was an opportunity to have a new perspective and to obtain a feedback that would assist me in improving my paper.
When I was reviewing my classmate paper, I could not help it, but to see myself in this other person paper. I realized that sometimes, we intend to write some things, however our message becomes a slightly different than the one intended. I admit that is always helpful to have other person to review what you have wrote, and to verify if what you wrote reflects the original idea, that was intended to transmit to others.
This is a good way to learn to take other people inputs and suggestions. Even though that sometimes we just want to hear about the good points, it is helpful to learn also about own mistakes and flaws. Fallacy is our new concept in our rhetorical class. But what is a fallacy? According to the New Webster’s New World Dictionary the definition of fallacy is: a mistaken idea; error, a flaw in reasoning. Our textbook titled: Everything’s an Argument: refers to fallacy as a controversial argument and sometimes is also called as a flash point or hotspot. Fallacies could be considered as flash points because they raise questions about the ethics of arguments____that is, whether a particular strategy or argument is fair, accurate, or principled. We have been studying different types of fallacies and my intend was not to write about every single one but just to review the general definition in order to refresh my mind about the concept.
I believe that the peer exercises are helpful because is not just equipping us new analytical skills but also critique skills.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

About Arguments

We have been learning about the elements and lines of arguments. After reviewing some of these concepts in our book and at class, our instructor’s assignment was to make a rhetorical analysis of an article of our choice. This seemed easy at first sight, however it turned out to be challenging. We were supposed to analyze and distinguished the different structures of our proposal argument. It was an opportunity for us to put in practice the concepts that we have learned about arguments. I was able to complete this assignment. The following assignment was also related to the same argument, however for some reason I got confused and as a result it turned out to be a time consuming experience. This last assignment was to create a draft from the same article or argument that we have analyzed however because of my confusion my draft diverted a little bit. Since then I have been struggling some in formulating the thesis. I believe that my problem was that my identification with the author’s article became a barrier. Instead of coming out with the rhetorical thesis I was quoting the author’s thesis. I have been learning to appreciate people that succeed in the usage of their rhetorical skills. I realized the benefits of using these skills, when I consider the impact of the words being used in a correct rhetorical argument.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Patriot Act Movie

The RHE 306 Q syllabus for the spring 2006 had included a film presentation. Our instructor allowed us to make a selection between couples of films. One of them was the Wal-mart movie and the other one was the Patriot Act. We took a vote to select the movie to watch and our class was divided between the two movies. After we previewed them, we were still somewhat undecided, because they both looked very interesting.
I personally leaned toward choosing “The Patriot Act” because I considered it of more transcendental value than the movie of “Wal-mart.”
“The Patriot Act” movie, it turned out to be very interesting, I realized that even though I have heard to talk some about it, my understanding about this act was relatively insignificant for what I learned after watching the movie.
This movie was very dynamic and really grabbed our attention. One of the big Arguments that I considered was used in this movie was the emotional, because when we watch this movie we experience a variety of feelings, ranging from disappointment, sadness, fear, and tension. It touched our feelings and we were moved, when we see families coming apart because of enforced investigation in these people.
I personally felt that these movie manipulated my emotions to the point that I even felt threaten at some level. The commentator was poignant in his views in order to persuade the viewer that the execution of The Patriot Act was a very bad idea.
Also I see that strong visual arguments were used to their advantage in order to support the claim of the writer of this movie. Another of the arguments that I could identify in this movie was Arguments of Evaluation, because this film uses a variety of information to provoke the viewer to analyze it and to come into a conclusion.