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by brguthy

Reflections

May 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

As the spring semester comes to a close, the final days of WRT 102 are upon us. While undoubtedly this class required a large commitment to producing qualifying works, I was shocked to recognize the results of my class experience. At first I was very annoyed that I had to take this class. After the grueling experience of AP Literature and AP Language I believed my writing experiences to have come to a close but when I learned I had to take WRT 102 I felt overwhelmed that I would have to go through a similar experience but I am glad I did. Through this class I feel that I was able to better understand my audience and how to display my personality in my writing.

In high school using any form of an “I” statement or personal information was forbidden and would result in an immediate failing grade. I was shocked to learn that that was not the case here at Stony Brook. At first writing in reference to myself was… weird. I soon learned to become more comfortable with writing in that context thanks to the expression implemented into required papers as well as this blogging experience.

In addition to use of self reference, another lesson learned from this class was in regards to understanding your audience. In high school we were supposed to be aware of our audience when selecting terminology used in the essay, such as if were writing about a science topic in english class we would have to explain topics that may not have been as familiar to non subject based readers. In contrast though writing in WRT 102 and the cover letters helped me realize the further attention that must be brought to the audience by understanding how they may react or participate in the reading.

While I remain nervous for my eportfolio submission grades, I hope I leave the class with success both as a writer and with good grades.

by brguthy

the invisible majority

April 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

After finding further research identifying the addition array of struggles bisexual identifying individuals face in comparison to their LG(B)TQ+ and straight community counterparts, I think I was most unsettled by the sheer amount of struggles and the ignorance towards these topics. I think the most powerful bit I was able to find from the library session was a reflection by the Director of the American Institute of Bisexuality. In this article, he discussed how things how changed in the United States, whether they be good or bad, since the release of his sponsored New York Times article titled: “The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists”.  Though the list was disappointingly short considered the longevity of the time, I was interested to see how people are inciting change and increasing awareness of the present issues. I am interested to find out more in regards to recent changes.

In regards to the differences present between my I-Search essay and this current research paper, I think besides the obvious difference in subject area, I am pleasantly surprised with the larger amount of resources I’ve been able to find for this topic compared to recycling, I think it is interesting in the comparisons between my research for each topic. Last essay when researching recycling I struggled to find reliable sources to utilize in my argument but I was able to find many personal stories surrounding the psychology of recycling of community members. On the other hand, when looking into bisexuality I have discovered a larger amount of reliable sources and studies but a lack of personal stories or outlooks. Originally I would have assumed the opposite for these topics but I wonder if I am struggling to find personal stories for bisexuality because of a real lack of access to it, or is it because these voices are being overlooked?

 

by brguthy

What does the B stand for?

April 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

While I feel that everyone is aware of the discrimination and homo/transphobia the general LGBTQ+ community faces, I’ve begun to realize the lack of awareness of bi-phobia. In all honesty, I was not even quite aware of bi-phobia before this year when I was introduced to the double discrimination members of the bi+ community face from both the straight and LGBTQ community. Through the small research period I’ve had so far I began to see alarmingly constant correlations between poor mental health, homelessness, spousal abuse, and the bisexual community with higher amounts of bisexuals facing these issues more so than their LGBTQ+ or straight counterparts. With bisexuals composing a larger part of the population compared to gays, lesbians, and transgenders one would expect more discussions of these issues and social irregularities yet little to no research or discussions are occurring. With no true sense of community in either the LG(B)TQ+ or straight communities, it’s clear that bisexuals are facing a bi+ community based struggle. Utilizing data from both the Human Rights Campaign as well as the Center of Disease Control, the results clearly show the higher unhappiness apparent in the bi+ community yet these plights are simply ignored. I plan to research more into the subject and review actions being taken to aid this community as well as see what actions should be taken to bring more awareness to it or more positive change.

by brguthy

“Annoying Ways that […] in Our Writing.”

April 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

When writing an essay based around thoughts and findings of yourself and others, it’s vital towards the essays understanding that we collaborate and analyze each thoughts. If one is to use quotations or others findings in our writing we must be aware of how the use of quotes and citations is being perceived by the readers. Not properly explaining the quotes meaning or purpose, improper quotations, or “leaving the conversation” can lead to annoyance and confusion felt by the reader, no matter your audience. I feel that this a struggle met by all readers, no matter their experience levels. What may make perfect sense to us as the writer may completely stump the reader. It is not necessarily the readers fault for misinterpreting for it is the writers responsibility to consider the audience. Consider my title. Although I left information out of the title, as a reader of this blog and my fellow peer in WRT 102 you were probably able to assume the topic of this posting. But what about another student? By making assumptions of what the reader should understand we leave out key features to reach out to a larger audience. While it may be easier to just utilize quotes in our researched arguments to truly better our writing we must also include an introduction to the quote and source, take a necessary amount of a quote, and provide analysis of the quote. Introducing a citation allows for the reader to understand the purpose of using this source as well as lead the reader to ways to continue to explore this source. As the writer we must properly lead the audience towards the quote and towards its meaning or else we risk leaving them behind. In addition to a source intro, it’s also important to take a necessary amount of a quote. Sometimes in an effort to meet a word count, appreciation of a sources writings, and more, writers tend to overuse or underuse a sources writing. Using too little of a quote as seen with my title can lead to misunderstandings or lack of information provided to a reader while using too long of quotes can lead to an overwhelming and pointless surplus of information. When utilizing a quote we must ensure it is enough to support our writings purpose. Finally, when using a source we must as the writer explain its purpose in the essay. Especially in research papers, writers are tasked with being on the defensive with their argument. Simply citing justifications for your papers purpose as “because” will get you no where. I use the term “drop and go” to describe this as many writers tend to “drop” their quotes or information and leave it at that. What made you use this quote? How does it relate to your argument? It’s our job as the writer to provide answers within our writing to these questions.

by brguthy

The Freedom Found in Blankness

March 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

Personally, I don’t agree with Krause’s interpretation of using the term essay over paper in regards to a research topic. To me, paper appears to be the better word choice in terms of his argument in this chapter. In my interpretation, paper is a blank slate. When you start any homework assignment, writing, or drawing the first thing you start with is a piece of paper. Paper comes with a more positive connotation as it shows the endless possibilities that can occur when drafting assignments or composing creative ideas. It’s the freedom to begin thinking of ideas. On the hand, when I hear the term essay I immediately assume a more professional and restrictive assignment. From what I gathered in this chapter, when working on a research project, there is limitless options when it comes to your writing as well as constant areas to think about. In using the term paper over essay I feel like it incorporates that same instillation of freedom of ideas and consideration of the outside world. When considering the outside world, as Krause imposes, audience is a necessary component of the paper to consider. When writing similar assignments in high school lack of consideration for the audience most likely flooded my papers but luckily my writing typically was aimed at my peers. When composing this paper I plan to ensure that my audience is well defined as well as maybe attempt to work on finding an audience that may not be as obvious as my peers such as community members or more. Another idea incorporating the freedom of a blank sheet deals with utilizing others research or postings. While it is important to gain outside knowledge when writing a paper, too much of it can lead to an overshadowing of your voice. In order to make the strongest argument one must take outside knowledge and make it their own. Facts and quotes are necessary components of a good paper but if we don’t take steps to include our own voice or interpretation of these ideas, the purpose of our own argument in the paper becomes unclear. And finally another important idea I plan to implement into this paper deals with providing an antithesis argument in the paper. While I did provide some information for the counterargument, I plan to work a little more on making their argument valid in order to compare it to the validity of my argument as well. When formulating discussions both arguments should be given equal opportunities to showcase their ideas in order to truly make change and bring light to struggles.
So while arguing about the specifics of word choice may seem minuscule in comparison to Krause’s argument as a whole, I hope you leave this post with a more open mind towards your paper’s topic as well as more ideas to improve our writing.

by brguthy

I-Search: For a Topic

March 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

Although still not set on one definitive topic as of today, in regards to the upcoming I-Search paper I have a list of proposed topics primarily influenced by my interests forming in my medical sociology course as well as recent experiences in my life.

One topic I’m interested in is in regards to research into recycling and its effects here on Stony Brook. Recently I’ve learned about the major changes occurring in recycling here in Brookhaven county and about the effects it is having on Stony Brook’s ability to recycle  its waste on campus. I want to investigate the causes of the changes as well as the effects (both positive and negative) on campus.

Other ideas I’ve considered are largely influenced by experiences in classes of mine from this semester. One topic is in relation into the growth mindset and its benefits on students and in life in general. We learned a little about the subject in our First Year Seminar courses but I’m interested in researching the science behind the subject and how it can affect a students being. And finally another topic of interest is due to my experiences in my medical sociology course here with mental health and education. I’m thinking of exploring in relation to last weeks reading on the spirits of students and changes in college students well-beings over time.

by brguthy

Give me liberty, or give me death!

February 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

In complete honesty, my takeaway from this weeks reading assignments was feelings of mournfulness. Something I’ve begun to realize in my academic journey is the death in the spirit of students. In recent years it seems that the focus of academics has strayed away from enriching our minds but rather into producing the designated “perfect” student. One idea that stuck with me from the Zinsser reading was his mention of how mistakes and failure have become demonized in academics and I couldn’t agree more. Fear of failure has become rampant throughout students and even in teachers due to set standards. With admissions and job applications increasing in competitiveness as well as standards becoming more unreasonable, in this day and age education has become less about the students and more focused on a number or value. There’s an old saying to “learn from our mistakes” but in an age where mistakes mean death for your future, how can we expect true personal and intellectual growth? The name education seems hypocritical when we’re not really learning but rather students are memorizing information to pass an exam only to forget that same information after it’s completion. For me, mistakes have made me who I am today. The difficulty I had in my first advanced chemistry course in school helped lead me into pursuing STEM as a career as well as helped teach me valuable skills. An addition of salt rather than sugar in baking a cheesecake taught me to always carefully read and double check  ingredients with each painful bite of cake. How can we truly grow if we are taught to only accept success? It is a disappointing outlook to have, yet still I feel this constant threat that with that 4.0 g.p.a. my future becomes more dismal my the day. I hope that I can achieve freedom from this mindset and that most of all I really do progress as a student rather than as a number.

by brguthy

The Benefits of Word Vomiting

February 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Transferring one’s thoughts to paper can be rather challenging in all forms of writing. Whether it be writing for pleasure or for academic and business reasons, no matter how articulate someone may be, one should always compose drafts of the writing before turning in the “final product”.

In regards to today’s readings, the authors have showcased the value in having a, if not many, rough drafts. While we might desire perfection in our writing in our first attempts, The authors emphasized that first drafts will be disappointing. No one should compose a perfect piece on their first try but should rather search for ways to further improve their writings purpose. In regards to my own writing I feel that these essays have exposed three valuable, if not more, tips for bettering my own writing in this class and beyond.

First, as we discussed in class as well, audience is a key factor one should be thinking of when in the writing process. You wouldn’t speak casually in a thesis paper, nor should you shun a particular section of your audience in your writing. As Murray puts it, the main purpose of writing is “communication” and if audience is not considered you may stray away from promoting your writings purpose.

In addition to audience, two other important qualities for writing deals with rereading ones first draft. Typically for me I normally would skim through my rough draft mostly for grammatical errors rather than looking at the dimensions to my papers format or whether or not all fo the writing was necessary. I hope that in my future writing for this class my final papers are more definitively me and expose the true purpose behind my ideas.

by brguthy

Nurture vs. Nature

February 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

In my high school psychology course, a popular subject of debate was whether humans intelligence was based on inherited traits or if their environment caused their growth. At the time, it was the classes consensus that inherited traits were the main cause, but after examining my own growth as a student as well as the interpretation of author Deborah Brandt’s essay Sponsors of Literacy I feel that our intelligence, or more specifically our literary skills, are deeply impacted by our environment and the influence of others.

In her essay, Brandt describes different ways an individuals environment impacts their literacy skills. From exploring political factors to rise of literacy standards, Brandt proves the importance in examining literary sponsors to generate stronger literacy skills within education systems as well as within ourselves. Personally, I feel that her strongest argument within her argument is how literacy standards are constantly increasing. In our last reading assignment, a common theme between the readings was looking at how the idea of literacy was always evolving and it’s clear that the same idea holds true with the standards of literacy as well. Even just recalling my three years in high school, the standards of literacy dramatically increased with the changing of the AP language and literature exams throughout the years, requiring our skills to become more refined and adaptable to shortened time frames for writing. One can only hope to keep up with the changing standards, and while I believe it’s important to have sponsors nurturing our growth as writers, it is also up to the individual to have the drive to grow with the standards as well.

While I still don’t have a definitive answer in regards to the debate of nature vs. nurture, I recognize that my current skills as a writer were greatly influenced by my education and by particular teachers. While many would equate their skills to their times spent in english courses, I feel that my skills were greatly impacted by my AP World History instructor in middle school. While at the time I dreaded any writing assignment due to the harshness of Ms. Chase’s grading style, in later writing courses I began to realize the importance of her lessons and why she would only find our most thoughtful pieces our acceptable pieces. Ms. Chase emphasized the importance of having a voice in one’s writing and above all having a strong thesis. It’s clear to me that it’s because of her teachings, I’ve developed many habits for writing, hopefully more sponsors arise in my educational experiences to continue aiding in developing my writing and keeping with the rise in standards in literacy.

 

by brguthy

Blog #1- What Composes Literacy?

February 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

While I would agree with the simplicity of literacy as the ability to read or write, the components and power that derive from literacy are equally, if not more impactful than the general definition. In the three essays of focus, a common theme is emphasized in regards to the importance and power that comes from learning to write as well as in developing ones skill as a writer. Each essay’s author explores the ways writing has impacted themselves or other subjects and showcases how the term literacy is constantly adapting.

In the essay Why I Write in English, author Yang Huang analyzes the relationship between languages and her cultural identity, most notably how these aspects of her impacted her writing growing up. Huang emphasizes her distaste in her works when writing in Mandarin due to the restrictiveness of China’s censorship as well as her limits to “feminine” style writings. But, upon learning and exploring foreign writing styles she is allowed to free her writing and truly develop her skills leading to her defining her voice. Her essay expresses the importance of studying multiple styles of writing and practicing these varying styles as ways to develop and better one’s literacy.

As author Yang Huang states in essay Why I Write in English, “writing is a beautiful privilege” and in the essay Why Blog? author Reid emphasizes the importance of actively participating in the privilege of writing to better ones literacy. While the term blogging sometimes travels with negative connotations due to its informality, Reid provides the reader with his reasoning in having college students blog in writing courses. While the author nor myself would agree that one can become an expert in writing, blogging can be an outlet for students to better their skills and think less about the grades behind writing and rather the act of writing itself. Practice won’t make us perfect but will rather make us more literate and free our writing.

Finally, in the essay “Blue Collar Brilliance” author Rose explores literacy in blue collar work and the varying perceptions of literacy. Often one’s skills in literacy is equated to their education record but Rose establishes that literacy skills can also arise from ones experiences as seen in blue collar work. His essay shows how literacy is not limited to words on a page but can be developed from observations and motor skills of typical career traits or something as simple as an instruction manual.

All in all, while literacy is the ability to read and write these essays have shown the ways the terms application can vary. Literacy is not a straight forward subject but rather is one that is constantly evolving and therefore requires that those studying literacy find ways to constantly develop their own literacy skills.

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