I have learned that the first draft of a written work almost always has errors and that any work can be improved. In my first draft for my Letter to the Editor, I had a few errors with grammar, put some sentences in poor sequential order, and quoted the Bible, which should not be done (apparently). With the feedback I received from Professor Hodge I was able to improve my paper and make my argument without the word of God as evidence.
GOAL 2: I consistently made choices based on my audience, my purpose, and my reason for writing.
It is important to focus on your audience when writing. You should write your papers to persuade the audience with what will appeal to them. My editorial attempts to explain that the death penalty is not the problem, but our entire legal system is to blame, so I write to show the individuals who don’t see all sides of the legal spectrum when viewing cases like that of Troy Davis that they should take into account the whole legal process behind convicting criminals when placing blames.
GOAL 3: I used my writing not just to communicate information, but to create and shape ideas.
In my editorial, I explained the problem with having tunnel-vision when looking at issues that are affected by many variables, in my case the execution of Troy Davis. Creating and shaping this idea was done to in order to make people think about the bigger picture before they start blaming things that may not be at fault.
GOAL 4: I use Standard Written English always, but adapt my tone to suit my audience and purpose.
An adaption of tone allows for an argument to persuade people in different ways. Professor Hodge helped me to write with a less confrontational tone in my editorial in order to make it more convincing. The change in tone allowed for my paper to appeal to a larger audience and to make my paper less angry sounding.
GOAL 5: I synthesized my own experience with new insights and information from a range of outside sources to produce new material.
Using my own personal experiences helped to strengthen my group’s Critical Engagement essay when it was backed with new evidence. The personal experience allowed for a paper with a strong argument but that was also personable and easy to read.
GOAL 6: I understand and practice the principles of academic honesty.
I understand that academic honesty is important and that anything taken from another’s work must be credited to its owner. My editorial depicts how I used outside sources in order to strengthen my paper and credited each source in order to give credit where it is due. For example, articles from the New York Times and statistics from the Bureau of Justice and credited each for the contributions to my paper.
GOAL 7: I understand and adhere to my ethical responsibilities as a writer.
I have learned that my ethical responsibilities include not just properly crediting my sources, but also to not use them unfairly. In my group’s Critical Engagement essay, I could have used any of the sources in order to further my own opinions and purposefully misinterpreted any of the sources in order to make a point, but I did not. This shows how I adhered to my ethical responsibilities as a writer.