May 4, 2017
When writing essays for a high school class, the student completes the class believing that they have learned everything they need to know to achieve great articles and works of art for viewers to enjoy. That is until they sign up for Professor Moore’s English 1301 Composition 1 course of study. Considering myself a decent writer was a bit of an overstatement to say the least, and there is still a vast amount of growth for me to achieve to get on that level. Yet the amount of insight retained from the endless amounts of course work given by Professor Moore has expanded my knowledge immensely. The progression of myself and many other students in the same predicament can be seen through not only the sequence of course work turned in throughout the semester, but also the various types of papers assigned, and the constructive comments left on our papers for us to adhere to, take notes of, and utilize.
This semester started off as a bit of a mystery for me. Having never taken online college classes before, everything associated with it was foreign. Growing pains were expected and Lord there was plenty of them. The first assignment was a Short Academic Response covering the subject of universities handing out “A”’s like it is nobody’s business and the controversy surrounding it. The cluelessness within me was so rampant that I failed to even name the paper. “Short Academic Response #1”, hardly screams ‘read me’ to audiences. As the weeks rolled on and the drowning continued for myself between work and school, the assignments grew more difficult and I found myself learning that studying does in fact work. For instance, the Review paper I completed on ‘Logan’, the blockbuster smash, the time spent on websites, other reviews, and critics blogs, mounted up to a substantial amount of time and demanded my attention. That paper alone taught me various formatting requirements needed to make an impact through a paper. To quote my review paper, “His ability to condescendingly and humorously avoid confrontation, yet savagely remind anyone who dared challenge him exactly why he is not to be taken lightly, is what has captivated audiences for 17 years”, is validation that I learned how to incorporate not only adjectives into my writings, but how to analyze a movie and sell the ideals to an audience. That is where I truly feel that I have expanded as a writer the most. My ability to read an article or an ad, separate it into several pieces, analyze each piece and find the deeper meaning behind what the author was trying to communicate to his/her audiences. To be able to look at a story, look past the words and the pictures and find the subtle inferences the author wanted to make, is a gift not many possess and an art taught to me by Professor Moore. For example, for the Visual Rhetorical Essay assignment, the class was supposed to pick an ad, or video, analyze it, put it in pieces, and explain the reasons why the author used the format, picture, subject matter, or colors they did to portray the ideals they wanted to portray to viewers. That assignment was done using an ad from the American Civil Liberties Union published back in 2000, which at face value seemed to be simply bashing law enforcement for racial profiling. After taking the ad in its entirety and breaking it down, then considering the font size, style of backdrop, photographs used, and text written on it. It becomes apparent the ad is a request to audiences to help them continue to provide volunteer legal services to those African Americans in need. Quotes from my paper such as, “The worn, tattered and discolored edges and corners of the paper” and “The poster is presented in an old western style “wanted” manner, prompting readers to take a closer look at the words, the pictures, and the subject matter”, are just two examples showcasing how the breakdown process involved to write such a paper offers a delightfully more descriptive and insightful way to interpret an author’s work.
The experiences, frustrations, and intellectual growth I experienced throughout this quick ride through Composition 1 with Professor Moore, are all aspects that will be utilized, cherished and remembered for years to come. Although there is much work for me to do to expand my knowledge in the world of academic writing, I can leave this class knowing I am better off than when I began. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, however in this class, a thousand words in the correct format, with correct spelling, and flawless punctuation is worth a 100 on the old grade point average.