Dear Ms. Moody:
When it came to to applying the CRAAP Test into my research and projects, understanding and utilizing the “Authority” component was the most difficult for me. I believe this was confusing to me because every person views authority differently. A source I may believe has enough authority and influence on the topic may seem too "casual" to others. Eventually, I used my discretion and ".edu" and ".gov" sources the most.
When it came to writing for computer screens, I had difficulty with incorporating quotes from sources into the work, especially when it came to utilizing pull quotes to show emphasis and priority amongst the text. I don’t think I ever fully grasped the hang of it, especially in Adobe Spark where paragraphs are separated from each other. For example, I had a pull quote from my second essay that simply read: "Most important, it irrevocably altered not only the way in which Americans absorbed music but also their belief system in what they should pay. the conviction theologically held by many boiled down to a single word: Nothing." -Clyde Haberman, the New York Times. I had difficulty incorporating lead-ins and explanations into such a large quote.
The Adobe Spark and Slate platforms seem limited in their design capabilities.
When it comes to research writing, I feel that I work better giving factual evidence and sharing the facts, rather than putting my opinion and suggestions into the work to solve the problem. I think this part came a little more naturally to me because I have written previously as a news reporter and editor on two different newspapers, where I am simply sharing information, and not trying to influence the reader in any way. The only time where I could overcome it, I believe, is in the first essay because I was very passionate about the topic and had strong opinions and feelings about the subject. I was able to incorporate powerful anecdotes, such as, "The likelihood that you know someone who has been affected by sexual harassment or assault is extremely high. It could be you, your best friend, your significant other, or a family member. When it happens to those you love, it gets real, and it gets personal. You want justice, but this bill isn’t the way to get that. It’s the way to make it all the more difficult for the victim and their loved ones throughout the process."
I felt my strengths as a writer were demonstrated in the first essay, where I was allowed to show important information as well as include facts and my strong opinion. I did not have to struggle with incorporating sources as much with this, and I am most proud of this work within the course. For example, I was able to use facts in a simple, yet impactful way in cases like this: "One in five women on college campuses will be assaulted or raped. One in sixteen men will be, too."
The course as a whole
I enjoyed the course and the assignments, although some of them were a little difficult. I understand writing for a computer screen, but I do not believe Adobe Slate or Spark was the best platform to incorporate that because the opportunities for design were limited. For example, the paragraphs were separated a lot more than in word documents, so the text either had to stay together or completely separated, which made for awkward long and short paragraphs at times.
I will carry the techniques for research writing beyond this class with me in my future courses and in my work. I am an Public Health major and hope to work in epidemiology, so research and statistics are vital to the work I will be doing. I will have to be able to effectively recommend practical and improved programs to take care of our community and nation’s health. With the skills I have learned in this class, I will better be able to do so.
Brittany Paige Ladd