Most importantly, Writing 122 Honors has enlightened me to the critical importance of really identifying your sources and their intended message. With the professional desire to expose the disparities in our current educational framework, gaining the skills to employ quality research methods is imperative in developing an effective dialogue and impact. This personal development achieved from taking this course has been nurtured through learning about the deeper structures of Black American culture. And as a future educator, I strive to support all students in having access to a quality education which opens the world up to them. It has been this class that has awaken the social justice activist and educator in me.
Meeting the Course Goals
Without a respectful exchange, developing understanding is near impossible to achieve. Considering the recent development of riots relating to rage over the oppression and racism against Black America being evident in America’s social and political climate, it is increasingly critical that dialogue is intentional and sensitively approached. I believe that I have successfully engaged in a respectful exchange with both fellow students as well as within my writing. For example, my sensitivity and supportive tone for my second essay when discussing Michael Brown.
I demonstrated critical thinking of college level texts by evaluating my sources thoroughly. This was essential to completing the Annotated Bibliography. This assignment required me to critically engage in understanding my sources by determining the key points within the writing and then applying it to my own point of interest related to my own argumentative essay. For example, I was able to utilize a college thesis to support the claim that hip-hop was an effective tool by utilizing elements of AAVE and Ebonics which was discussed within this source.
WR122_H required me to develop my writing through a multistage process of drafts. Each stage required a Writing Frame Form which provided a template responsible for encouraging premeditated thought about our intentions and audience related to our essay’s purpose. I believe that I successfully maintained an academic tone within my writing, which evolved throughout the course due to my development of knowledge pertaining to Black American rhetorics.
Quality supportive research is imperative to developing a solid claim within a paper. I worked toward appropriately implementing my sources by first really understanding the source itself. Following that, during this course I actively worked at tying all of my sources, quotes, citations back to my claim. This was achieved through consistently translating all material for the reader, without expectation that they would be responsible for building my claim.
Effectively using my sources, aside from connecting them to my claim, required me to accurately cite my sources. Our instructor spent a quality amount of time orientating the class with a website called EasyBib. This website made compiling a Works Cited or Annotated Bibliography much simpler. In addition, I developed the new skill of introducing my sources in order to articulate to the reader their contribution to the conversation.
I had never identified the technical expectations related to argumentative academic writing. Therefore, I had to do personal research to identify these aspects of my paper. I then discovered that a research paper required numbered pages, a title, my name, professors title, date and course title as well as a Works Cited page. I utilized our Writing Resource Center on campus to ensure my accuracy since I was unsure at times, having been previously unfamiliar. Elements of Black American rhetorics were layed out for us in a variety of methods, such as Mapping Language onto Deep Structures by Black poets and writers themselves. By understanding rhetorical tools such as signifying, call and response, toasting, boasting and indirection, I was able to recognize the linguistic habits shaped by the manifestations of the deeper structures of Black American culture. For example, I articulated this knowledge in my second essay by referencing the connection between traditional church sermon engagement within the Black community and how they were parallel with hip-hop rhyme cypher.
One of the most profound parts of WR122_H was the lectures which provided insight into the systems surrounding rhetorical devices. Previously unfamiliar with Black American rhetorics, I had no awareness of the linguistic origins of Creole or Pidgins. Through WR122_H I was able to identify the historical evolution of these linguistic habits developed and created within the Black community. As a way of developing psychic distance from their oppressors, Black America created a stylistically complex way of speech to create rhetorical influence within their own communities apart from dominant standards.
Working Toward Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes
Lane Community College’s Core Learning Outcomes require students to think critically, communicate effectively, engage in diverse values with civic and ethical awareness, create ideas and solution and to apply learning. Personally, I believe that WR122 Honors challenged me to address all of these CLOs, although our course syllabus identified three as the primary focus. These were the initial three mentioned above.
Having been exposed to Black American history for this first time, I was required to think critically about the unfamiliar topic. Having chosen a hip-hop based educational pilot program and respective rap artist as my focus, in order to develop quality research I had to critically analyze the perspectives of urban youth as well as identify the deeper structures of Black American culture within hip-hop music.
After thorough research, producing a quality argumentative essay required effective communication regarding my theories presented. This was achieved through considering the writing situation and my intended audience. Writing Frame Forms, as part of our course work expectations, provided a template for identifying intentions, audience, data and evidence to support a claim and other methods to assist in communicating effectively.
Due to the nature of our classes theme, my writing required frequent perception checking as well as maintaining the sensitivity to relevant perspectives connected to our work. Therefore, I fulfilled working toward the CLO which states engaging in diverse values with civic and ethical awareness. A specific example within my own writing would be the sensitivity I had to employ when discussing the loss of Michael Brown.
As a future educator interested in exploring all the ways to ensure my students have a fair chance at an education, these projects related to WR122_H directly affect my future career. I am interested in exposing the disparities within academia while specifically addressing creative solutions and ideas to remedy these pressing issues effecting young learners. Therefore, acquiring knowledge about Black American history and the linguistic structures used in communication has equipped me with the skills to begin identifying the institutional discrimination evident today.