Throughout my years as a student, I have written a lot of texts. My pieces very much reflect the amount of practice and level of knowledge about writing that I have/had. In the AP English Language course I took as a high school junior, I wrote my first ever research paper about the incarceration rate and injustices of African-American individuals; my interest in that topic was sparked by the book “The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South.” As a senior in high school, I wrote all sorts of assignments and practiced writing for AP English Literature exam. During the last ten weeks of my senior year, we wrote a one-page paper each week; for each paper, we had to select one sentence from a novel. In one single-spaced page, we had to critically analyze the syntax and other similar aspects and describe how those features helped deliver the message, create a symbol or metaphor, etc. These exercises helped me significantly as a writer because I had to learn to be make my responses concise yet my explanations needed to be descriptive.
As a student at Transylvania, I have grown considerably as a writer because I have taken a wide-range of courses. My first year I wrote my second research paper about African-American women’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. In my Spanish courses, I have written critiques of Latin-American literature, an analysis of Spanish women’s role in the Spanish Civil War, and a literary analysis of a Latin-American poem. Writing these pieces has definitely improved my Spanish skills, but I have also improved my overall writing skills because I have written all sorts of different types of analyses and more.
Furthermore, as a Writing, Rhetoric & Communication major, I have created various pieces. In the Readings in Rhetoric Criticisms course I took with Dr. Hauman, I analyzed Emma Watson’s #HeforShe speech that she delivered to the U.N. in 2014 by using cluster criticism. I also analyzed a speech presented by Laverne Cox in that same course by using the narrative rhetorical methodology. This course allowed me to practice writing with different types of rhetorical criticisms, which I can apply to all of the pieces that I write even if the piece is in a field that is not WRC. During the Winter 2016 semester, I took a Feminist Rhetorics course in which I analyzed how music videos exemplify rhetoric by focusing on particular Beyoncé songs. Instead of writing a traditional research paper, I created a website because I wanted to explore different modes of communication and rhetoric. In the Digital Rhetoric and Business Writing courses I took, I created videos to promote the goals and services of two different organizations.
In classes that I have taken with Professor Deaton, I have written a few interpersonal analyses in which have critiqued movies and interactions in a store based on the context of the class topic. For example, I wrote an interpersonal analysis in Intro to Communication and Gender & Communication. I also wrote a research paper about a child’s relationship with their grandparents in a Communication & Praxis course my first year. I co-wrote a research paper about the representation of women in history in a Gender & Communication course my junior year; the paper highlights women’s role and representation in ancient China, ancient Rome, the twentieth century, and the twenty-first century. In Intro to Classical Rhetoric course, I wrote an analysis of an op-ed piece from The New York Times that discussed the use of trigger warnings in college classrooms. In that same course, I analyzed the #NOMORE Celebrity PSA Campaign.
Reflecting on all of the things that I have written, I realize that I have not written much for extra-curricular activities although I do have a passion for writing. That is one of my biggest goals of taking WRC Senior Seminar. I want to research something I am personally passionate about. I want my project to reflect me and what is important to me not just as a student but as a person. Of course this is a class, and my project will be very academic. However, I want this to be something I can explore after class for fun—or perhaps later on for another class. Social issues and pop culture are both things that I am very interested in and passionate about so I am thinking of creating my senior seminar project around that. Another goal I have is to at least try to develop a project that is not a traditional research paper. I am accustomed to writing traditional research papers, but during my time at Transylvania, I have enjoyed learning and trying new modes of communication and writing. For that reason, I want to explore (and hopefully complete) a project that is not a traditional essay, such as a video, podcast, website, etc. I would want to use this project to showcase my skills as a rhetorician, communicator, and writer when applying for jobs and possibly even graduate school.