Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rhetoric? What's that?

I can say without a doubt that this course has been a very valuable learning experience for me. Up to this point all I had ever written was literary analysis- symbolism, diction, etc. I didn’t realize it, but I didn’t even know what rhetorical analysis was. Huge improvements may be observed between my first and second papers- let’s just say the first one was A-W-F-U-L. Even though I have improved, I’ve spent the better part of my weekend revising and editing my second draft/submission of my paper, and still have some work to go. I think I’ve really achieved a better understanding of the time I need to spend writing, revising, etc. my work.
I similarly found the blog to be extremely helpful in this class. It provided a really great way to get your ideas out there, and then get peer feedback on your thoughts. By reading and commenting on other people’s blogs I also was able to better understand the context of the novels and improve upon my own ideas. It was a great way to get and give constructive criticism.
Having The Elements of Persuasion really helped me understand just what rhetoric was, and proved to be extremely useful during essay writing. I really enjoy Aristotle and Burke’s methods, but feel I could still achieve a better understanding of Austin’s Speech Act Theory- it’s still a little blurry to me in context.
I believe the two novels we read will also be beneficial in my future. The Republic and We both forced me to evaluate my ideas of a utopia, and more importantly, made me step back and evaluate my own society in a light I had never seen it in before. I selected essay 1b for our second paper- why is imagination a social construction, etc.- and it really made me question my own societal values and why they exist.
**I wish ya’ll the best, make sure to enjoy the rest of summer!


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