JOURNAL #2 DRAFTING AND REVISION
In the past I have put very little effort into drafting and revising my writing pieces. I usually begin a day or two before it’s due if I’m lucky to get something along the lines of an outline in place. After I have an idea of how I want to set up my paper, I then dive into writing the body paragraphs either that same day or the night before it is due. For me, I prefer to write my body paragraphs first and then write my introduction and conclusions last because once I can see what I have it makes it easier to figure out a thesis or reword my thesis if it doesn’t fit. Along with this, I will write all my body paragraphs first, but after writing all of them I will put transition sentences in once they are all written. This is all gets done the day before or the night before.
Revision tends to not be apart of my writing process. Since I wait til the last minute to do it, I either don’t have time to or I just don’t want to do it because I am not good at it. However, it kinda works with my method because I write my best under pressure, so with limited time my writing is good enough for me not to care about editing it. The other option that occurs less often is having someone else look over it for me. This only happens if I do not write the paper the night before because I will have time for others to look at it. English is not best subject, I am not good at spelling or grammar, so having others look at it is more likely to happen than having myself look at it. I should do this more, but that then requires me to procrastinate less which is difficult.
This process tends to work well enough for me, but it could definitely be improved. Including more review of my piece would be helpful so I could catch some of my dumb mistakes, but I then have to reconstruct my timeline of when I do work. In general though this process has given me good grades considering the little work I put into it.
How to frame a quote was the most useful piece of information in the passage. I have always introduced and explained a quote, by I have never thought about it as a frame or why I am doing it. You need to set up to give background as to why the person you are quoting is creditable and why their opinion matters or supports your view. Along with this, I enjoyed the drawing of the “hit-and-run” quote. It demonstrates how you need to give background information like how if you hit someone with your car you probably have an explanation as to why it happened. In addition to this I found the examples they gave about how you can frame quotes very beneficial. I tend to repeat words or phrases in essays, so this has given me ways to branch out and be more selective with my word choice and phrasing.
I also found the section regarding choosing quotes interesting. It mentioned how during revision you should make sure your quotes are still relevant and useful in your paper. I have never thought about switching a quote I used, if it works initially I just keep it in there. When writing I tend to pick the quotes first, so there usually isn’t a need to go back and change them because I usually don’t do a lot of revision either. However, I am not thinking I should either pick multiple quotes to begin with or write my thoughts first and then leave room to insert quotes once I know what I want to write. This could also be because I do not usually do revision, or at least thought out revision.
By far the most interesting thing in the second half of the Widdicombe article was on page seven, second paragraph. Rhinehart describes how he does not have a need to have material things. He specifically says, “Things are worthless.” He takes this to an extreme by only owning clothes for a period of time. He does not wash them, instead when they get too worn or start to smell he will donate them and buy a new pack off of Amazon. This amazes me, because the first half of the article when Rhinehart was living off very little, he valued what he had and he could not afford to throw it away and just buy new one. Now when he does have money, he trashes clothes when he no longer needs them, yet he could easily make them useable once again.
The second thing I found interesting is how structured Rhinehart is. On page nine Rhinehart discusses how there was a possibility of adding phytochemicals which is what gives fruit its color(makes tomatoes red or blueberries blue), but this did not happen. These have been linked to helping to fight diseases or cancers, but it is unsure how the body uses them. This drew Rhinehart away from using it. His need to understand what is scientifically happening with the nutrients he gets is very useful and as a potential consumer I take comfort in the fact that he is very knowledgeable, however why not put the phytochemicals in if they do not do harm to the individual consuming it, but it fact could benefit them? When does the benefits of something outweigh not knowing exactly how it will be used?
The last interesting piece I enjoyed was on page 17, where Widdicombe asks a question that relates Soylent to people once again. I understand the reference to the movie, yet the phrasing can’t help but make me think of blended up people in the drink. This is something a lot of consumers would associate together based off the name, yet Rhinehart refuses to change the name because of the, “self-deprecating nature”. Is the name worth the negative connotation though?
I found this chapter of They Say I Say extremely useful and there are many techniques and advice I can keep in mind for the first project. The first is developing a contrast in an argumentative essay. By setting up contrast it helps the reader understand why what you’re saying is important. Using the opposing side the reader can get a sense of the general argument which in turn allows them to understand the reasoning behind why you are trying to make that point. You do not necessarily have to say why your side is good, you can explain why theirs is bad. Additionally, you can use that contrast to demonstrate how your side is better. It reminded me of a discussion I had in high school about good versus evil and how if the idea of hell wasn’t there, heaven would not look as good. A better example would be with superheroes, like if there were no villains in superhero movies, they wouldn’t really be heroes, instead they would just be good citizens with weird powers.
Another piece I liked from this chapter was about putting your oar in the conversation. I found this interesting because it makes you take a side. When writing an argument piece you need to be ready and informed on both sides to be able to enter that conversation. You need to be open to those opinions around you and listen to them. Everyone has a right to their own opinions, and even though you may not agree you still need to be respectful and civil with them. Most importantly though, you need to go in informed. The except from Burke described walking up to a conversation, but instead of stating his opinion immediately the individual listened to those around him to become more informed. Without evidence to support your opinion your argument is extremely weak and therefore readers will disregard what you have to say since you have nothing to back it up with.
The best suggestions I received was about what I needed to into detail on. I am usually not good at putting lots of emotion in to my work so this was helpful because they included where I need to have more emotion and one of the them told me to make them cry so I worked hard to try to give it to her. Along with that, by them telling me what I need to add more to I figured out what I needed to take out and stuff I could shorten.
The best suggestions I gave was to one group member about clarifying her argument. Her thesis and closing argument was about the cons of soylent and why it isn’t good, but what I got out of her essay she focused more on why food is too good to be replaced. She really liked that point of view on her essay and I think she took that into consideration when editing what she wrote.
I wished I discussed with my peers their opinion and what side they were taking in the paper. For example, in Lyle’s and Tanner’s paper I was unclear with their thesis and paper whether they were in the gray area or just had a weak argument for a side. I wish I asked what side they were on at the beginning of the review so I could have bettered tailored the discussion about what they could do to improve to make their argument stronger. Instead we didn’t talk about the stance until the end so Lyle couldn’t use some of what I said because it was not for the point she wanted to make.
What I wish was discussed more was what I need to take out. I was already over word count going into peer review so I wish we had discussed what my weaker arguments were or what didn’t make sense or didn’t support the point I wanted to make. This is also my fault too because I should have told them before that I was over word count.
This kind of peer review is very different from high school. In high school we had a time restriction, so we did peer review during class in small groups and we were given about 10 minutes to read the paper, make corrections, and talk about it as a group and then we had to move onto the next one. This review was more thoughtful because I had actual time to review the work I was given and others took the time to let me know I need to do better, instead of rushing through to make sure we could get to everyone’s in time.
I enjoyed the section regarding the idea of relating your thesis to your overall idea. I especially love doing this in my essays because it makes the most sense in my head. Like how do you argue a specific point of view without addressing what you are opposing, or why there is controversy in the topic. When setting up an essay I tend to start with the opposing view so the reader understands what is going on, and then after I counter everything good I said about it and why that is a bad thing. I feel as though this allows the reader to be more easily persuaded onto your side. The part that I think would benefit me in TS/IS is not to drown them in the details. While writing I have a habit of going into small details that are unnecessary and this tends to become an issue because when I discuss my argument I can not address all of the little aspects I brought up of the opposing side at the beginning.
Along with that I find the template for something implied or assumed very beneficial. I have never really thought about putting what is known onto paper, just because when reading it the reader would make the same assumption I would make. I also like introducing 2 different sides in a debate style set up. For example in project 1 I could have set my essay up like I was in a debate with Rhinehart which would have been an interesting comparison. Along with this in project one I should have reminded the reader of the opposing argument. The perspective of bringing up an opposing topic throughout a piece is challenging for me. I need to have every paragraph as its own topic and I do not go back to it after that, so if I split paragraphs into half of the opposing side and then why mine side is right would be a good change for me.
I spent the most time revising what I say in my paper. I included more emotions, and inserted myself into my paper a bit more. I worked a lot on phrasing and specifically the taking the reader through my day section because that was one of my favorite ideas from peer review. Along with that I fixed small stuff like grammar and spelling to make sure everything sounded like how I wanted. After the biggest part for me was cutting it down. I was over word count going into peer review and after review they told me to expand in certain sections which I did, so then after that I worked on cutting down some of the weaker points in my argument.
I think I would change how I started my paper. I cam into it with too many ideas and points I wanted to bring in, so during peer review and revising after it was a struggle to cut down some points since I had gotten attached to them.
This is different from other drafting and revision approaches because I hadn’t really gotten as much feedback on my paper before, or feedback that was specific and useful. Before they would be like this was good, or bad. During this review we got the time to in depth and we could discuss why we like a part or why we thought it should be fixed. This gave me a clearer perspective on where to go with revision, and specifically what I wanted to accomplish at the end.
Overall I think my approach worked for the class, I just had to set some “due dates” for myself. While I still procrastinated, I did it in a more manageable way. I wrote the 2 page actual due date the night before, but I knew that by my conference I wanted to be basically done if it wasn’t already completed, which I accomplished(didn’t have conclusion). After conferences I wanted have it “done” done by peer review which it was. This helped me because there was less work to do after review since I didn’t have to write a whole part, and my completed paper would be seen by others and not only part. Then procrastination struck again and I looked at all of my feedback and completed it at 1:40 am last night, and then gave it another look through before class.
Passage 1: Bottom of page 5 starting with, “these shows stress…” to page six ending with, “…as much as Julia Child did.”
I agree with the point Pollen makes in this passage about how people are cooking for convenience and to impress others today, while in the time of Julia Child she was more authentic and did it because she loves it. Cooking shows today are pristine and edited to make everything appear easy and effortless, while Child showed you the reality of cooking where it can be messy and you will make mistakes. I believe that cooking shows today should be more like Julia Child so viewers can get a more realistic view of what cooking is, instead of the lie television is currently feeding them.Today there are episodes in 30 minutes showing how to make a dish with the least amount of time and effort going into it, and impressing those around you so they think you worked harder on it than you actually did. Instead, cooking should be more self focused where you can be proud of what you made and put in the blood, sweat and tears for it.
Passage 2: Page 11 the whole middle paragraph, “The historical drift…Olive Garden and Red Lobster.”
I agree with Pollen’s point of how cooking shows have become more competitive or sport like to keep viewers on the couch instead of in the kitchen. For example, watching the Superbowl or the World Series doesn’t make you necessarily want to go and do what those athletes are doing, but they give you an appreciation for it. Cooking shows have taken this idea of cooking for fun and creativity and made it into a competition where you are timed and have limited or strange ingredients, so viewers can not learn anything from it. This has turned shows from teaching individuals how to cook so they can go cook, to only watching it because they can not or do not want to recreate it. Why has this shift occurred? The change in shows is because of money and views. Teaching people how to cook will cause them to turn the television off, so less views, and less money for the show. So if they can’t learn to how to make a dish, the television will stay on, so the show will get more views and more money.
Passage 3: Page 15 the whole middle paragraph, “Shapiro shows…home-meal replacement.”
I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with the point Pollen is trying to make regarding industrialized food(box cake mixes, cans of soup, etc). Pollen argues that these items are not fully industrialized because people need to feel like they are actually contributing and have some ownership of it. I believe this is part of the reason, but not the whole reason. For example, the cake mix example given in the article mentions cracking an egg to take ownership, however I believe that you can just not fully not industrialize all food. Like you can not put the eggs in with the cake batter and leave it on the shelves in the store. People want meals to be quick and the cake mix makes it quicker, but people do not need to feel ownership by cracking an egg. I believe the ownership in making a cake comes with putting it into and taking it out of the oven. Looking at the finished product I believe gives you a feeling of ownership and pride, not a single egg.
I found the section about when the they say is unstated really beneficial to not just english, but other classes as well. This section described how to figure out what someone is trying to say when their argument is not stated, for example like when writers write to an audience who already knows the information present. You need to deconstruct what is said to find the true meaning, because it might not always be stated right at the beginning, or it might form slowly over time. The example they gave about the “College Gap” is good to look back on because if you only look at the first couple of sentences you would think Draut is arguing whether college is the ticket to middle class, however when you continue going through her argument, she is not talking about whether it is the ticket to middle class, but instead is discussing if this ticket is obtainable to all.
I found the section on finding a niche interesting, specifically when it said bringing up what someone hasn’t noticed. Finding something one has overlooked is an interesting way to look at an argument. Like if you are against a particular side you could bring up what their research lacks to make their side less credible, which in return makes your side stronger. In the past when I have brought up counter points I have used specific points from the source I was using. Now when going through a source I should not only look at what they have, but I should also look for what is lacking. By finding points that are missing I could also potentially use that to further some of my research to provide an idea of the the whole argument I am going up against.
During peer review so far I have focused more on global revision work over local revision. Within global revision I tend to focus more on the organization and breaking up paragraphs that have too many ideas in them, or I look for evidence/visibility. I look to see if the quote/evidence they use is the best support they can use for their argument and whether their evidence connects well with the idea they are trying to get across. Since I can spend more time with the paper than I did in high school, I felt like helping others develop their ideas would be more useful, rather than focusing on the small stuff. However, personally I would prefer my peers to focus a bit more on local revision because I usually would not notice it. When I read through my paper I tend to miss spelling errors or sometimes I forget a word but I will read it like it is there in my head. I do like obtaining feedback on global comments as well. My preference for global comments would be visibility or ideas. I want to make sure my paper is saying what I want to say, and that the point in each paragraph is coming across clearly. For example, during peer review 2 I received a comment that made me look at my point in a paragraph from a whole new perspective. This caused me to change the evidence I had, so instead of showing the not homemade aspect alone, I tried in some nutritional points as well to relate it to society today.
This paper did not go as well as my first paper did. Since there was a word limit for peer review I only got part of my essay looked at and I feel like if is clear what parts that is. Along with that spring break was in the middle of the project timeline which disrupted the writing process. Once coming back from break I forgot what I exactly wrote and what my ideas were from before. Due to this when we came back I used part of the in class time to read through what I had done to try to remember where I wanted to go with it. The parts I wrote from before break I believe are going in a different direction then what I wrote after break. Before break I focused more on the emotional parts of cooking and after I transitioned to fast food. Since these ideas are very different my essay was not as cohesive as it could have been.
When looking back through my use of the outside sources there are aspects I would have changed. Throughout my essay I mainly used quotes from Pollan piece, and then only mentioned my peer’s sources in the one paragraph on them. Also in my paragraphs on my peers I did not include include Pollan quotes with them to show direct contrast by using Pollan in a paragraph after. I wish I showed more direct contrast by comparing the sources right next to each other. I also wish I mentioned my peers’ pieces throughout my paper to show how they support my point as much as Pollan did.
Changes I would have made during the lifespan of my paper is that I would have put in a more consistent effort. During break I did not work on my paper, so getting back into it was more difficult. If I put in a small amount of daily effort over vacation if would have helped significantly.
After reading the article, “What the Crow Knows” I am intrigued by the similarities of skills that animals and humans have. Humans are known for being of higher intelligence and are conscious, meaning they are self aware and have feelings and emotions, but other species have these same characteristics as well. For example, crows and members of it’s family have been known to make tools like hooks out of sticks and pass the mirror test, where they can recognize themselves in a mirror and can spot a mark that does not belong there. These skills have been a characteric of humans, but are humans actually not as superior as we previously thought? If other animals are becoming just as smart as we are, the future will change drastically, and maybe even become similar to movies(ex. Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Additionally, I am very interested in the idea that species can communicate and work together to achieve a common goal. These skills could unit all animals against the humans who have been harming them for centuries.
Along with this, I am curious about Jainism and their culture. This religion is one that fascinates me because it puts animals and humans on an equal playing field, saying no violence should come to either of them. The idea that we share this planet and we all must corporate to keep all alive is an idea that can be related to modern day global warming. The “Fordmakers” which are prophets who can sense animals pain, and if there are any today they could communicate with the animals to see how they are being affected by global warming, so others can have a better understanding of it and how it affects everyone and thing around you.
I do have concerns after reading this article. I am concerned about how I and humanity have been treating animals, and specifically those used to be slaughtered and eaten. Having animals specifically raised to be fatten and killed is an abuse of power, and especially if they have the conscious that Jains believe all animals have. To me, it would like doing it to a human who have real thoughts and emotions.
Page 2 Third paragraph: The particular passage I found more effective than the other anecdotes used in the beginning. It is first intriguing because it brings up the idea of the morality of having pets, which I never really thought of. Its sets an idea of what the rest of the essay is going to be on, which is the ethics and morality on animals and pets. Another effective technique Herzog used in this passage is his play on the readers emotions. When Jim Thompson looked at his pet bird one day, he decided that keeping him was wrong and released his pet bird into the wild. This is particularly moving because the impact of one article made him love his bird so much he let it go. When you love something you let it go and be free, but Jim said he was doing it more for himself than it was for the bird.
Page 4 Last paragraph and continues to top of next page: This paragraph changes the perspective on having predators as pets. While one can not imagine feeding kittens to snakes, this part persuades you in that direction. Animal shelters euthanize about 2 million kittens each year, so is it completely unethical to feed those kittens to snakes? Or is it even more unethical to being killing the kittens in the first place. This passage then continues to say that this would also reduce the number of rats and mice that would be “sacrificed”, but does matter overall because either way something must die in order to feed the snake.
Page 6 last paragraph: The passage forces the reader to think about their own morals in regards to the different relationships with animals, meaning pets, wildlife, consumption. While this whole article you absorb what Herzog is saying, you now get the chance to think about your own stance. This also brings up with how you sort your professional life versus your personal life and emotions. For example, a veterinarian who gets upset and cries when needed to euthanize an animal, or a animal rights activist who is a vegan and struggles going out to eat. This is significant because while one can try to keep themselves distant from the issue at hand, in reality you face it everyday.
Looking back at the article, “Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace and my previous journal entry for it, I have not fully changed my opinion, but there are certain things I would like more clarity on. Since reading it I still believe that the typical method of eating lobsters(boiling them alive) is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, but I am curious about the individuals who have and do boil lobsters alive. In the article, “Animals like Us”, the author mentions moral quandaries with killing animals even if you look them, this however involves a more formal setting then boiling a lobster. Combining the ideas in CTL and the moral grey area in ALU, I want to better understand the opinion and emotions of those who kill it themselves to eat it. This can include hunters, butchers, lobster eaters, etc.
I still find myself in support of not killing the lobsters in boiling water, but I am still in the “troubled middle” I guess as to I know I think killing is wrong and I especially do not the idea of killing animals either in the wild or raising them to be eaten, but I do enjoy the taste of meat. I think Wallace unintentionally delivered this message too. People have an issue with boiling the lobster, so Wallace suggests alternative methods, yet there is no “better” method regarding the pain of the lobster, so why is the taste worth it? In the food industry in general just because something is “organic” or “free range” doesn’t mean they died on their own terms. Those animals are still being killed, the only difference is, is their surrounding conditions, but even that is questionable.
One idea that is still is difficult to find an answer to is, is their torture worth our pleasure? Since there is no known way to determine how much pain or emotions animals feel when they are being killed, there is nothing to compare to how they taste. So how does someone internally make the decision on if it is right or wrong.
This section was very helpful with addressing arguments against yours. In order to address them though you need to do research on what are others say about your topic. You don’t what to address an opinion that is false or irrelevant. If there are no differing opinions is on your topic that can be an issue. Only having one side of an argument is problematic because you don’t necessarily know why that is. Like is it not looked into because of particular personal beliefs going on, is there not enough information to form a solid conclusion on the other side, or should more research be done?
One of my favorite templates is about standing your ground after having a counterpoint. After I make include a point from someone who takes an opposing stance I never really know how to tie it back into my argument. These templates are useful for helping with the flow of my paper when talking about those who do not support what I am saying. I can easily see myself using the templates provided and this particular section will help to show me if my argument is strong enough. When going back to stand my ground on a counterpoint, if the opposite point is more convincing than my intended argument it shows that I have to go back and make revisions to make mine stronger.
Going off of that, another section I liked was about answering objections. You can not just state that so and so’s opinion is wrong, you need to include facts or knowledge to support you in saying they are wrong. In addition to this, you need do it in a persuasive way, not just stating information at the reader. An idea I never really considered doing is partially agreeing with an objection or addressing its validity. When you partially agree you give the impression to the reader that you have actually considered other opinions instead of just assuming yours is right.
Help explain what is lost by giving up meat and what is gained for Foer
Foer believes that without meat her will lose family memories. As a child Foer’s happiest memories were when he was eating meat. While if meat was not on the menu, he still would have not had the same experiences with cooking and how he learned to cook. Foer describes it as a, “cultural loss” meaning without those meals he might not have had a good of an understanding of where he came from. Even though he losses part of his culture and history, Foer gains his values as a human being. At the end of the article Foer mentions how his grandmother didn’t eat pork when she was starving because it was not kosher. She said, “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save” meaning if you give up everything you value, how can you live with yourself after the fact. Maintaining values and your morality makes you who you are, so eating meat would have made Foer lose his sense of self.
What do you make of the question Foer presents
Pleasure is difficult to compare in taste verses no taste. I agree with Foer when he says, “I don’t love them without limit” because you need to know what you can handle within your morality. Even though Foer loves to eat meat, he values the lives of the animals more. It reminds me of the saying if you love something let it go, Foer loved eating meat so he let it go to allow the animals to live their lives in peace. The other question you need to ask yourself is if it ethical to kill and torture animals all for our taste. Just because we can have something doesn’t mean we should. So just because humans have the ability to kill doesn’t mean it is our right or duty to kill animals. There are many other alternatives to animals which humans have access to at any point, yet animals are still on the menu.
Part 1: I typically write my essays in the second floor of the commons where I can see the ocean. Looking outside helps me develop ideas and it gives me a calm state of mind. However this changes depending on how much I need to focus on what I am doing. I only work on the second floor of the commons when I have time to work and I can go slower, but when I need to really focus and just write I go to the third floor of the library. I also work best when I listen to music. I usually play some sort of throwback songs. When I am working in the library, I typically sit with my friend Amy and we will bounce ideas off each other or read through each others essays. The challenges of writing for me is finding time to do it. Once I start writing I like to keep going with my ideas, I find it hard to only write a little bit at a time because I feel as though my ideas are more broken up or change slightly.
Part 2: On paper one I worked on writing my essay everyday so my ideas would stay with me. Also for paper one I had a complete rough draft finished for peer review which made it easy for me to see where I went wrong. On paper two, having spring break in the middle really messed up my train of thought. I forgot where I was going so it was really difficult to get back into writing it after it. Along with this, during peer review we had a word limit, so therefore I was unable to have a full rough draft prepared. While I found this beneficial because I was able to change my ideas to go in a different direction than what I originally intended. However, I did not like how I could not get feedback on my whole piece by multiple people(I had someone outside of class look at it when I was done). This paper is like a mix of paper one and two. I am writing a few days a week because I do not have time to sit down and work on it every single day, but I hope to have almost a complete rough draft done by peer review time, which should work out well for me.
The first thing I did after meeting with my group for peer review was look over the first three paragraphs of my essay because they said it felt like it was taking forever because it seemed like my introduction just continued on. The set up was a two paragraph introduction where in the first I acknowledged Wallace and ideas he brought up, and very brief mention to my other articles. The second was about my positioning on the matter, and then the third was about Wallace and lobster anatomy. After rereading everything I wrote I agreed with them and I started rephrasing my wording and trying to paraphrase the first two paragraphs to incorporate my third one into those two. My third paragraph was cut out that and I paraphrased it in my introduction. I did like the original paragraph, but it definitely took up a lot of space. To make up for some of the explanation I cut out I am working to incorporate a bit of DFW in almost all of the body paragraphs. Also with peer review and redoing my introduction I took another look at my thesis and I changed it for the better. My original thesis was not as strong as I would have liked it and it did not exactly capture what my paper is about. After doing all of that, I focused in on tying up any loose ends in the conclusion and I added a section to better connect my thesis to all the articles.
Smaller tasks I did, and that I’m still in the process of doing is looking at all of my spelling and word choice because when describing my topic I do not make anything confusing or have the wrong connotation or idea with what I am saying. I need to broaden my vocabulary to enhance my paper as a whole.