Rhetorical Difference Between The Web And The Slidecast Compositions

Fo my Composition and Rhetoric classes, we worked on our slide cast presentations and the reflective essay paper at the same time (rather than sequentially). Though this can be disorienting at first, I quickly realized how this process increased my awareness of the audience in question and the contingency of persuasion:Going back and forth between writing an essay and creating a slidecast was difficult sometimes. My audiences were so completely different for each project that I would get confused and sometimes mix up my audiences. In my slide cast presentation my audience were college social smokers and academic scholars meanwhile for my reflective essay my audience was simply academic students. However, I felt that overall doing both at the same time . . . allowed me to really comprehend my audiences and see my topic from two different angles, which really helped with the writing of my essay as well as with my slide cast.  For my web posts I did not use lots of imagery to appeal to my audience but rather was allowed to free write on whatever topic I felt very passionate about. Slide casts as I realized, need to e very lively, informative and not feel clustered. With presentations, less is more and pictures are more appealing and persuasive than, a bunch of academic facts written down.

• In-class Workshop: Peer review: Presentations

In my peer review of my multimedia presentation, I noticed that my slides were very long and too explanatory. It made the reader have to read all the wordings before having an idea of the point I wanted to make. This could have made my presentation go beyond the allocated 5 mins.  My font was great and captivating but the size of the font made the words appear small and difficult to read. This something that I needed to change immediately.  The background theme of my presentation was nice and friendly, I used the inkwell background powerpoint theme and made the writings appear in black which contrasted with the page. My research topic for the multimedia presentation was, ”Social Smoking”. I sought to define my topic, look at some major characteristics common to people who loved social smoking and the health, sociological and emotional effects it has on individuals. I wanted to make my presentation seem lively and captivating so as  to, pull my audience(peers) right in. I used a lot of pictures to make my background feel interactive as well as, even incorporating a video sponsored by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) to help solidify my argument and findings. The peer review workshop was extremely helpful as I was able to get feedback on how my presentation looked like as a whole. If I did touch on every aspect of my topic and make my presentation as informative and straight forward as possible.  The peer review also made me gain more insights on how I could improve on my presentation; the strengths and weakness the powerpoint had. Lastly, I was able to talk about the struggles I faced in writing this presentation and looked for ways in which I could improve on my writing technique and ensure that the ideas on my slides flow coherently.  I was also advised by peers to cut down on the number of slides I had as, with 16 slides it seemed a bot excessive and could likely lead to redundancy and hurt my grade instead of help.

Memoir/ Rhetorical Analysis Revisions

In reading my partner’s ”final draft” paper I noticed that he decided to tackle the rhetorical analysis instead of the memoir project. In his ”final draft” paper he submitted at beginning of the semester, his topic was, ”Teenagers who use social media sites as their source of information and news outlet are on the rise”. His ”final draft” was well written, using rhetorical strategies such as, emotional appeals and logical appeals to convey the main idea of his essay. This was, ”the use of social media sites by teenagers is not to connect with loved ones but, for entertainment purposes”. He used a lot of academic sources to convey his ideas and explained each source, tying them back to the topic of the essay. For his revised paper or draft 3 he actually added more sources and expatiated on how social media sites may be actually good for teenagers. That it gives them an outlet for them to vent with their peers and to connect with other people who feel lonely. The addition of new material enhances the rhetorical analysis in that it shows the flip side of the growth and emergence of social media sites and how it affects teenagers. The only advice I could give him on his paper was try to read through his paper to avoid syntax errors and just all around bad grammar that takes away the experience of reading his paper. Sometimes the grammar made following his ideas very difficult and confusing. All around apart from that, I felt his paper was solid and showing a mastery of his audience and his subject matter that is, ”Teenagers who use social media sites as their source of information and news outlet are on the rise”.

Reflective Essay Reading

Students often face trouble when tacking the reflective essay potion of the portfolio assignment. Some important ideas and strategies to use to ensure that you write a great paper should be;

1. Begin with the writing process: What is the topic you are going to write on. Ensure that you narrow the topic and be precise about the specific problem you will tackle in your essay. How hard was it for you to narrow it down to that topic. What made you choose that topic(purpose) and not something else. What do you hope to gain or realize from sharing this information to the audience.

2. Why changes? That is why did you make revisions to the essay. What revisions were made to the paper from the initial draft to the final draft. How difficult was it for you to make changes to your initial draft.

3. The Writing process. What kind of rhetorical strategies( such as audience questions, appeals, voice/tone) were used in the process.  Add detail/expand on the writing process so that the audience can connect to the essay. Ensure that the body of the essay is in line with what the purpose of the paper was in the first place. Use sources to back up the findings you made when researching the essay. It is important to cite your sources and incorporate why these findings matter.  Organization matters, make sure the essay has ideas which are coherent. Make sure to include your outline and peer review in the writing process.

This Is What You Eat In A Year (Thompson)

There’s lots to be said about American dietary and agricultural practices. Most of it has been.

I’ll comment just on the chart itself: it’s useless, and dishonest.

Taken alone it simply gives a rough comparative breakdown of the amounts of different categories of foods commonly eaten. What does that mean? Is there too much milk? Too little? This chart offers no way of telling. Is the total consumption (about 5 pounds a day, almost half of it fruits and vegetables) too much? Why? It might be possible to draw at least some kind of conclusion from this if it also incorporated an authoritative recommendation as to how much one *should* eat, and in what relative proportions, but it doesn’t. Simply naming and counting the things people eat is like saying “the average American has four blue shirts and three green shirts”. Who cares?

The chart also treats the information it does convey in an offhand and unserious way. It mixes categories of information: most of these groups correspond to the commonly recognized nutritional categories, which makes sense, but others are idiosyncratic (“coffee, cocoa, and nuts”). And, I strongly suspect the categories are not entirely distinct: corn syrup is almost always found as part of other prepared foods, which are not broken out as a separate category, so most likely the corn syrup listed on this chart is being double-counted; likewise the dairy products – the chart claims the average American eats almost 400 pounds per year of dairy products that are *not* cheese, ice cream, or milk for drinking, so either the average American eats over a pound a day of yogurt or the chart is counting separately the milk that is mixed into other prepared foods. Also, it divides categories in strange and pointless ways: the average American apparently consumes 0.2 pounds per year of one particular *molecule* (caffeine), but caffeine is not usually purchased by weight, so it’s very hard to know what to do with this information; meanwhile, all “vegetables” are lumped together in a catch-all category that totals over 400 pounds (or, as the chart would put it, “188,818, 181.82 mg”). Consumption levels for “pizza” (a complex prepared food including ingredients from multiple nutritional groups) and “artificial sweeteners” (a small set of non-food molecules that carry no caloric burden) come to almost the same total poundage and are given the same treatment, but have wholly different nutritional implications. “Sodium” is illustrated with a salt-shaker, but in fact comes very largely from prepared foods and the natural constituents of fresh foods (or is the artist implying that the average American eats 7 1/2 pounds [3,407,222.91 mg] of table salt per day?). In short, the chart is not an honest and well-considered presentation of nutritional information; it is merely an exercise in dramatization of fun food facts that the artist seems to consider shocking, for whatever personal reasons of her own.

In places, it tosses in little pejorative editorializations: soda consumption comes to “about a gallon/week” (does this violate some sort of soda-consumption standard? says who?); sodium levels are “47% more than recommended” (the only comparative standard referenced on the entire chart). The little fat pig under the calorie total is a nice touch, too. But with no way of deciding what any of this information means, let alone any reason for accepting the apparent standards of judgment implied, there is no justification for sharing the artist’s ill-feeling about any of it.

Yes, everybody knows Americans are greedy fat pigs bent on digging their graves with their spoons. But saying something intelligent, true, and helpful about that requires treating the relevant information with respect, employing standard practices of comparative evaluation, and offering meaningful categorizations and conclusions – not merely a terribly clever indulgence of your own prejudices.





If individuals at or above the average calorie intake (2700) shaved 500 calories off that total and maintained or slightly increased their activity level it would do wonders for their health(and thus, our “national health”). No fad diet or personal trainer required. Unfortunately most people would rather not take the first step of simply figuring out how many calories they consume over the average day. Many people would not like what they find out and so we have a great national avoidance. We have a huge diet/weight loss industry when a few simple steps like below would help immensely.

1. Figure out how many calories you eat.
2. Make a plan to shave 15-20% off that number.
3. Implement while further planning and working around your roadblocks

Forks Over Knives

There are two opinions being pushed quite hard by two warring sides when it comes to nutrition reform. On the one hand, we have those in favor of the paleo/atkins/high protein and fat diet, and on the other we have the vegan revolution. Both sides largely scorn each other’s ideas. Which do I eat? Which do I believe in? Who is telling the truth and who is lying?

There’s a clear problem

There is clearly a problem in the realm of food consumption, and particularly in the United States, but the problem is quite different than some imagine it to be. Many are of the opinion that saturated fat is the culprit, and stopping the consumption of meat and dairy is what’s needed. Others think carbs are to blame and encourage all to eat a carb-free diet. In reality…

Sat, Sugar, and Fat

Anyone who has read the book “Salt, Sugar, and Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” probably has a decent idea of what the REAL problem is in the food we eat. While that book wasn’t perfect, it did bring to light one trend that is absolutely destroying people’s health, and that is… what many people are eating isn’t actually food!

When you order a burger/taco/sandwich at most fast food restaurants, or buy something at the grocery store manufactured by one of the food giants, it’s chemically altered, chemically flavored, chemically stripped of all possible nutrition cardboard enhanced for flavor with hydrogenated fats and chemically extracted corn sugar. THIS food is garbage in every conceivable way. And yes, it WILL give you diabetes, heart-attacks, and cancer.

Meat is not the root of all evil

I’ve really seen both sides argue quite forcefully, and as far as the pro-vegan side goes this documentary is probably the most persuasive/not threatening, but it’s seen not complete until you see the other side. For my money, the best I’ve seen representing the much maligned meat/protein/fat side is the excellent “Fat Head”. It shows how you can indeed eat meat/animal protein/fat and have your cholesterol go DOWN and your health get improve. Will it reduce your chance of heart attack/cancer/diabetes to eat a high fat/animal protein diet? I’d say that comes down to weather or not you overeat and if you are eating UNPROCESSED MEATS.

Veggies are still good for you

Eating fruit and veggies is good for you, no one can argue successfully that they aren’t. Are they everything the body needs? That’s up for debate. I know someone who is a vegan. While she feels very healthy, I’d say she could be on “Superfat vs Superskinny” and their experts would say she doesn’t consume nearly enough fat, protein, and carbs, and is danger of sudden organ failure. This same person would say that my diet is probably going to kill me because I eat eggs and bacon for breakfast (and sometimes lunch or dinner). Since I’ve increased my intake of fruit and veggies, and simultaneous increased my consumption of protein and fat, I’ve lost weight, gained mental clarity and energy, and feel much, MUCH better than I did before. I still enjoy more processed foods than I should, but I consider myself to be balanced. Would I ever eat a completely vegan diet? Maybe I’d try it if I was DYING.

Balance is key

The scientists and nutritionists are still figuring this stuff out. They don’t know for sure exactly what we should be eating, but a few things are clear. Processed, chemically engineered food (if you can call it that) is BAD, BAD, BAD! Meats and dairy? The jury is still out but clearly unprocessed and as close as possible to found in nature is wildly better for you (grass-fed beef is arguably better for you than fish!). The same goes for whole milk that’s not full of growth hormones etc. Dr Wallach famously read an article about people who lived over a hundred in an area, and not one of them was a vegetarian. He then read newspaper articles about vegetarians who died young (along with Doctors, atheletes, and health enthusiasts). Even on a vegan diet you can drop dead of nutritional deficiencies if you don’t get minerals to replace those lost by agriculture and exercise.

The point of all this is just this. While this documentary is a decent entry point, don’t take it as the end-all-be-all. Every person is different and needs to eat different kinds of food. There is no one-size-fits-all. There is room for variety. Except when it comes to processed food. Avoid that stuff like the plague.





Garth Reynolds Presentation tips

I found out that while reading Garth reynolds methods of presentation that, the audience should be key. Know your audience and be able to tailor your message as a presenter, so that, it connects with your audience. Also, power point presentations should be supplemental and not superfluous. That is, the power point should not be word verbatim to the message the presenter is relating to his/her audience. Above all, you need to love your topic and be passionate about it while presenting. Use very clear cut pictures to enhance your powerpoint and not rely on low resolution pictures from Microsoft word clip art. Keep your presentation simple, rely on content and not just on animation to advance your presentation.

Sample Research Essay ( Millennials are using technology mostly for good than bad)

We also looked at a sample essay from last year’s english 101 class.  The argumentative essay was not well written as it lacked a clear and concise thesis. Also, there main arguments did not flow seamlessly making each paragraph feel like a stand alone rather than a complete essay. The author if this paper clearly did not master the use of MLA citations whenever quoting a source and failed to provide page numbers and  a work cited reference for each source. The author makes only two solid arguments to support his/her thesis. With one of the arguments appearing to be more of a counter argument. The author states that, technology is been used by millennials purely for entertainment purposes such as, to check Facebook posts, and take Instagram pictures or twitter. He/She make claim millennials use technology mostly in a rather narcissistic manner, only to attract more followers (Twitter) or likes(Facebook) on social media sites.  In their supporting argument they talk about how millennials are using technology also for good. How emerging technologies within the millennial era are making  breakthroughs in many areas of study such as in,  cancer research. His/Her second argument seems so far fetched and vague when compared to the counter argument. There is a huge difference between millennials using technology for Facebook and using the same technology for research. It confuses the reader and makes the topic appear vague and confusing. The reader is left with the feeling that the author has not come to a clear and concise thesis (content).

Grading rubric for Research Essay !!

In class we talked about the breakdown of the research essay.  With the content and rhetorical strategies make up a huge chunk of the final draft grade.  The grading rubric is more like a guide to help the writer during the writing process. Rubrics help communicate expectations of students so as to improve performance.

Provide an example; amplify or qualify a point. Modify and punctuate quotations (ellipses, brackets, sic, punctuation)

An example of a point; ” The effect of self-perception of physical attractiveness on self-esteem differs between girls and boys for example, Harter (1993), in a cross-sectional study of third through eleventh graders, found that self-perception of physical attractiveness and levels of global self-esteem appeared to decline systematically over time in girls but not boys”.

To amplify the above point, it is important to use descriptive words and phrases to shed more light to the example used. Using other examples and referring to information from the source and then analyzing them can be helpful here.

To modify and punctuate quotation is to check spelling and grammar. It also involves aspects such as: improving the weight and quality of a quote used. That is, adding more substance to a quote. For example, ” Power corrupts power and, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This quote used above has been punctuated that is, it makes use of commas and quotation marks to show it is someone else’s speech. 

Sic- This is used when copying an original quote which contains grammatical error. The quote is then written in quotation marks with the word ”sic” placed in brackets. For example, ” The native men had trouble writing down common phrases; they thought orphans were spelled as orfants [sic]”.

Brackets- They are used to make an editorial statement or a clarification within a quote.

Another reason to use brackets in quotes is to add a word, prefix or suffix in order to fit the quote into your sentence.