Thursday, May 5, 2016

Final Reflection

With classes, finals, and this semester as a whole coming to an end, taking a moment to reflect is really important. Although my mind is pretty much mush at this point, I look back on this semester fondly because I know I have learned and grown. Being a writing minor has been immensely challenging, but extremely rewarding. I have learned more about the many layers that encompasses what it means to be a writer. Going into this semester, I'm embarrassed to say that I was still pronouncing Rhetoric wrong. But, leaving this class, I feel that I have a better grasp on the enormous topic.

I have learned that writing is so many things. It is expressed through music, art, pop culture, and the way we interact with each other. I have left the class with a new way of seeing the world. I will never be able to watch a music video again without analyzing the message and meaning that is inevitably present in the song (I'm still thinking about Tyler Posey in the "Colors" music video). My mind has extended in a way I didn't know possible. It has encouraged me to keep pushing myself to better my writing and myself as a person.

Each assignment taught me a little something that I will bring with me to the next chapter of this book called life (I had to be a little cheesy!) The documentary project helped me to see ALL people as people and to not be so critical and apt to make assumptions about other's situations and feelings. It made my world the slightest bit grayer and I believe, wholeheartedly, that we learn in the gray. The RAPT was such a blessing. First off, I  got to spend weeks using the word fabulous on a daily basis. I got to learn more about Barbra and hopefully do her legacy justice. I also learned the importance of editing and editing and then editing again. It become tedious and frustrating at times, but in the end I think it was a really beneficial writing experience. Lastly, my personal favorite, was the multimodal project. I got to combine two of my loves, writing and being an advocate for the social justice issues I find so important. I started with a big idea and some clustered thoughts, and ended up with something that I think I will continue to watch for the rest of my life. I found a new interest in creating video presentations and hope that I can continue to work with them in my future, potentially even in my teaching profession,

All in all, we did it. The semester has been rocky, but I think we embraced the imperfection. As a lover of education, my goal is to leave a classroom after a few months having learning something about the topic covered, but more importantly about myself and my place in this world. This class allowed me to do both and for that I say: "Fabulous."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Researched Argument Synthesis Paper

Censorship at the High School Level

Censorship in the American high school system continues to be an issue. High school student should be able to read great modern novels and famous literature in their school curriculum because this is where they are supposed to learn, be inspired and create their own opinions. Curiosity is inevitable in students. Censorship is supposedly used to “protect” these students from reading inappropriate material. But, when this innate curiosity in the students is ignored, no good will come of it. These students will lose out on being educated on the realities of the world. The desire in parents to have control over what their children are reading and why they shouldn’t be so controlling, the hunger in teachers to encourage their students to read and come up with their own thoughts and ideas, and the controversial topics in banned books that envelope students, teachers, and parents are all important aspects in the subject of censorship. This topics will help to conclude that censorship in young adults is not a good thing and that it holds them back from intellectual and emotional growth.

            Parents love their children and feel the need to protect them from negativity and bad influences. But, in order to allow these students to understand the world around them the need literature. Literature dive into the issues, struggles, joys, and truths of the world. To learn about these things is to grow closer in the comprehension of how to live and adapt to the societal nature they will experience. In, “School Censorship and the Null Curriculum”, Stephen Tedesco states that despite the possibility of parental anger, he believes that, “banning literature such as, Harry Potter,” will eliminate the opportunity for students to experience pop culture to its complete degree (Tedesco 59). Harry Potter has become an extremely successful book and movie series that not only teachers of heroes and good vs. evil, but friendship and courage. It is an inspiration story that, although not perfect, is worth exposing to high school students who want to be inspired. Pop culture is in a constant circle of conversation. Everyone has something to say about what goes on in our culture. Tedesco makes a bold point by expressing his belief that anger parents should not stop students from learning more about every day news in pop culture. Another point, which was taken from “Censorship in Three Metaphors”, declares that although parents, “have the right to demand that their child not read a particular book”, they do not possess the authority to say, “that an entire classroom, school or district should not read a particular book...” (Boyd and Bailey 655). This perfectly asserts the fact that parents have a say in what their children are exposed to, but not a say in what a whole group of high school students are allowed to read. In order for students to grow in intellect and knowledge of literature, parents must open their own minds to the idea of allowing all suggested literature, no matter the controversial content, to be available to students in a safe, open-minded school setting.

            The desire for high school students to be engaged and active learners is what makes a great teacher “great”. Students need to be challenged and encouraged to read controversial books so that they can, once again, learn about the world around them and form logical and informed judgements for themselves. These abilities are necessary for students to grow and shape into intelligent adults. “School Censorship and the Null Curriculum”, quotes another source in an attempt to state that belief that students don’t comprehend the significance of becoming an active and determined citizen because they are exposed to the process in which we learn not to question, but to follow along (Tedesco 58). This statement clarifies the social behavior encouraged in these students to comply with what is told to them and what is expected of them. This behavior isn’t healthy and can decrease the opportunity for a student to learn. Teachers need to encourage a sense of individuality so that the window to learn is as large as it possibly can be. Teachers must help enable students to think for themselves, and literature is a great way to aid this activity through its thought provoking content. Speaking of teachers and their ability to help and encourage intellectual discovery in their students, this next excerpt discusses the authority teachers have over their curriculum and the messages it can teach. In “The Representation of Violence in Young Adult Literature”, V. M Simandan expresses the belief that teachers hold true power in the life of young students. She does this with her thought that declares that teachers are capable of using young adult literature to go over ethical likelihoods. It is also said that introducing stories from different kinds of people can help students turn out to be caring citizens (237). This emphasizes that exposing literature to students at the high school level can result in positive learning and character building. It also states that learning from different authors with different experiences will help students grow in their emotional and social journey, not just their intellectual journey. Teachers must take this opportunity to use the content of the literature to discuss moral life choices and damaging consequences of negative decision making. It is extremely possible that students are capable of reading controversial texts and becoming better people, in all aspects of life, for it. Robert C Hanna from Gaston Day School in Gastonia, North Carolina talks about how he assigns a paper about censorship to his upperclassman in the reading, “Researching Censorship”. He encourage them to find a novel that has been forbidden from the curriculum in the past decade and challenge themselves to find out why the book is under scrutiny and in their opinion, if it should be banned from schools (89). This assignment perfectly exemplifies the desire for teachers to encourage students to research and educate themselves in controversial literature, and in censorship itself. The teachers that inspire growth will help to create the imaginative and intelligent students of our generation and the generations to come.

    The topics that cause novels to be censored or banned from schools include controversial issues in teen life, such as sex. Sexual scenes in novels tend to cause a stir with a lot of people. Revealing sex to the youth of the world can be construed as a negative thing, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to educate students and make them aware of sex. One way being to form a group at a local library to inform, which is what Mary Jo Heller and Aarene Storms did. They discuss it in the article, “Sex in the Library”, which is an program where librarians take it upon themselves to educate teenagers, parents, teachers and others about sex in young adult literature through their workshop entitled, “Sex in the Library”. (Heller and Storms 22) This topic has become such a controversial topic that programs, such as this, are starting to be formed in order to educate young adult students about the topic of sex in the books they are reading, rather than telling them not to read them at all. Jen Denzin also talks about the topic of sex in literature in her work called, “Boundaries of Contemporary Literature: The Role of Censorship and Choice”. She states that students are “drawn to sexual content” and that when a new piece of literature involving sex comes into the media, students will want to read it. She compares this to preteens wanting to read Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. (Denzin) Just like Judy Blume novels, young adult novels that include sexual activity or only refer to sexual instances can be seen as too mature for its intended audience. The passage also helps to show that as teenagers grow older, they will be naturally curious and interested in sex. With this all being said, it must be remembered that sex occurs in between high school students all over the world. It is important for them to stay informed and knowledgeable about the facts of the actual physical act, but also be aware of the emotional toll it can take on a young person. This aspect is often seen in books targeted for the young adult readers.

Another serious aspect of censorship is the discussion of violence in literature. The fear includes children and young adults finding inspiration to attack a classmate or a bully with physical violence due to the violent presence of people in the media, television, and books. In some instances, a novel may touch upon serious issues, such as rape, which includes the violent and sexual aspects being discussed, in hopes of informing and persuading teenagers to be aware that this horrible act is happening to people. In “Monstrous Acts: Problematizing Violence”, the novel, “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson is discussed. The book is about a young girl who is raped by an older boy at a party. After this happens, she goes to the phone and calls the police. This act results in the party being busted and everyone, including her friends, shunning her for getting people arrested. The author of “Monstrous Acts: Problematizing Violence” states that, “The structural-cultural level of violence is evident in the way Melinda internalizes guilt, even though she is the victim of crime” (Franzak, Noll 669). Throughout the book, she is able to gain the courage and strength through the help of people who truly listen to her, and tells the story of what happens to her. This book, although it does contain serious issues of sexual violence, is intended for the youth of America. It is used to keep them aware of the signs that one of your peers may have gone through something dramatic, and it instills the fact that no matter how young you are or how victimized you feel, everyone has a voice. Divulging this kind of negativity and evil that comes with violence will allow them to ask themselves the more thoughtful and serious questions of life. To further explain the sense that reading about violence will cause high school students to think more about life and what it entails, “The Representation of Violence in Young Adult Literature”, says that when teenagers read about issues of violence, they are more likely to, “reflect on the events rather than just simply react” (Simandan 244). This goes along with fictional literature, as well as real issues facing the world today. Young adults will not be sheltered from the horrors of life, such as the Columbine massacre or the September 11th attacks. Learning about these events help young people to experience empathy and understand the hate and violence that is sadly, but constantly present in the world. With this being the case, these students should read young adult literature containing violence in order to be able to reflect and discuss the negativities that violence involves. Violence is a continuous part of life. Young adults need to be able to read about this issue so that they can grow in knowledge and awareness. These traits will help students with their

In conclusion, censorship is a controversial issue that faces parents, teachers, and children and will continue to do so. Parents will continue to try and censor what their children are being exposed to, yet they must begin to see the good in the controversial topics in helping their children grow in intelligence. Teachers will always try and encourage their students to learn and form their outlook on great literature and serious social topics. This will help to provoke educated and thoughtful ideas and opinions in a controlled, teacher-student, discussion friendly environment. Also, the problems discussed in literature, such as sex and violence, will forever be written about by authors who want to inform and enlighten the youth of the country. Therefore, students can continue to read the books that are under debate for being censored or banned. Through their controversial nature, they can make a difference in high school students lives.



Works Cited

B. Boyd, Fenice, and Nancy M. Bailey. Censorship in Three Metaphors. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 52.8 (2009): page 655

C. Hanna, Robert. Researching Censorship. English Journal. 82.4 (1993): page 89

Denzin, Jen. Boundaries for Contemporary Literature: The Role of Censorship and Choice. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 57.1 (2013)

Franzak, Judith, and Elizabeth Noll. Monstrous Acts: Problematizing Violence in Young Adult Literature. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 49.8 (2006): page 669

Heller, Mary Jo, Aarene Storms. Sex in the Library: A Guide to Sexual Content in Teen Literature. E L Kurdyla Publishing LLC. 2013.

Simandan, V. M. The Representation of Violence in Young Adult Literature. Journal Plus Education. 7.1 (2011): page 237-244

Tedesco, Stephen. School Censorship and the Null Curriculum. 18.4 (2009): page 58-59




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Topic: Censorship in High Schools

Purpose: Why should great literature be kept from young adults in need of education? Are high school students ready for the material present in some literature/novels? How do we expect teenagers to grow up if we shelter them from books that speak of the truth in the world?

Audience: H.S Teachers, Students, Authors (famous and inspiring) The audience is passionate about the argument for and against censorship. It has been an ongoing debate for years.

Context: The Controversy- Parents disturbed by material, teachers fight to teach the great words of great authors, School board put in the middle of the fight, Students too sheltered? Fear to sparking conversation amongst young adults.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Purpose Statement:

My purpose for writing this essay is to compare and contrast the different authors of the articles’ opinions on the issues of technology, globalization, and education as that apply to the broader issue of the modern work world.

Design Plan:

Statergies: I will use the strategy of reading through the essays to see what the strongest points were and how I could support them with material from the article.

Media: This essay is being written from the subject material of printed articles and it is a synthesis essay for my College Writing 2 class.

Arrangement: My arrangement will be the standard: Intro, Body, Conclusion set up. For the body paragraphs, my arrangement will consist of me introducing the author, their work, and the quotation/paraphrase. Then I will further develop what the material is saying.

Communication: I will develop the communication through beginning my synthesis statements like, “Both authors believed..”

Testing: I will read my essay aloud to family or friends in order to get their opinions of how the essay flows all together and what thoughts it sparks about the topic of work.
Caitlyn Quinlan
Professor Wielgos
College Writing 2
April 13, 2015
Embrace the Change
            Education is one of the longest and most extensive processes that Americans go through. For those who graduate high school and are lucky enough to receive a college education go on to even more schooling. Here is where the questions students have to ask themselves become more difficult. What major should I choose? What job do I want? What am I going to do with my life? These four years are the student’s time to make important life decisions in order to get them where they want to be. But, this is not where the process ends. The articles from the book, “Writing in the Disciplines”, express that with the constant changes taking place in the work world today, everyone must learn to grow with the changes. If they don’t, they will not find a place in the modern day work culture. There are many different aspects of change that the authors of these articles speak about, including, the improvements of technology, the issue of globalization, and our constant need to be educated.
            Technology is an obvious attribute to the change in the world people live and work in. There are constant updates and discoveries in our technological world. As a result, it is extremely important for all people to familiarize themselves with as much knowledge of technological advances as possible. In the article, “I Feel So Damn Lucky!” by Tom Peters, he expresses his encouragement for people to adapt to the developments technology brings about. He claims that people, “need not be a technologist perse, but [people] must embrace technology. ‘Coping’ with it is not enough”. (Peters 162) This quote insists that in order to truly stay ahead of the changing game, everyone has to continue to grow with the transformations, not just accept the change. Richard W. Judy and Carol D’ Amico discuss their opinion of technology and its ever present, but always changing impact of the work world in the article entitled, “Work And Workers in the Twenty-First Century.” They declare that the creation and use of newer products will very possibly form more jobs than the original technology might get rid of. (Judy and D’Amico 165) This leaves the hope that technology will help to not only make jobs, but also increase the number of jobs. The Economist endorses the same belief as Judy and D’Amico in his article, “Into the Unknown.” He believes that since the machines can perform the same task as humans for a cheaper cost, the higher demand for goods and services will spark new businesses run by entrepreneurs who need employees. (The Economist 176) The growth of business will be a huge help in decreasing job insecurities. Technology has come a very long way in the past several decades, and it is improving rapidly in the present day. All of these authors see technology as a growing source that people have to go along with in order to come out on the successful side of things.
            Secondly, the topic of globalization is widely discussed as an issue for Americans in search of good jobs. Judy and D’Amico discuss the subject of globalization in their article, “Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century.” They find that American workers will, “compete for jobs and wages not just with their counterparts across town or in other parts of the U.S., but also with low-skilled workers around the globe.” (Judy and D’Amico 166) Their view on globalization helps to enforce the fact that change is occurring and Americans have to be more prepared than ever to fight for the jobs they want. Thomas L. Freidman expresses his understandings of this issue in his article, “The Untouchables”. The title explains much of what he believes is necessary for Americans to receive and keep the jobs they desire. He asserts that there are jobs in which people can have some stability or as he puts it, “anchored” into the job. He communicates that, “regardless of [the] worker’s level of sophistication, their wages will be set by the local market forces of supply and demand.” (Friedman 172) To further explain his point, it is possible to find a steady job where your salary relies on the demand of the product or service you work in. Both Judy and D’Amico and Friedman speak of wages and job security. They each believe that in today’s world, jobs are wanted badly by a lot of people. Judy and D’Amico state that competition is in full swing, whereas Friedman holds that there are still jobs out there that will guarantee stability. There is absolute truth to both claims.
            Education is another aspect that is changing in the world today. Thomas L. Friedman believes that students need to, “reorient what they are learning and educators how they are teaching it.” (Friedman 171) This aids to provoke discussion of updating how and what we learn as students. The world is continually changing, so education must change with it for growth to last. Alan S. Blinder also speaks on the topic of education by discussing his belief that student’s imaginations and people skills, such as communication, need to be further developed through their elementary and secondary educations. The world is increasing in, “personally delivered services”. (Blinder 12) Social skill training needs to become even more prevalent in school systems than it already is, to insure well developed people skills in future workers. Both Friedman and Blinder speak of the need for change in the education system in order to better the knowledge and skills of the future generations. This will help them be prepared for the unpredictable work life they have in store.
In conclusion, people need to use their years in college to prepare themselves for a new type of work environment, one where they don’t always know what comes next. One of the only consistent things about the work world and the world in general is that change is happening all the time. Technology is rapidly improving and new discoveries are being made, globalization is a fear consuming American workers, and education is in need of being updated. College is the time for students to discover what their good at, what their passionate about, and what their calling or vocation is. Yet, it is also time for them to learn the necessary skills and lessons essential for them to be a good employee and an excellent addition to the ever-changing work force they will one day join.
Works Cited
Blinder, Alan S. “Will Your Job Be Exported?” Writing in the Disciplines. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Arthur Rosen. Boston, 2011. 8-13. Print.
Economist, The. “Into the Unknown.” Writing in the Disciplines. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Arthur Rosen. Boston, 2011. 175-78. Print.
Friedman, Thomas L. “The Untouchables” Writing in the Disciplines. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Arthur Rosen. Boston, 2011. 169-72. Print.
Judy, Richard W. and Carol D’Amico. “Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century.” Writing in the Disciplines. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Arthur Rosen. Boston, 2011. 163-68. Print.
Peters, Tom. “I Feel So Damn Lucky!” Writing in the Disciplines. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Arthur Rosen. Boston, 2011. 160-63. Print.
Sennett, Richard. “No Long Term: New Work and the Corrosion of Character.” Writing in the Disciplines. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Arthur Rosen. Boston, 2011. 150-59. Print.
I believe that my purpose statement was accomplished in my essay. I also think I did a good job at using the strategies and arrangement I put in my design plan. I think, overall, I did a good job at synthesizing the author’s claims and statements, but there were some that were more difficult to analyze that others.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

To me, work is something I do in order to receive money in order to afford the necessities to live my life. I work a job right now that i consider, "work", because although I do enjoy it at times, it is not something I see myself doing in the distant future. Career, on the other hand, is what I work towards everyday in my classes. it is the job that I work hard for and dream of. The job that I can do for 30 years, and still feel like I am accomplishing something and enjoy doing it everyday. Vocation is what you are suppose to do with your life. It is how you will use your strengths and talents to make the world a better place. It is how you will choose to live your life on a daily basis. Everyone has there own vocation, and it is something we spend a lot of time and effort searching for.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Purpose Statement:

Purpose:  It is said that all romantic comedies tend to follow similar story lines, and that can be true in many cases. But, every movie differs in some way or another. These film posters will help to show how, although they are all the same genre, each movie has its own unique spin on a journey to find love. These unique aspects are what cause the audience to go see the movie. Therefore, the uniqueness must be clearly present in the movie poster. I will analyze the posters in order to bring to my audience’s attention the individuality of each one.

Audience: My audience will consist of my classmates. Some of my peers may have seen these movies or have at least heard of them. Romantic Comedies are typically more popular with a female audience, but I believe that the boys in the class will find that they know some of the actors and actresses in the films. Hopefully, this will cause them to be more interested.

Context: This project will be presented in a classroom setting. The context will include the findings of each individual movie poster. I hope that the class will find that each movie has its own unique qualities.

Design Plan:


§  Ethos- I have seen all of these movies several times and have plenty of knowledge on what the creator of the movie posters was trying to present to movie goers. As a movie goer, once I see a movie it allows me to understand the meaning of the poster better.

§  Pathos- The facts that every single movie poster has a couple on it presents the obvious emotional aspect of love. I will analyze the interaction of each couple.

§  Logos- I will logically go through each aspect of the movie posters to draw as many conclusions as possible in order to back up my purpose (finding the individuality) in evaluating them.

Medium/Media: The reason for writing this paper is because it was assigned to me in this class. I choose the movie posters of five romantic comedies. The movies go as follow:

  • While You Were Sleeping (1995)
  • The Wedding Planner (2001)
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
  • The Wedding Date (2005)
  • A Lot like Love (2005)


·         I will discuss the placement, font, and size of the title on each movie poster and how it either helps of hurts the overall presentation.

·         I will discuss the placement and interaction of the couples in each poster and how they help or hurt the overall presentation.

·         I will also look at how the coloring, angling, and background images play a part in the posters.

·         I will discuss the statement (catch phrase) on each of the movie posters and discuss whether or not they are captivating.

I will, for each movie, begin by discussing the title, coloring, pictures, and the more obvious aspects. Then, I will begin to dig deeper, to find the reason for the maker’s creative choices. By going from obvious to more intricate realizations, I will hopefully engage my readers to keep reading. I will also discuss if the creators decisions were effective in attracting an audience or not. The visual helps deepen the understanding of the text

            I think both the text and the visual are important in evaluating the movie posters. The visual is the most important aspect because it takes up most of the poster and helps to draw in the viewer’s attention, so that they read the poster. They do complement each other because the text help to further explain what is happening in the visual or the visual helps to illustrate the text. The visual helps to deepen the understanding because it allows you put an image in your head of what to expect. In these movie posters, if the visual was to be missing, the text would seem empty and unimportant.


            I will produce the communication through finding the best way to connect to my audience. This topic attracts more of a female audience, as I have stated before. But, I will focus on certain aspects of the poster’s to create an interesting essay for both male and female audience members. I will start by focusing on the interaction between the couples and how it effects the audiences want or desire to see the movie.

            In order to test my projects effectiveness of communication I will present my finished product to my peers, male and female, to get their genuine critiques. I will then take those critiques to improve my project as a whole.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

After looking at the movie poster for the last Harry Potter film it is obvious that the movie had to of came out in recent years due to the intricate details on the faces of the characters. The genre is action because the worlds "It all ends 7.15" help to create the sense that the movie will come to a dramatic and exciting ending. I think the designers choose the colors, black and blue, to give a dark, ominous vibe. The red on the bottom and the swirls of white around the wand helps to give of a magical feel. The use of white around the wand also emphasizes the centering of the wand and eludes that it may be an important part of the movie. I think that the fact that the poster is a close up shot helps to create the obvious understanding that their is a battle between good and evil in the movie. I also think that saying, "It all ends 7,15" is a great way to help people know that this is the last movie as well as helping them remember the release date. Overall, I think the movie poster does a great job at making the viewer want to see the movie.