This semester, you've read a wide array of texts, from speeches, to poems, to short stories, to polemical political essays. Of all of these, which text was your favorite and why? What did it teach you about crafting a written argument?
My favorite text was "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan. I loved how she talked about how she had different ways of speaking the same language and that made her who she was. It made may think of how I speak the same language, English, differently depending on who i'm with. With my friends its really casual, with my family it's in between casual and formal, and with my professors it is more formal. Her text also taught me that you can craft an argument based on your own experiences and something that is important to you.
My favorie thing that we read was "Save the Hetch Hetchy" by John Muir. Although I did write my response of his paper about how his argument failed I did like how he wrote it. My favorite things to write are descriptive stories. I like it when the reader can see everything that is happening, fell the pressure in a tense situation, hear the souds of the story, even taste the air. While Muir did not write a story he did make a exelent description of the valley. When I first read his essay I could immagine myself in Hetch Hetchy seeing the magnificent rock walls and feel the sunlight creeping over them. That is why I really enjoyed reading it although the argument was lost on me.Funny enough, what I learned from it about arguments came from where he failed. I learned that you must pay close attention to your audience when writing an argument. You must appeal to their logic and emotions through your words, and know which to emphasize. You must monitor your tone and not be too agressive or offensive against those who you are trying to convince. Most importantly, before you take the audience into consideration, is that you must find something that you are passionate about to defend or rebuttle. Muir found his passion in the Hetch Hetchy, we must all find ours.
My two favorite reading from this semester were "Save the Hetch Hetchy Valley" by John Muir and "The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson. I liked "Save the Hetch Hetchy Valley" due to its very vast and extemely detailed descriptions of nature. I really like the outdoors and I found it very intriguing. I liked "The Declaration of Independence" because it is a very important document in American history. It defines America as a country and how it was founded. It showed me how the use of a lot of evidence helps support a claim in an argument.
I loved "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan. It was very easy to read and comprehend, and so it made it more enjoyable. Tan did not write it to be fancy or to appear arrogant, it is simply a story. The way she spoke about her mother was heavy on the heart, and I can relate to it. Although it does not appear as a formal argument, it is still important and well written.
Also regarding "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan:The idea that language creates such a barrier is very real and difficult to overcome. While it is easy to think that speaking to another person is very simple and straightforward, Tan brings up the point that differences in language can create huge walls between people- even people who are mother and daughter. Most people have not experienced language barriers as a huge problem, and a lot of people have never had to study a second language just to touch base with another person. Personally, I could never imagine having to make phone calls for my mother because of a language barrier, or thinking of her differently because of the way she speaks English, so this story really story out.
My favorite reading was "On Women's Right to Suffrage," by Susan B. Anthony. I love the passion that she has for bringing opportunities to women and I love how she took a stand so that women from generations down the line can experience a different lifestyle from what women in Anthony's day had to live by. Her influence changed the way women were treated and showed the potential that women have in society. I am a fan of women because, yes, I am one. I appreciate what she did for us and I am proud to be a woman who has the freedom to do things that were never allowed in Anthony’s day.
The reading that I enjoyed the most was, "The Land Ethic" by Aldo Leopold. This article connects with me personally because I believe that the land around us should be preserved and protected for its beauty and significance to the environment. Leopolds article is a great example of an argument. It helped me understand how to present evident to support your claim and how to refute the opposition.
My favorite reading was "The Border Patrol State" by Leslie Marmon Silko. Silko gives countless examples of how "Hispanic looking" citizens are treated unfairly near the Mexican-American border. Even though I have lived in New Mexico for 15 years, I have been ignorant of this type of treatment. It was a real eye opener to read stories of extreme discrimination in the same place where I live. I feel like I am better informed to make decisions on the subject of the border because I read this article.
I enjoyed reading "Immigration: How It's Affecting Us" bu James Fallows. I liked it because it chronocled the life of a Vietnamese immigrant and his struggle to become a respectable American citizen. It is written in an easy to comprehend way and still manages to show the reader how difficult it is for immigrants to feel like they are a part of America.
My favorite work was "The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson because its core ideals can be applied to modern times. As a piece of literature, the sentence structure was written intelligently, perhaps too intelligently for the average reader of the day. I learned that to create an effective causal argument, one needs to relate to the reader in a meaningful way, otherwise, the message will not be conveyed successfully.
My favorite reading of the semester is “Save the Hetch Hetchy Valley” by John Muir. I enjoyed the technique that Muir used when he introduced the subject that was going to be argued. He went through great lengths to paint a picture in the readers mind on the beauty of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. After he expressed the beauty of this place he explained that it was to be destroyed in the near future. From there, explained why It should be preserved. This is a great technique to express your argument to large audience even if they have never seen the place/thing you are arguing about.
I would have to say that my favorite text was "An Open Letter to True Men" by Betty Friedan. The subject of women's right to vote has been so extensively covered in my education that when we got to the subject in this class i just sighed and said to myself "Again? Really?" So when we read the work of Susan B. Anthony I recognized every single logical argument she made and was utterly bored. But Friedan offered a new spin on it that I had no heard before; the benefits men would enjoy from women's independence. She appealed to her audience and showed men would enjoy longer lives, lower stress levels, and better sex. She knew what men wanted to hear, and was able to show them benefits to themselves.
My favorite reading would have to be "Save the Hetch Hetchy Valley" written by John Muir. I have always been an outdoors oriented guy. The beauty John Muir writes of with intricate detail makes me wish I had seen the valley before it was flooded.Most of the Muir's arguement was painting a picture in the readers mind of such beauty the valley had. His way of writing showed me how invite the reader, preparing the reader to be on your side of the arguement.
My favorite reading this year was definitely "The Hope Speech" by Harvey Milk. The speech is great, not only as an argument to his fellow politicians, but is a very inspiring piece for anyone listening. It works very well, not only as a political statement, but as a rallying cry to the general populace, much the same way as "The Declaration of Independence" but for a modern audience about modern issues.
"An Open Letter to True Men" by Betty Friedan was my favorite piece of writing that we read in English 112 this semester. Friedan used an excellent technique of consulting mainly the "other side" of the argument. She speaks to the audience that disagrees with her, aka men against the women's revolution. It did not address modern issues, but the techniques can easily be applied to modern issues by modern writers.
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My favorite text of all was Frederick Douglass's “What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?”. This was by far my favorite because of its clever setup. Douglass, at one moment, is an audience member's best friend, celebrating the country's independence right along with you. Then, at the next moment, he changes into your bitter enemy, using that time to drive his arguments deep. His speech is everything an argument needs to be: emotional, defiant, and eloquent. With all of its rises and falls, this speech emulates a sermon by appealing to the religious background of the audience. I can imagine the fire on his tongue as he denounced the evils of slavery. Indeed, Douglass's speech was probably more like a performance than anything, and would no doubt be more effective in person. I learned from this text that crafting a written argument takes careful timing and strength. Douglass waits for just the right moment to present his argument, and wastes no time when he does present it. He uses strong language to take a stance on the issue and then backs off again, waiting for his next chance.