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Oscar Medrano
Reflection Paper
Need for Speed
Driving down the freeway, I see my exit to get off onto I15 the exit curves around sharply
requiring you to slow down from 65mph to 25, instantly I get nervous, anxiety building up the closer I get
to the bend, I could feel my heart start pounding more fiercely in my chest breathing comes quicker with
shorter breaths, palms are sweaty mouth begins to dry up like a cotton ball. I slow down my speed
appropriately ignoring the passerby’s wanting to take it quicker. Cringing as my truck goes around the
bend I have to laugh at myself getting anxiety at such a thing. Instantly I reminisce on the encounter that
made me so……
Speed Demon
Five years ago, I was just coming home from a vacation I took in Utah. I had my chips and my
energy drinks with me. I found my exit off of I-15. For the next two hundred miles out in the Mojave
Desert it was nothing but the road and the beautiful desert around me. This was almost a straight shot
back to base as you see in the picture. I had been playing my music loud and had been driving for nine
hours; I was beginning to zone out. Driving down route 66 gave me a sense of freedom; I hit the gas pedal
and began doing a hundred miles an hour. Adrenaline began building up and I decided “hey why not?
Nobody is out here” with that I pick up speed doing one-twenty it was exhilarating! I felt unstoppable. I
guess I must have spaced where I was going because something else had to remind me. In the back of my
head through all the loud music and me speeding, I could hear a voice saying “SLOW DOWN!” it didn’t
register of course at first, so I kept speeding for the next few miles.
The Spin
“hahahaha” I thought to myself this was fun! The road was smooth freshly done and the scenery
was wonderful, well from what I could actually see, the rest was a blur and my adrenaline had given me a
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somewhat sort of tunnel vision. I didn’t notice the sign that zipped on by stating a sharp left turn and the
recommended speed to be forty. Once more, the voice in my head said “Hey! Did you not see that sign?
Left turn!” only then did I remember this turn being the notorious corner where so many had flipped and
gotten hurt or even killed. It dawned on me I needed to really slow down or I would be joining their
ranks. Fear coursed through my veins, sweat built up around my forehead suddenly I felt hot. I began
getting anxiety; it all went by so quickly. I hit the brakes perhaps with more force than they teach you
when facing a situation like this. Turning the wheel to the left I was only able to slow down to eighty as I
went around the bend. Everything was a blur, my car picked up dirt sending dust into the cabin the
scenery now was spinning in circles as I began spinning out of control now it wasn’t so much fun I was
scared to death frozen in my seat at the whim of my car and the road. It all came to a complete stop dust
still all over the inside of my car some floating around I sat there in silence thanking God I was still alive.
Still in shock I stumbled out of my car and looked to see where I was at. Luckily I ended up still on the
road and not out in a ditch, when my car had spun it ended up on the opposing traffic lane facing the right
way like if turning right towards where I had just come from.
Expensive and valuable Lesson
I got back in my car and turned it around, I could hear a “thump da thump da thump” and
quickly stopped. Looking around I could not see any damage the car had taken, so I drove once
more again I could hear it! I figured it was a branch from the surrounding foliage that had gotten
up into the tire so ignoring it I went back to base thankful I was alive. The next morning I noticed
my right rear tire had a flat only then did I notice the huge chunk of tire that had come off of it
during my spin! Not only had that but the rim been cracked! I had to get new tires and a rim.
When were young and starting out on our own, away from rules of those around us when we
think were free to do whatever we want we don’t always realize that our actions have
consequences and that rules are there to protect us not bind us down! I was so happy no one else
was hurt; what if there was oncoming traffic? I could have killed someone with my stupid
behavior for what? A little faced paced joyride? Not worth it, in my opinion. You and I can learn
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a very valuable lesson from this, our actions big or small all affect each other in one way or
another for good for bad. That voice in the back of my head? Yea its in each and everyone of us
its our conscience warning us not to do something stupid, so listen to it, it will save your life and
keep you out of trouble one day.

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Oscar Medrano
Paul Anderson
English 1010
Visual Analysis
NB. Design Elements
The author uses design elements effectively to help him achieve his purpose with
his readers (that is to highlight the futility of gun laws on criminals and hence the
ineffectiveness of these laws). For example, the reader’s eyes are first drawn to the
masked gunman in the middle of the cartoon (see figure 1 below). Just the picture of a
masked gunman is enough to raise alarm in readers.

Figure 1 Masked gunmen about to enter building
From here the reader sees the sign on the building, which says “Gun-Free Zone” (see
figure 2).
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Figure 2 Sign on building door
Readers would be fully aware that the armed robbers are not law abiding citizens
anyway, so they do not intend to put down their guns to enter the building. The reader
then looks to the caption on the top of the cartoon that says: “Crap. Well, I guess we’ll
just go home then. Darn those liberals and their weapons bans” (see figure 3). There is a
definite sarcastic tone to this caption in which the author is really making fun of the
gun ban. The irony is that law abiding citizens who comply with the new laws put their
lives in jeopardy by not having the means to defend themselves. The author is here
suggesting how “stupid” such laws are.

Figure 3 Caption – comments made by the armed gunman
Finally, the reader sees the comment underneath the cartoon which is the author’s final
dig at the new gun ban laws: “Yeah … that’s how it will work” (figure 4).

Figure 4 Comment of the author
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Thus the depiction of the armed gunman, the sign on the door, the comment by the
masked gunman, and the author’s comment, all work together powerfully to emphasize
the author’s point and hence helps him achieve his purpose with his readers.
Tone is used to emphasize the emotion in a cartoon. Since there is limited monologue
the author utilizes either colors, or certain phrases that the audience can relate to. One
example is in figure 1. You’ll see the quote “Yeah… like that’s how it’ll work.” Here you
see the author using sarcasm. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines sarcasm as: “a
mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language
that is usually directed against an individual” the author is implying that criminals will
not follow the laws of the land. The author uses this strategy to invoke emotion in the
audience reaching out to their common sense and allowing them to relate with them.
In figure 1. You will see that the criminals are also wearing masks and carrying a
mac-10, an ak-47 and grenades all of which are banned or going to be banned with the
new laws. This shows again evidence for their lack of care for the laws of the land. Their
clothing is also darker depicting a rougher individual. Contrast this to the building
itself and the colors used for it. You will see the background is a lot more vibrant than
the criminals themselves. Figure 3. Once again depicts a sarcastic tone. This tells the
audience that the author is expressing their discontent with liberals. Considering the
author is a Conservative this would suit their needs and purposes.
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The Colors used in the clothing and the sarcastic quotes all depict certain tones
the author uses as a strategy to persuade the readers towards his/her view.

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Oscar Medrano
English 1010
Paul Anderson
Rhetorical Analysis
The Declaration of Independence-A Rhetorical Analysis
What do you think of when you hear somebody refer to the “Declaration of
Independence”? Like most Americans I had a generalized thought that it’s a signed statement
declaring independence from England and in a very short summary it is, but as I read it and
really break it down I can see and feel so much more from the authors and signers of the
document. I hate to admit that even I didn’t know just how much history and maybe even anger
(towards the King of Great Britain) there was behind the creation of this document.
Unlike most texts the “Declaration of Independence” has five authors, known as the
Committee of Five, and was signed by 56 delegates. These five authors were John Adams,
Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. By signing it the
delegates were in agreement that the “Declaration of Independence” portrayed exactly how they
were feeling. As it is common knowledge that the “Declaration of Independence” is just as the
title suggest a document declaring independence for the thirteen United States from Great
Britain, but what I think many of us don’t realize is how many reasons they listed for declaring
this independence and they wrote this declaration for the world to know the injustices done to the
States and that they would be a free and sovereign nation. The declaration was signed July 4
1776 but the drafting of it started June 11
, 1776 and it was published for the world to know on
July 5
, 1776.
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To these 56 delegates the occasion for writing this declaration was long overdue as they
state: “Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.” In the introduction
they declare that it is a needed separation by saying “When in the Course of human events, it
becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
with another” and they continue to explain that this declaration is the most respectable way to go
about this: “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the
causes which impel them to the separation.”
The Committee of Five hits it right on the money and is able to achieve their purpose
through the use of pathos, they tap into the emotions of anyone who would read this and their
beliefs to motivate actions that would have them identifying with the American colonies. They
write that this sovereignty is a god given right: “to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's
God entitle them”. Through logos and logic the committee clearly states sound examples as to
why this came to be in the first place “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a
history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an
absolute Tyranny over these States”. Their tone is serious, urgent, and almost spiteful
“...absolute Tyranny over these States…” and they begin the list of examples by stating: “To
prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.” They refer to the mistreatment from the
King as facts, not accusing or allegations, but facts and the reader will only think the same as the
author. These facts are 27 direct statements of the mistreatment by the King of Great Britain
accusing him of refusing “his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome necessary for the public
Many of these 27 statements are of the Kings misuse of government, for example: “He
has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions
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on the rights of the people” and “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.” By the text used here the reader
can only assume that they are truly being led by a failed leader and they would naturally agree
that these colonies need to rid themselves of this leader. After a few more similar statements of
the misuse of government, portraying the King as an abuser of his power, the authors move onto
the topic of the military having too much power saying “He has affected to render the Military
independent of and superior to the Civil power” and “For protecting them (the troops) by a mock
Trial, from punishment for murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these
States.” Here they use fear to tug at the heartstrings of readers knowing that if the military is
“independent” and “superior” to the people then the government is using them to enforce
unwanted laws upon the people. And the facts of injustice continue as the authors then give the
reader examples of the King trying to isolate and control the States by “cutting off our Trade
with all parts of the world” and “He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
Protection and waging War against us.” All of these portray the King as an unfit ruler and they
go so far as to say he is completely unqualified to be the leader of such a nation and that he is a
huge threat to the States: “He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to
complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of
Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head
of a civilized nation.” All of these facts are written very clearly, concisely, and the words are
chosen carefully so the world would know exactly how they felt and the anyone who read this
would be inclined to agree that independence is needed.
The Committee of Five concludes the “Declaration of Independence” by again saying
they’ve done everything they can and that the King is an inadequate leader for the United States
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by stating: “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most
humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince
whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of
a free people.” By stating that they’ve tried everything “in the most humble terms” they are
leading the world to believe they truly are the victims that cannot pacify this tyrannical King.
Finally concluding in one long sentence that the delegates were signing as representatives of the
people and that they were at that moment declaring themselves free nation and the world needed
to know, “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General
Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our
intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly
publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and
Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all
political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally
dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude
Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which
Independent States may of right do.”
We can tell from the negative tone towards the King of Great Britain that the people in
the colonies truly felt mistreated, ignored, and that they exhausted every effort to work things out
and now they were feeling truly justified in declaring this independence. And furthermore they
truly believed that they would be happier, safer, and more industrious by creating their own
government. The Committee of Five put such a strong feeling behind the text that any reader
would be inclined to agree and would also think independence was the best route, indeed very
well written on their part. Now, unlike most Americans, when I hear someone talk about the
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“Declaration of Independence” I will think more about the feelings of those who wrote it and of
those who it represented and understand better of the hardships that were carried leading up to
this event and the faith that they held in God and in each other.