Carlos Directo

Writing 37
Professor Hass
3 March 2015
Final Refection Essay

“In high school you write to pass tests, in college you write for the purpose of knowledge
and persuasion,” said Professor Lynda Haas, my Writing 37 instructor. These words finally make
sense to me; a perfect example of metacognition. It amazes me how much I can still learn about
writing in each new writing class I take. I had assumed I was extremely well off in writing going
into college but I was proven wrong almost immediately. Writing academically may be just as
simple as putting one’s thoughts in words in an organized manner, but to make sense of it all and
leave an impression on the reader proves to be a daunting and difficult task. This is why Writing
37, dubbed “intensive writing,” is worthy of its name and has taught me how to understand
scholarly works and attempt to replicate that complexity in my own writing as well as allow
myself to grow as an effective rhetor.
One of the early works that was introduced in the class was We3, a graphic novel by Grant
Morrison. Upon seeing the cover, my curiosity was piqued. We3 told the story of the escape of 3
mechanized animals from a government facility. Together with the novel were several other
works that enhanced the understanding of the novel and its ingenuity. Later, we were tested on
our knowledge of the material with a quiz, and a literary response to a specific aspect of the
novel. All these assignments contributed to the full analysis of various aspects of We3. Because
We3 was a graphic novel, it was a different medium from any other kind of literary work I have
analyzed before. Understanding We3 brought new light to how I view many works like it. It is

about how even something as common as comic books can have many complexities that
subliminally keep its readers interested and add to its own greatness. Knowing this piqued my
curiosity about other graphic novels as well as other mediums of literature. Learning about We3
taught me that many aspects of a work can be deliberate and is usually made subliminal due to
the author’s creativity.
The class’ first assignment was to present myself in a way that would appeal to my other
classmates, such that we would each have a good group of people to work with on the next
assignment. This was the first instance of practicing rhetorical appeal in the class. I had to be
creative and present myself as a reliable person by appealing credibly through my job
experience and involvement in extra-curricular activities then attempt to appeal logically through
talking about how I could contribute ideally to a group. Overall, this was my first exposure to
rhetoric in practice and led me to my first group effort.
Many people always complain about how group projects never work in their favor and I can
contribute to that experience. However, I have also experienced what it feels like when you are
part of a successful group effort. When I first met my new group in class, I was not sure what to
think as I barely met any of my classmates a few days ago. With many group projects come
massive amounts of responsibility and ability to adapt and be flexible if things came out
undesirable. Luckily, I received good group members and we were able to get our work done
right and on time. My group was tasked with exploring and learning about the interesting world
of the cattle industry. We learned the extensive process from when a cattle is born to when it was
slaughtered. In our presentation, we were able to share our findings and other useful information
with the class. The bulk of our presentation relied on the use of our sources. This way we

practiced not only public speaking once again, but also practiced rhetorically appealing to ethos
as well as test our ability to find and evaluate relevant and credible sources.
The second group effort presented once again a test of many habits of mind, Curiosity to
find a relevant topic to make a Public Service Announcement about. Openness to research
different topics and sort through what is relevant. Creativity to make an effective and eyecatching PSA that uses all three rhetorical appeals on the UCI audience with a strong call-toaction. Along with multiples responsibilities I split among my other group members, I had to
once again be flexible and adapt to the situation when needed. My group decided to take up the
topic of experimentation of Macaque monkeys. To be exact, I was given the most important task
of executing said PSA because I edited our whole video. Though our initial PSA was definitely
lacking in some areas such as a strong call to action, the revised version fixed many
inconsistences and adequately appealed to UCI audience as well as got its message through
rhetorically appealing through ethos, logos, and pathos. Professor Haas decided that in the
process of creating the public service announcements, it was truly rhetoric in practice.
After practicing how to rhetorically appeal to an audience, it was easy to segue to the topic
of rhetorical analysis. As in, to analyze something and see how it communicates its message
through appealing to credibility, logic, or emotion. I chose to focus my rhetorical analysis on the
documentary Blackfish which the class was tasked to analyze a few weeks before. Blackfish is a
documentary about the many fatal accidents regarding killer whales throughout several aquatic
animal parks. I chose to write about the documentary because it had a strong, solid message and
its content teeming with different appeals, in which I focused on analyzing the film’s
establishment of credibility. Though my first draft was lacking specificity and a direct focus on

the film’s establishment of ethos, these mistakes were fixed on the revision. Additionally, I used
more sources to establish my own credibility.
The rhetorical analysis was one of the major papers written in the class and the Literature
was another important paper. The literature review is all about putting several authorities into
conversation about a similar topic that those authorities are covering. I decided to write my
literature review on the aforementioned We3 because of all the extra sources that provided extra
analysis and explanation that accompanied We3. Putting different authorities that may never
really converse with each other in real life proved to be a difficult task. Writing this paper proved
to be a difficult challenge. My first draft was severely lacking enough “conversation” between
authorities and was missing a solid and specific subtopic to write about. Correcting these flaws in
revision proved to be equally difficult because I still could not fully grasp the concept of the
literature view. None-the-less, I addressed all comments on my paper given to me by my
instructor and my peer reviewers.
On the topic of peer review, Professor Haas shared an interesting article titled “It is Better
to Give than to Receive,” Which talks about the benefits of giving and receiving peer review.
Peer review up until now was not a very important aspect of writing for me. This was probably
due to the formulaic writing I was subject to doing since high school. Peer reviews in this class
are actually extremely relevant and helpful for revision because peers actually give relevant
advice. More importantly though, by giving reviews to other people’s papers, I was able to grow
further as a writer because I am witness to many different styles of writing amongst my other
peers. This way, I may amalgamate different styles of writing and continue to improve myself as
a writer. This is a perfect example of metacognition.

In addition to the peer review, the assignments from the Connect site were small but helpful
in improving my writing skills. Connect assignments consisted of short learning exercises that
addressed many common flaws in writing as well as aided in many of the assignments that were
assigned in class. This included topics such as learning about the different rhetorical appeals,
grammatical errors, and learning how to skim read through example. All these assignments may
seem small but doing them helped me in avoiding small and minor errors in my essays.
I will take away many important and relevant things from Writing 37. How to write
effective and smart literature reviews and rhetorical analysis will help me in the future where I
need to become expert in a certain field. I also learned the importance of peer review; Let others
view my work and honestly critique it. In the future, I should prioritize contributing to a group as
whole. Habitually taking with my group members to make sure our end product is as great as it
can be. In all, Writing 37 has taught me to be a better scholar. One that knows how to put his
message out there and make sure people become persuaded to join his cause, how to collaborate
and make effective projects, and how to appreciate the relations that humans share with animals.