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Vanessa Solorio

Writing 39B
Professor Greg McClure
December 2015
Writing 39B has been a very demanding course when it came to challenging my writing.
This course has pushed me to think critically as we read and analyzed numerous articles and
novels within the horror genre. As the quarter progressed, so did my understanding on the
concept of rhetoric and how rhetorical situations behave as a basis for any form of persuasive
communication. Understanding rhetorical situation was crucial in this course because it not only
improved our writing, but our communication skills in different mediums such as presentations
and films. Through the use of drafting and peer revisions, I improved the structure and
organization of my writing which improved the reception of my readers. The purpose of each
assignment was to introduce a new skill and idea that would benefit me when it came to my
Rhetorical Analysis paper and RIP Project. I have mastered these skills and you can see my
progress through various assignments accomplished this quarter.
Our first assignment, Reznor vs Cash, introduced us to rhetorical analysis. In this
assignment, we were asked to compare two different versions of the song Hurt based on viewer
reception. The first version was sung by Johnny Cash who presented personal images and clips
of his life. The second version was sung by a younger artist, Trent Reznor, who displayed images
of injured children and war throughout a live performance. Rhetorically analyzing these videos
was a struggle for me because I found myself summarizing the film and discussing what the
films may have meant. In my first draft of this assignment, I disregarded the audience and
focused solely on the images along with the lyrics. It was not until the professor had asked us

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what we thought the images meant. One student answered and the professor replied with why
do you think that? This is when I caught a glimpse of what rhetorically analyzing meant. As you
can see in my RA: Reznor vs Cash Final Draft, I finally mention the audience and explain how
each version portrayed different messages through the use of color schemes, images, and tempo
in order to attract their specific audience. My analysis was not perfect but I did begin to
understand what rhetoric meant. This is when we began adding the horror genre.
After understanding the concept of rhetorical analysis, I had to learn how to successfully
portray my understanding of a specific text for example the novel I Am Legend by Richard
Matheson along with its genre convention. For one of our assignments, our group had come up
with a claim and write a body paragraph for the I Am Legend novel. I was completely confused.
In this assignment, we were supposed to explain how Richard Matheson used his elements of
style based on genre conventions. Our group however focused on how he used diction to portray
his message and completely disregarded the horror genre. We had to present our paragraph to the
class where we were criticized and taught how we could improve it. This is when we learned
how to incorporate the horror genre. We added what Noel Carroll explains in his essay The
Nature of Horror the so called mirror effect where the audiences emotions run parallel to the
protagonists. We implied that Richard Matheson created this mirror effect through his use of
diction which helped portray his message. As you can see in my RA Exploration assignment, I
was able to write a body paragraph that properly explained how the author used genre
conventions to shape his text. This understanding was required for writing my Rhetorical
Analysis paper.
The Rhetorical Analysis assignment was where I had the opportunity to exemplify the
skills I had gained throughout the quarter. In this assignment, we were asked to analyze a passage

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in order to demonstrate how it was shaped by the horror genre using articles such as The Nature
of Horror by Noel Carroll and the article Intro to Dark Night Dreaming by Tony Magistrale and
Michael Morrison. As you can see in my first draft, I lacked many of the key elements including
the horror genre. I focused on the element of style rather than how it grew out of its rhetorical
situation. I also used a source that was irrelevant and not credible. This lowered my credibility as
a writer. Through peer revisions, I learned how to improve the reception of my audience. This
was correlated to the clarity of my paper and in order to enhance the clarity, I had to improve my
introduction by giving them an over view of what they would be reading. In my final draft, I
provided my readers with the knowledge of how my paper would prove the idea that the true
monster was the protagonist. I also had to improve my topic sentences by making it the main
idea of my paragraph. As you can see in my final draft, the topic as well as transitional sentences
of each of my paragraphs can lead to another. I also added a description in each paragraph as to
why the paragraph is relevant to my argument to give my audience an idea of why each
paragraph was relevant. Considering my audience was important in this assignment and is part of
what rhetoric is. These skills were not only useful in writing but in other mediums including
Throughout the quarter we learned how to support our arguments based on our rhetorical
situations through writing and then challenged to do the same for a different persuasive
mechanism in our RIP project. In this assignment we were asked to exemplify our understanding
of the horror genre and how it grows out of its rhetorical situation through a scholarly
presentation. Throughout the quarter we had numerous presentations in order improve our
communication and presentation skills. We learned many ways we could improve the reception
of our audience such as speaking confidently, creating larger PowerPoint texts, and being well

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prepared. All these things would help engage our audience. For the presentations, my group
decided to dress in executive attire because we felt this would help establish our ethos. Doing so
would make our presentation more appealing and credible. Knowing our audience would consist
of college students, we decided to present a short horror film rather than a presentation in order
to better grasp the attention of our audience. For our film we chose a theme our audience could
relate to which was how stressing for exams impacts ones mental health. My group portrayed
the anxiety and stress through the use of the whispers trope in order to incorporate the horror
genre. Everything we added in our film had it purpose in contributing to our films reception.
From the music in the background to its mute dialog. We decided to film in an elevator which is
something we felt our audience would see as normal before the climax takes place to exaggerate
the issue. We had mysterious creatures wear black clothing and white bloody masks to portray
them as threatening and impure which are key characteristics of a monster according to Noel
Carroll in his article The Nature of Horror (Carroll). Although our film was not perfect, I did feel
as though it captured our improvements in understanding what rhetoric is and how it grows out
of its rhetorical situation. We created each scene based on reception and its audience. These skills
of which are not only useful for writing and films, but for any form of communication.
In addition to learning about rhetoric, this course has taught me about the process of
writing such as peer revisions, drafting, and reviews. I never valued peer revisions because I
always felt they were pointless however as we began to peer revise in this course, I found myself
catching my own errors as I reviewed my peers work. I also began to value these revisions
because it gave me insight on how my work was creating a certain reception. This was key
because my audience is an important factor to consider while writing. I learned that writing is a
long process that requires multiple drafts and revisions. Writing is not a simple task. This course

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has taught me many skills that have helped me improve as a writer, these things of which I know
will benefit me in the future.

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Work Cited
Carroll, Noel. "The Nature of Horror." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art
Criticism, 46.1: 51-59. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.