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Tatum Bralley

ENG 102

1 May 2019

Final Reflection

From the initial start of schooling, English has always been an adaptable subject when it

comes to written works and assigned topics. I enjoy building the evidence for my base claim as

well as writing to change my reader’s perspective on a topic I am passionate about. Continuing

with this hobby, I entered this english 102 class motivated to indulge into the world of arguments

with factual evidence to support. This class brought my writing interests to light. As a social

work major, my writing is strictly paperwork and evaluations; this class gave me an outlet to

voice my opinions to the public. It became a new atmosphere to explore. Although this class

came with a hefty amount of homework and reading attached, I found myself interested in what

ten page essays that I was given. For example, Fatal Distraction made me realize the whack

people who represent us in legislation and the way that political views differentiate so much.

This essay brought a topic to light that I had never considered a problem previously; forgetful

parents causing child car deaths. It was interesting to see the ways that each student had a

different view on how to solve this issue and the ways to give effective consequences. I enjoyed

the discussion that this essay started about current legislation varying across the United States of

America versus other countries. There were many different readings that we all had to do that

seemed to influence our thinking in class; An Animal’s Place being one. This essay compared

our loving of dogs to the slaughtering of pigs, both of which are friendly and trainable, making

the whole belief of dogs being superior pets seem ironic since a pig has the same qualities.
When critiquing my personal work along with my peers, I find myself struggling to

understand the multiple perspectives to take into account. An argumentative essay about hating

sandwiches could have a backstory of child neglect and only being allowed to have that one

food. The experiences behind the writer’s work is one of the most difficult items to grasp and

consider when editing. Most of my written works include my own personal touch of my past to

hook the reader in, which to my peers, may be confusing to understand. When editing, the

hardest part is to not be seen as too critical because we are all comfortable with different levels

of extent in editing. I still have room to learn effective editing when it comes to my own writing;

when I reflect on how I edit, I’m almost too nice to myself.

The part of this semester that I loved the most was my classical argument essay, Strike on

Education. The researching process for my argument provided insight on how much the public

actually knows versus the entire backstory of events. In the articles that I read for my claim

supporting teacher boycotts, the voting for legislation was revealed to be opposite from what was

written in the news. I was intrigued to uncover details of the walkouts occurring all over the

United States as a result of low wages and a lack of school funding; yet I further found that the

requests were far more extensive than a little more money. I believe that my passion pushed my

classical argument to be stronger than any of my other pieces that I had previously done. My

personal connection to my topic gave me the ability to consider all perspectives on the case and

voice my beliefs in a respectful, considerate way. In many political arguments I find that people

tend to become defensive and rude whereas I maintained control of my claim with both sides of

the argument considered. I utilized the counterclaim believing that educators go into their
profession knowing the lack of pay as a way to support my advanced appeal. I was interested in

writing about this topic because of my participation in the Red For Ed march that took place in

April of 2018, the end of my senior year of high school. The main reason I decided to pursue this

subject matter was because it impacted the status of my high school events, including prom and

graduation. As a child of a teacher in Peoria School District, I witnessed the effects of low pay

and crappy funding decided by voters. Per my position, I was tremendously affected by the

results of proposition 305 being rejected and Doug Ducey setting a plan to create money out of

thin air. The most important part of pursuing this topic was to maintain a solid grade in this class

throughout the semester; the choice of topic encouraged my amount of effort to increase. When

completing this essay, I determined that my interest was more towards understanding the

opposite point of view rather than supporting my own. I wanted to find data that convinced me to

believe in popular belief that teachers are pointless wastes of a college degree, worth barely more

than the minimum wage. Yet, articles and data have failed to do so.

My mother has been a teacher within Dysart School District and currently works as a

seventh grade math teacher at Alta Loma elementary in Peoria School District for approximately

12 years. Between the two schools that she was a teacher, the Title I school maintained higher

wages AND higher quality student resources. The district with more money made the decision to

put their funds towards sports and theatre activities rather than the source of its income, students

and faculty. As a student, I saw how the faculty felt unappreciated and experienced a lack of

motivation for their efforts. I was enrolled in multiple classes that seemed to lack difficulty or

resources for me to succeed and pursue further knowledge. This outlook allowed me to bury

myself into the building blocks of education and put myself into the shoes of those that became
my mentors for years past my class attendance. Furthermore, this semester showed me that to

strengthen my argument I must respond to the needs of varying audiences. Since I have

previously taken the sides of educators, I understood their views thoroughly and decided to

express that voice in my work. I found that it takes a larger amount of effort for me to become

unbiased and detangle myself from my beliefs to be able to understand the opposite side better. I

found that I would create a stronger argument by integrating my stance on educator walkouts

with the opposite side. I built up my relationship with the opposing audience in my third section

entitled The Cause with my interview with one of my conservative friends Rylan. He believed

that your career is a choice and education faculty chose to put themselves in a career lacking

support. His main point was that salary employees complain about working their salary hours,

yet that’s the time they are paid for. This popular opinion does not have enough understanding of

what hours this career entails, yet that side is not revealed in the public eye. After hopefully

connecting with the audience providing insight on the stress that teachers endure, I took the

opportunity to express my views and include some counterarguments that readers may be

thinking while reading.

In previous english courses, I lacked the skills necessary to help me understand how to

connect with all audiences whether agreeing with my argument or not.

A weakness I discovered in my essay writing is the use of “that” and “is” that I had not

noticed before. I found it interesting THAT my professor mentioned how she had a student take

out all of the “that” and “is” words in her essay which reduced her essay by almost two whole

pages! Seems insane to me. I utilized the list of banned words to improve the quality of my
writing and found at least two hundred words that made my writing crappier by the sentence. I

was able to make my classical argument stronger with less fillers and reflect on what I seem to

be repeating too often. One resource that I found to be useful in this process was Ebscohost and

the scholarly journals it provided for my use in my classical argument essay. This resources sets

me up for success as a student enrolled at Arizona State University writing papers throughout my

college career.

This semester in the english 102 course with my awesome class of around twenty other

students, I learned how to participate more in class discussions and open my mind to

understanding a point of view different from my own.