Literacy Inquiry, Final Draft

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-Edited-(Forgot to update new word cited)

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Literacy Inquiry, Draft 2

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I feel that I have most of my ideas written down in the second draft that will go towards the final written out, though it is rather crudely put together. I have some concerns with my ability to connect my individual paragraphs together in a cohesive manner without rambling on or rehashing the same ideas over and over again in order to tie them together in a common point. I know I will need to elaborate more on how my work connects to literacy more; for at the moment there is a leap of thought necessary to truly make the connection at the moment but will hopefully be fixed by the third iteration.

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Reading Response: Genre Theory

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Prior to the reading of Dean’s text I only had one view on the subject of genres. To me, genre was a literary category which was used when organizing and sorting many different topics or classifications of objects and ideas. This has proven to be, after the reading, to not be the case in all situations. There is much more taken into account when we discuss genre and our understanding of the concept. The text seems to bring up the idea that genre is both social, cultural, and ideological concept which does not have a set guideline but more of a set of vague interpretations.

This paper was most likely written primarily to inform the audience of how genre can be divided into many different categories and classifications and make sure that the message is fully understood. For example, the author mentions the sale and usage of greeting cards. Greeting cards are used in nearly every situation; for holidays such as Mothers day, to humorous, sweet cards celebrating different occasions. Each card is divided up into different classifications that all fall under one broad category. Even though they are divided into the separate categories they can still be presented together when written logically. Genre chains, which are covered in the text, can be, and frequently are used to link many different classifications and genres together which logically connect. Each person has their role in society and thus are presented in different ways. The writing style of an author are different from that of a publisher which is different from each and every person that reads their books. They each have their own genre style which is ever evolving as their knowledge and literary skills increase. One might ask, how can genre affect so many different situations and possibilities? Genre is just a form of generalizing certain traits and knowledge in a way that is interconnected. In actuality, this is a very hard concept to accept because this would mean that there is an almost infinite number of connections possible between separate genre types. After finishing the reading of the text and seeing all of the connections that seem to be possible, I have come to the conclusion that genre theory is a highly complex and messy part of literature, and I would need in-class discussion to further understand the topic.

Reading Response: Get It Over

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The first draft of any paper seems to be the most time consuming effort expounded on when writing. The pressures the writer unknowingly places upon themselves to produce high quality literature causes many issues when they first put pen to paper, which can only prolong it’s creation. The truth is, no writer should ever believe that the first draft that they have written is the best they can ever produce. If an author thought that way, they would quickly find that their sales would plummet severely. There are many mistakes that a person will not catch the first time that they write something. They can be a small matter to fix, such as an incorrect spelling; however, there are some mistakes that would need a truly herculean amount of editing and revision to correct. In the excerpt from Anne Lemott’s Bird by Bird “Shitty First Drafts”, she goes into detail on how terrible first drafts make for final drafts so that it is evident how necessary drafting is to the writing process.

It cannot be stressed how very important it is to write things down as soon as you think of it. A lot of the best inspirations for writers have come from the spur of the moment. The first draft of a paper should primarily focus on recording as much information that the author can come up with, no matter the order they are written in. The info once recorded can be drawn upon for later revisions and secondary drafts to customize and improve the paper. Through taking Lemott’s advice, the information would be recorded so that no groundbreaking information would be lost, instead of the normal method of making revisions mid-sentence which would only cause a loss in the knowledge of what might have been. None of that information should ever be scrapped; there is always a nugget of gold in every thought that could be enhanced to perfection. Only after finding all this and making another draft should one begin to weed out the filler information. By then, the final revision should have begun to take shape.

Personally, my style of writing is based primarily on a crunch-time ritual. I tend to orient myself so that I begin the night before an assignment is due to build up the pressure on myself to overwhelming levels. By doing this, my brain works in overdrive in order to create something coherent that flows as well as any other essay. Due to this being done the night before, it tends to be a shorter process where many steps are either combined or dropped completely in order to get what is necessary accomplished. Revisions take up the majority of the creation process, in which I try to record several key thoughts above the writing that I reference as I speedily type through the assignment. From there, I make sure to include the thoughts I had and make sure it all shapes up to be something worth reading. It might not always be the prettiest of processes, but it has been one that I have prescribed to that has not let me down too badly so far as I know. However, as Lemott has said before, “Just get it down on paper”. The rest remains to be seen.

Reading Response 8: Tech. Literacy

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Technology is something that impacts almost every aspect of society, however it is very difficult to develop an understand the consequences of technology. Technology is not just artifacts such as computers or phones, but the way we as a society tries to change the world or better adapt to a changing world. To be technologically literate in most forms can be described as the ability to understand and apply technology. A common way in which this can be split is to sort them into three main branches, called “Capabilities, Knowledge, and Ways of Thinking and Acting”, in which there is a sliding scale of high to low levels in each. According to experts in 2006, there is an advancing need for those with the essential quality of being technologically literate in this progressive day and age. However, this label of being literate is very broad. A person can gain knowledge on the major concepts behind developments through both text and hands-on experience. One does not being an expert in a field to have a level of understanding of technology. So what characterizes someone as being literate? Well, in the case of the branch labeled “Knowledge”, a person can display literacy through an understanding of systems and the ability to synthesize and discover new insights in a field of study; however it can also be shown through a knowledge and understanding of the risks and benefits of technology and how it reflects the culture of society. When it comes the branch of “Thinking and Acting”,  literacy can be determined by the ability of problem solvers who can see from multiple view points and relate the info in regards to the benefits and risks of technology. Also, when comparing these to the branch of “Capabilities”,  to be literate is to be defined as having a person using learned concepts and applying them for use in other areas for making informed judgements and understanding the  systems that are in use. It is important to know the many ways in which technological literacy is defined because for as long that humans live in an advancing technological world then the actions that we make can have global consequences, thus requiring a solid understanding of what we are doing and  it’s impact. I personally was not surprised at the standards that are used in determining if one is technologically literate or not. As a computer science major, there is a heavy emphasis on being able to understand conceptually what strings of codes can mean. This requires a thorough understanding of many coding concepts learned through life; a problem-solving mind capable of working through coded lines and sorting the correct information; and the ability to come up with new ideas that accomplish a goal. This is why I consider myself to be tech. literate more-so than most others.

Reading Response 6: Language and Culture Story

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In the Language and Culture Stories One and Two,  there are two stories given which relate the thoughts and feelings of newcomers to the United States. Both are from the perspective of Asians who come to America, one raised since childhood and the other venturing over from Japan. They make note of the many cultural differences that set them apart from modern American culture, and notice that it is easy to fall into stereotypes and ethnocentric mindsets. There is an obvious connection with the previous reading, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” in which the authors have been taught that they must read, speak, and write in one way, and that it is incorrect to do otherwise. In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Gloria Andalzua felt the oppression of Chicanos being looked down upon by both Americans and Spanish-speaking nationals, who find the mixed and vibrant language is an offense and those who speak it are “illiterate.” The Korean-American author of the second culture story describes how his grandmother most likely will never be able to speak proper English. To many, she would seem illiterate, unable to learn how to speak the language. However, the author realizes that it is quite the opposite–she is bilingual in both fluent Korean and Japanese. It is only our preconception that English is superior that prevents us from realizing that she has a very sharp mind. Literacy does not have to be only spoken word. Literacy in a nutshell is a method of communication; it can be anything from one to many different spoken languages, to written word, to body language such as eye contact and hand movements. As long as a message can be conveyed and understood, and the information absorbed in a timely manner, someone is literate.

It is very obvious that there is a small amount of bias present whenever there is discussion of different cultures. There is a massive culture shift present when the author of the first culture story first comes to America. The responses to certain phrases and situations were so strange to him that he began to shut himself off from others, grouping his peers as “those Americans,” without noticing that he was becoming bias to them himself. It was only much later that he realized this and began to treat them as normal people from his culture before things began to become better for him. He realizes that culture does not matter–people are individuals and that he must take things as they come and make his own opinions upon them. Through reading these passages and bridging the gaps that connect them together a conclusion can be drawn that literacy is something that comes in many different forms and many different languages, and there is no true classification for it being right or wrong, just that it is a way of communicating in context with that particular culture.