Throughout this semester in English 101 I feel that I have improved my writing in various ways. Two of the main areas that I have improved in most are organizing my ideas and analysis. I have improved in connecting ideas together in what I learned is called a known-new chain. At the beginning of the semester I would write things down as they came to me, and they would not be organized very well. Throughout the semester though instead of doing this, I began to connect my ideas and create a flow from one idea to the next. You can clearly see this flow by looking at the introduction of my curated exhibit, and you can see that this flow is missing from two of the first in-class writings we were required to write, my plan of action, and my objective for the proposal of my curated exhibit. In the introduction of my curated exhibit I connect the ideas of communities to relationships, relationships to segregation, segregation to A Raisin in the Sun, etc. In my in-class writings, plan of action and objective however, I jump from topic to topic. For example in the plan of action, I jump from relationships to the possible mediums used, to some details about the plays mentioned in the exhibit, and then the text ends abruptly. Along with improving connecting my ideas, I have improved in the skill of analyzing text. Instead of just writing the main idea of the text, like I did at the beginning of the semester, I now also include possible deeper meanings for the text as well as the structure of the text. This contrast is seen by comparing one of my first in-class writings, the introduction for the proposal of my curated exhibit, the plan of action for the proposal of the curated exhibit, my actual exhibit, and my narrative essay that I wrote toward the end of the semester. The introduction for the curated exhibit proposal simply describes the appearance of the artifact used and gives a brief description of what the play is about, but did not analyze the text. On the other hand, you can see clear analysis of the text in my narrative essay by looking at the thorough analysis of text structure, meaning, and design.
Known-New Artifact #1
In this first text there is clearly a lack of the known-new chain. There is no clear transition from idea to idea, which shows that this area needs improvement. The text starts with the claim that race matters and should not influence how we treat each other, then jumps to the claim that we should learn about different cultures, and then jumps to August Wilsons views about Black theatre. These ideas do have a connection, but it is not shown very clearly in the text. The text should have been structured differently to show the connection from one sentence to another instead of it seeming like many separate statements.
Known-New Artifact #2
This artifact is not only very short, but very disconnected. The first sentence states that Lorraine Hansberry “often wrote from her own experience” and then the next sentence jumps to the idea of how she portrayed African American Culture. Something that this artifact does have though that the last does not is a connection of ideas within a sentence. The text talks about Lorraine Hansberry’s portrayal of culture compared to other authors portrayal of culture at the time. While this is only a very small improvement from the last artifact, but it may just be due to the fact that this artifact is so short.
Known-New Artifact #3
This text starts off with a chain connecting preconceived notions to types of text, then the text to the tie period, then the time period to stories about the time, but then the text becomes slightly disorganized. I then jump back to a type of source that will be used and why, and then jump to an example of a different type of source that I will use. Overall, this text was much better than the last, and it is evident that there was effort to connect the ideas in this artifact, but it definitely could have been organized better, and there is a way to create a better flow of ideas.
Known-New Artifact #4
In this text there is definitely a flow of ideas, and while the connection may not be as evident as it is in the Exhibit, it is clear that there was thought and effort put into the order of this paragraph. In this artifact there is a connection of ideas like there was in the last artifact, but this text holds the connection throughout the entire work. The artifact begins with the broken relationships in the play that is being examined, to the time of the play, then to stereotypes at the time, then to examples of these stereotypes in the play, and then explains how the exhibit will examine these examples from the play, and why the examples are being examined. This artifact is obviously an improvement from the last, but the skill of connecting ideas is not obvious until the next artifact.
Known-New Feature Artifact
The introduction of this text has a very clear connection from one idea to the next. The new clearly becomes the known by using phrases like “these” and “then” referring to the ideas in the last sentence. For example, the first sentence talks about the time period the play is set in and then relates it to relationships at the time, and the next sentence starts with “these relationships.” This idea is then connected to a new one that becomes the topic of the next sentence and this process is repeated throughout the text. This artifact unlike the last contains clear connections between ideas making it easier for the reader to understand and follow the flow of the paragraph.
Analysis Artifact #1
For the second part of this in class writing assignment we had to analyze why we were motivated to respond to August Wilson’s The Ground on Which I Stand the way we did. You can see from the fact that I responded to the text based on my interest in anthropology that I had not evaluated the text the way I should have. After learning about analyzing text I know that I should have focused more on the structure of the text, the message Wilson was trying to convey, and why he focused on certain aspects more than others. You can also see from my response that I did not analyze my own reasoning very well. I should have though more about why I talked about the interactions of cultures over other things like the discrimination in entertainment at the time. Instead of doing this I simply stated that “I am interested in Anthropology” and that is the reason I responded to the cultural side of the text.
Analysis Artifact #2
For this next assignment my work shows some analysis of the play A Raisin on the Sun, but definitely needs improvement. I start by describing the appearance of the artifact and then describe some of the events in the play relating to the topic of my exhibit, but I do not go into detail analyzing the text. I should have focused more on why Lorraine Hansberry wrote about this, or some of the meaning behind the events in the play. It is mentioned that Hansberry expressed the tensions of segregation at the time of the play, but there should have been more details and examples of how this was done.
Analysis Artifact #3
This work unlike the last provides some analysis of Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, although still not as much as there should be. Like the last artifact this work starts by describing a main event in the book, but then goes into more detail analyzing the text. This artifact provides an example from the text and what thus meant at the time. This artifact also analyses the event in relation to part of the book To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. The analysis gives a reason for the event in the play, and also how this influenced characters in the play. There is still room for improvement in analysis of this text however. For example, it is stated that family relationships “could have influences both personal and community relationships,” but there could be more analysis of how these relationships made a difference.
Analysis Artifact #4
This artifact shows a large improvement of the skill of analysis from the last artifact. Each of the slides past the introduction slide provides analysis of an artifact. The second slide analyzes the play A Raisin in the Sun in relation to relationships in the community at the time. This slide examines some of the preconceptions about African Americans at the time that are shown in the play and how they affected relationships. The third slide in this artifact analyzes the book To Be Young, Gifted, and Black and how it influenced the play A Raisin in the Sun. The fourth, fifth, and sixth slides show even more analyses of artifacts that the first two. These last three slides provide analysis of a newspaper article and two pictures. The analysis of the newspaper article provides a reason for the importance of the information in the article, what the information meant, and the impact it had on people at the time. The last two slides with the pictures analyze what was happening in the pictures, and the impact the people in the pictures most likely had on their community. This is much more analysis than that provided in the last artifacts, and clearly shows more improvement through the fact that there is not only more analysis, but better analysis.
Analysis Feature Artifact:
In this final text there is a clear improvement in the skill of analysis shown in this text. For this assignment we were asked to discuss our own curated exhibit. Unlike the last artifact, this artifact goes into depth as to the reason for the structure of the text, the meaning behind the visual appearance of the exhibit, and what the text meant and made me feel. For example, this artifact uses phrases like “drew my focus in,” “got me thinking about,” “which could represent,” and “provide proof that.” All of these phrases show proof of analysis. They show that there was thought put into the text and the many different reasons for various aspects of the text. This text also relates the exhibit to the self, other texts, and events in the world which is a clear mark of analysis, and was not present in the other artifacts. An example of this is where the artifact mentions that the exhibit reminds me of the current issues between African Americans and the police force. Another example of this is where I share how the text made me feel. This type of analysis is important because it show a different aspect of the text. It shows the impact the text has on readers. This artifact clearly shows the skill of analysis, and is a clear improvement of the skill from previous works.