Jae Kyum Kim



The two main elements of writing that I have improved upon is the Synthesis and Known-New Chain. Before learning these important concepts, my writings were not connected enough that sometimes key ideas were separated and were even sometimes misinterpreted by the audience. I was not writing a cohesive essay; however, after learning the two main concepts from the English lectures, I implemented those skills and was able to deliver my personal message to the audience clearly. I was able to organize my ideas in the essay clear enough that it even fastened my speed of writings. The transitions for each different idea were connected and moved smoothly because I was able to create clear and logical relationship among ideas. The “choppy” writings that I used to write was flowing smoothly after I have learned these concepts. In this portfolio, examples from my Curated Exhibition and Narrative Essay will be featured to show how I have improved upon.

Known-New Chain 

Artifact #1

“The play “Praise The Lord Pass The Ammunition” had a unique but distinct features to other artifacts that were displayed in the Rose Library. Its thin book had illustrated cover that could not be seen to other artifacts. [The portions of the artifact had very powerful vulgarities about the races and segregation]. This features were not written in any other plays. It seems that this artifact is the one of a kind that directly mirrors the reality of the African-Americans during the era. The author, Yusef Iman, was one of the most significant contributors to the Black Arts and Black Liberation movements in the 1960’s. His reflection, this black art seems very revolutionary for the era which could possibly settled the basis for the changes in black communities. This daring and bold play by Yusef Iman shows his possibly distinct personalities in reality.” 

The artifact above was the first piece of writing of the introduction for the Curated Exhibit. This piece of writing was written prior the lecture of the Known-New chain rule, so I was not very aware of how to write and deliver my message to the audience in a concise manner. I did not clearly explain how I came to understand that the play had a unique but distinct features to other plays. I also did not clearly explain how I became to think this play directly mirrors the reality of the African-Americans during the era. I certainly did not think further for the audience’s point of view. I should have organized and connected my ideas first before I start writing. There are various components that introduce my ideas about the proposal but were divided into various segments. 

Artifact #2

The play, “Praise The Lord, But Pass The Ammunition”, begins with brief but a shockingly disturbing scene, which an African-American family is brutally beaten by the members Ku-Klux-Klan for the reason of voting. [While brutally getting murdered, Simmons, the father, desperately prays to god to beg for mercy while brutally getting murdered], the opening scene which prepares for a main dispute of the play [between a reverent who favors nonviolence actions and the main character Luke who furiously opposes such thinking]. Both a political activist and an author of the play, Yusef Iman explores both reasoning of violent and nonviolent protests to face against the racial problems. But he ultimately asserts through the play that rationalization of nonviolence action by the improper usage of religion (Christianity in this case) is ineffective against the injustice. This study proposes a literature review of exploration of violence and nonviolence action used against segregation.

This artifact was the first writing after the I had learned about the Known-New chain. I did not perfectly implement the idea of the chain but the evidence that I started the chain the ideas are shown in the draft. I started to put my effort of organizing information and connect it with the previous ideas that already has been written. I have realized that organizing my ideas and connecting those were much easier to write, and it even enhanced my speed of work too. When I tried to view it as a reader’s perspective, I was able to obtain the message clear enough too. For example, when I introduce that the play begins with brief but a shockingly disturbing scene, the reader does not have to ask “What is?” because I explain the story later itself. They also gain and can connect the ideas later that this opening scene is the main dispute of the play. I even further deliver the message that this main dispute of the play is rationalization of nonviolence action by the improper usage of religion. So in final, reader can grasp the idea that this disturbing opening scene has a value into it with my analysis.

Artifact #3

The center of U.S. Civil Rights Movements in 1950s started with a use of nonviolent way of protest by Martin Luther King, Jr. Since then, racial problems in the country seems to have diminished and recovered its racial equality, but, in fact, they are still in the process, which lead to the creation of “Black Lives Matter” movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people. Police brutality and implicated racial segregation is surely a nationwide problem, but also a way to counteract to this social issue is also significant. Nonviolent direct-action protest has been tainted with many violent protest actions as we can see in the protests in Charlotte, North Carolina. Though police officers are expected to protect all people equally, it is not so same in many black communities. This social unfairness is the reason that taints the thinking of protesters and makes them rise against the society violently. 

This artifact is the final introduction for my Curated Exhibition on nonviolence. My implementation of the Known-New Chain was shown the most in this artifact throughout the semester. By that point, I have realized the importance of this concept for organizing ideas and presenting information. By delivering known information preceding the new info, I was able to make it easier for readers to follow what I think and analyze. As shown above, the idea of “racial problems” covers a broad territory, but as I connect the different ideas and specify my analysis, my topics become clear and heavy in a content. The readers come to understand and connect later as they read that racial problems presented in the beginning are the police brutality and implicated racial segregation. Also, In the last sentence, readers can finally conclude and connect the ideas that the racial problems that I have presented in the beginning is the social unfairness.

The Synthesis  

Artifact #1

The flag begins to move from the bottom of the flagstaff and slowly rises. It seems that I, too, have started from the bottom, with no cultural affiliation with America when I first began living in this country in 5th grade. In fact, my first few years in America were filled with incidents that said in one way or another that I did not belong here, that I was an outsider. I think I only began to feel some sense of attachment to this country after entering military school in 7th grade. I am aware that military schools like the one I attend are known for having “trouble kids.” Yet it was these kids that provided me room to breathe and grow. Yes, we are each flawed or damaged, and I will be the first one to admit that. But we are also deeply accepting of one another and sometime incredibly generous, bound together by something ineffable that transcends our individual lives. 

This artifact is my first draft for my narrative essay. I chose the option number two which is to explore the intersections of the arts, history, and culture. This particular essay forced me to think an occasion where these three elements came to my own life. I had chosen this particular option because I thought this will be a great opportunity to use and increase my skills in the synthesis method. In the essay, I tried to synthesize three components in the essay, but I had trouble to connect the ideas as a whole. In this artifact, I tried my best effort to connect the symbol of a flag and my identity. I tried to portray the rising of a flag and my life, but I was not aware of this method when I started writing it. As you can see, the first sentence does not clearly connect with my life.

Artifact #2

The expressing message from the picture pulled my emotions, thoughts, and ineffable reflections on my life too. My life came to halt when I had first gone to the United States to attend a military academy. With no prior knowledge of English, I did not understand what others were saying, what they were yelling for, or exactly what was expected of me. A thirteen-year-old South Korean immigrant was left by himself in an abyss. But every time I felt lost and confused, the picture of an Afghan Girl came to my mind, and the American Flag, which I had to salute every morning, seemed to match its story. The two elements, the picture and the flag, came together in my own life and helped me to stand stark through the struggle I faced in the new country.

In this artifact, this was my first method to use the synthesize method to connect the three main ideas in the essay. I tried to relate the story behind the art, my life, and history. In order to connect the ideas, I had to research the background information on the photo of a Afghanistan girl. Seemingly meaningless photo was in fact including a significant story. I drew together three different components in my own mind, and I drew together to come up with one theme in the narrative essay. In the beginning sentence, I tried to relate the emotions I had when I first saw the photo and my life story. I tired to relate the symbol of American flag in my own life and the photo and explain how it came to my own life.

Artifact #3

She survived through the hardships, married, and had four children. To me, the young Afghan girl is a symbol of strength and beauty that I will forever remember in my life. The two symbols, the picture and the flag are perfect metaphors of my life: they both represent symbols of strength, responsibility and resilience, which I will always be. I know that studying abroad would be tough but also give me the chance to learn and challenge myself in new ways. Remembering these two symbols help me to persevere even in the darkest moments. When I have to go through hardships, I don’t quit until I get it done. As a young boy, I made some wrong decisions; but as time passes and I get older, I find real joy in accomplishing through the hardships and bring back success.

This artifact is my final conclusion of the narrative essay on the same topic as above. After using the synthesizing method, I was confident enough that I clearly connected these ideas and deliver my main theme as a whole. Extrapolation of the background information of different components truly helped to connect the ideas as a one theme. I was confident enough that it made the reader to understand in greater depth. Also, I implemented the Known-New chain method to organize the ideas, so I believe that this particular artifact is the best product that I have came up with since I had taken the English class.


Combination of lectures and various assignments truly helped my skills in writing especially in organization of my thought in the process of writing. I had presented my artifact in chronologically order to show my improvements throughout the semester. I thought that the key terms that we were given was self-explanatory components but once I have truly learned the usage and its ideas, I realized their importance and its necessity in the process of writing. By using the synthesis method, I was able to organize the theme, point, and the aspect of the topic easier than before. I was able to recognize the pattern and relate it to various components fluently. The narrative essay has given me a great opportunity to explore the sources in a new way and depict the component to connect to other ideas. The Known-New Chain drastically improved my organization of ideas in the essay and the connections too. I truly value these learnings and will use these skills to create a successful essays in future reference.

Reflection Letter