Before I introduce to you the first element of writing that started it all, I want to first show you a sample of my writing without any introduction to any skills learned from this class. This is one of the daily in-class writings I had in the beginning of the semester:
“America has been struggling with the idea of identification for many years. As Wilson explained his perception of the life of an African American, Americans are aware of the long history of the conflicts that arose from the day they step onto the America land for slavery to the day of present silent segregation. He indicates that although segregation has been “passed”, the perception of being an African American has never disappeared due to the long struggle between the different races in America, especially the former idea of the superiority of the whites. Through little incidences like the funding problem in the Black Theater, Wilson shows that such situations limit the ability of what African Americans can do compared to the ability of, for instance, the white Americans do. However, the idea of Black Power movement is still present today in the community as the African Americans continue to rise and influence others to respond to them.” – (In-Class Daily Writing 8/26/16)
For this in-class assignment, we had to demonstrate our comprehension of the book Everyone’s an Author and respond to questions using rhetorical listening and situation skills. This was simply a ten minute free-write, in which challenged the students to write a speech with their prior background in English. In this short text from the free-write, from the first sentence to the second sentence, the author of the book, Wilson, pops out of nowhere with no prior description. There was no use of known-new chain in this passage. Later in the text, there is a mention of Black Theater with no introduction or further development correlated to the prior content in the passage. It is clear to see that I did not know about the use of known-new chain in the beginning of the course. However, as we started to learn about known-new chain in class, it is shown through my first proposal of the Curated Exhibit, demonstrating the improvement of the skill.
This section is from my first draft of my proposal of the Curated Exhibit written in the beginning of the semester:
“During the 1950s, racial discrimination was among the greatest conflicts in the United States. The American community struggled with the idea of integration and equality as segregation laws and social disparities dominated people’s minds for centuries. Lorraine Hansberry, who personally experienced the battle within the contemporary time period, depicts the reality of the African American middle-class that expresses the internal struggles of breaking down the past and uplift the struggles that exists in families, class, and identity that were submerged by the Civil Rights Movement that covered majority of the late twentieth century.” – (First half of First draft of Proposal)
Throughout the course, I progressively learned that there are so many aspects in using details and structural methods to connect ideas and supportive evidence that are designed to strengthen the author’s stance in writing. From the first reading of the first draft of the proposal, the transitions from one sentence to another are very sudden. The first two sentences of the paragraph refer to the context of the American society. However, the third sentence abruptly changes the context to Lorraine Hansberry and “the contemporary time period” that was never referenced before in the section. The structure of this paragraph from the beginning confuses the reader because it is filled with distinct sentences that did not relate to each other—it only stated facts. It randomly bombards the reader with an unrelatable context. After making changes to the first draft, I made progress in using known-new chain that is shown in my final draft of the proposal:
“During the 1950s, racial discrimination was among the greatest conflicts in the United States. In the Northern region of the nation, Chicago had struggled with the idea of integration and equality as segregation laws and social disparities dominated people’s minds for decades. Although the Civil Rights Law of 1957 was implemented into the Constitution, people were reluctant to conform into the new standards of the community. Tensions in Chicago divided the city of black and white community, which significantly cleaved the social aspersions in the state, leaving Chicago America’s most segregated city (Gordon 123). Segregation of socioeconomic and geographic conditions were divided that did not comply to the American goal of all equality. For Lorraine Hansberry personally experienced the battle within the contemporary time period, she depicts the reality of the African American middle-class, expressing the internal struggles of breaking down the past and challenging the upbringing of the struggles that exists in families, class, and identity, which were submerged by the Civil Rights Movement (Atkinson 24).” – (First half of Final Draft of Proposal)
This section of the proposal demonstrates the use of known-new chain by starting it with a general background on United States and centralizing the focus in segregation specifically in Chicago, drawing the context of the “contemporary time period” that is reference later in the paragraph. Additionally, there is a smooth transition from the historical background to the objectives of the proposal with the mention of Lorraine Hansberry. Each sentence is organized and placed well in the sentences that enhances the flow of ideas between the lines, making a stronger and more effective meaning of writing.