Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Self Critique

As far as blogging goes this semester, I think I did an ok job. I had a lot to say about certain prompts and not so much to say about others. The blogs that I wrote significantly more about and went further in depth to were often the ones that had interesting and thought provoking prompts that allowed me to elaborate. Some other prompts I felt like there was no way I could write 500 words on, so I fell short.

The blogs that I felt like I did well on were the Gender and Bathrooms post, Preliminary thoughts post, and the Challenging media post. These prompts really engaged me and gave me a lot to consider when writing. Plus, both the challenging media and gender and bathrooms prompts provided another source such as a video to accompany the explanation. I found these other sources very helpful and they helped me be able to go in depth in my response.

The blogs that I felt like I did not do well on was the discussion forum post and others like it that simply asked you to say what you thought about the forum. I provided my thoughts but beyond that there was not much more I could provide. I just felt like the prompt was not sufficient enough for 500 words, so those posts were significantly shorter than the rest.

What I have learned as a writer and blogger this semester is how to address a broad audience such as what you find online. You have no idea who is going to read your post, so I think that enabled me to stretch my writing in order to be appealing to various types of people. My relationship with writing publically has changed, just in the way I support and defend my arguments in all my papers. Because I now know that many people are not persuaded simply by an argument, but by sources and evidence. Having such a broad audience has caused me to try to strengthen arguments I give.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Annotated Bibliography Post

Here are my three sources that I plan on using in my response essay so far:
This is a website devoted to stopping abortions in the U.S. They provide a lot of facts on abortion types, people who get abortions, annual abortion statistics, why abortions are preformed, etc all within the U.S. It also deals with a lot of questions or arguments that arise on both sides of the argument. Has a lot of good facts. Also explains why we should care about abortion occurring. We have a responsibility to stand up for the innocent ones who cannot defend themselves.
This website presents 10 reasons why abortion should be objected against. The reasons are well thought out and well presented. They are also researched and supported with sources. Offers some great and detailed arguments against the pro-choice belief. Uses a variety of sources ranging from the Bible to medical research.
This is an article by Peter Kreeft where he explains the argument against abortion as "the apple argument." This is a very unique, and I think effective way to go about explaining to pro-choice believers that we do know that the fetus is a living human being. It does a great job simply putting things into perspective and offering a different viewpoint on the fetus. I think I can use quotes and references to this argument in my own paper.

Response Essay Post

What I have decided to do my response essay on is the prelim essay on abortion. This prelim essay is presented in the beliefs of a "pro-choice" activist which is the complete opposite of what I believe (pro-life). Since this essay is opposing my views so directly, I think I will have an easy time writing a five page response.
As far as the beginning goes in my response essay, I don't quite know exactly how I am going to start yet. I do know that the three main points I want to discuss will be :
1) How the abortion rates in the U.S just continue to increase every year and what this is saying about our society.
2) I will acknowledge that yes, there are some sad situations, such as rape that happen. I will however argue that whatever the circumstance, the baby made is completely innocent and deserves the chance to live.
3) I will also argue that although abortion was legalized in the U.S in Roe vs. Wade, the claim made in the prelim essay that "abortion was proven the most moral, ethical, and legal way" to handle unwanted pregnancies is false. I will offer situations, other choices, and objections to that statement.
It is probably clear from above that my main goal in my paper will be proving the validity of the pro-life arguments. I will mainly be focusing on disproving the belief that pro-choice is right by offering other views and arguments.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Challenging Media Post

I watched the video on the Disney company. First of all, I do not agree with any of the arguments made by the researchers in the video. I believe that the man who started it all, Walt Disney, had the only intention to provide family safe entertainment. His goal was just to give families something wholesome to watch and enjoy together. The stories that most children grew up watching, therefore, were Walt Disney's ideas and I believe they all had good intentions. I was raised on disney myself, so was my sister, and neither of us believe in white supremecy, racism, or overlooking abuse. The fact of the matter is, that when most children are watching those videos, at an early age, they cannot even think about the issues that these researchers have presented. All the kids care about is being entertained with a good story line and interesting charcters. I just consider the arguments made by the researchers to be results of over-analyzing what are supposed to be simple and innocent stories meant to just be clean entertainment. As a matter of fact, there are several disney movies that can dismiss the arguments made about disney only representing whites in thier movies. Movies such as Mulan, Aladdin, and The princess and the frog all represent minority groups in a well-respected light. All of the heros and heroines in these movies are of different races but have all the qualities of the white heros and heroines in other disney movies. How is disney racist or promote white supremecy if they made movies such as these?
One thing I absolutely did not agree with is the ending statement made by one of the CEOs of disney. Since disney made their start by entertaining children and still make most of their profit from children, their number one concern should be wholesome entertainment for kids. Without children they would not be where they are today. Walt Disney made Disney company for children, and the fact that now the company has corrupt individuals in power who are only concerned with money is very discouraging.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dissenting Voices Post

I recently read an online article from msnbc.com entitled "Obama: Weak economy drove election outcome." I mainly disagreed with how Obama portrays the republican party in the elections as well as the comments Obama makes about the outcome. Obama says that Republicans "were able to paint my governing philosophy as a classic, traditional, big government liberal. And that's not something the American people want." I highly disagree with this comment and think that it is very contradictory. Everything that Obama has implimented, including Health care, stimulus package, etc. has given the American people the impression that he is for big government. Considering that the health care bill he has been pushing so hard gives a lot of control, basically all control of the health care system, to the government, why shouldn't Americans assume that he is for liberal, big government? The Republicans did not have to "gang-up" on him and mislead the American people into wrong assumptions like Obama claims; his polices and actions have spoken for themselves. 
Obama also makes the comment that "Big election losses suffered by Democrats were "first and foremost" a reflection of the economy's weakness rather than a wholesale rejection of his policies, President Barack Obama said on Sunday." I feel like this comment is ignoring everything that the American public has been expressing over the past few months. The public has clearly expressed through polls and surveys that overall, they do not agree with the actions and policies that Obama has  been pushing since being elected. Not only are Americans upset with the economy, but they are not happy with Obama's overall actions. Several sources indicate that "A majority, 52 percent, now disapproves of the way Obama is handling his job overall, another first in ABC/Post polls." This clearly indicates that the people are not just unhappy with the economy. I do not agree with Obama's strategy by using the economy as the sole excuse as to why the elections did not turn out in his or his party's favor. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Online Interaction Post

Honestly I do not feel like the blog posts are really extending much communication past the classroom. I read and comment on other people's blog posts, but not frequently and extensively enough to really communicate with classmates that seriously. I do not receive many comments or conversations relating to my blog posts either, which makes me think that some of my classmates are in the same boat. However, when we do meet in person, I feel like there is a lot of meaningful and helpful conversation. I think our class really helps each other out in person, but online it's just harder to effectively communicate about various things.
When I do receive comments on blog posts, they do not start good discussions very often. Most of the time they are in agreement with what I have said or words of encouragement. Don't get me wrong, I really like getting those, it just doesn't really start a discussion. When I am commenting on other people's posts, I do the same thing and just point out the ways in which I agree with them. Considering the various topics we have to make blog posts about, I feel like it is difficult to really start a meaningful discussion. If I were to pick between the blog posts and the discussion forums, I would say that the forums provoke more in-depth conversations. The blog posts are ok, but just a little harder to comment on.
I guess what I would change about the blog interactions to make them more effective, is when commenting to ask questions to one another instead of just saying "I like this.." I need to change my reactions as well when commenting. Maybe asking questions about posts would at least encourage a further discussion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Qualitative Concerns Post

My biggest concerns when doing qualitative research are asking the right questions, and finding enough research to write on. When I am conducting my interviews, I want to make sure I am getting genuine responses, not anything that the person getting interviewed thinks I want to hear. So, as I am writing my interview questions, I have to be very careful to ask only open-ended questions, without any hints to lead the answers in a certain direction. Also, I am concerned about finding things online to give me enough information to write on. I know there are blogs and other resources out there, I am just nervous about finding them. I guess to ensure I have enough information to write on, I will pick only sources that are in depth.
I am a little worried about making sure my information is qualitative and not quantitative. In order to prevent my paper from sounding quantitative, I will try to include my viewpoints when starting the research and what I actually found when researching. I will also make sure I am including statistics and data like that, but not more than the information from personal sources such as interviews and blogs.
The best aspects I think about qualitative research is the variety of research you can explore. I am not just stuck with charts, graphs, and statistics, but can also look at people's personal opinions and how they express them. I get to immerse myself in the subject instead of having to stay objective. I think I will enjoy really learning the truth of what people out in society think about the topic I am researching. I think it will be a very interesting and unique experience.
I definitely expect to face limited information, especially from my interviews. There is only so much someone is going to sit down and say on one subject, so the rest is up to me to find. I plan to get past this limitation by planning my interview questions very precisely and carefully. Also when searching online, I will try not to just use the first source I come upon. I am going to search for awhile looking for the best possible sources of information I can use in my writing.