Rhetorical Analysis Of A Past Writing Experience When looking back on my past writing experiences and how they have helped shaped my present, it all began at some point during my early childhood although I cannot supply a specific instance that sparked this curiosity. I had discovered the ecstatic feeling of putting pen to paper, even if the subject I was writing about was nonsensical or pointless, and this would continue day after day with no reason to stop as I was homeschooled for the bulk of my childhood and teenage years. If I did not understand a subject or how to spell a specific word I would simply ask my parents, who were beyond encouraging of my creative outlet, because if I was writing I was not getting into some kind of silly mischief. Oddly enough, even though I spent all this time expressing myself through writing my skills never truly improved, which I contribute to the lack of criticism my parents seemed to try and shield me from. Moving into my first year of public education, junior year, I was presented with an entirely different world of academia. My writing was torn apart for an entire year, rightly so, as I had no knowledge on how to form a coherent thought. This criticism was taken more than a little seriously, the feelings of flowing stories stopped after this time in my life. If I was not able to write well the cause must be due to a lack of talent rather than lack of hard work on my own part, which looking back is a naive way of looking at the writing process. The love of reading and writing had helped enrich my life in many way, the knowledge I had about both life and the “real world” was through my never ending habit of gluing my eyes to the paper. It was also a way in which I could escape the real world, something that was difficult due to being homeschooled, as the location of our home was quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Do to the criticism I was met with within highschool writing all but stopped entirely, with the exception of mandatorily assigned school assignments, until I began college. I had decided to give writing a second chance by declaring an English major with a minor in rhetoric and writing, and was met with immense positivity and productive criticism. The most memorable assignment given was during a class on short stories, in which we were tasked with writing a short story ourselves. For the most part of my college career my writing has been mainly limited to that of rhetoric within the format of essays, creative writing has not been something I have given the least thought to for the longest time. So, as I sat down staring at the empty pages in front of me, I began to write a silly little story about some animals, something that would at least get me an average grade with minimum effort, because truly putting myself out there for the world to see was paralyzing. The thought was sending me back to my childhood and junior year within school, the thought of another person criticizing me for my ideas or thoughts, this particular project was so much more damning in my eyes than any twenty page paper on the effects of gender within Victorian gothic novels, so much more raw than a political stance, these are easy to have for me. I finished the story before the deadline and let it sit there on my desk not giving it a second thought, until one night my memories of a particular time in my life had kept me awake long past a decent time of night, and I thought I had nothing to lose by putting this memory down in a physical form. I began to write about the time in my life in which I had lost a very dear friend, but never came out to say that this was in fact the event that was taking place, rather I wrote about my surroundings and the feelings that bombarded me that day, and this piece of work provided such a boundless relief within me that I had never imagined. Still, I was not about to turn this in as it was so raw and emotional, no teacher would care to read the drivel I had dared to put down on paper. And yet, I did turn it in, and I made a ninety eight percent. The idea that, as writers, we must withhold ourselves in order to protect ourselves from criticism was something that I had long believed until somewhat recently. For some reason I had told myself that by holding opinions regarding rhetoric and argument were less easily picked apart than that of creating and writing short stories, which in an elementary way is somewhat true. By making a well developed stance there can be those who disagree with those stances yet still appreciate the argument for the way it is presented. Whereas with creative writing, to me, the reader either enjoyed the story for what it is as a whole or not at all, which is of course silly thinking. The reader can of course enjoy one aspect of the story and yet reject the plot devices or writing style, it took quite awhile to understand that the process of writing and reading was not so easily divided. Rhetoric can extend pass the commonly thought of argumentative writing that is done commonly, and the thought of using rhetoric throughout day to day discourse, with the word itself having so many different meanings as presented within Doug Down’s “Rhetoric: Making Sense of Human Interaction and Meaning-Making”, the meaning of rhetoric is broken down into more understandable meanings in the attempt of clarifying that rhetoric is hard to be taken as a solid term when in reality it holds so many different meanings and theories. This particular idea was something I learned recently, as I was one of those who had thought that rhetoric was a solid term with one meaning whereas now I understand that rhetoric can mean an array of things including the way in which people communicate from day to day whether intentionally or unintentionally. Another concept that was previously unthought of on my part was made clearer by Grant-Davie’s article “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” where Davie explores how both readers and writers interact in many different ways. An example used within the article was rhetorical communication, such as advertising done by businesses, and how those businesses communicate with potential customers as if they were an audience in an effort to persuade them to buy a particular product. The way in which advertisements are set up are to persuade the consumer to take part, and therefore, they are part of rhetorical communications. Beforehand I had never thought of using my more creative writing in a way that was to persuade the reader or audience of my intent, until now. This has taught me that through my experiences with writing I am to try and use the idea of rhetoric in order to persuade my audience to think as I do, even if this is in regards to a creative story.
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