Palmeri Data Analysis

In this case the audience is obviously the professor. However, the blog is of course public so the audience becomes anyone with an interest in bilingualism and bilingual education.

The purpose of his study and quantitative data analysis was to explore the use of codeswitching and the use of language in different contextual situations. 

The genre of this particular piece is a research study or quantitative data analysis. 

Palmeri is writing from his own perspective and recording the different languages he experiences and speaks during day to day life. Therefore, the study is entirely influenced by Palmeri himself not an impartial third party researcher. 

The design of the piece is a pretty standard research study and he utilizes different graphs and charts to display his data.

Codeswitching Annotated Bibliography

Lowi, R. (0). Codeswitching: An Examination of Naturally Occurring Conversation. Los Angeles: University of California.

This piece is a research study by Rosamina Lowi of UCLA that looks at codeswitching and how it becomes part of bilingual people’s style of communicating. Even more importantly it helps these people maintain some of their ethnic identities and culture. This research study profiles several different Spanish native speakers who alternate between English and Spanish in everyday conversation.

I found this study to be quite fascinating. Codeswitching is a topic I’ve never looked into or even really given much thought. However, I learned so much about what it is, how communication is different for fluent bilingual speakers, and some of the psychological and sociological concepts behind it. In general I find studies that feature conversations and look at real people to be much more interesting and engaging than those that don’t. Lowi describes the importance of the individual’s native language in maintaining their cultural identity. Additionally, she discusses the contextual decisions that are made when talking to different people. In other words, how do these individuals choose which language to use and when to use it? These are ideas that I had never thought about but were fascinating to learn about.

Context in Writing

I can hardly remember any conscious changes I’ve made to my writing style. In high school I was never particularly gifted in math or sports. Instead I excelled at English, history, and writing. I learned early on the importance of being clear and concise and applied it to my writing. I was able to make my way through my English courses quite easily in this way. I’m unable to point to a single change or shift that occurred that impacted my writing. Instead I looked at it from the perspective that my whole life has changed in the years since I left high school. The only thing that remained constant in my life throughout high school and into college was change. I have trouble with compiling an introspective of the conscious changes I’ve made but I have no problem thinking about how the world around me and my individual context has shifted. I know that as I made the shift to Sonoma State University, and later the move to New York and John Jay College, I changed not only as a writer but as a person. All of this has been reflected in my writing in one way or another.

I stumbled upon an analysis of the great Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes’ poetry from my junior year of high school and decided it would be as good a piece as any to use in this analysis. I had no recollection of writing this particular piece so I read it with fresh eyes. I was surprised to find this paper, which I hadn’t read in well over three years, was surprisingly well written. I found the entire piece to be clear and have well formed ideas. Despite this, the piece felt like it was written by another person. My takeaway from this poetry analysis was the lack of complexity in the ideas and analysis. I presented strong and clear ideas but I lacked the depth to really elevate the piece and make it standout. I thought for sometime about what had changed in my writing. I finally came to the realization that I had changed. In February of 2011 life was easy. I was living with my mom and had everything taken care of, not a worry in the world. At that point I wasn’t really concerned with the future or college. I reflected on all that had happened in those three years and realized all of that happened a lifetime ago. Bklynbridge

When I look at a piece of writing from this year, in this case my English 101 research project, the differences are vast. Both papers try to be as clear and well organized as possible for the reader. However the thought put into the concepts and ideas that tie the piece together are worlds apart. Thoughts are more fleshed out and have a level of complexity and depth that is noticeably absent from my earlier work. Where I would previously simply stated a fact and moved on to the next idea, I now flesh out ideas and come to new conclusions about the concepts I’m working with. The style and care that goes into the writing hasn’t changed all that much. Instead, the use of analysis and more complex ideas and thoughts elevate my work to new levels. I cannot point to a specific part of my writing or thinking I changed to get to this point. What I can point to is my level of experience and maturity that has changed over time. As my life changed and grew more complex my writing organically grew with me.

Life has changed in numerous ways since high school. The biggest shift wasn’t the move to college, it was my move to New York. College is easy by comparison. Being thrown into a situation where you know no one and you are in charge of your own destiny is rather daunting. Finding an apartment, paying the electric bill, budgeting, and grocery shopping are just part of the story. My life was put solely into my own hands and it is up to me to decide what to do with it. I try to make the best decisions and more often than not things don’t work perfectly but I hold myself and only myself accountable for these decisions and their outcomes. This part of becoming an adult is equal parts liberating and frightening. If it wasn’t for the experiences I’ve had in the first year of moving from the only place I had ever known I’d be a much different person. The complexity of life moves us forward and forces us to grow and change in ways we had never imagined. This is how I’ve grown not only in terms of literacy but who I am as a person.

Many would simply say they wrote more, cared more, or tried harder when they think about how their writing has developed over time. Justin Vella, for example, did just that in his literacy narrative. Vella explained how he changed when he moved to college and had to try harder to do well. All of this may be true, but it is much more powerful to think in terms of where you are as a person and how that has changed. I can look at two pieces of my writing and analyze them. It would be easy to spend several pages telling you why a paper I wrote three years ago is inferior to one written three weeks ago. However, it is significantly more meaningful to think about who I was at these points in my life and analyze how they have influenced my writing. Whenever we write we leave a piece of ourselves behind on the pages, there is so much hidden context behind this that is never fully explored.. Reflecting on our writing in this way is not only meaningful but enlightening.

Fallacy

Perhaps, one of the most important literary devices for conversation and arguments is the fallacy. Indeed, it is one device we come across constantly and without a doubt we are all guilty of committing at times. Simply defined as an invalid or illogical argument it has a huge impact in the way we communicate. Using ignorance or authority to boost one’s argument is a fallacy. Blindly stating a popular opinion as fact is a fallacy. Using personal insults as a rebuttal in an argument is a fallacy and there are many, many more. It doesn’t take one long to find many different fallacies in everyday conversations. Therefore, it is of great importance that we understand how to recognize and read these fallacies. 

One could say that Justin Bieber’s new album was purchased by many people and very popular therefore it must be great. This is a fallacy that falls under popular opinion because a conclusion is drawn without assessing all of the facts and an assumption. Another easy example would be saying that there are millions of planets therefore, there must be extraterrestrial life. This is an easy conclusion to come to and it very well may be true but without facts one cannot come to this conclusion. Not all fallacies are as cut and dry and if you put a little thought into everyday life, it’s likely you’ll find many fallacies. 

Antithesis

Perhaps my favorite example of a rhetorical device is antithesis. Loosely defined as two opposite ideas or concepts are combined to strengthen each other. The contrasting affect of this produces makes it extraordinarily powerful in writing. When executed properly it makes the reader think which is the goal of any literary device worth its salt.

One example that immediately springs to mind is the opening of Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” An example so legendary we hear this quote in popular culture and everyday life. This is such an easy example of antithesis and it’s clear that its simplicity is why this example is so powerful we hear it to this day. It makes the reader think of conflict and times that were difficult and challenging yet people didn’t lose hope and made light of it. It was also a brilliant way of illustrating the feeling of the mid nineteenth century when the novel was written. Perhaps an even more obvious example are Neil Armstrong’s now iconic words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The use of antithesis is what makes this quote stand out. The idea that an action can be defined by both one small step and a giant leap is incredibly interesting.    

An Analysis of My Writing

Most students are taught how to write and use the different components of rhetoric and persuasion without even realizing it. Most people don’t even think about how their language is based entirely on tenants like ethos, pathos, and logos. It’s an integral part of how we communicate and how ideas are communicated to us. Rarer still is it for one to look back and analyze their own writing in the context of rhetorical writing. However, it’s a fascinating look at how we subconsciously use these ideas to write and communicate what we want. 

I choose a piece from my English 101 class at John Jay College to analyze in this manner. It was a research project that looked at the often tenuous relationship between police and the public. In terms of pathos immediately I bring attention to the reader that the police and public are always at odds with each other. I try to make the reader think about the issue and other issues surrounding policing in ways that they understand and can emphasize with. Sharing the story of Chicago’s Interrupter’s who go into harms way to stop violence in the streets of high risk areas where hundreds of young adults and kids are being killed everyday reaches out to the reader’s emotions and also shows them potential solutions. 

In a research project like this one the author’s credibility is of paramount importance. Solutions to tough problems rarely come out of thin air. A lot of background research and understanding must go into seeking out important solutions to this questions. In that way ethos was  key to this project. I tried to credit as many credible sources as I could and even put a lot of work into seeking out different sources from all over the nation. A entire section of the site was dedicated just to those sources. At the time I didn’t think in these terms but I knew that citing established sources was essential to establishing my credibility as a writer and researcher. Without the research, that project would have no reason to exist. 

I opened with a short blurb introducing the broader topic to my audience before going deeper and looking at individual ideas and problems. I covered a wide range of topics and relating back to my previous research I suggested potential solutions to each issue where applicable. I organized my ideas, facts, and information in a way that was clear and concise. Perhaps it wasn’t the most exciting or unique way to handle this writing but I understood the need for the ideas and organization to be obvious and clear to all readers. Again, without even consciously thinking about it I applied some form of logos into my writing. 

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing Analysis

Explicit: A group of young African Americans are cooling down in the street by running a fire hydrant. An older white man approaches in an older convertible car and tells the kids to stop the water so he can pass. The two young men that opened the fire hydrant begin joking with the man and the white man starts to get angry and yells at them to stop the water as he passes. They agree and he begins to move slowly through the street before they spray the man and his car with water. The now drenched man pulls to the side of the road and flags down a police patrol and angrily explains the situation and calls for the arrest of the kids. The police don’t mind him too much and shut down the fire hydrant and go on their way.

Implicit: The scene explores racial relationships to an extent. Both sides seem at odds with each other and lack a fundamental understanding and respect for one another. Authority is presented as being somewhat passive and objective. This is clearly evident by the sarcastic and angry language used by both parties. The police officers do not side with one or the other and don’t take much action. They present authority as being rather inert in this instance.

Extended Meaning: For myself I don’t see this scene as particularly provocative. Both sides just don’t seem to understand or respect each other. They don’t care for one another. For me this doesn’t seem to be so racially motivated. The group of young black kids could be any racial group and the white man could be any older man. I don’t believe that race should matter. I do recognize both sides handled the situation poorly. The older man in the car was very demanding and confrontational when asking the young men to stop the water and the young men were disrespectful in their own way. This scene seems like a commentary on racial tension and relationships and I could deduce that the rest of the movie would further look at these themes.