WRT 105 | Unit 3 Academic Literacies & Digital Everyday Lives – Reflection Prompt
As you’ll recall, we used a reflection assignment as a way to think critically about visual literacy in Unit 2 —we considered how being aware of our big six (persona, purpose, genre, audience, medium, and context) interacts with visual rhetoric, frames, and gazes to produce the complex visual arguments that film our daily lives. We’ll use a reflection assignment for the end of our third unit as a way to consider what we’ve learned about situating the academic literacies you’ll encounter while at SU.
A Reflection Assignment Is
Remember that a reflection is a genre specific (but not exclusive) to the field of composition. Composition instructors often ask students to write reflections at strategic moments in the course—moments when it seems most appropriate to step back, review all of your work, and think critically about what you are learning and why what you’re learning is significant. Remember: A reflection is not a narrative of what you did, but an analysis of what you did and learned and why it matters.
Our working context
For our final unit, we’ve moved to a specific set of literacy situations—those found on campus, in our classes, and across the university. Where our first unit established the idea of our big six and situational literacy, and where our second unit delved visual literacies and the rhetoric(s) at work in visual compositions like documentaries, our final unit looks at different disciplines on campus and the ways that each uses our big six differently; we see in the difference between, say, psychology and material science, the ways that writing constructs its own unique genres and audiences within specific contexts for particular purposes. In an uncanny way, academic literacies require that we engage in problem-posing strategies to determine the rules and guidelines a given discipline / field / major follows when writing (conversing, defining, and validating knowledge) about itself and its subject matter.
Here, then, is your reflection prompt for Unit 3:
We’ve read a great deal of information about “being digital” in the 21st century, and we’ve also read a number of positions about the impact / toll / adverse effects that our compulsion to be connected, to be plugged in, has on us both as individual users and as members of a larger society.
Yet, for all the infiltration of digital technology in our everyday lives, no one academic discipline discusses the matter in the exact same way, for the same purposes, for the same audiences. Each discipline is its own “discourse community” (Glade 401).
For this assignment, reflect on your experience researching your particular topic and developing your essay’s argument about digital technology and everyday life: how have different academic literacies affected your thinking on the subject? Did reading across disciplines (i.e. using SUMMON to find articles) shed insight into how you might approach your particular topic and thesis argument? What was your experience of reading different types of academic writing (i.e. scholarly articles from different fields) like? Was it detrimental? Or perhaps beneficial? More importantly, focus on the strategies you had to develop in order to understand how a particular field, a particular discourse community, approached your topic: what types of information were most important? What type of data does that discipline value? How did these sources stretch your understanding of academic literacies?
The goal here is to analyze not just what you did do, but why you did it—to assess what you learned from the various activities, readings, and discussions that comprised our unit.
Remember that your reflection helps me appreciate and more fairly evaluate all of your work in the unit (from daily exercises to polished products; from our initial problem-posing inquiry to developing an issue-based question to our library research assignments to all the drafting and thesis development sessions). Lastly, your reflection is an opportunity for you to continue to showcase your critical thinking skills, particularly your ability to think deeply about practices and concepts specific to effective reading and the challenges that academic literacies pose to college students.
The following prompts may give you a starting point for thinking and writing; I do not expect you to answer all of them nor use them to outline your reflection:
- In what ways do you feel that using SUMMON challenged your sense of academic literacies?
- To what degree do you feel that your topic intersects with a particular discourse community on campus?
- Glade talks about the idea of problem-posing, the asking of open-ended questions about the subject matter / topic under investigation. What are some problem-posing questions your essay asks of your topic?
- Part of the challenge of participating in different discourse communities is the ability to situate them properly—which aspects of your topic made that the most difficult?
- What was your experience of reading different types of academic writing (i.e. scholarly articles from different fields) like?
- Your reflection should be thoughtful, engaged, and run approximately 325-350 words.
- Submit both your reflection and your analysis (as its own page) to your personal and the Long Essay page on the class blog site by the start of class on December 4th. Have your essay appear first, followed by your reflection. (See details at he end of the Long Essay Page)
- Please include a word count at the end of your post.