1.4 – The writer articulates an assess the effects of his or her writing choices.
Metacognition is a very important element to good good writing. It generally does not take place inside a text, but rather happens out side an essay. It is the thought process leading up to an essay, it is the revision after. For essay MA2, we were specifically supposed to write a reflection piece analyzing the choices me made. Being the ending piece for the quarter I "really wanted to tie together...my though process on monsters for the entire quarter." (pg. 8) I looked specifically at the structure of my essay, which I have noted before in the portfolio that I have had a lot of trouble with in the past. By looking at how I organized the paper at the end of the quarter, I was able to see all the ways that I improved, from a more clear organization of thoughts to a better developmental process. Thinking about my writing allowed me to reflect on all of the writing strategies that made an effective structure in an essay, and even allowed for a look at the techniques that did not work so well. When I was first drafting this paper, I considered a different organizational structure in which each episode of Star Trek was analyzed separately but I remembered how effective the use of synthesis was from SA2.1 and I decided to change my structure so that each idea was discussed separately but with the added benefit of the conversation between the the two pieces. Also, by structuring my paragraphs according to ideas, I was able to develop the ideas in the claim more effectively throughout the paper.
It is important to consider metacognition because it, ahead of peer revues and editing, it the most powerful way that we can learn about ourselves and the effectiveness of strategies used. This is often why people keep diaries, so they are able to keep track of their thought processes so that they can improve on skills or techniques that they are weaker in. By looking and analyzing why we make our decisions, we gain insight into how we make decisions and our reasoning behind that.
2.2 – Course texts are used in strategic, focused ways (for example: summarized, cited, applied, challenged, re-contextualized) to support the goals of writing.
The goal of this paper was to analyze to episodes of Star Trek in terms of the aliens psychological impact on the crew of the ship, and how these actions give the aliens the name of monster. Here, the application of the texts was that of a secondary type. I knew that this essay was a summation of all of the development I have made as to my definition of what a monster is. Even though I did not directly cite or summarize any of the course texts, I re-contextualized their ideas and the claims I developed behind them to develop this paper. The themes of monstrosity in both the creature and Doctor Frankenstein are explored in this paper as I analyze the difference between Kirk and the smoke alien in "Obsession." Kirk, much like the doctor, has a vendetta against the alien for the damage it had tone to the character. the creature (at the time in the story analyzed) is totally evil, and both sides want nothing that the other's throat slit. So by applying Shelley's ideas into a new setting, I am able to further develop the concept of fear and monsters in this paper. It is important to be able to apply texts in this manner because it allows me and others to be able to apply ideas without having to directly cite them. This is often practiced in the film industry, where basic plot and theme structures are reused, and re-applied to many different characters and plots.
2.3 - The writing is intertextual, meaning that a "conversation" between texts and ideas is created in support of the writer's goals.
In this essay, I was told to perform a synthesis of the secondary sources I used. Synthesis is just a fancy word for what is stated in the prompt, but it is a conversation between texts. This is most effectively used when two or more texts are used to develop an idea that can then be applied or used to support another. In my paper, I use a synthesis of three texts to develop exactly what makes up a monster based on the humans mind and culture. By using these other texts, I am able to gain further insight and evidence to support my claim. The three texts helped me to explain how Kirk projects his negative qualities onto the smoke alien so that it becomes a definitive bad monster in his eyes, and can therefore be killed. Without this development from the external sources, it would have been much harder to show how Kirk turns the alien into a monster. It is important to use sources in this way so that ideas beyond just mine or an individual authors can be formed into a larger, more applicable idea. The conversation can even create new ideas. The point behind a conversation is the transmission and discussion of ideas, and by doing this in a literary analysis paper, we are able to come away with more than was put in.
2.4 – The writer is able to utilize multiple kinds of evidence gathered from various sources (primary artifacts) in order to support writing goals.
For this essay, I focused on monstrosity in Star Trek. I gathered my support for this analysis from three secondary sources, all of them from academic journals. Using multiple kinds of evidence is important because it lends more credibility to my argument to show that more than one person has ideas that support or match my ideas. By including the academic journals to the analysis of T.V. shows, I am able to lend a certain amount of authority to my claims because I can show that three peer-reviewed authors who are knowledgeable in their fields have ideas that support mine. It is important in general to use a variety of sources because for one, the sources themselves can have authors who hold differing views, and by holding a conversation with two opposing sides, a deeper level of understanding and analysis can be achieved. The second way that the variety is beneficial is that you have to find the sources, and in searching for these sources, you can be exposed to a wide range of ideas that you may not have considered in you original argument or claim.