Welcome

Welcome to my website for English 1101! I am Makala Muhammed, a first year student at Georgia Tech studying Industrial and Systems Engineering and French and enrolled in the International Plan. The purpose of this website is to show case my works in progress and my blogs for various assignments throughout this fall semester for my English 1101 class. Through my website, I will explain my opinion, express how certain articles or reading passages have impacted me, and show case my writing style and ability. Overall, I am looking forward to improving my writing abilities and communication. Specifically, my WOVEN communication. WOVEN is an acronym used by Tech students and faculty, which stands for Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal communication. By highlighting this as a main focus in Tech’s English classes, they make sure that students are well versed in multiple modes of communication, ultimately benefitting them in their personal lives and professional careers. Although Tech offers different programs of study, communication is a beneficial skill, that stretches across all disciplines. In this modern age, it is extremely important to be an effective communicator. That is why I am eager and excited to be in my English 1101 class and I cannot wait to begin to perfect my communication skills here at Tech.

Go Jackets!

GeorgiaTech

 

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Panel 1

Works-In-Progress

December 2, 2016

Original text with edits: Having had a passion for STEM for most of my life, makes me interested in many up-and-coming scientific topics and discoveries. Throughout this English 1101 course, focused on “Science in the Public”, I found myself increasingly interested in many of the articles and videos that we have analyzed in class. Because I am pursuing a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, I believe that it is important for me to not only be able to solve problems and present solutions to these problems, but to be able to use the learning outcomes like an appeal to rhetoric, the idea of process, the use of multiple modes and mediums, and being able to think critically, in order to effectively communicate with others, about my processes, within my chosen field (Madison liked how I related my progress in the course to my future plans, because it gives my reflective essay a more personal appeal). Thus, throughout English 1101, I was able to demonstrate my progression as a writer, having the ability to use rhetorical devices, and critical thinking to guide a process for producing pieces of work, along with being able to incorporate creative formats for presentations and different mediums of presenting in projects like my “Spinning-Science project”, the “Transforming Tech Science project”, the “Value(s) of Science project”, and many blog posts. (Tia said that the ending of my introduction was well written, and that she could tell what my essay would be about and the points that I will make)

2nd Rough Draft: Throughout this English 1101 course, focused on “Science in the Public”, I found myself increasingly interested in many of the articles and videos that we have analyzed in class. Because I am pursuing a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, I believe that it is important for me to not only be able to solve problems and present solutions to these problems, but to be able to use the learning outcomes like an appeal to rhetoric, the idea of process, the use of multiple modes and mediums, and being able to think critically, in order to effectively communicate with others, about my processes, within my chosen field. Thus, throughout this English 1101, I was able to demonstrate my progression as a writer, having the ability to use rhetorical devices, and critical thinking to guide a process for producing pieces of work, along with being able to incorporate creative formats for presentations and different mediums of presenting in projects like my “Spinning-Science project”, the “Transforming Tech Science project”, the “Value(s) of Science project”, and many blog posts.

December 1, 2016

Draft Introduction: Having had a passion for STEM for most of my life, makes me interested in many up-and-coming scientific topics and discoveries. Throughout this English 1101 course, focused on “Science in the Public”, I found myself increasingly interested in many of the articles and videos that we have analyzed in class. Because I am pursuing a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, I believe that it is important for me to not only be able to solve problems and present solutions to these problems, but to be able to use the learning outcomes like an appeal to rhetoric, the idea of process, the use of multiple modes and mediums, and being able to think critically, in order to effectively communicate with others, about my processes, within my chosen field. Thus, throughout English 1101, I was able to demonstrate my progression as a writer, having the ability to use rhetorical devices, and critical thinking to guide a process for producing pieces of work, along with being able to incorporate creative formats for presentations and different mediums of presenting in projects like my “Spinning-Science project”, the “Transforming Tech Science project”, the “Value(s) of Science project”, and many blog posts.

November 30, 2016

*Goal: “working” statement of argument for the introduction letter*

Rough Draft of Statement: Throughout English 1101, I was able to demonstrate my progression as a writer, having the ability to use rhetorical devices, and critical thinking to guide a process for producing pieces of work, along with being able to incorporate creative formats for presentations and different mediums of presenting in projects like my spinning-science project, the Transforming Tech Science project, the value of science project, and many blog posts.

Plan for reflective essay (1200-1800 words that makes an argument about my work this semester – each bullet is a paragraph):

  • Introduction – speak about my overall growth as a communicator
  • analyze the understanding of rhetoric and critical thinking (transformation & values)
  • analyze the understanding of the effectiveness of using different modes (also transformation)
    • Describe the methods and modes that were the focus of your communicative work in the course.
  • analyze the importance of process (transformation)
  • Reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the course outcomes.
    • Articulate areas and strategies you would like to focus on for continued improvement.

Things to keep in mind while writing: 

  • Should determine what would be the most effective approach given your audience, purpose, argument, and context. Your reflective essay should be multimodal, including images, screen shots, embedded video, sound, and/or other media.
  • Should reflect the most important learning—concepts, strategies, skills, practices, approaches—that you acquired, in relation both to the course outcomes and to your own priorities as a student.

November 28, 2016

Learning Outcomes: Reflection Portfolio – Artifact 3

The final artifact that I chose to display in my reflective portfolio was my Transforming Tech Science project where I demonstrated the learning outcome of process. To insure that the implementation of the project was seamless, steps were taken to make sure that the plans for the assignment aligned with the goals of the project, in the point of view of our professor. The following piece from my project is an excerpt of the planning for the Transforming Tech Project.

“We chose an interview format in order to present the information in the article with more conviction, to broaden the article’s audience, and to allow them to better understand the benefits of the fabric and why it is so innovative. We believe that the interview is a better medium to use when presenting information as such because with interviews, people are asking questions that the audience wants to hear, in order to get direct answers. Interviews are very direct and personal and are great with connecting the information to the audience more.

To successfully revise our texts we will:

  1. All review the article together and mark key points that we believe should be mentioned in the interview
  2. Develop a “script” for the interview
  3. Assign roles (cameraman/ woman, interviewer, person being interviewed, video editor(s))

– – – – – – – –

Monday, September 26th:

  • Review the tech article  and discuss key points that should be used
  • Begin to prepare the script, discuss setting, who should be in certain roles, etc.
  • Insure that we ask questions about the presentation (do’s vs. don’ts)…”

Having an adequate plan for the process of a project is key to staying aligned with the purpose of the project and the overall direction that each member would like to take the project in. By developing a plan for the Transforming Tech Science project, we were able to develop an idea around how we wanted to present the information in our project, and why we decided that that medium would be the best way to present such information. Just as the Learning Outcomes for English 1101 and English 1102 say under the category of process, “Learning productive processes is as important as creating products”. As the final edition of the project was produced and presented, each member was asked to write a reflection on how the project went, what went well/ wrong, what could have been executed better, etc., in order to show the process of the Transforming Tech Science project, in its entirety.

November 28, 2016

Learning Outcomes: Reflection Portfolio – Artifact 2

The second artifact that I chose to display in my reflective portfolio was a blog post on the documentary: “Nim”, titled “The Legacy of Nim”. During this artifact I manly demonstrated the learning outcome of rhetoric, and its focus on persuasion, the consideration of factors like context, audience, purpose, argument, etc. This inclusion of rhetoric in my blog post can be seen in the following excerpt from my blog post.

“The documentary, “Project Nim”, formally makes the argument that you can not forcibly change a creature’s nature, without causing unknown damage. However the argument of the experiment and the argument of the documentary differed. The experiment, as stated later in this blog, was held in order to view the mindset of chimps and their capabilities to communicate like humans, while the documentary argued about the nature vs. nurture debate…The actor portrayals of the times in which Nim hurts his “family”, act as tangible evidence that Nim acted in a way that he is hardwired. There is a moment in the documentary in which someone says “an abrupt break between old and new”, in relation to Nim. This immediately stuck out to me because it showed that their experiment intrinsically acted just as such, an abrupt break between old and new, or between what Nim new to be his animal nature, and what they attempted to teach Nim, by raising him just as a mother would raise a human child.

In my opinion, the empirical evidence that is offered in the documentary effectively portrays the argument of the documentary because of Nim’s increasing aggression, and lack of control following his childhood and the experiment…”

In this particular section from my blog post, I mention how to documentary uses persuasion to make an argument that the documentary makes that one could not change an animals nature without causing unforeseen harm and the purpose that it stands for, to convince its audience that this argument is what is true. Not only do I adhere to the rhetoric that is displayed in the documentary, itself, but I use rhetoric in my blog post to effectively the purpose of the documentary its self and what it does well as a mode of communication as it pertains to audience, context, purpose, and argument.

November 28, 2016

Learning Outcomes: Reflection Portfolio – Artifact 1

In my reflective writing portfolio, I chose to display 3 artifacts that I believe best displays the learning outcomes of critical thinking, rhetoric, process, and modes and media, as outlined on Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program Common Policies blog. For my reflection, I chose to display my common first week video, my value of science project, a blog post on “The Legacy of Nim”, and my transforming Tech science project.

Specifically for my values of science project, I demonstrate having met the learning outcome of critical thinking, by taking the two texts that were used in my project, and understanding their individual contexts and the analyzing the text to use each author’s respective point of views and interpreting a value from each text, the value of curiosity. This can be seen in the following excerpt from my value of science project.

“Sydney: Okay, so we’ve spoken of the similarities of the texts and how fundamentally bringing these two texts together enhances our conceptions of curiosity and its importance, but were there any differences between them?

Tia: Well even though both modes analyze the exploration of curiosity, Todd highlights the journey of finding curiosity while Sweeney forms a continuum of effects of curiosity, or the progression. I thought of this because Todd stated in the final pages of her writing, “For curiosity to have value, perhaps we have to allow it to be the beginning of something larger, to pursue it past the initial itch, the spark of hunger, the quick answer, the dopamine burst, to the “real investigation” (280). When she uses words such as “beginning” and “ initial itch”, “spark of hunger”, she’s demonstrating curiosity to her readers and relating it to them. This passage really shows how our own questioning minds make us human!

Madison: Well said! Sweeney, on the other hand asked questions with intentions of gaining an answer, hint her statement “No Questions = No Progress = Status Quo” (C. Sweeney, Tedx Talk). In her discussion, Sweeney emphasizes how curiosity is a part of the journey that we take in life. She focuses on the things that were created out of curiosity.”

In the above excerpt, Tia speaks about the differences between the two texts and the specific views of curiosity that each author speaks to. Being able to use critical thinking to analyze the value of the two texts and being able to interpret the meaning of the two texts, to “accommodate opposing view points” on the idea of curiosity, and being able to integrate the ideas of the authors with the ideas of the individuals who worked on our project, which are presented in the radio talk show, itself, demonstrates my groups understanding and use of critical thinking in this particular artifact.

November 2, 2016

Revising “The Legacy of Nim”

Original Text from blog post:

“Wouldn’t it be exciting to communicate with a chimp, and find out what it was thinking?” Herb’s mindset reflected his inquisitiveness. Through his eyes the purpose of the experiment was to determine whether or not it was plausible to raise an infant chimp, as a child, and teach it to communicate. Project Nim stood as an expansion into human communication and gave the experimenters insight into how language evolves and works overall. Herb expressed that although the results of the experiment hit a dead end, that “the real break through would be, if like human children, chimps can form grammatical sentences”.

Revised text to include developed “quotation sandwiches”:

In the documentary, “Project Nim”, researchers developed a research experiment designed around an infant chimp with the purpose of testing its ability to effectively communicate. Tech director of the experiment Herbert Terrace, a behavior psychologist at Columbia University found this topic interesting and sought out a former student along with others to help him facilitate the experiment. The initial thought that spear headed the project was: “Wouldn’t it be exciting to communicate with a chimp, and find out what it was thinking?” Herb’s mindset reflected his inquisitiveness. Through his eyes, the purpose of the experiment was to determine whether or not it was plausible to raise an infant chimp, as a child, and teach it to communicate. Project Nim stood as an expansion into human communication and gave the experimenters insight into how language evolves and works overall. During the experiment, Herb expressed that although the results of the experiment hit a dead end, that “the real break through would be, if like human children, chimps can form grammatical sentences”. Overall, the project stood as a beneficial project and resulted in Nim remembering how to sign basic words in order to communicate, showing the results of the experiment.

October 28, 2016

Discussing the “Curiosity” of explorers

Kim Todd

  1. What is her argument? In her piece of writing, “Curious”, Kim Todd introduces the idea of curiosity through an unusual approach of discussing the video footage of a rare toad reproducing and how individuals would comment their opinion on how they were disgusted by the toad, but would still watch the video. This is the essence of curiosity and the point that I believe Todd attempted to make, that curiosity is us having skepticism of something that we are not familiar with, it is something that is inevitable and even more necessary because we are humans and inhabitants of this earth.
  2. Give a quote that supports your contention that (question 1) is true. A major passage that stuck out to me in Todd’s writing really expresses the argument of the passage. She not only explains why curiosity is inevitable and important, but how it has shaped our world. She says, “For curiosity to have value, perhaps we have to allow it to be the beginning of something larger, to pursue it past the initial itch, the spark of hunger, the quick answer, the dopamine burst, to the “real investigation” Darwin asked for. Darwin, so hard on curiosity, was relentless at looking at the big picture, of looking at creatures through time, of challenging categories and turning the mirror back on humans. We have to see the disturbed world it implied, and ourselves living within it, moving beyond the role of observer, of questioning mind” (279-280).
  3. Your interpretation of what (question 2) means. To me, this passage means that a “questioning mind” is what makes us human. It is majorly important and gives us insight to us figuring out other things, and thus figuring out ourselves.

Emily Graslie

  1. What is her argument? In Graslie’s TEDx talk, she discusses the idea of explorers and how information is so readily available via technology in our modern age. she explains that although this information can be accessed via online sites, it is truly the people answering our questions and not the site that essentially holds the information that we are seeking.
  2. Give a quote that supports your contention that (question 1) is true. During the ending of her TEDx Talk speech, she said something that truly stood out to me, and I believe that it stood out to my peers as well. Graslie says, “You can’t be curious about something if you don’t know it exists…technolgy doesn’t answer the questions, people are answering these questions for us”.
  3. Your interpretation of what (question 2) means. In my opinion Graslie hits on a similar tone as Todd, in the since that curiosity is inevitable and intrinsically important for us to evolve. Curiosity allows us to ask definitive questions about how or why things came to be. Essentially, as a director at a museum, Graslie expresses that museums are essentially catalysts for curiosity.

September 26, 2016

Transforming Science

  1. Why does our article matter? Our article is important because it innovates science and technology. Today’s world is driven by technological advances that benefit the human race. Using the product in our article can potentially be a virtually free source of energy for people that is not only fascinating but also extremely beneficial.
  2. What do you presume your audience cares about already? In the article, Brown cites a quote from a professor in the school of Material Science and Engineering. Naturally it is safe to assume that Georgia Tech students and graduates are the audience of the article, more specifically Material Science Majors, because they would be interested in the advancement of technology with materials as such.

September 21, 2016

Analyzing Popular Science Vs. Georgia Tech News

In the readings for today’s class, I found similarities in the formal voice that is used in both articles, which grants credibility. The Tech news article and the Popular Science article uses a video to further explain the findings, but because the Tech news article provided the video at the beginning of the article, it makes the article a bit more interesting to read because we can then see for ourselves what exactly is being described. We are more engaged and receptive of the information at that point and are more willing to continue to read. However, because this site only uses one video, the remaining text is not broken up, and thus is a bit harder to read. The Popular Science article is very short and simple and gets straight to the point, but it does not go into depth about the science behind the article, it also displays the same video as the Georgia Tech article, but it displays it at the end of the article, when most publications loose the attention of their audiences. Therefore, it lacks the explanation of the scientific approach to understanding the behaviors of the African mudskipper and how it relates to terrestrial animals and their movements 360 million years ago. Additionally, both articles credit credible sources, like the NSF and universities like Carnegie Mellon and Tech, but because of the format of the Popular Science article, it makes it seem less credible.

September 16, 2016

Spinning Science Reflection

Carlo’s review: Over all, I gave Carlo an “A” to reflect his work in his Spinning Science Project. There was a minor mistake in grammar and a few suggestions given on how he could better perfect his argument, but over all he did an excellent job!

  • Rhetoric Awareness: Mature
  • Stance: Mature
  • Development of Ideas: Exemplary
  • Organization: Exemplary
  • Conventions: Mature
  • Design for Medium: Competent

During the Spinning Science project review, I learned about what I could have done to to display my analysis of my argument better. I learned about switching the order of my specific arguments to give more conviction and to fix minor grammatical errors. Over all, the in-class review was very beneficial. My plan to revise includes fixing the changes that we discussed in our review, as well as getting an additional peer to review my arguments after making the necessary changes.

September 12, 2016

Information from critique session:

Pros: Improvements.jpg

September 11, 2016

Spinning Science Advertisement Introduction

In 2011, Nivea, a reputable skin-care company originating from Germany, was fined for a TV ad implying that their new product “Nivea – My Silhouette”, if used frequently, would result in a sliming silhouette. In the TV ad, the narrator says “body confidence, in a tube”. To any consumer, this gives false hope, implying that the product will drastically alter your appearance and give you a slimming figure. In the government, the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for protecting consumers. Pertaining to the Nivea advertisement, the FTC deemed this as a deceptive advertisement promising things that were not correct. Nivea’s consequence for their deceptive advertisement was a hefty fine totaling to almost one million dollars. Amusingly so, Nivea claimed that the “active ingredients” in their product were the causes of the weight loss that the product would bring. These “active ingredients” are anise and white tea. Anise is a flowering plant native to the land of Egypt. When cultivated it is used for culinary purposes, liquor, and herbal medicine. Let’s focus on the herbal medicine use. Anise, as medicine, is great for reducing flatulence, an internal bodily action. The question is: How would a substance that is helpful for internal bodily processes, help out side of the body? In addition to Anise, white tea is another ingredient that Nivea claimed reduced weight, but in reality, white tea is beneficial with reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disorder, helping to improve oral and skin health. Although the benefits from white tea are great, no where do they mention that they have any effect on weight loss. In all, through their advertising, Nivea promised things that were not scientifically proven to be correct and thus, mislead their consumers.

August 29, 2016

Common First Week Video Reflection

            To effectively complete my first week video, I thought about myself as communicator and thought about the things that I have struggled on in the past, I drafted a potential script, practiced with the initial script a couple of times, and edited my script based on my initial practice trials. After securing a script that sounded good to me, I filmed more, to get a final cut. There were a few times when I jumbled up my words, or didn’t quite like how I said something. When that occurred, I stopped recording, re-composed myself, and filmed again. In the end, I used iMovie to edit my video, by adjusting lighting, and adding words over the footage.

In all, I am most satisfied with my final cut because I was able to effectively communicate orally, and nonverbally (through gestures) my eagerness to work on my communication, specifically with oral and nonverbal communication. Therefore, I had already begun to work on my weaknesses through the process of preparing this video. Like many say, practice makes perfect. I have no doubt that if I continue practicing my oral and nonverbal communication, I will be a much better communicator.

If I could redo a part of the process, I would go a bit in depth about the other modes of communication and explain how or why I believe that I am well versed in those modes. However, with the current time constraint of 60 to 120 seconds, that wasn’t possible to incorporate into the final product. Overall, however, I am proud of my outcome, and I look forward to working on my communication during the semester.