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William Beasley Midterm

1. Read the entire "Evaluation" section of the syllabus, and then look specifically at the Portfolio Grade Scale on pg. 2. Granted, you haven't put your e-Portfolio together yet: right now, it's a pretty empty Weebly site with a few blog posts. But, based on the work you've done so far and your engagement with key concepts, what grade would you give yourself in this class? In your answer, include a letter grade and use the Grade Scale to help you explain why you deserve that grade. Also explain at least 2 key concepts that you're succeeding with. You may also want to mention a key concept that you're struggling with and how you might attempt to engage with it better in the second half of this course. I think my portfolio right now would have to be a “B”, which is a grade I am not happy with. When I started out this class I was lost on when things were due and what things were due. Recently I found out that all of the class assignments and due dates are kept on the class weebly site. Finding this out was very helpful. Now that I know about the weebly site I will be getting every assignment turned in on time and every assignment done to what was specifically asked. While I would put my current grade for the portfolio as a “B”, I would have to say, I am on track for making the portfolio a solid “A”. By the end of the year I should have a site that not only holds my portfolio but also all the projects on the side that I am doing for fun. The purpose of my site is not just to be a portfolio for this class but it is also to be a blog for things that are going on in my life including photography, 3D modeling/rendering, bitcoin stuff, and my never-ending PC tweaks. I think by the end of the year I should have a website that is completely full of content and matching the requirements for an “A”. There are several things I think I am doing very well so far, and there are things I would like to be doing better. I feel as though I am good at doing my own research and formulating opinions of my own. This really helped me out on the Exploratory Essay, and will help me out on the Extend Inquiry Project. While I have these strengths I feel as though it is the small things that are holding me back including grammar and turning things in on time. I also would like to add more of a personality to my writing because I keep getting the comment back on my Exploratory Essay, “Why are you passionate about bitcoin?” which I thought was already explained in the parts where I talk about how powerful a decentralized currency could be, after all, it is hard to not be passionate about something when you have seen it’s material value multiply tenfold over the course of a day. But this is just me rationalizing the greater problem of not being able to make it clear to someone why I like something without listing every single detail.

2. Rhetorically analyze one of the ten example e-Portfolios on Moodle2. We’ll use all of our “3 tools” here: Use the bottom frame on page. 59 of your textbook to get started. (This frame prompts you to use the rhetorical triad and Aristotle’s appeals + kairos) Use the multi-modal (5 modes of communication) handout to help explain what modes the author of the e-Portfolio used well. (If you lost your hard copy, this handout is on Moodle2) Lastly, make sure to explain, based on your analysis, whether you think the e-Portfolio is successful. With the Portfolio Grade Scale in mind, does it fulfill its purpose? What grade would you give it? I chose the 3rd e-Portfolio from the list. For logos the author’s e-Portfolio contained gargantuan amounts of facts, I loved the author’s style of writing. The style of writing is very similar to mine as the author was direct to the reader meaning exactly what the author was writing. It was pleasing to read such direct texts.


William Beasley This was clear throughout all of the author’s texts as the author used ample amounts of detail and examples. For Pathos the author does an ok job at presenting the reader with his material. I would not say that the presentation is anything special because when you go over to the “Literacy Narrative” and the “Genre Analysis” tabs to look at the content the text is almost too small to read with text boxes blocking the actual text. Apart from that the author does a great job presenting the blog and the portfolio essay. For the Ethos, I think the author uses the perfect amount, which is almost none because I think that for this genre the need for ethos is minimal. The monochrome and linear styling enables the reader to filter any emotional triggers that a normal e-Portfolio might contain. I am quite sure that this was intended by the author as he did not want any biased reviews. As for karios the author does a good job with this because the use of the theme, karios involves using the right material or words at the right time and the use of this to his audience. He uses the right words and the right tone to the audience which is exactly what karios encapsulates.

3. Extended Inquiry Project: What is your main inquiry question? (What’s the question that’s currently “driving” your research? Hopefully at this point, since you’ve done some research and have talked with your group and me, you can narrow your inquiry question down a bit? Remember, it should be a question that’s not easily answerable, something that you don’t already have a set opinion about, and something that’s researchable.) Imagine you’re sitting at a round table with others who are invested in your inquiry topic— experts, scholars, and informed observers. Who do you expect would be at this table with you? Identify at least 4 others who are at this table, explain why they are at the table (why they are invested in your topic) and how you think they might answer your inquiry question, based on the research you’ve already done. My Extended Inquiry Project’s topic is on autistic savants. Savants are extremely talented people. The catch is the part where I said “what they can do” which is limited. While they are geniuses, they are also idiots, strictly in the definition of the word. Because of this they have been called idiot savants. The question I have regarding Idiot savants is, are idiot savants idiots with a special ability, or geniuses with a disability. Do autistic savants have a hidden plethora of knowledge locked in their brain that they just cannot express, or in fact do they have nothing except what we can observe through standard methods. This is a question that I have had since the first time I watched the movie Rain man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Who would be at my table of others who are invested in this question? I would invite psychologists who study the brain to find out things we never knew about the only organ that we cannot recreate in a lab. I would invite psychotherapist to the table, who are working on helping these people fit in and adapt to a world that was not optimized for them. I would invite the charity autismcares as they have changed the world with their contributions to study of autism. I would also invite the uninformed to this table as they have an opinion and side that the experts don’t have, which is being able to see an autistic savant for their autism or their savant skill which are both valid opinions.


Midterm