Final Blog Post

There are plenty of things that I find to be difficult. Algebra, postmodern existentialism, and talking to celebrities are only a few of these things that can be detrimental to my sanity.



Another thing that I find to be difficult is summing up my thoughts on an interesting semester.

This is an attempt:

When I started out this semester, I didn’t know what to expect from a class called “Advanced Writing.” When reading the title of the class, it conjured up many mental images pertaining to what it was I would learn and what I would do. Initial thoughts suggested to me that the class would be entirely textbook based and focused entirely on writing things in journals and focusing on more of an archaic standard. This is, of course, what society deems to be “advanced.”

"Dear Diary, I'm so advanced it hurts"

“Dear Diary, I’m so advanced it hurts”

However, upon the opening class, I realized things would be a bit different in this class. There was a strong reliance on computers and the digital aspect of writing which I found to be outstanding. Of course, being a college class, I was anticipating the students to take this to their advantage. I was thinking “I wonder how long it will take until we all stop listening and just browse the web.” This never happened. The amount of respect from the students in this class was outstanding and welcome. It’s sad to say that this is a rare thing in most of my English classes.

The most I took away from this class, personally, was the strong focus on rhetorical strategies. It’s a shame, really, that most of these strategies are only implied when it comes to writing and there really isn’t a strong focus on them in classes. In this class, I was allowed to go through and really focus and exercise my abilities when it comes to using them. This kind of study should be mandatory for people wishing to study English as, without it, we really cannot be considered to be a serious representative of the English language, let alone the English major. I could see progress in my classmates and I could really get a sense of growth within myself and my confidence when it comes to writing.

A representation of me writing.

A representation of me writing over the course of this class

In retrospect, I can safely say that my experience in this class is important when I think about taking English classes in the future. If nothing else, the confidence I gained in writing from all the lessons we did was more than worth my time and my energy.

Thank you, it was fun!

I had no idea how to end this so here's Huey Lewis again.

I had no idea how to end this so here’s Huey Lewis again.

Peer Review

Dr. Rodrigue/Advanced Writing, Fall 2012/Biography Peer Review


1.  Genre regularities, as you know, function as guides to help writers compose. Identify at least two common characteristics of the genre of biography in your peers’ work. If these characteristics do not exist, tell the author.


2. As we discussed in class, many biography writers construct generic identities (the hero, the villain, the martyr) or tell stories with common themes (the coming of age story, the tragedy, the unexpected romance) or simply report the life events of a person. In an effort to avoid approaching the writing of a biography as a “fill-in-the-blank” endeavor, writer’s need to have a distinct purpose(s) geared to a particular audience. What is the writer’s purpose(s) in writing this biography? What goals do you think the writer is trying to achieve? What arguments is he/she trying to make? Describe them below. If you can’t determine a purpose(s), tell the author.


3. In what ways do you see the writer taking his/her audience into consideration when trying to achieve his/her purpose? (For those who are composing Powerpoint presentations, the audience is the class. For those who are composing in any other medium, the audience description, as you know, is on a word document on the assignment page).

By using storify and a timeline with videos, and pictures is a really good idea, and will help give a sense of who he has worked with as well as the work he has done as a solo artist.  Also a good idea would maybe have YouTube clips with songs that he has produced for Coldplay, U2 (older and newer songs) and (Viva La Vida was a genius album) and songs that he has released himself.  By doing this you might actually get people in the class to consider buying his solo music if they like what they hear.


4. Identify at least three rhetorical strategies the writer uses. Describe the extent to which these rhetorical strategies are effective in helping the writer achieve his/her purpose(s) to the intended audience.


5. Describe the extent to which your peer’s chosen modes (alphabet, audio, visual) and medium(s) (video, photographs, pictures, alphabetic writing, etc) function rhetorically. Do you think the incorporation of other modes and mediums could help the writer strengthen the biography and further achieve his/her goals? If so, make a suggestion of how and where the writer might incorporate other modes and mediums.


6. Identify two strengths of the paper, and explain why you think these are strengths.


7. Identify two parts that need to strengthened, and make a suggestion as to how the writer might do so.


8. Make some general suggestions that may help your peer strengthen the draft (perhaps you think they need to conduct more research, incorporate a particular point of view, cut something out, etc).

I think you should focus on his solo career compared to the careers of artists that he has worked with and how he has gained a lot of success working with them as opposed to the success he has achieved as a solo artist.  I think by doing this, would make for a very interesting biography, as it is something different from the normal everyday biography.


Spend the last 10 minutes of class talking with your peer about your responses and anything else that will help him/her strengthen his paper.