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Daniel Breach
Prof. Deadrick
ENGL 102
11 May 2015
Reflection of Progress and Development in English 102
Higher education is generally regarded as a means to obtaining a degree. Granted, it is
true that successfully graduating from a college leads to a diploma, and that this diploma is
undeniably highly fruitful; a degree establishes credibility and knowledge in a certain subject
area, which is instrumental in finding employment. However, the world of higher education
should not be so easily overlooked, since it provides countless courses in countless subject areas.
As advantageous as a diploma may be, it is equally important to reflect upon the knowledge and
skills gained over the duration of years spent in these courses. Looking back upon this time of
learning upholds a spirit of education and knowledge, but reflection also supports a much more
immediate and physical benefit; reviewing ones work and experiences is vital to reinforcing the
skills learned and the knowledge gained. It is absolutely central to the learning process to not
only have a firm grasp and a solid understanding of what is being taught, but to be aware of how
well one does understand the content. This is to say that reading a textbook and attending
lectures is not enough to prove expertise; it is vital for a student to also be aware of how well
they understood the textbook and lectures. If a student does not follow through with this
reflection, and resultantly lacks this awareness, then they also lack a mastery of the subject and
how its real world applications. Reflection encompasses a greater understanding of what was
taught, how well that teaching was received, and the significance it holds in the resulting real
world context.

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Reflecting upon a specific course, such as an English class, requires looking at evidence
of past work in order to clearly and successfully argue that an individual performed well and met
the course expectations and requirements. In my own case, I will study my work from English
102 with Professor Deadrick, in addition to the feedback that I received on these essays from the
aforementioned professor. I should like to believe that I performed well in this class; I gained a
solid understanding of the material, and I was able to introduce it to my own writing as well as
the writing of others. Overall, my ability to analyze the rhetoric of others is arguably stronger
than my ability to use it in my own writing, but I perform well in both categories regardless.
My understanding of the elements of rhetoric is visible in my analyses of the work of
others. The rhetorical analysis that I conducted of an article by Laura Bogart received a
considerably high score from the professor, and received very few remarks or criticisms.
Similarly, the visual argument analysis essay also received a high score, and the few remarks that
I received were mostly about grammar and conventions. Both of these essays received general
praise, not only for the writing style within but more importantly for the thorough, almost intense
analysis that I applied to both. This comes directly from an understanding of the material taught
in the course.
The exploratory paper assignment is easily the most damning evidence that my
application of rhetoric in this course is limited. The exploratory paper was an essay that was
meant to investigate a specific subject area with the most objective and journalistic perspective
possible. The idea was to become deeply informed on the facets and details of a given issue,
without expressing any clear favoritism for a side. This revolved primarily around conducting
research and finding reputable, relevant and reliable sources to provide information. This essay
also fed directly into the researched argument paper; my performance on that particular

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assignment remains to be seen, but the exploratory paper is highly relevant and directly
applicable to it.
Simply put, my exploratory paper was weak. The essay was about the militarization of
police in the United States, and it was clearly partial from the very beginning, so that the
intended objective point of view was immediately clouded by personal beliefs. Thorough
research was conducted and sources were included, but the information was not very well
connected to the sources that it was obtained from. A weak exploratory paper is significant
because the exploratory paper is meant to establish the basis of understanding for the researched
argument paper. Thus, performing poorly on the exploratory could arguably indicate that I lack a
solid and comprehensive understanding of the issue that I would then proceed to write about in
depth and, as a result, my credibility on the subject matter is largely diminished before the
researched argument essay has even been read.
However, this train of thought dismisses a number of important possibilities. I believe
that I do have a thorough understanding of the militarization of police, and this understanding
comes from conducting plenty of research from reputable sources. The real issue arises from my
faults in citation mechanics; I frequently leave information uncited, even when I have obtained it
from a highly reliable source, making it seem questionable or unreliable. This is to say that my
argument remains valid, even if a lack of citations might suggest otherwise at first. Moreover, the
researched argument essay should not depend only on facts but also on clear logical reasoning
and coherent thinking. This aspect speaks for itself; if an idea is solid and rational, then it only
need be explained and worded correctly for the audience to understand it. Essentially, a poor
performance on the exploratory paper should not speak towards a catastrophic failure on an
argument essay. Rather, it can be considered a fluke, and a hard one at that, but a fluke

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nonetheless. My ability to apply learned rhetorical elements to my own writing is of the most
significance here; it evidences the fact that I understand the content, and can use it to my own
style and advantage.
By way of retrospection, I have determined that my performance in this course was above
moderate. I was not a model student by any means, but I met the expectations and improved
when given the opportunity. This reflection also reveals the potential to apply the content learned
in this course to other subjects in the world. This awareness is vital to the mastery of a subject
matter, and while I am by no means a master yet, this is a central part of the process.

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Works Cited
Breach, Daniel. Laura Bogarts Analysis of Tarantinos Hipster Misogyny. 11 March 2016. TS.
---. The Honda Supercub Ad Campaign: Selling Bikes by Redefining a Culture. 27 March 2016.
TS. Rockville.
---. An Exploration of the Militarization of Police in the United States. 18 April 2016. TS.
---. The Damaging Effects of a Militarized Police Force. 5 May 2016. TS. Rockville.