Monthly Archives: February 2014

Feb. 25 Group Work – Keri, Courtney, and Felipe

Pages 48-53 in Holcomb & Killingsworth

During class, work in groups to discuss the following sections of the assigned reading. Your discussion should include:

1) what does and does not make sense

– What did not make sense: They did not discuss what the “norm” is. When I am writing, how do you know that it is not the norm and is actually a deviation?

– It is interesting that in scientific styles of writing the use of passive voice is quite prevalent, when on the other hand we are encouraged to rid our writing of passive voice and use the active voice instead. Academic writing is not scientific writing?

– It makes sense that a writer has to switch his rhetorical appeal when focusing on specific audiences. (Scientific Community example, pg. 50)

– Why is the section on arbitrary norms so different from the section on community norms? In both sections they talk about rhetorical affects of regions and how people perceive certain types of styles as well as diction. The difference between arbitrary norms and community norms does not make much sense to us. However, what does make sense is the fact that rhetorical approaches differ regionally.

2) what you consider to be most important in your section

– I think what is most important is that you have to be aware of the fact that your writing style / diction should change depending on your audience.

– The 5 canons of rhetoric are very important for our section because we are talking about the norms of style.

– It is very important to know how to apply these norms to your own writing, but this also confuses us because we see little difference between each type of norm.

– It is important to use deviation in academic writing. The genre does not have to be about a specific type of writing all of the time; genres can blend with one another.

3) how you might use it in your own writing

– (refer to “2”)

– I may adopt certain types of norms but also blend them together, especially when writing in a different region or to audiences that are not my typical target.

– Being aware of the norm and not wanting to just follow it. You want to provide fresh / new information so that your reader is constantly interested / being persuaded (rhetoric).

– When writing different genres it is important to take into account the norms found in your region. This is especially useful once we graduate and become involved in different workplaces, maybe even around the world!

4) and any other remarks you think would be useful!

– I wish they talked more about diction because to me word choice is so important in rhetorical style. Word choice also plays such a large role in regions worldwide because words are all defined differently depending on where you are in the world. Also, sentence structure is different worldwide so I wish they talked about what is important to take into account when writing for a international audience.

– Become a universal writer!



I have learned quite a lot about style throughout this semester. Rhetorical concepts from WRT 255 have been resurfacing, allowing me to make connections with the WRT 308 class. Style is something that is incredibly important for writers. Each writer has his or her own style, but usually changes over time. One’s style is influenced heavily by the type of person he/she is, the literature he/she reads, or even the people and area one has grown up around. I like to think that I have my own style, but I feel as though it is so similar to my classmates’. I think this is because we ahve not had much experience “free writing” or writing for fun on our own time. This is due to the fact that most of the writing we do is strictly academic. 

However, as I grow older I will most definitely continue reading and constantly adapting my style. I feel as though I will have more time when I am older to sit down and write creatively, which acts as a catalyst of developing a writing style. I want my style to be anything but generic. I want my voice to be heard when my audience is reading my work, but I want to remain professional and sophisticated at the same time. A sense of ethos is necessary in writing, for credibility grants respect. The more respectful an author is, the more people see their style as distinguished. Although I feel as though my writing style is somewhat generic at this point in my life, I know that my style will become more personalized in the future since I will have more time to explore books and write creatively in non-academic settings. 

Kolln & Gray Ch. 4

Chapter 4 encourages writers to exercise coordination in their sentences and structure. This is a vital aspect I have to improve on when writing, for I frequently find myself reorganizing the structure of my writing. This is most prevalent when I am editing a rough draft I have finished, and even more so when I am reading it out loud. I feel as though consideration the coordination in my writing will help me become a better writer by increasing the flow of the writing. Also, a small sense of repetition can be useful in my writing because it can help fortify necessary points I am making. Chapter 4 also talks about the use of conjunctions. Typically, when I write I connect two phrases with one conjunction because it sounds better and more fluid to me. I also use numerous commas as a “pause” for the reader when I feel it is necessary. Although I think I use my commas correctly I have found that the use of a colon or semicolon can also come in handy.


A sense of continuity is very important when writing, which is why structure and coordination play such an important role. Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, is crucial in writing, especially in academic settings. Therefore, Chapter 4’s description of coordination and organization has helped me by allowing me to criticize my own writing. It has made me more aware of subject-verb agreement, which is a recurring theme in Kolln & Gray. In my writing I must work on verb choice, especially when I want to use the verb “to be.” That verb tends to be weak and lacks strong rhetorical appeal for the reader. Thus, in addition to coordination and structure, when writing I should work on subject-verb agreement.

Classmates’ Responses.1.

My classmate’s e-mails have both helped me and confused me. I feel as though people are doing the assignment simply to get it done, but not to offer as much insight as I would like. Of course, people are confused since we are learning the subject. However, we do have books to refer to and an infinite amount of sources online. Don’t get me wrong, most of the feedback I am getting is constructive and helpful but sometimes I just do not understand it.

            The main reason I do not understand a lot of the feedback I get back is because I see it as criticism and do not agree with the comments. For example, in the sentence structure assignment I saw many sentences as different than the person who corrected my sentences. I am not sure if this is because we have a different understanding of what the sentence structures are, or if we actually disagree. The e-mail system would be constructive if we went over them in class. Even if we did not go over all of the e-mails from the students we would be able to see where students stand in their understanding of the material.

            I feel as though I am learning a substantial amount through class as well as the homework assignments. However, there is always the chance that I do not fully understand the material. Thus, I think that the e-mail system would be more effective if we went over a few of them, maybe those that are offered by the students to be used in classroom discussion, because we would be able to see the problems that the actual students within the class are making. These problems are probably common amongst the other students as well, making the activity of revisiting the e-mails even more attractive in terms of effectiveness in teaching. I would like to continue doing the e-mail process with homework assignments, but would love if they were implemented in class discussions more often. 

Passive Voice

All of these sentences come from my WordPress Blog:

1. “The mind comes to believe that the future will continue to display the same sorts of pairings, being that the mind presently has become aware of parings that were experienced in the past.” (Hume) 

2. “I recognize that as a public and collective good, the Tetanus vaccination does provide protection if an individual were to be exposed to certain high-risk conditions.” (Tetanus)

3. “The word ‘public’ refers to the immediate population, and when introducing the word “health”, the definition extends to those that can be affected by the infectious disease or benefited by vaccination.” (The Clash of Powers)


-The passive voice is in all of the the sentence I chose. I would not change the passive voice, which is seen before the verbs (verb phrase), because I feel as though it adds description and a sort of flavor to the sentence. I know that active voice is much more direct and to the point, but I don’t think that it is always a better choice. For example, when writing a story it might be better to use some passive voice not only to switch up the prose, but also to add more description to the verbs. Another example is in the second sentence I chose, in “were to be exposed.” I think the verb phrase is more descriptive with the use of passive voice. It is important to draw attention to the “exposed,” and the passive voice gives the word more emphasis. Therefore, I think that it is good to use the passive voice in some cases. 


Peer Review 2

Good first sentence. I think that your second sentence should be sentence structure 7 and not 5, since there is an object compliment “white / color.” I think the next sentence would be 2 and not 3, since there is an object compliment “skinny”.
I am not sure about the fourth sentence of yours; the colon throws me off when determining the sentence structure (looks good to me though). On the next sentence of yours I think that the 4 with a “(?)” next to it is actually a 2 because “is” is the verb and there a compliment of the object “color modeling”.
On the next sentence of yours I think that the first 5 might be a 3 since your are describing the bodies, which are the objects. (so maybe they are number 7 too).
I agree that in your next sentence structure all of the phrases are 4’s, since the verbs are intransitive.
In your sentence structure with a “5?” I believe the first part is actually 5, because the verb is
to compare”, and the subject is “it,” followed by a DO. Following that, I believe that the next is #3, since there is a linking verb with a subject compliment.
I believe that the rest of your sentences are correct, but I am sure that we will go over them more in depth during class time. I hope these corrections helped, and please don’t hesitate to write back and disagree! (I’m also learning)