Baccalaureate Learning Outcome - Written Communication: Students will communicate clearly, ethically, and purposefully to a variety of audiences in the structured written genres relevant to their academic and/or professional contexts.
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This paper, while not actually written for a course at University of La Verne, meets the criteria for the ULV Writing Assessment category. It is research paper written for a composition course at University of New Haven, the school from which I transferred. We were given a list of forty topics and two months to research and write the paper on one topic that we found particularly interesting. The only requirements were a minimum word count, style of format (MLA), and a minimum number of references. The topic I eventually chose to wrote about was physician-assisted suicide. Initially, I didn’t have a strong opinion either way and didn’t have a side in mind to argue for, so when I researched the topic, I was trying to formulate an opinion. I spent time researching both sides, and after three weekends of finding sources for my paper, I had decided I was for the legalization of the practice. I think researching both sides without a particular viewpoint in mind helped me to really see both sides of the argument and make a stronger argument for the legalization after understanding the reasons why people opposed it. I made an effort in the writing of this paper to address and counter all the opposing arguments that I had come across in my research.
In creating this artifact, I learned more about researching and citation, expanding on what I had learned about both in high school. This paper also marks a lesson in concise thesis writing for me. I tend to write very long sentences in academic papers. The first draft of this paper contained a thesis that spanned four lines. I worked on shortening and condensing the thesis, leaving out unnecessary information but also trying to retain all that is needed for the thesis to make sense. Though it still isn’t a perfect thesis, the condensing and rephrasing that I did do makes the thesis a little clearer and less wordy than it was at the start. Looking back at this paper, I notice that I can also sound redundant in my attempt to make what I’m saying clearer. If I were to rewrite this paper, avoiding redundancy would be a large focus of mine, particularly in the second through fourth paragraphs.
I would score this artifact as having earned a 3 in all of the categories. I think this paper shows a clear thesis with consideration of context, audience, and purpose. Being a controversial subject, it takes the “complexities” of the subject into account by addressing different opposing views and opinions. I used evidence from credible and relevant sources and organized the evidence to support claims. I adress the opposing viewpoints which are synthesized into the paper. Finally, the language I used communicates the ideas clearly with few errors in syntax, grammar, and mechanics.