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Global Revision plan

Looking at the peer review comments and reading my essay I have come to recognize some global error in my work.  One of the main global error I plan to work on and try to fix is the flow of my essay. In the review comments and simply just rereading my paper there are many ideas and focal points of the paper that do not transition well from one to the other.  I plan to fix this by adding transitions between the paragraphs that need them using pointing words or key words to try and make connections. Working on my conclusion is another is another global revision I plan to work on and improve. To make my conclusion stronger I plan to reiterate the points in my paper that I want the reader to take from the essay. I want to make it clear for the reader what my essential points of my paper are to make it into the Discourse.

Proof Reading My Rough Draft

The quote below demonstrates a common error that I tend to make in my papers with comma splices.

“A article about cross country was written on a website called Mile Split, a website where cross country runners can go to see results of races or catch up on news within the community.”

I fixed this error by taking out the comma and splitting it into two sentences.

A article about cross country was written on a website called Mile Split. This is a website where cross country runners can go to see results of races or catch up on news within the community.”

This quote below was a run-on sentence. This is another common sentence level error I make in my papers.

“This quote built two more identities that are a of being of academic importance, but also friendly which is a little stereotypical but I have taken on both of these identities in the discourse before. “

To fix this this part of the of my rough draft I took out a section of the sentence that I thought was unnecessary. This fixed the sentence from being a run-on sentence.

“Although this role might seem a little stereotypical to newcomers grades and academics have always been of great importance on every team I have been on.”


Analyzing Artifacts

The artifact I found for my Discourse was an article on a website called Mile Split. This is a website commonly used by cross country runners to check times for themselves or other runners. The article was written by a group of cross-country runners on what cross country is to them.  Using Gees paper Building tasks and the papers by Delpit and Brandt I was able to analyze the article. Reading Gees paper about the 7 building tasks I was able to analyze how my Discourse community communicates and practices the building tasks Gee mentions.

One of the Building tasks Gee mentions in his writing is is the building task of Identities. Gee explains this building task as “use language to get recognized as taking on a certain identity or role, that is, to build an identity here and now.”. One of the statements in the article established one of the identities a cross country runner needs to take on. In the article it said “Cross Country is not simply about the race. Cross Country is all about what you do to prepare for the race.”. The language in this quote really builds the identity of a hard worker that every cross country runner needs to take on the role of for tough workouts and for the amount of  work it takes to be in the best shape you can. Reading the article and Gee I have found that their are many identities a cross-country runner takes on. In another quote it said “Cross Country is kids who are thought to be some of the smartest students in class — until you sit next to them on a three-hour bus ride.”. This quote built two more identities that are a of being of academic importance, but also friendly which is a little stereotypical but I have taken on both of these identities in the discourse before. Using Gee it was clear for me to see some of the roles every cross country runner has to take on.

Another Building tasks that Gee talks about is significance. He explains this building task to be “things, we need to use language to render them significant or to lessen their significance, to signal to others how we view their significance.” Looking through the article I was looking for things that I know cross-country runners find to be significant. Pr’s and Pb’s are one thing that cross country runners find to be significant in the Discourse community and this statement from the article gives signals in the language to show the significance “Cross Country is the never-ending pursuit of a PR or a PB.”. The pursuit can be consider a signal to show the significance of Personal records because it emphasizes how big of a goal it is for a cross country runner to break them.  Signal words in the language being used in the article I was able to point out the values held in the Discourse community.

Brandt talks about sponsorship in her paper. Brandt says that sponsorships can be anyone in my experience for when I was a newcomer to the Discourse community it was through the sponsorship of captains and coaches that helped me become fluent in the discourse. Delpit in her paper talks about how primary Discourses don’t have to be abandoned in order to acquire a new Discourse. In the article it is said “Cross Country often favors the skinny kids but beware to never take that not-so-skinny kid in front of you lightly.”. this quote to showed that cross country runners come from in all different perspectives and don’t needed to abandon parts of previous Discourse communities in order to fit into the the cross-country Discourse.

Another building task that Gee brings up in his paper is the building task of activity or practices. In another artifact that I found on how to train for cross-country explains the different activities and practices a cross-country runner needs to perform. The article explains how racing in a cross-country race is much different then a normal road race or track race which a non fluent member of the Discourse might expect to prepare for. Pete Magill, who is a four time national cross-country champion tries to explain why cross country races are different then track and road races in the article. Pete explains “A well-planned cross country course will do everything possible to disrupt your stride, your pace, and your focus. So the trick is to stop worrying about stride or pace. Find an effort level that you’re confident you can maintain, then make that your guide.” So for a new comer to the cross country Discourse they would need to understand this language and the difference between pace and effort. In the article they then list activities to help newcomers learn how to run based on effort and not pace. One of the examples is training with hills. Putting some hills in your work out will help a runner think about where to use their energy. The hills obviously require more energy to run but are only a short part of the run so it would make the runner think how to place the effort just like they would have to do in a race. A hill work out is a is an example of the building task of practice for a very important part of the cross-country runner Discourse.

Going back to the quote from Pete Magill in the article made me think about Brandt’s paper and sponsorship. Pete Magill’s advice in the article is a perfect example of a sponsor. Brandt explains a sponsor as “… are powerful figures that bankroll events or smooth the way for initiates. Usually more richer, more knowledgeable, and more entrenched than the sponsored…”. Giving Petes background, success, and insight of the sport in the article it is easy to see that he meets the requirements of a sponsor for the cross-country runner Discourse. Brandt mentions the word entrenched in the quote. this most likely means that a sponsor is firmly established in the ways of their discourse. With this definition that Brandt gives us it should be noticed the it is hard for sponsors to see different ways of achieving building tasks in the Discourse. In Petes case it might be hard for him to see other ways of achieveing efficiency in a race then the practices of hills. there could very well be other activities or practices a runner can do to achieve the same goal, but Pete as a sponsor  has become entrenched in the practices that have worked for him and made him a success in the discourse.  

The article also gave quotes from coaches on how they prepare for races. One coach Joe Vigil who coached many national champions before says “If possible,survey the courses you’re racing and duplicate the challenges of the course as much as possible within your surrounding geography. Make it tough, as hard as you can make it, then run a weekly workout on it hard.”. Looking at this quote you can see fragments of language that cross country coaches use to establish their relationship with their runners. The tone of the language and the words he uses to describe the workout in the quote really establishs his relationship with his runner that he is there to make them better runners and that he knows what is best for his runners to perform well. Reconisng this type of language used by coaches and how it defines the relationship between a cross country runner and their coach is using the building task of relationships that Gee explains in his paper as using language to try and signal what type of is trying to be established in the group. In this case the coach uses language to signal his knowledge and role as a teacher for his runners. A cross-country runner would also have to display the proper language with his or her coach when communicating with a coach or teammate.

The article mainly talks about the differences between races on the track and road compared to the races on a cross country course. The article suggests that someone who has only run track would have difficulty adjusting to a cross-country race then most newcomers because they might approach it like a race on a track. It would be difficult for them to abandon their track Discourse to master the cross-country Discourse and become successful in it. Del pit in her essay I think would argue against this articles claims. In her paper she says it is troubling that Gee says ones primary Discourses can prevent the acquisition of a new secondary dominate discourse.  In her paper she is also able to back up her ideals with evidence of people overcoming Discourse conflicts and acquiring a new Discourse without abandoning their primary Discourse. From personal experience I have seen many track runners successfully with their with pacing a cross-country race instead of basing it on effort levels.


Problem 23 Post

A teacher is trying to teach reading to a group of second graders. The teacher has the kids go through a number of exercises to try and teach the kids. The first exercise is teaching the kids spelling patterns in English. She does this by having the students write a sentence and go through the spelling of each word one at a time in order. A girl in the class gets ahead of the class when she notices a pattern in her spelling error, but the teacher reprimands her for going ahead of the class. To understand the the situation at hand the works on Discourse written by James Paul Gee can be used. In his paper on building tasks Gee explains that when we are using language we “build seven things or seven areas of reality.”(32) and he calls these seven things building tasks. We can use the building task to analyze the situation above.

The seven building tasks that Gee lists and describes are significance, practices, Identities, Relationships, social goods, connections, and sign systems and knowledge.  The building task of practices can help explain the teachers nature and goals in the activity. Gee explains the building task of practices as mentoring a student as an advisor or giving a lecture on linguistics in a course. The teacher in the situation is using this activity not only to teach reading to the students but also to have them learn the Discourse of her class room. This can be seen in her langue and how she explains the class to perform the activity and how she responds to someone not practicing the Discourse. She uses the activity as a practice to mentor the students into learning reading and the discourse of her class.

The teacher in this situation seems to be contradicting what seems to be the ultimate goal of recognizing spelling patterns. There are other goals the teacher is trying to achieve though with the activity. The other goals are formed by the teachers values and displayed in the building task of social goods. The reason the teacher reprimands the girl is because of the perspectives the teacher has on what should be valued in the classroom. It can be seen in the teachers language that organization and rule following are important values in the teachers class and can be seen thought the building task of social goods.

Finding Artifacts

The Discourse I chose to discuss in my paper was the Discourse of being a cross-country runner. Trying to find  artifacts to use in my paper I went to Mile Split a website that I know a lot of runners go to so they can check their times and the times of their opponents. The website also does a lot of articles on running too. I ended up finding a article where a collective group of cross country runners talked about what the sport was to them and what it is like to be on a cross country runner. While reading the article I was able to relate with what they were saying and felt confident they were fluent members of the Discourse like I am. One quote from the article was “Cross Country is the entire varsity team going bonkers as the slowest kid on the JV team stumbles through the finish line to record a new PR.” I feel that this artifact I will be able to use to provide evidence of the the important values displayed by a cross country runner like sportsmanship  and team.  Another quote I found was “Cross Country is kids who are thought to be some of the smartest students in class — until you sit next to them on a three-hour bus ride.” I liked this quote because It can provide some aspect of what being on a cross country team can be like if the fact we joke around a lot, but also the importance of school work. There are more quotes in the article that I feel would provide more evidence of what I plan to talk about in my paper.

Literacy Archive Project Reflection

Integrating sources and other peoples work was a huge struggle for becoming in to college. While I still have many steps to make in becoming better at this skill this assignment has given me more practice and knowledge about the skill. One of the things I learned was when to paraphrase and when to quote someone. If  what I was pulling from the other persons work was something I thought the reader needed to know  but was not the a main point to my paper I would paraphrase. If what I was using was a main point and I wanted the reader to focus on it I would quote. Sources in this paper help me explain and get the reader to understand my points in my paper.

While doing this assignment I found out just how imposing Master narratives can be. I saw this in some of the essays I read where it seemed to me the pressure of the success narrative force positive optimistic endings for what were mostly negative victim stories. I thought that this was  interesting and should be considered when reading narratives.  The conflict in discourse between peoples literacy at home and in school also was another thing I learned the influence views on literacy for people. Overall though I learned Literacy is a complex topic that everyone experiences differently.

Revision Reflection I

In the Revision of my essay there were a couple of global problems I really focused on so far. One of them was fixing my intro. In the comments on my draft I was told that I met all the check points of what should be in my intro but it was to compacted. I decided then I should break up my intro into two paragraphs so that way I would not seem so compacted and full of information. I decided to break it up with the first paragraph introducing literacy narratives Alexander and the Rising Carin archive. The second paragraph I talked about my initial questions and findings in the archive. Breaking up the intro gave me more room to better introduce the questions I was trying to answer and how I was going about answering. In my first draft I had some comments that I never explained any of my findings compared with alexander even though I mentioned her in my intro. I have since added a paragraph explaining my findings compared with alexanders. I also am working on a paragraph involving Brandt and Delpit talking about sponsorship and how teachers approach different primary discourses from students.

Writing in english 123 has made the way I approach connecting other works with mine. The I am learning to use others works to help the reader better understand my ideas has really change in the course. Learning when it is approbate to use another source and how to introduce and present it in my writings is an important skill to have in academic writing. I have already begun to use this skin outside of this course in other courses so working on this skill that I had little to no experience before college will help devolve my academic writing.

Initial Findings

After Rereading the literacy narratives and categorizing them like Alexander did my findings were very similar to hers. Initially when reading these stories I thought the majority of them were victim stories. It was quite the opposite i found out after reading Alexanders definition of a success story. The part that caught my eye was when she said “invokes and future-looking rhetoric; views literacy as utilitar- ian and useful, a means to economic, cultural, social, and political success.”  in her definition I realized that this is how most of the stories I thought were victim stories ended. Most of them ended on a positive note being optimistic about the future and having a new respect and understanding of the values of reading and writing.  In most of the stories even though they had positive ending that met the definition of a success story that Alexander provides their body paragraphs often represent a victim story. The best example is the story Fact I Can’t Read where she blames her past experiences and the education system she grew up in on why she has difficulty reading when she first gets to college, but at the end overcomes all of that and values reading a writing and is hopeful about her literacy experience in college. When I was trying to categorize this story I put it under both the victim and success. Over all though the majority of the stories I read were success just like Alexander.

Reading Alexander

In Alexanders paper she researchers literacy narratives and other works on literacy narratives to try to answer her questions that she has about them. She brings up the concepts of master narratives which are the types of literacy narratives that are most common among people and little narratives are types literacy narratives that are not as common as the master narratives.  In her paper she wonders what types of literacy narratives are the little narratives and how do they compare to the master narratives. She also wonders do little narratives vary because of things like demographics, race, class, and gender. She has a group of students put together that are from diverse backgrounds and has them each write a literacy narrative. She compares them and finds that success literacy narratives were the master narrative. She also concluded that demographics, gender, race, and class did not play much of a role in their stories. She determined the types of little narratives too the most common being the victim narrative. When reading the paper I was comparing her findings with the ones I have been making while reading the rising Carin essays . The largest difference I noticed was that the narratives I have been reading seem to be victim narratives which in her findings is a little narrative. The definitions she writes for the types of narratives she found though where helpful for me though trying to understand and categorize the essays I am reading.


The personal needs of people can drive their actions and attitudes towards things. Going through some of the literacy narratives I could spot some of the personal needs of the authors. This gave me a more clear understanding on why some of them precise writing a reading the way they do. In the literacy narrative The Only Time I Enjoyed Reading the author had a clear need for intellectual stimulation. In the story the narrator was grounded and only had reading to pass the time and meet his personal need for intellectual stimulation ” So what felt like a half an hour turned into 3 hours without me knowing; it helped pass the time of my grounding.”. I also felt the narrator had a personal need for freedom and reading was a tool for him to get that again “I handed them back to my mom and she told me because I had no trouble within that time that I could be ungrounded a month early.”.  In another literacy narrative Sophomore Year from Hell The narrator has a personal need for drama in the begging of the story. I could tell that she had this need for drama when she talked about a teacher she disliked and that she would not do any of her assignments “The only problem with that was a certain self righteous teacher, that made her students call her Dr. Lane, which I refused to do. So, Mrs. Lane did not like that I wouldn’t participate in class, or do homework that she assigned every single day! But I didn’t care about any of that”.  The story shifts though with the narrators opinion of the teacher to a need of harmony with the teacher to pass the class “I am now thankful that she made me work so hard to pass.”


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