This last semester proved to be not only quite hectic but also very valuable. Looking back at this semester, Covid-19 and the transition to online classes created many challenges in my life. However, I was able to adapt to online learning and have attained a wealth of knowledge this semester. Throughout the semester, I explored new writing and reading styles. I also found a new understanding of maps, lines, and numbers. My relationship with writing has changed drastically over this period of learning. My writing and reading style now focuses on analyzing rhetoric.
In my English 212 class, I discovered the power wielded by rhetoric. We spent a significant portion of the class analyzing rhetoric in maps and data visualizations. I now consistently explore elements of the rhetoric to find potential biases and limitations. I realize that an author’s rhetoric is subjective and can even unintentionally reflect their own personal beliefs and preconceptions. The knowledge I have gain has changed my understanding of rhetoric in my writing style as well as in my reading comprehension. Now, I am able to better understand potential biases in my writing.
I also now look at graphics in a new light. In my class I learned about the immense value in data visualizations like infographics. Data visualizations are able to present a vast amount of information in a convenient and appealing manner. Visual texts can be a much faster alternative to regular word-based texts however they are still a flawed system. One flaw is that the author the ability of inclusion/exclusion. Data visualizations also carry power in their rhetoric which can become even more prominent when creating visuals since the creator often solely holds the power in how the data is collected and presented.
Another area where my understanding has been altered is big data. I gained a wealth of knowledge about the achievements and limitations of big data. In the modern age, we continue to collect and store vast amounts of new data every day. Big data will continue to open new doors in the fields of business, health, politics, education, and innovation. I now can recognize the impact and limitations to this data. Big data is about what not why. It can provide answers without giving an explanation. The knowledge I have learned in this class about maps, timelines, and data will continue to influence my future not only as student but also professionally. I believe big data will directly impact my future in the business world. The business world will continue to change with the addition of big data and having a better understanding of rhetorical elements in data visualizations will be invaluable.
This class helped me improve ability to analyze data to achieve a better understanding. It has shaped the way I understand rhetoric. My knowledge and writing style have improved as a result of this knowledge. I now have a different relationship with writing. I now spend a significant amount of time analyzing components such as rhetorical elements. This past semester was challenging but also an opportunity for growth. I look forward to next semester as I continue my online education.