To: Dr. Cummings
From: Kim Rubish
Date: 16 February 2016
Subject: MP1 Self-Analysis
In our class, you have pointed out that one of our main objectives is learning to “synthesize fundamental rhetorical principles with business communication theory to analyze the persuasive and communicative strategies of business writing in multiple contexts, using multiple genres”. I firmly believe that through my work on MP1, I made substantial progress on this learning goal.
Specifically, through revision and peer comments, this project helped me better understand the process of analyzing persuasive and communicative strategies in the posts that I was analyzing. In my original draft, a significant amount of my analysis was my own conjecture—comments on things I thought seemed persuasive. After reviewing my peer edits, I realized that I needed to back up my points with actual references to our class material. By combing the textbook for information multiple times, I gained a better understanding of all of our material. For example, in my original draft, I didn’t realize that one of my posts used an emotional appeal, but after re-reading and searching the textbook, I realized how different types of appeals were functioning in the posts I chose. Thus, I learned how to better identify and analyze persuasive techniques, which showed up in my final draft.
Further, I believe that this project helped me make progress on analyzing writing in “multiple contexts”. The posts I analyzed were not all the same, and having to understand each of them helped me understand the small but vital differences between positive, negative, and persuasive messages. Before completing this project, I had a basic understanding of the content of all of the types of messages, but after completion, I genuinely think I could apply the knowledge in real-world settings. I feel confident in my ability to distinguish between types of messages, which I was not sure about before MP1. For example, when I started finding posts to use for my project, I originally intended to use my second post (referring to a marked-down property) as a positive message. After searching for textbook information to back this up, I realized I had misunderstood what a positive message was. From there, I was able to identify the post as a persuasive message, and then find a truly positive message later.