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Tyler McGregor
Professor Guenzel
ENC 1102-0M12
25 April 2015
Entering the Conversation: A reflection of my progress in writing and research
The ENC 1102 course offered at the University of Central Florida has proven useful in
numerous ways. From learning how to conduct research to rhetorically analyzing a text in
multiple genres, the outcomes for ENC 1102 have provided the skills needed to succeed in both
writing and research in the college setting. Throughout the semester, my class has been given
assignments whose sole purpose was to assist us in our mastery of writing. The course itself was
consistently challenging, insisting that I write to my fullest potential. Each paper I wrote and
submitted was the product of hours of planning, writing, revising, head scratching, and hair
pulling; and in the case of the research paper, days of researching. In this self-assessment I will
list the outcomes of ENC 1102, as listed in The UCF Everyday Writer along with whether or not
I believe I met those outcomes and to what extent, by providing evidence from my previous
works. The purpose of this assessment is to show how I measure against the listed outcomes for
ENC 1102.
Outcome 1: Demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between rhetorical situation,
discourse community, genre, and inquiry.
In this semester, Ive found that the rhetorical situation is a helpful concept in analyzing a
text. I used the rhetorical situation as a critical lens with which to analyze a source used in my
research paper. This was helpful because by rhetorically analyzing my source, I was successfully
able to gauge credibility along with any bias that may have been present. To explain further, one

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of the sources I analyzed rhetorically was an article online, written by Jeff Tollefson. The
purpose of his article was to identify why there has been a decline amongst the public concerning
belief in climate change. In order to understand if Tollefson was credible to write in this subject I
had to collect background information, such as looking at his education level and past
experiences, along with analyzing the diction of his texts.
I structured my analysis by the four constituents of the rhetorical situation: exigence,
constraints, rhetors, and audience. In Keith Grant-Davies Rhetorical Situations and Their
Constituents, he defines a rhetorical situation as a situation where a speaker or writer sees a
need to change reality and sees that the change may be effected through rhetorical discourse,
(Grant-Davie, 351). This definition along with Grant-Davies further explanations of exigence,
constraints, rhetors, and audience provided the basis of my analysis.
By using the rhetorical situation as a critical lens, my hope was that I would be able to
measure the usefulness and credibility of sources utilized in my research paper. Ultimately, I
believe that I have successfully met this outcome for ENC 1102.
Outcome 2: Develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.
Peer review presented an excellent opportunity to sharpen my revising and editing skills.
This process provided numerous benefits. The first was that I was able to read the work of my
peers which exposed me to their writing process. Next, is that by working with others and
reading peer review materials, I gathered new ways to revise my own work. Especially helpful
was The UCF Everyday Writer along with Richard Straubs Responding-Really Responding-to
Other Students Writing in which revising strategies were outlined and explained. Perhaps one of

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the most valuable tips I learned from Straub was to not sound like a judge or critic when peer
reviewing; genuine, helpful feedback is the goal.
Often times my revision process was nearly as long as the writing process. This is
especially true for the research paper. Dissatisfied with nearly each draft, I ended up writing six
drafts until I was content. I think that this desire for perfection mostly stemmed from the amount
of time spent on the project. Over the course of the semester weve been conducting research for
our individual papers; days of research that accumulated into 2000 words. Most of my revisions
consisted of restructuring sentences and paragraphs, or clarifying what I had already written. The
revision process is one that I believe to have a firm understanding of but will continue to perfect.
Outcome 3: Engage in a meaningful, dynamic, and inquiry-based research process.
This semester, we were introduced to a new threshold concept: research is a recursive
process. Conducting research is a lengthy process, one that spanned the entire length of my
project, up until I completed writing my paper. Even as I was piecing together my final draft, I
found myself gathering more bits of evidence I could use as support.
I used John Swales Create a Research Space (CARS) Model of Research Introductions
as a guideline for a start to my research process. According to the CARS model, the first step is
to establish a territory. For me, this meant finding a general topic to research. Next, I established
a niche. I interpreted this as finding a more particular topic within the general topic to research.
For example, in my research paper my territory is global warming while my niche is the
greenhouse effect and its influence on climate change. In this step, I created multiple research
questions that I would answer through research and the interpretation of sources. The third move

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listed by Swales is to occupy the niche. This essentially means that I would answer my research
questions.
The third move of the CARS model is where most of the research is conducted. This
meant searching the Internet for credible sources that could be used as support for multiple
perspectives. In addition to finding internet sources, I found myself in the school library looking
for books on my topic. Ultimately, I believe I have a very strong understanding of the research
process and what it entails.
Conclusions
The primary focus of ENC 1102 was research. Learning how to conduct, interpret, and
argue research is vital to entering the conversation of any study; perhaps the most valuable skill
Ive taken away. Through my writing, I have exemplified a strong understanding of the desired
outcomes for ENC 1102 students. Above all, this semester in ENC 1102 has installed within me
further appreciation for writing, and now an appreciation for the research process.

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Works Cited
Grant-Davie, Keith. Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents. Rhetoric Review 15.2
(1997): 264-79. Print.
Straub, Richard. Responding-Really Responding-to Other Students Writing. The Subject Is
Writing. Ed. Wendy Bishop. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 136-46. Print.
Swales, John. ""Create a Research Space" (CARS) Model of Research Introductions." Writing
about Writing. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. 12-15. Print.