Projects

project 3 final draft

Project 3 rough draft

Rationale

The literacy rate of America hasn’t changed in 10 years. In 2017, there are still 32 million adults in the U.S. who can’t read, according to a research reported by the Huffington Post. Illiteracy is an endemic problem of the U.S. that we have continually been unable to resolve. The obvious solution whose implementation seems to elude us is education. The most optimal target for making sure that illiteracy decreases in our country is to aim it at children. This is not just because it is easier to educate children (since they are at an age where they are more likely to already be eligible for education and more likely to learn) but also because by educating children, we are more likely to create repercussions that can really impact literacy rates in the long run.

Literacy is the ability to read and write. The literacy rate of a country reflects the country’s ability to educate its citizens. The higher the literacy rate, the more likely it is that individuals of that country do not experience hardships in finding careers, respecting the law and being informed about things that effect their lives every day. Considering literacy’s many advantages, it seems odd that nearly 20,000 teenagers drop out of high school every year in New York City alone. I want my advertisement to reach out to these students and encourage them to at least get a high school education by considering the possibilities of where their lives are most likely to lead by denying themselves an education.

High school dropouts are my core target audience, especially the ones living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The reason for targeting them is that the pressures put onto them from their environments give them valid reasons to drop out of high school. Stuck between an environment that makes the attainment of education hard and its advantages not immediately useful to them, the children opt to leave, not realizing what they’re losing.

Through my advertisement, I want to make clear distinctions between the potential lives waiting for these confused children based on the choices they make. I decided to encapsulate them within a house to show that whichever side they end on, it would become their home. I made contrasts between working for a career (through the man dressing up) and vegetating in a jail cell (through the hands on the bars). Then a contrast between being able to be close their families, with the potential of a comfortable life (the man and his children) vs. loneliness in jail. The last duo was the literal idea of what home means. I showed a living room, decorated and colorful against, for the last time, an empty jail cell, grey and cold. This constant hammering of contrasts was based off a report from the Department of Justice that there is a link between “academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime”. I want these children to read the question “which side would you rather choose?” and weigh the hopeful images on the left side with the miserable ones on the right as they go down the advertisement. I hope, through my design of the advertisement that they are more likely to lean to the left.

I would want my ad to be posted in subway stations and inside the trains as well. Although my target audience is children, I made the image itself slightly ambiguous about who it is meant for so that it is not restricted to age groups by its content. This is because according to NY.com over 4.3 million people ride the subways every day in New York City.  Since most teenagers use subways, I thought this would be the perfect platform to reach out to them. It is important for us to persuade these children into understanding the importance of literacy in today’s world so that they can open doors for themselves and the children of America in the future so that we can make America great again.

 

Project 2 final draf

Project 2 rough draft

Communications log #2

March 8th

12pm-1pm: At college, talking with English professor in a formal manner.

1pm-2:30 pm: Having lunch with friends, speaking in Urdu. Highly informal with occasional use of curses.

2:30pm-5:25pm: In class, barely talking. if any communication it was with fellow students in a semi formal tone.

7pm-10pm: Came home to my wife, spoke  both english and urdu  in an informal manner. Talked to my parents over the phone in urdu in a strictly formal manner. went to sleep.

March 7th

8am-9am: woke up, got ready for work while my wife made breakfast, talked in a informal manner, rushing so i donot miss the bus.

10am-12pm: At work, informal language with co workers and formal language once customers com in side the store( metro pcs)

 

Project 2 : Communication Log

March 6th

12 pm-2:30pm: hanging around in college with friends since i have a 2 hour break. speaking mostly informal english, having fun, joking around.

2:30pm-5:30pm: in class, interacted with the class as well as the professor in a semi formal and formal tone.

5:30pm-7pm: got out of class and was commuting home. barely any communication other than texting with my wife. very informal texts using all sorts of slangwords and abbreviations.

7pm-10pm: Finally got home, had dinner with my wife, again speaking in both english and urdu. the tone was informal through out. had a skype phone call with one of my friends from back home in Pakistan. the tone was very informal with a high use of curse words. went to sleep..

 

Project one

Writing has always been an uphill battle for me. Throughout high school I struggled in my English class. Be it an academic essay or not, I just couldn’t place words together in a manner that would really speak to my given audience. Even though writing as a whole was a big ‘no’ for me, Academic writing and research papers seemed to have always stood out. For me, Research papers were always these mountains of work pilling up no matter how far along I went on in the essay. It was as hard as it got, well at least that is what I thought before college started. College brought in a whole new meaning to academic writing and research paper. See back in high school, even though it seemed a lot, all my essays had to be nice and tidy two or three pages long. One scholarly source was enough for the essay to be accepted. Had it not been for my procrastination I am sure the work load for those essays would not have been as tough as I might have made up in my mind. Now, here in college the first research paper that I was assigned to was a seven page essay with a minimum requirement of five sources. I nearly had a heart attack upon looking at the instructions. I can’t begin to explain how many nights went restless thinking about this paper I had to write. Research papers are a lot of work let me tell you. Most of the time is spent on research of the given topic, we have to find sources, not only this but we have to make sure that all the given sources are scholarly and not off of some random website on the internet. Research papers come under the category of academic writing. Academic writing has a totally different style as compared to other, simpler form of writing. Up until I set my foot into college, I was nor familiar or prepared for this style of writing. In this essay I’ll be using the work of L. Lennie Irvin ‘What is Academic Writing’ and my own paper on “The Ethics of Mass Surveillance Revealed by the Snowden Leaks”.

Over the years academic writing has evolved in a way that a good majority of students have instilled within themselves certain rules and regulations without which an essay simply could not be complete. L. Lennie Irvin in his article explains to us how all of us have been misled to believe in such rules. He calls these set of rules mere myths. For instance I have always believed that I should start writing only when I have figured everything out. Unless and until I had every aspect of my essay mapped out I just wouldn’t start typing. Going along with this method I always started writing until the very end of my dead line as there is rarely ever a moment when everything was clear to me. Irvin writes about how wrong this approach is, he encourages us to start writing and as we move along things become apparent along the way. The essay basically writes itself as the brain connects one idea to the other but for this link to take place one must start writing no matter what. Reading Irvin showed me that my limits are opportunities for growth instead of boundaries that I can’t surpass. For as long as I can recall, the quality of my fellow mates’ papers always intimidated me because they were so considerably better than mine. I felt as if I was handicapped, stuck between with these people who were given a certain gift of articulation that I was deprived of. Reading Irvin’s paper gave me a peace of mind, it motivated me in a manner that writing is in fact not an inherent talent, rather it is a skill that has to be honed through effort over time. Irvin’s debunking of the myth ‘Some got it; I don’t—the genius fallacy’ (Irvin 5) transformed my hopelessness into an acceptance of the challenge of academic writing. The final myth that affected me personally was the ‘Good grammar is good writing’ myth. Irvin says in his article ‘Good writing is a matter of achieving your desired effect upon an intended audience’ (Irvin 5). Growing up in Pakistan, I paid very little attention to my grammar, almost always resulting in a negative effect on my essays. This myth in particular reaffirmed me as Irvin clearly explains how the main aim of good writing is to get your message across to the audience rather than worry a bit too much about the minor details of language and grammar.

One of the most vital aspects of academic writing is to consider who the intended audience is. In my case it has always been either just the professor or a few number of people I call my class mates. The importance of the audience is paramount when it comes to academic writing. This is because the entire point of academic writing is to convey information in an understandable manner while staying as true as possible to the source material. I have always found this balance hard to achieve. Where I have previously tried to dig out as much relevant information as possible, I have often found myself losing the interest of the audience, often resulting in losing marks in papers. Irvin’s essay affirmed the importance of this idea that I have often carried, which has left my papers feeling disjointed. This directly ties back to the first things I learnt from his essay: that the only way to balance information with flow is through practice. Another idea related to the importance of the “message” that I have been shown is the need for interpretation beyond just a list of relevant facts. This, I feel, will be useful because it allows me greater freedom that I had previously overlooked.

However, personal interpretation can only go so far before straying off to far from the field in which it is being written. This means, the embarrassingly frequent mistake of steering off the subject matter of the course and finding myself writing while only slightly relating the matter at hand to the requirements of the course. This has often had me writing in English assignments and inadvertently losing track of the fact that I am making an argument and finding myself telling a story instead. On the other hand, I would be working on a course that required me to analyze two (or more) readings and instead I spent far more time on expanding my own interpretations and far less on carving out the meanings of the assigned writings. This was again a question of balance that I overlooked as well as one of critical reading.

Two years ago, I wrote an essay on the Snowden leaks. These leaks were the first of their kind because they revealed what had been an underlying suspicion in the minds of our generation: that in the information age, our privacy has been utterly demolished. The paper I wrote spoke of the revelation that the U.S government was conductive mass surveillance on a global scale as well as spying on its own citizen through unlawful, unmediated means with complete lack of oversight.  My essay argued against the National Security Agency’s (NSA) defense that the surveillance was carried out in order to protect the citizens of the United States of America. I went about my argument by first attacking the claim the NSA’s claim by giving statistics about how many terrorist threats they were able to neutralize since the conception and aggressive expansion of their programs as far back as 2007. I also provided information that broke down different programs that were being run by the NSA and how they were operating. This part of my argument showed one of the characteristic flaws in my writing. I gave a lengthy insight into the world of mass surveillance and talked about how almost each and every aspect worked with each other. I put in so much information that the understandability of my paper became worse the farther down it went. In my hopes for conveying useful and what I thought was very interesting information, I ended up turning information into raw data- to the point that even I did not remember most of the concepts that I had talked about in my paper. If that wasn’t enough, the problems with my articulation compounded on each other with my grammar and bearing heavy on my writing style and by the end of what I thought was going to be a set up for my next argument, I lost my readers in my words.

The essay functioned best when I had my sights on the argument at hand. One of the things that helped me keep my writing close to where I planned to take it was going back towards my thesis statement and building my argument on what I had previously written. When I look back at the way I wrote, I realize that the flow of my writing and my ability to make connection and create arguments was indeed the strongest during the process of writing than when I was cooking up ideas about my essay just in my head. Irvin’s idea that the perfect essay can never be written in our thoughts held true even before I knew about it. Despite the rambling mess I had made with the information overload on the NSA’s programs, I was able to steer my writing back into relevant terrain by using this information to highlight the fact that nine companies are hosts to more than 90% of the world’s internet traffic and all of them have servers in America. The relevance saved the dive that I took into the NSA programs and I used it to expand my discussion to talk about what kinds of backdoors which were then unheard of by the general public were being used to gather massive amounts of information from quite literally everyone, including leaders of 122 countries. This is where I finally began to talk about the ethics (or lack of) of this kind of indiscriminate surveillance. I looked for the arguments not in my emotions but tried to keep to the readings and used their ideas to demonstrate how a system of surveillance such as this indicates a disastrous abuse of power. By the end I remembered the oldest rule of tying all ideas together and summarizing the argument I had been working for; in that case, it was the fact that before Edward Snowden leaked this information, we had no proof that we were being watched. I thought I ended it perfect… until I got my paper back and saw that I had completely failed to conform to the citation style that I was required to use.

The task of writing has been intimidating for me for as long as I remember. I have always expected feedback on my writing to reflect far more mistakes than things I did right. At the same time, I can’t deny the fact that even while not really trying, the simple act of having to write academic essays for a number of classes has given me practice and I’m surely better than I was five years ago. Though I still make glaring mistakes (frequently the same ones) and have trouble finding my way around balancing information, understandability and attention to my citation and grammar, I can say I have learnt a lot on the way. There’s so much more left to learn and Irvin’s essay has given me a lot of insight that I had failed to consider before. I may find a way to not be paralyzed initially by the length of the assignments expected from me and the process will feel much easier. If it means anything, I have learnt a lesson that I would have appreciated in secondary school: just write one word after another.

 

Citation:

Hamdani, Mohammad. “The Ethics of Privacy Intrusion by Technological Surveillance.” (2015): n. pag. Web.

 

Irvin, Lennie L. “What Is “Academic” Writing?” Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume          1. Vol. 1. N.p.: Parlor, 2010. 3-17. Print.

 

First draft

Writing has always been an uphill battle for me. Throughout high school I struggled in my English class. Be it an academic essay or not, I just couldn’t place words together in a manner that would really speak to my given audience. Even though writing as a whole was a big ‘no’ for me, Academic writing and research papers seemed to have always stood out. For me, Research papers were always these mountains of work pilling up no matter how far along I went on in the essay. It was as hard as it got, well at least that is what I thought before college started. College brought in a whole new meaning to academic writing and research paper. See back in high school, even though it seemed a lot, all my essays had to be nice and tidy two or three pages long. One scholarly source was enough for the essay to be accepted. Had it not been for my procrastination I am sure the work load for those essays would not have been as tough as I might have made up in my mind. Now, here in college the first research paper that I was assigned to was a seven page essay with a minimum requirement of five sources. I nearly had a heart attack upon looking at the instructions. I can’t begin to explain how many nights went restless thinking about this paper I had to write. Research papers are a lot of work let me tell you. Most of the time is spent on research of the given topic, we have to find sources, not only this but we have to make sure that all the given sources are scholarly and not off of some random website on the internet. Research papers come under the category of academic writing. Academic writing has a totally different style as compared to other, simpler form of writing. Up until I set my foot into college, I was nor familiar or prepared for this style of writing. In this essay I’ll be using the work of L. Lennie Irvin ‘What is Academic Writing’ and my own paper on “The Ethics of Mass Surveillance Revealed by the Snowden Leaks”.

Over the years academic writing has evolved in a way that a good majority of students have instilled within themselves certain rules and regulations without which an essay simply could not be complete. L. Lennie Irvin in his article explains to us how all of us have been misled to believe in such rules. He calls these set of rules mere myths. For instance I have always believed that I should start writing only when I have figured everything out. Unless and until I had every aspect of my essay mapped out I just wouldn’t start typing. Going along with this method I always started writing until the very end of my dead line as there is rarely ever a moment when everything was clear to me. Irvin writes about how wrong this approach is, he encourages us to start writing and as we move along things become apparent along the way. The essay basically writes itself as the brain connects one idea to the other but for this link to take place one must start writing no matter what. Reading Irvin showed me that my limits are opportunities for growth instead of boundaries that I can’t surpass. For as long as I can recall, the quality of my fellow mates’ papers always intimidated me because they were so considerably better than mine. I felt as if I was handicapped, stuck between with these people who were given a certain gift of articulation that I was deprived of. Reading Irvin’s paper gave me a peace of mind, it motivated me in a manner that writing is in fact not an inherent talent, rather it is a skill that has to be honed through effort over time. Irvin’s debunking of the myth ‘Some got it; I don’t—the genius fallacy’ (Irvin 5) transformed my hopelessness into an acceptance of the challenge of academic writing. The final myth that affected me personally was the ‘Good grammar is good writing’ myth. Irvin says in his article ‘Good writing is a matter of achieving your desired effect upon an intended audience’ (Irvin 5). Growing up in Pakistan, I paid very little attention to my grammar, almost always resulting in a negative effect on my essays. This myth in particular reaffirmed me as Irvin clearly explains how the main aim of good writing is to get your message across to the audience rather than worry a bit too much about the minor details of language and grammar.

However, personal interpretation can only go so far before straying off to far from the field in which it is being written. This means, the embarrassingly frequent mistake of steering off the subject matter of the course and finding myself writing while only slightly relating the matter at hand to the requirements of the course. This has often had me writing in English assignments and inadvertently losing track of the fact that I am making an argument and finding myself telling a story instead. On the other hand, I would be working on a course that required me to analyze two (or more) readings and instead I spent far more time on expanding my own interpretations and far less on carving out the meanings of the assigned writings. This was again a question of balance that I overlooked as well as one of critical reading.

Two years ago, I wrote an essay on the Snowden leaks. These leaks were the first of their kind because they revealed what had been an underlying suspicion in the minds of our generation: that in the information age, our privacy has been utterly demolished. The paper I wrote spoke of the revelation that the U.S government was conductive mass surveillance on a global scale as well as spying on its own citizen through unlawful, unmediated means with complete lack of oversight.  My essay argued against the National Security Agency’s (NSA) defense that the surveillance was carried out in order to protect the citizens of the United States of America. I went about my argument by first attacking the claim the NSA’s claim by giving statistics about how many terrorist threats they were able to neutralize since the conception and aggressive expansion of their programs as far back as 2007. I also provided information that broke down different programs that were being run by the NSA and how they were operating. This part of my argument showed one of the characteristic flaws in my writing. I gave a lengthy insight into the world of mass surveillance and talked about how almost each and every aspect worked with each other. I put in so much information that the understandability of my paper became worse the farther down it went. In my hopes for conveying useful and what I thought was very interesting information, I ended up turning information into raw data- to the point that even I did not remember most of the concepts that I had talked about in my paper. If that wasn’t enough, the problems with my articulation compounded on each other with my grammar and bearing heavy on my writing style and by the end of what I thought was going to be a set up for my next argument, I lost my readers in my words.

The essay functioned best when I had my sights on the argument at hand. One of the things that helped me keep my writing close to where I planned to take it was going back towards my thesis statement and building my argument on what I had previously written. When I look back at the way I wrote, I realize that the flow of my writing and my ability to make connection and create arguments was indeed the strongest during the process of writing than when I was cooking up ideas about my essay just in my head. Irvin’s idea that the perfect essay can never be written in our thoughts held true even before I knew about it. Despite the rambling mess I had made with the information overload on the NSA’s programs, I was able to steer my writing back into relevant terrain by using this information to highlight the fact that nine companies are hosts to more than 90% of the world’s internet traffic and all of them have servers in America. The relevance saved the dive that I took into the NSA programs and I used it to expand my discussion to talk about what kinds of backdoors which were then unheard of by the general public were being used to gather massive amounts of information from quite literally everyone, including leaders of 122 countries. This is where I finally began to talk about the ethics (or lack of) of this kind of indiscriminate surveillance. I looked for the arguments not in my emotions but tried to keep to the readings and used their ideas to demonstrate how a system of surveillance such as this indicates a disastrous abuse of power. By the end I remembered the oldest rule of tying all ideas together and summarizing the argument I had been working for; in that case, it was the fact that before Edward Snowden leaked this information, we had no proof that we were being watched. I thought I ended it perfect… until I got my paper back and saw that I had completely failed to conform to the citation style that I was required to use.

The task of writing has been intimidating for me for as long as I remember. I have always expected feedback on my writing to reflect far more mistakes than things I did right. At the same time, I can’t deny the fact that even while not really trying, the simple act of having to write academic essays for a number of classes has given me practice and I’m surely better than I was five years ago. Though I still make glaring mistakes (frequently the same ones) and have trouble finding my way around balancing information, understandability and attention to my citation and grammar, I can say I have learnt a lot on the way. There’s so much more left to learn and Irvin’s essay has given me a lot of insight that I had failed to consider before. I may find a way to not be paralyzed initially by the length of the assignments expected from me and the process will feel much easier. If it means anything, I have learnt a lesson that I would have appreciated in secondary school: just write one word after another.

 

Citation:

Hamdani, Mohammad. “The Ethics of Privacy Intrusion by Technological Surveillance.” (2015): n. pag. Web.

 

Irvin, Lennie L. “What Is “Academic” Writing?” Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume          1. Vol. 1. N.p.: Parlor, 2010. 3-17. Print.

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