W - Written

Short writing assignment (docx)
This paper is on language variation and is titled "The Effect of Ethnic and Linguistic Stereotypes in 'Fawlty Towers'". This artifact uses images as well as text to convey its message. Research was done for writing this paper by watching several episodes of Fawlty Towers and reading articles that analyzed the series. These are all detailed in the Works Cited.

The final draft of this paper is more effective than the first draft for numerous reasons. The first draft veered too much into a summary of the show rather than an analysis of the linguistic usage. It looked too much like a synopsis. There was some analysis, however it tended to analyze the character Manuel rather than his linguistic tendencies. In the final draft, I recognized this and made sure to only include a minimal amount of information about the background of the show while leaving enough so that if the audience hadn't seen or heard of the show, they could still follow the paper. I also added more information to make my points clearer and added another source. There were several grammatical and syntactical errors that I corrected which made the paper easier to read. I also changed the formatting of the works cited so that the document conformed to the correct MLA standards. Several diction choices were changed to better appeal to and have effectiveness with the intended audience. I added a screen grab from the show to allow the reader to visualize what I was talking about and see an example of what I was arguing. In this way, it served as evidence for my argument.

One of the simplest things I will repeat for future assignments is to have a template of the MLA format. This will probably take the form of an old paper I've written. That way, I won't have to worry about the semantics of making sure that things are correctly centered and spaced and such. I also used the website easybib.com to help automatically generate correctly formatted citations for my sources. I plan on using that again since it let me spend less time on setting up the paper and more time on reviewing my actual writing. There's also a psychological advantage to starting with something other than a blank page. When there's a part already done, you don't feel as overwhelmed. I will also be sure to get my paper reviewed by a peer. Getting the paper looked at by a fresh set of eyes really helps find small, hard to spot errors and ensures that the message is clear. I used the commenting feature of Word to makes notes to myself and I relied on those when writing subsequent drafts. I will continue to use that system.

The Pier in St. Pete, FL
Dialect Survey Assignment (docx)
This paper is called "The Floridian Variation of the Southern Dialect in the US" and is an analysis of a survey conducted of Southern dialect speakers and their linguistic tendencies. The survey consisted of 20 questions and was conducted online. The data analyzed was that of participants who stated that they lived on the west coast of Florida. This paper uses graphics like charts and graphs to visualize the data collected. I used mainly pie charts to display that data.

The final version was more effective than the draft primarily because of the use of visualization. My first draft conveyed results mostly through either text or tables. By changing that information to be represented in graphical form, the message was made clearer and the paper became much easier to read and follow. I also added another paragraph of analysis. I realized that I could compare a wider range of traits, like age and pronunciation, as well as gender and occupation with pronunciation. There were several small typos and syntax errors that I corrected. All of these changes resulted in a paper that was much better than the draft.