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Volume 5

How to Deal with Brain Death: Legal and Ethical Considerations by Jessica Robinson

In this essay composed for WRTC 103: Critical Reading and Writing, Robinson explores the tension between competing definitions of brain death and the ethical obligations of medical professionals and the facilities in which they work. Offering in-depth analysis of legal definitions, patients’ rights, and doctor’s oaths, Robinson calls for lawyers and physicians to collaborative and close the gaps that lead to unnecessary malpractice lawsuits and misuse of hospital resources.

The Benefits of Hand-written Versus Digital Notetaking in College Lectures by Abby Stephens

In this research paper written for WRTC 103H: Honors Critical Reading and Writing, Stephens relies on academic studies and visuals to analyze the pros and cons of different note-taking methods. Offering nuanced analysis of data, the piece soundly argues that taking notes by hand is more beneficial to learning than taking notes digitally.

Misconceptions of A Sunday Afternoon by Nicholas Antonacci 

This piece, composed for WRTC 103: Critical Reading and Writing, deconstructs arguments held by critics of Georges Seurat’s impressionist painting "A Sunday Afternoon" by detailing the techniques that the painter used to illustrate the culture of people at the time. Antonacci focuses on the theories and uses of these techniques to argue that modern day critics misunderstand the intentions of the artist and his work.

Evaluating High Cost Credit Targeted at the Poor by Jason Lux

This compelling essay, written for WRTC 103: Critical Reading and Writing, argues for financial education for the poor and stronger governmental oversight of the fringe banking industry. Offering nuanced analysis of these banking practices, Lux reveals the predatory nature of payday load centers and demonstrates how they perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

Genes in His Jeans by Molly Kane

This researched essay, crafted for WRTC 103: Critical Reading and Writing, analyzes the methods, benefits, costs, and impacts of sperm donation and ultimately calls for the genetic testing of all donations. The author uses a thorough, diverse, and extensive collection of resources to argue that sperm donations are natural and should not be stigmatized, but notes more regulation is needed to ensure safe practices.

The Unloneliness of Being Alone  by Rebecca McDonald

In this introspective photo essay composed for WRTC 103: Critical Reading and Writing, McDonald explores the role that the historic battlefields she calls home have played in forming her identity and forging her relationships with her father and family. Pairing original photographs of battlefields and landscapes with her reflections on adolescence and identity, McDonald crafts a strong sense of place, both visually and textually.

Language Learning: Journey of a Polyglot by Matthew Best

Matt Best, in this digital text composed for WRTC 103: Critical Reading and Writing, discusses the benefits and advantages of knowing how to speak and understand multiple languages. By sharing both personal and expert tips on how to become fluent in a new language, Best seeks to inspire and motivate even the most intrepid reader to learn a new language. 

Mechanically Derived Narrative Through Perception of Video Game Characters  by Matthew Cappo 

In this research paper composed for WRTC 200: Introduction to Studies in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Cappo uses industry-related articles and academic studies to demonstrate how various interactive design choices in video games serve to influence the impression players feel toward a game's world and its characters. Thorough and analytical, the piece serves as a guiding example of how interactive elements of a video game can work constructively with its storytelling to create an enjoyable and immersive experience.

Internet Privacy: Dictated by Trolls? by Catherine Evans

In this case study written for WRTC 301: Language, Law and Ethics, Evans examines the issue of whether a private life on the internet can legally and ethically be made public. She focuses on the case of Jason Fortuny, who posed as a female on Craiglist and posted personal messages and pictures he received from men in response. Catherine shows that while we would like to imagine the internet as a personal space, one’s audience may be bigger than imagined.

How Zootopia Can Inspire Acceptance and Change by Ann Farrell

This scholarly article written for WRTC 314: Writing in the Public Sphere offers a refreshing analysis of the Disney film Zootopia and its applicability to the problem of racism in contemporary society. She unpacks the plot and characterization of this light-hearted film and suggests it is the perfect tool for teachers and parents to introduce this complex problem to children in a meaningful way.

Carrying the Torch of Colbert : An anthology of right-wing satire by Stephen Roddewig

In this satirical anthology written for WRTC 314: Writing in the Public Sphere, veteran Lexia author Roddewig pays homage to Stephen Colbert's fictionalized persona from The Colbert Report and his book I Am America (And So Can You!).  With brevity and hilarity, Carrying the Torch of Colbert offers a poignant parody of the hot-button issues of gun regulation and Trump's wall.   

Election 2016 Satire by Matthew Callahan

In a pair of articles composed in the satiric style of those appearing in The Onion, Matthew Callahan, writing for his WRTC 314: Writing in the Public Sphere class, plays with language to explore the power of rhetoric and its potential to alienate, humiliate and proselytize. His imagining of what could happen at the Thanksgiving dinner table when a child takes on the words of President Trump, and his insightful and humorous examination of Trump’s early cabinet picks entertains and unsettles.

Memorializing Addicts by Caleb Gardner

This digital article, crafted for WRTC 338: Genre Theory, explores several online memorials dedicated to individuals who have passed away due to drug overdose. By compassionately relaying the heartbreak of those left behind, and by sharing in a celebration of lives so tragically cut short, Gardner seeks to end the stigma associated with drug addiction and to return dignity to the individuals and families touched by addiction.

A Life Simplified: My grandfather’s journey through ALS  by Catie Willett

In this online piece created for WRTC 358: Writing About Science and Technology, Catie Willett describes her personal relationship with ALS and the changes the disease has brought to her grandfather's life. The article contains a brilliant combination of personal narrative accompanied with the science behind ALS and disease's progression.

The Word by Lydia Hubbard

This piece, crafted for WRTC 432: Rhetoric of the Personal Narrative, tackles the complicated and emotionally-taxing feelings surrounding mental health and suicide through a personal narrative. The detailed description of what it feels like to be in that position is both heartwarming and heartbreaking as the reader discovers the author's emotional journey in mental health.

Reconsidering the Bildungsroman: Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions by Terry Adams

In this literary analysis written for WRTC 486: Writing in the Community, Terry Adams examines the ways in which Tsitsi’s novel Nervous Conditions both reinforces and undermines the conventions of the classical bildungsroman.Drawing upon scholarship in girlhood studies, the theme of his Writing in the Community class, Adams offers nuanced analysis of the novel’s plot structure and characterization with an aim of  demonstrating how genre classification often falls short when applied to post-colonial  literature.

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