Journals page

Journal 2

In high school I did not have much of any for a drafting or revision processes. For my assignments I would start my paper and finish it soon after it was assigned so I would not have to stress about completing it on time. As the due date got closer, I would reread my paper several times to check for spelling and grammar errors, as that is my biggest weakness in writing, and have a friend or fellow student look it over after me to make sure it was good. After this I would turn the paper in to my teacher (had the same teacher all four years of high school) and he would grade the paper. Depending on the assignment he would give us notes on the conceptual and content part of our writing and have us the revise our papers. After that one revision our assignment would be complete.

I never took my high school English classes to seriously as I always found them unenjoyable and had reading and spelling disabilities in elementary and middle school that gave me a bad experience. I am looking forward to learning more about the writing process and ways I can improve my work.


Wyatt Blackstone


ENG 110 H5-Journal 3

I never knew how to quote in my papers besides the “hit and run” quote they talk about in the book They Say I Say. My quotes were always there more to meet the grading rubric requirements for my paper than to improve or validate what I was saying. This chapter does a good job talking about how to structure your quotes to enhance your paper and how you might have to change or remove your quote as your paper changes. I would have always resisted to change my paper rather than the quote I had found.

Among the problems I had finding and using a good quote, this chapter also talks about over and under explaining a quote. I often find myself wondering how much explanation I need after my quotes, as everyone’s brains work differently and what makes sense to me might not to someone else. On page 50 in the second paragraph it says, “It is better to risk being overly explicit about what you take a quotation to mean than to leave the question dangling and your readers in doubt.” It is best for me to just take the long route and explain my take on the subject matter. This was a very informative read that has many good points I will be able to use in my future papers.

Journal 4-

The End of Food is a very interesting article with a product just as interesting. Soylent, the chemical powder drink, described here is a substitute for food was made by Rhinehart to help cut down on the cost of food and all the other time costs that come with eating. On page one paragraph three he says, “It just seemed like a system that’s too complex and too expensive and too fragile”. Later on, in the article he claims to have lived off Soylent for a whole year and was still in good health.

What I found interesting was his method of thinking in his business plan. He claims that this is a superior advancement for humanity and even posts his recipe online, later stating if someone finds a way to better make it that is just another advancement for human kind. With this methodology of thinking he is giving up some of his possible future profit from this product he created. I think this product will become more and more popular, however, in the consumer setting it will never replace meals or the popular snack foods.

Journal 5-
In pages one through fifteen, in They Say I Say, there were many interesting ideas on how to enhance your writing skills. I particularly like their analogy on the first page of the book comparing academic, and even normal writing, to a learned motor skill. The best writers are the best at the simple stuff, or “writing moves”. I have heard this several times in my life, weather that be sports or other practice required skills, the best are the ones that have mastered the simple stuff.
This chapter also talked about the they say I say writing model stating, “you need to enter a conversation, using what others say as a launching pad or sounding board for your own views”. This, for myself personally, is often over looked in my writing process that is contextually necessary for a good paper, as well as helping the reader understand what I’m trying to say. This will definitely help enhance my future papers and remind me to continue working on the basic parts of writing.

Journal 6 (peer revision)

Journal 8-

In this chapter of They Say I Say, I can greatly relate with the comments they presented of the need to clearly indicate your thesis. This is mostly because I am quite often guilty of not always writing a defined thesis. On page 20 of this chapter the writer says, “the most important thing of all-namely, a point-a writer needs to indicate clearly not only what his or her thesis is, but also what larger conversation that the thesis is responding to.” This shows the importance the author is stressing about making your thesis clear and relating in into your body paragraphs, so it makes sense. Along with our thesis we can tie in a “they say I say” template to the beginning of our thesis sentence to show our reader where we are coming from, but also, what our personal opinion on the matter is. With these simple steps to our writing structure we can greater include and help our readers understand the concepts we talk about more easily.

Journal 9-

My revising process on this paper has been very different than any other revision processes I’ve done before, simply because I did one. In my past I have mostly written the “one and done” type of paper with little to no revision besides correcting spelling and grammar errors. On this paper the most time I spent revising was trying to find other quotes from my favorite meal essay to add textual evidence to my comments. While drafting this paper I also changed and added additional sentences in my paper to enhance my work. In the past it would have just been me adding on sentences to meet the length requirements and to add in some last-minute thoughts I didn’t put in earlier on. My revisions definitely started to bring my writing level away from the “high school book report” and closer to the expectations of the class.

Journal 10-

I strongly agree with the author when he says on page three, paragraph one, that chefs have become part of the American celebrities through their cooking shows and have moved away from our “Swanson TV dinners”. I believe this to be true because we now no longer watch cooking shows to learn how to make a meal, but to be entertained. A perfect example of this for me is watching Gordon Ramsay yell at people to motivate them to prepare and beat their competition in the kitchen. Our society has changed a lot in the past decades with the shows we watch and our reasons for watching them.


The author also commented on how cooking shows have changed our culture on page four, paragraph one. He says now that cooking shows have become popular, they changed the view of cooking from a requirement to it being no longer obligatory. This for many people is a blessing, especially women with their past societal norms. Now it is easier for us to give up the actual act of cooking and just sit back on the couch and talk about it. This too goes with our ever-continuing busy schedule where the act of cooking is more of, to preserve our culture of cooking and less of the need to eat food.


My favorite quote from this article was when the author was quoting something Julia, a famous TV cook, said. “When you flip anything, you just have to have the courage of your convictions.” This was in relation to her flipping a very large pancake from her cooking pan into the air. She did not land it the way she wanted to on national television and splatted it on to the stove top.  She then stated she did not have the courage that she needed to properly flip the pancake the way she should have. Her lesson then ended with the only way you will ever learn to flip things is if you just flip it. This valuable lesson can be applied in many aspects of life, not only cooking.

Journal 11

In chapter fourteen the author discussed his past experience in a class room setting asking kids what the authors argument is. This sounded all too familiar to me as I too would just sit in my seat with everyone else awkwardly not talking, until, the teacher prompted us enough to throw out some random thoughts that we could all agree on. I like this authors system of approach when asking kids to think about what was motivating the writer’s argument. He asks, “Is the writer disagreeing or agreeing with something, and if so, what? What is motivating the writer’s argument?” I really like this system of approach to thinking about what someone else is writing about. It not only makes you think about the big picture of the argument but the possible motivations behind it.

Journal 12-

I found this podcast interesting to say the least. I too have some experience with dealing with families and dead loved ones as I worked as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) for a little over a year. We occasionally had to preform postmortem care, which would involve several steps such as putting lotion on the skin and gently trying to close the deceased’s mouth (as they often open very wide and the cheeks suck in). Facility to facility the protocols on what you do slightly change and if the family is there to give special instructions. However, most the time none of the ritualistic stuff they talked about in the podcast matters to the family at the time. They had either just unexpectedly lost their loved one, or their loved one just died (and we use the word dead instead of passed or a softer word to help the family realize what has happened, not to make it harder on them but because that’s what most people need to hear to move on) who had been suffering for a long time before then and where ready to go. I think the biggest part we need to worry about death is not what the leftover rotting husk that person once lived in is done with, but the emotional needs of the family and not force all these decisions down on them at that time. Ask them if they would like them buried, or cremated, closed or open casket (which has more difficulty with it) and what funeral home they want to use nearby. We should be more worried about the current emotional health of the living and preventing any emotional scars to form that the dead corpse.

Journal 14

I found Ross Andersen’s article, “What the Crow Knows”, very interesting to say the least. The opportunities he was able to experience must have been amazing and absolutely beautiful. I found the beliefs of the Jain’s very interesting and slightly hypocritical when it comes to them having to abandon their own families to devote the rest of their lives to not harming another living animal or plant when they do just that to their families. However, by their actions and ethics to what they wear and eat, shows great devotion and consideration to their morals.

One part of this article I found frustrating was at the beginning when the author would start to tie in scientific work and research to the ethical/theological considerations to animals, then throw in his own comment with no work to back it up. What I found most interesting was his connections to behavioral psychology and neurology when talking about the wasp and crow’s theory of mind and their response to operant conditioning. Andersen brought up many interesting topics to consider about the real implications of our actions in our environment and how much other animals, and even microbes, feel and share our worldly experience.

Journal 15-

Hal Hergos’s article, Animals Like Us, brought up many controversial and theological topics revolving around animal ethics and the human/animal relationships. His closing thesis can be found in the second to last paragraph when he sums up his whole article using the term “the troubled middle”. This relates back to his several stories earlier on in his article talking about the vegetarian who eventually turned into a meat eater (paragraphs 1- 5) after continued temptation and exposure. Hergos also uses the stories about the biomedical researchers euthanizing cats and baby chickens for research purposes. For Jim Thompson, a twenty-five-year-old doctoral student stuck in a job killing chicks at the end of experiments (page 2 paragraph 2). His experience for turned him into a vegetarian after spending several days killing baby chickens. The second, and most relevant to Hergos’s article was the story on Ron Neibors experience. Ron had several cats that he was using to study the effects of how the brain reorganizes itself after injury. This required him to surgically cut the brain in specific areas, let the cat heal, then decapitate it and chip its skull away to examine the brain. This, for Ron, was a morally traumatic experience that manifested in several ways including mood changes and motivations/health effects (page 4 paragraph 2). These stories gave his article emotional, first hand, stories to help back his points and the difficulty of defining the grey, troubled middle zone. It also helped him relay his conversation through several examples to help the reader better understand his thoughts, feelings, and questions that are brought up pondering this topic.

Journal 18-

I completely disagree with Foer in the paragraph on page three that starts with, “some of my happiest childhood memories”. He contraindicates what he has said in the previous pages, weather he sees this or not. He states that food was a huge part in his childhood memories and the food itself played a big role in the stories he remembers. After this he then states that for his morals, that he has not found the motivation to follow through yet, requiring him to lose the memory of the foods which will make him forget the memories associated with it as well. He has the full capability to stop eating meat and leave his past memories in the past instead of “forgetting the taste” of the food that is so intertwined in his memories. He can live his future life as a vegetarian and not degrade his family’s culture and up bringing for his new self-esteem in his identity. I just found his comments very self-centered and passive aggressively attacking his family’s memories.

In the second paragraph the author brings up no real new topics on the matter. He words them differently, but the theological concepts remain the same. What gives us the right to kill and eat animals, and to what extent is the “sacrifice” of an animal’s life or well-being worth the cost? These questions cannot be definitively answered by yes or no. They are lost in the grey zone of perspective and moral code where nothing can be simply answered, it can only be pondered and require the confidence that your decision was the right one.

Journal 17-

Journal 21

In my paper I did several revisions including reorganizing and expanding on some ideas I had previously touched on but not fully explained on. A large comment I got from my peer review group was that I had a lot of thoughts all crammed into one paragraph and that I need to break them apart into smaller bits. This was seen a lot in my first and second paragraph where I would explain a quote then base several different ideas/topics off of it. I also did simple spelling and grammar work when I saw something that needed to be changed, however, the majority of it was reorganizing the pile of thoughts and information that I laid down in my first few drafts. I did not do too much for adding new information into my paper as I was already near my word limit. This revision was very different than anything I would have done in high school or the beginning of the year.

Project 3 peer review podcast