Olivia's Blog

Brian Hart’s Peer review

Brian Hart’s Peer Review

In Brian Hart’s research paper, he discusses an issue that goes unspoken of on a daily basis. Everyday millions of people ride elevators, most of the time with other passengers. His point was to talk about the unforeseen “elevator etiquette” that we as humans blindly live by every time we ride an elevator. His examples of theories include, avoiding all contact with other passengers, checking technologies such as iPods or phones, and standing near the perimeters of the elevator. I felt his points were not only accurate and true, but they made me think about how I personally act in an elevator social situation. I could relate to most of his examples and universal “rules.” The main message of this research paper is to question our motives as humans and social beings when put into a situation so routine as riding an elevator. What I admired the most about this paper was the way the author compared human behavior in confined spaces to behaviors of mammals such as chimpanzees. The similarities between the two were shocking. Chimpanzees clearly reacted more extreme than a human would, however, the intentions of both human and chimp paralleled almost perfectly.  Brian’s primary research was mainly the interviews he conducted with peer elevator riders like himself. This target group effectively strengthened his argument immensely.

His points and quotes were well organized and flowed nicely with the style of his essay. Brian’s purpose of his argument was to address this ongoing issue of social norms in elevators. As he interviews students, he remains unbiased. However, his personal opinions of this argument are expressed when he talks about his beliefs and how he was raised. He does not think it is right when people completely ignore others when riding elevators. He believes people should at least say hello and attempt to engage in conversation with one another. He continues to claim that casual elevator conversation may lead into lifetime relationships or friendships.  I felt this was an interesting point, if he had pursued this research more, I think he should try a social experiment involving attempting to spark conversation on elevators and seeing how people react. This could defiantly strengthen his primary research. As far as ethos, the author’s essay is credible in every way; his argument is legitimate and applies to many different types of people including myself.  I liked how he made it very easy to connect and had a set list of things people do in elevators, which could apply, to almost everyone.

As a whole, this paper in my opinion was very successful. I would mostly likely grade it in the high B+/ low A- range. It could use a few more photos and I do believe a social experiment would give this essay the X factor to earn an A. I enjoyed the topic and could relate this to my everyday routine.


Free write 7

Free write 7

In this essay about racial injustice, the writer begins his essay with a synopsis of an event that occurred in 1977 involving an act of racism at an integrated high school. The writer continues on to discuss specific events in time that have shown examples of racial injustice and ties in statistics from multi racial schools that have had these types of problems in the past. He ties in personal knowledge of the topic and proves that he has a good understanding of his argument. Not only did the writer incorporate quotes, statistics, and personal knowledge and experience, he also included photos of the signs that were used to exclude or forewarn. These signs if placed in a random location would not have the same racial connotation as they do where they are actually placed. As a visual learner, I benefitted from the use of visuals in this essay. I think it gives the reader a better explanation and a greater understanding of the argument that the writer is trying to make. Interviews were his main form of primary research, which I feel are the most effective. Conducting interviews are the best way to find how the public feels about a certain situation.  In my primary research for my final essay, I chose to create surveys and conduct interviews to get a general unbiased opinion of my argument. I feel that this writer did the same and it works really well with the reliability and credibility of his proposal. There are certain points in this paper where primary research was necessary. Without the interviews from the police officials and educators, the research and claims would have been unreliable.  The quote placement was very effective. The transitions were very smooth and I admired the way he argued his research and used them in conversation with one another.

If I were to grade this paper, I’m not sure I would give it an A because I feel an A paper could be written by a professional and I felt this essay was written by a younger writer and it showed in certain parts. I would most likely give it an A- because of its organization, primary research, and development of the argument. The citations were clear and the transitions were very smooth and were placed correctly and efficiently. The use and credibility of the writer’s primary research was very effective. The inclusion of the three images was also effective when he discussed the racial exclusion in that specific area. The writer’s personal examples and experience also gave this paper the x-factor it needed to justify his main arguments. I felt engaged with this essay and felt his claim was very strong through out the entire paper. In my opinion, this research paper should receive high marks on this paper.

Freewrite 4

In Kevin Sajdak’s article in the Daily Orange, he interviewed numerous students who were affected by the permanent re-location of the SU Architecture program from Slocum Hall on main campus, to the Warehouse in downtown Syracuse. The Daily Orange is a university run newspaper that reaches to every corner of the campus and is accessible to every kind of student. The purpose of this newspaper and online newspaper is to inform the students at SU of current events on and off campus and is a very credible source of information. In Kevin’s article, you can tell that his approach was unbiased. However, the student’s reactions to this news were unanimously negative and biased against the change in location. The students were outraged to hear that their home on main campus was now moved to a far location downtown. One student reflects on how detached from the campus architecture students feel after the installment of the Connective Corridor. She claims, “Half of the first-years didn’t even know homecoming week was going on.” Students protested outside of Slocum Hall demanding the change to be revoked. However, no kind of protest was going to stop the university from moving this program. Because this article was written in 2007, the information is credible, however, since this change, the architecture program has moved back to Slocum Hall and the School of Visual and Performing Arts has moved downtown. The article was relative at the time of its release, but now it is dated and inaccurate.

In Hope Morley’s piece for The Daily Orange “School of Art and Design programs to move downtown,” she discusses the transition of the Art and Design programs and its effect on its students and faculty. It is defiantly a truthful and unbiased article that is meant to educate and inform Syracuse University students about current changes on and off campus. She interviews several students and faculty to survey different opinions about the change and gets a balanced mix of reviews from both sides. A number of people who were interviewed approved of the move and talked highly of it, which was a breath of fresh air compared to all the negative hype that surrounds this situation. The primary audience for this article is students and faculty at Syracuse University. Because it is a student run news media, the way it is written is extremely effective because the author is speaking to an audience their own age. This article was written at the beginning of this move in September 2009, therefore it is very current and up to date with what is transpiring on campus and downtown.

The two articles I chose concerning the relocation of the Architecture program and the Art and Design program at Syracuse University were both taken from The Daily Orange, our student run school newspaper. Because this topic is so isolated and recent, there were not very many sources out there that touched on the move to the Warehouse and its effect on the student body. However, the articles that I found provided me with interviews and opinions from both negative and positive perspective. In Sajdak’s article, he wrote about the resistance from the Architecture students when they were told they were permanently moved to the downtown location. Although his article was unbiased, the people he interviewed all seemed to have a completely negative outlook on the move. This being written in 2007 makes it inaccurate and dated. In Morley’s article, she talks about the initial transition of the Art and Design program moving to the Warehouse permanently. Her article was also unbiased and had a balance of negative and positive feedback from VPA students and faculty. Both of these essays were written by Syracuse students and shared the same voice. The young adult audience also remained the same with both of these articles. Sajdak described how Architecture students felt excluded from the rest of the campus. Students felt like they were unattached from social events on main campus and were “out of the loop.” Morley discussed how students were excited about the move downtown and how it was a positive environment for learning. It was interesting to see the different perspectives and opinions from a variety of students in a balanced manner rather than a biased article.

“A boy’s life” response

This essay begins by telling a story about Matthew Shephard and how he was brutally beaten to death by two men because of his sexual orientation. The background information of these individuals are very descriptive and paint a clear picture of who committed the crime. Homophobia was the reason for this terrible hate crime. The argument being made is should these kinds of crimes be tolerated and if not what kind of punishment is considered fair.

This article clarifies our discussion about arguments because it doesnt just defend Matthew Shepard, it gives an unbiased description of how this crime happened and how it was handled. The author interviewed the criminals and got their side of the story as well as a background check regarding their reasoning behind going through with the crime. The information provided gives the reader a greater understanding about the personality involved and the homophobic trigger. By providing this info, it strengthens the argument.

The writer’s purpose in my opinion was to inform readers about hate crimes that are committed against homosexuals. Her article also raises awareness and helps readers form their own opinions on homophobic hate crimes and their impact on society.

I believe this writer is very adamant about her stance. However, her use of detail and thorough research was appealing to me as a reader because it described the victim and the criminal quite vividly. I liked her style and I found this article very interesting.


A strong reader needs to obtain qualities of dedication and interest to the given topic in order to comprehend and absorb the information within the text. When reading an informational text, readers need to know what information is actually important to retain rather than reading and trying to retain it all. When it comes to writing, traits of a strong writer include attention to detail, structure, organization, and mechanics. In Kantz’s opinion, a strong writer using sources within their essay needs to cite information by enhancing their argument and not by telling a story. The citations used within my essay would enhance my point by providing truthful information that contributes to the reader’s knowledge of the topic at hand. Kantz believes that the writer needs to pay attention to the facts over opinions of their source. Rhetoric and rhetorical analysis come into play with Kantz’s article because she tries to inform the reader to find the writer’s rhetorical goals within the text instead of simply reading the essay. The reader develops a much greater understanding by seeing the rhetorical points given by the author.

In my research paper I may choose to inform my reader more with my citations than I have in the past. I had a tendency to tell a story or narrate my essays with the in text quotes, but after reading Kantz’s argument, I will effectively place and cite my sources so that they enhance my point rather than state another author’s opinion. The research methods I plan to apply to this essay include conducting interviews, taking surveys, and creating multimedia research to benefit my researching experience.  I want the rhetor of my essay to appeal to a mass audience and inform them about a very important issue our school is facing at the moment. Some obstacles I see myself facing through my research and essay writing are the biases I have against the move of the Fashion program due to the fact that I was directly affected by the change.  I also feel that interviewing is going to be an issue with the people who are not associated with Syracuse University because they may not be willing to give me their opinion.

rhetoric freewrite 3

In Robert A. Di Leso Jr’s article, Tear Down this Wall, the author created several images that were shown in “Good Magazine” for the audience to easily visualize how six monumental barriers throughout history excluded people from each other.

Di Leso in this issue of Good Magazine uses “visual rhetoric” in an effort to prove how images can provoke argument and help form opinions. Visual Rhetoric can also persuade an audience one way or another to form a specific reaction or response.

The readings explained how to further analyze rhetoric by forming a “triangle” with each point representing a certain aspect of visual rhetoric. The top of the triangle represents the Rhetor, and the bottom two points represent the Audience and the text. This is an efficient way to break down visual rhetoric and how it can be interpreted.

The objective of the images is to inform people of how significant these barriers were in history and how they affected the people surrounding them. Barriers such as the Berlin wall and the Wall Street wall excluded people from their own country. The playful aspect of these images is the use of food to describe the length and height of these walls. By doing this, the visual comes much easier to most audiences and you can really see how immense these structures are. Aristotle’s three ways of persuasion are present in this article. However, Di leso Jr. uses a different style to present the information (ethos), fuel thought through visuals (pathos), and grant easy to read information regarding the given topic (logos.) Di leso Jr justifies his argument by using the illustration to persuade the viewer how people are always finding ways to exclude others in society.

Primary research

Interviewing people affected by the change in the Connective Corridor is going to be my main source of obtaining research.

What I want to discover through conducting these interviews is the public reaction and response to the change. I want to find out if the response is positive or negative by asking unbiased questions to faculty, students, and locals.

I plan on discovering these responses by interviewing a handful of people and recording their comments. By asking open ended questions, I will get the information I need to strengthen my argument and find a general consensus.

I am going to talk to/observe/survey students in every department of the ware house (commercial design, fashion design, industrial design, advertising design, surface pattern, and textile design), faculty, locals around the area in armory square to see how it has effected their influx of business, and locals who utilize the bus route as a part of their daily routine.

I will gain access to these individuals by simply going about my every day routine of class and riding the connective corridor bus with my peers.

I am going into this argument with as little bias as possible. However, my personal feelings toward my argument will most likely lead me down a path of how the warehouse has excluded students from the main campus community. My interviewing will not be biased simply because I want to hear peoples honest opinions not what they think I want to hear.

I expect to discover many diverse opinions and find people who both enjoy the change and dislike the change. I hope to find an array of responses and see how different groups of people feel based on their age, location, and occupation.

Response to Forum E

The arguments these organizations are making are that surveillance in public space across the country is undermining our fundamental rights as citizens to freedom of speech, privacy, and confidentiality.  Even though the cameras are looking out for our safety and security, the New York Civil Liberties Union argues about what kinds of constraints we should place on the access to these videos and how certain exposure could be considered violation of privacy. Camera placement in New York City alone has almost tripled since 1998. However, crime rates in the big apple have drastically gone down due to these surveillance cameras and safety has increased immensely. After the first major installations of cameras in 1997, crime rate went down 36%. The NYCLU debates however that no researcher has produced conclusive evidence that cameras deter crime. Surveillance in public space personally makes me feel more comfortable and safe as a woman. Women are predisposition to be physically weaker than men, making them easy targets for mugging, rape, assault, and murder. Surveillance cameras help protect women and children from these terrible crimes. A watchful eye is better than no eye at all. These cameras also protect retailers from losing profit because they catch thieves in the act. Working in retail for most of my high school and college life, it is nice to have a set of eyes watching out for you in places where you might not be able to see.  Cameras in my experience have helped stop many thieves in the store that I work at. In these kinds of situations, I feel it is extremely necessary to have cameras watching over us. By taking them away because of “privacy violations” were putting our families, our peers, and ourselves in danger.  A research topic that I draw from these controversies is “Where do we draw the line between safety and privacy with surveillance cameras in our society?” This poses many questions for me as to what is considered violation and what is considered precautionary.

Perceptual Spaces

Olfactory Space-Lemon’s scent

Tactile Space-petting

Thermal and Visual Space- Snowy Mountain landscape

Auditory Space-DJ at a club

Taste- Candy Corns

Transgressive Semiotics in Society

This image is one that expresses extreme transgressive attitudes towards the lesbian/bisexual community. The group sharing their beliefs with the general public is affiliated with the catholic church, a very conservative group of religious individuals. There is no “right” or “wrong” in this situation because there is no right or wrong in sexuality. The beliefs in the catholic church frown upon same sex relations and marriage. This sign blatantly telling women of gay orientation to go to hell. The message is unnecessary and offensive to not only the gay community, but to the general public who disagrees with the catholic church. Freedom of speech is a major factor in this sign. The church is abiding by the amendments and saying what ever they feel is right. However, there should be a line drawn for public statements that discourage those who do no harm. There is no “higher power” that can advise the church to take down their billboard. Unless some one were to deface this themselves or file a complaint; the sign would remain errected regardless of the reactions people got from it. This sign speaks a transgressive attitude of a select group, it does not however tell us what is right and what is wrong.

Gay rights has always been an interest of mine because I personally see nothing wrong in homosexuality. I believe in freedom to be happy with whom ever. Coming from a catholic background, same sex marriage and relations have always been frowned upon in our conservative community. I find it disgusting that people feel so strongly as to publicly put people down just because they are different. I tried to find more information on this photo and what kind of reaction it got but I was unsuccessful. I want to know if it was ever defaced or taken down and if so, who inquired? how long did it take for the church to react? did they put up a fight? These questions were flowing through my head while I was analyzing this photo. Transgressive semiotics are present in our everyday lives, we either choose to pay attention to them or turn a blind eye. When things are shocking, such as this image, we cannot help but think about the motives of whomever posted the sign.