Edward Quezada

Essay #3 Reflection

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My composition in two genres essentially differed from a traditional essay in the way that these essays were written. Rather than a typical introduction, body, and conclusion for my composition, I was able to divide the essay into the two different genres and sub-sections which helped organize the overall analysis of my compositions. Furthermore, through this essay, I was able to analyze compositions I created rather than analyzing a pre-existing composition. My essay focused on some of the many reasons to pursue a college education. This means the primary audience is high school students in New York City or around the United States. Taking this audience into account, I considered visual genres to be adequate in encouraging students to apply to colleges. Visual genres are meant to be visually appealing to the audience. Younger generations also tend to prefer this type of genre over another genre such as lengthy written works. More specifically, I chose to use an advertisement and a poster to convey the overall purpose of my compositions. The main rhetorical strategy that I used through my composition was logic. The overall purpose of the composition was to persuade students towards pursuing a college education so, using facts and statistics about the many benefits of having a college degree is essential when attempting to persuade people towards this certain matter. Furthermore, I chose to provide this information in shortly stated bullet points to allow for ease of reading since these compositions would generally be found in locations where people can glance at them and take in information quickly without the genres losing their attention.

Essay #3 Audience Strategy

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For this essay, my intended audience is primarily high school students who are beginning to think about the path they will want to take after graduation. For the most part, my audience revolves around students who are thinking about the various reasons to continue their education through college in order to obtain a degree in a certain field. Those who are unsure of college would also benefit from this because it will provide them with important information regarding college. Through my compositions, I would like my audience to become familiar with the benefits of attending college and thus attempt to persuade the students towards attempting to apply to a college or various colleges. In order to obtain this goal, I believe using visual genres generally appeals to younger generations. Many students do not like to read lengthy papers discussing various details and so, using visuals such as a poster or an advertisement allows me to provide my ideas in a simple and efficient manner. Furthermore, posters and advertisements are easy to access through schools or public transportation for many high school students. In order to engage the students in the thought process of college, I will use the rhetorical strategy of logos through simple and direct statistics or facts about the economic and social benefits of getting a college degree. The whole reason for this is to attract students into wanting to apply to college, and so, providing the benefits of attending college through visual genres will allow the students to keep this information in their minds when researching more about college in their own time.

Essay #3 Genre Proposal

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The topic of my second essay revolved around the college education system in the United States. Throughout the article, I tried to maintain an informative stance regarding the benefits and drawbacks of attending college in the United States. The purpose of my essay was mainly to provide awareness and inform those who wish to know more about an important system that many will have to think about at some point in their lives. The primary audience in regards to my second essay and this assignment are students in the United States and more specifically, high school students thinking about their future regarding college education. Due to high school students being the primary audience for this assignment, I believe using a visual genre is a good choice in regards to the audience as it will attract their attention more easily. Visuals are generally more appealing to younger generations than a long essay would be. More specifically, I believe I can convey the same purpose I had in my second essay through an informative poster about a college education. This poster will be used to provide direct statistics and facts for students to read without it being very wordy. Another specific visual genre that I can use is advertisements for a certain college. The advertisement must use conveying strategies to draw students into wanting to apply there. These are good genres to use for my topic because we see posters being put up around high school hallways for students to look at while they walk by going from one class to another, and many high school students also take public transportation in cities where we see advertisements being shown all around.

Essay #2 Reflection

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When attempting to come up with my research question, I did not want to form a question that could be answered with a simple yes or no. My essay revolved around the college education system in the United States, so I had to specify this within the question. Furthermore, my idea was to compare and contrast the different perspectives on the college education system. In order to relate these perspectives to my intended audience, I used the professor’s feedback to add ‘quality of life’ into my question to now relate the college system to students. When trying to find sources and evidence to support my ideas of comparing different viewpoints, I did struggle when trying to find the correct sources. Many sources seemed outdated in a way that would not completely validate my ideas. In order to overcome this, I had to take a deep look into the database to find the right sources that were around our time period as well as sources that contained the necessary information I needed to support my ideas. One issue that I encountered was adding too many quotations with limited analysis. For my final draft, I added my own ideas after providing quotes to further strengthen the different arguments. Furthermore, I split my ideas into several different paragraphs to improve the overall organization of my essay. The intended audience for my essay were young students, especially those in high school who are preparing for their future in regards to the path they will decide to take. Since it is an important decision when deciding if a college education is valuable and worth it, I felt that discussing the contrasting arguments would be essential for my essay, in order to properly inform students of what issues or benefits come with obtaining a college degree. In order to be an effective writer, this process has taught me to improve the way I organize my ideas as well as the way I elaborate on my ideas through analysis.

Essay #2 Report on Research in Progress

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The sources that I have compiled thus far for my research paper consists of four scholarly sources and three media sources. I was able to extract these scholarly sources from the Gale Academic OneFile database and my media sources were gathered from online websites. The scholarly sources were all peer-reviewed and provided significant references to the subject. The media sources provided in-depth analysis backed up by statistics and factual context.

 The article “ Is a STEM degree a good investment ” discusses the growing demand for college graduates in STEM fields. STEM careers are generally rewarding in the sense of the economic outcome these careers provide to graduates. Although the science field does not show a significant improvement from non STEM degrees, the other fields of STEM show a substantial gap in the annual earnings in comparison to other degrees. This article allows me to strengthen the argument of the benefits of pursuing a college education specifically by describing the different STEM fields that students can pursue. The article “ Does that college diploma really matter for success? ” discusses varying perspectives of the college education system. The article describes the employment opportunities that a college degree provides to those who pursue a career through college. However, the article also discusses the student debt that accumulates from receiving a college education and how this results in hindering the life choices of graduates. The article concludes with the argument of a college degree not being a complete necessity to obtain a job as there are businesses that hire those without a college education. This article will help strengthen my research essay as it provides information from both sides of the argument of my research question. The article “ How student debt became a $1.6 trillion crisis ” discusses a social issue that directly correlates to my essay about the college education system as discussed previously. The article provides a historical context to student debt in the country and it connects the dilemma to the negative impact it has on the lives of graduates. This article will help me connect my research question to another social dilemma that is closely related to it which will help strengthen my essay. 

The scholarly article “ Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States ” statistically analyzes the economic benefit a college degree has on individuals in comparison to those without a degree. The article also discusses the growing costs of attending college as well as the impact that a college education has on the community and the positive health outcomes this higher education has on individuals. This article has allowed me to identify various subtopics under my research question which will help strengthen my essay. The scholarly article “ College degree for everyone? ” analyzes the overall costs of higher education, the financing for higher education, as well as the success of individuals paying back their student loans. This article will help me strengthen my essay by providing my research question a deeper connection to the related dilemma of student loans in the United States. The scholarly article “ High costs, uncertain benefits: what do Americans without a college degree think about postsecondary education ” analyzes the perspectives of those who did not pursue a college education in the United States through a twenty-minute survey that was conducted. This article will strengthen my essay in recognizing society’s opinion on higher education and how these viewpoints compare and contrast with one another. The fourth scholarly article “ What can you do with that degree? College major and occupational status of college graduates over time ” analyzes the information gathered from studies conducted regarding the economic outcome of college graduates and how the market treats those with college degrees to those without a degree. This article will help provide a deeper understanding of college education to my research essay as it also compares the different fields that people pursue through college and the economic status of these college graduates over time.

A source that I originally found but discarded was the scholarly article ” Employee education and job performance: does education matter? ” due to the article being published in 1989 which hinders its validity compared to my other sources. A source that I am considering using is the webpage “Is a college education worth it” by ProCon.org because it provides a detailed list of pros and cons of the college education system. I can use this because it provides more information for my essay when discussing the countering arguments. Research that I believe can further strengthen my essay is to discuss more of the social aspect of the quality of life of college graduates and non-college graduates. 


Hout, Michael. “Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 38, 2012, pp. 379–400., www.jstor.org/stable/23254601. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Strohush, Vitaliy, and Justin Wanner. “College degree for everyone?” International Advances in Economic Research, vol. 21, no. 3, 2015, p. 261+. Gale Academic OneFile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A427959612/AONE?u=cuny_ccny&sid=AONE&xid=e2ab3d21. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Kelly, Andrew P. “High costs, uncertain benefits: what do americans without a college degree think about postsecondary education?” AEI Paper & Studies, American Enterprise Institute, 2015, p. Fi+. Gale Academic OneFile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A436889727/AONE?u=cuny_ccny&sid=AONE&xid=1cfb4971. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Roksa, Josipa, and Tania Levey. “What can you do with that degree? College major and occupational status of college graduates over time.” Social Forces, vol. 89, no. 2, 2010, p. 389+. Gale Academic OneFile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A247339518/AONE?u=cuny_ccny&sid=AONE&xid=315fedb7. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Abigail J Hess. “How Student Debt Became a $1.6 Trillion Crisis.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 June 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/06/12/how-student-debt-became-a-1point6-trillion-crisis.html.

“Is a STEM Degree a Good Investment?” Value Colleges, www.valuecolleges.com/resources/faqs/is-a-stem-degree-a-good-investment/.

Smale, Thomas. “Does That College Diploma Really Matter for Success?” Entrepreneur, 3 May 2017, www.entrepreneur.com/article/293676.


Essay #2 Research Proposal

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For this essay, my research question revolves around how does earning a college degree impact an individual’s quality of life in the United States? As a college student in the United States, I can relate to this subject as well as many others who are attending college or planning to attend college. This question relates to the growing debate about the value of a college education. Students are generally told to pursue a college education to become successful in their future by their family and teachers. For those who get a college education, they tend to earn higher salaries and are more marketable.. On the contrary, those who do not pursue a college education generally earn lower salaries and are less marketable. This has developed the ongoing debate of whether college is worth it. Student debt is a major social issue in the United States that correlates to college education as well. Many have argued whether the cost of getting a degree is worth the economic income they will receive with that degree. Although colleges offer a variety of undergraduate degrees, not all degrees lead to a successful career due to the demand in the workforce for specific degrees. S.T.E.M degrees are generally seen as the most successful in terms of the economic outcome they provide to an individual in comparison to other degrees. Many college students are graduating with other degrees and struggling to find a well paying job to pay their student loans. However, many people around the country have chosen not to pursue a college education and this has resulted in the absence of student debt in their lives. Many people without a college degree have had to take on lower salary jobs due to their lack of being marketable in the workforce. On the other hand, many people without a college degree have been able to become successful in life. Many people are naturally talented and skilled in certain areas that make them marketable without the need of a college degree.  Furthermore, there are other alternatives to college when seeking a career that can lead to a successful future.

The model essay that I have chosen for my research is “The value of a college education”, published by the Pew Research Center. This model essay relates to my research question through analyzing the different perspectives Americans have on the college education system. The model essay used the information gathered through the surveys conducted by the research center to compare the statistics pertaining to those with a college degree and those without a college degree This essay will help me structure my essay regarding this subject. By the end of this upcoming week, I will have gathered most of my secondary sources that I will be using throughout my essay as well as analyzing each source to gather the information I will use in my essay. As stated before, the targeted audience of the essay pertains to students who are close to finishing high school and thinking about continuing their education in college. Furthermore, there are also people out there who are thinking of pursuing a college education many years after getting their high school diploma. This research essay may help them better understand the different perspectives society has along with the statistical analysis on the college education system.

Model Essay: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/5-the-value-of-a-college-education/

Works Cited:

“The ROI of a Bachelor’s Degree.” Bachelor’s Degree Completion, www.northeastern.edu/bachelors-completion/news/is-a-bachelors-degree-worth-it/.

“Is a STEM Degree a Good Investment?” Value Colleges, www.valuecolleges.com/resources/faqs/is-a-stem-degree-a-good-investment/.

“Pros & Cons – ProCon.org.” College Education, 8 June 2020, college-education.procon.org/.

Abigail J Hess. “How Student Debt Became a $1.6 Trillion Crisis.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 June 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/06/12/how-student-debt-became-a-1point6-trillion-crisis.html.

Smale, Thomas. “Does That College Diploma Really Matter for Success?” Entrepreneur, 3 May 2017, www.entrepreneur.com/article/293676.

Essay #2 – Research Topic Reflection

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Question: How does earning a college degree impact the outcome of an individual in the United States?

When exploring the assignment description, I was originally unsure of what I wanted to write about considering the variety of topics we are able to choose from. However, I decided to focus on subjects that relate to me as an individual in the United States. As a freshman in college, the impact a college education has on someone’s life is a question I can ask myself today. In addition, there are millions of teenagers and young adults around the country who most likely have this exact question in mind as they plan to attend a college or university. Current college students who are unsure of what careers to pursue may also have this question in mind as they continue their education.

The idea of going to college is seen as a traditional next step in a students’ education around the United States after completing high school. Obtaining a college degree has been taught as a necessity for an individual to “succeed” in their future. This idea was consistently brought up throughout our education as we grew older and closer to the completion of high school. From teachers to our own parents or family, society has encouraged us to pursue a career through college because it will ultimately benefit us and our future. By further exploring this question through research, I will compare and contrast the various perspectives that individuals have towards the college education system. Furthermore, I will explore the statistical outcomes of having a degree as well as the impact of not having a college education. This is not a simple yes or no question about college, but rather a question that explores the many viewpoints society has about this matter.

Essay #1 Reflection

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Through writing, we want to make sure we provide our thoughts and ideas in a clear way which pertain to the subject we are writing about. An essential part of a good literary work is having an interest or passion in the ideas we are showcasing as writers. When we are writing, we must make sure we are attempting to fulfill everything that is required for that piece. We should also be able to showcase our purpose and the intended audience for that literary work, as well as gather sufficient research or evidence in order to provide a well written piece. In this assignment, our purpose was to rhetorically analyze four different sources and connect them to a single social conflict. The strategies I used were to gather my ideas and try to organize them in a way for the readers to understand the purpose. For my first draft, I showcased the different elements of a rhetorical analysis in separate sections in order to have my ideas organized. After having received feedback about areas where I can improve on, I chose to organize my ideas into an essay format. From this experience, I was able to improve in the way I elaborate on certain ideas that I bring up throughout the essay.  I believe the feedback I received has helped me improve the way I analyzed the articles by finding better quotes to support my ideas as well as connecting different sources together to show the importance of those articles. As I continue writing, I know that I can make further improvements in many aspects in order to become a better writer.


Essay #1 Source List

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Open Web Source, DoSomething.org


Dosomething.org provides a webpage of statistics and facts pertaining to the Hispanic or the Latino community in the United States. The webpage provides eleven direct and simple facts in a listed manner to their viewers. The Hispanic community makes up about almost 20% of the total population in the United States today. However, Hispanics and Latinos are the second most discriminated community in the nation. The informative list provides statistics based on various sources regarding how the community is discriminated against. One major area this type of discrimination is encountered on is in the workplace. Many Hispanics or Latinos face the struggles of working in discriminatory conditions. Furthermore, there is a wage gap between Latinos and other ethnic groups in the country. These statistics provide a better understanding of the unfortunate dilemmas that many Hispanics face today.


Magazine, The NY Times


The article “A Hard Conversation for the Latino Community” was written by Jorge Ramos, who is a well known anchor and writer for the Univision network. The article focuses on Afro-Latinos or Latinos with African ancestry in the United States. Mr.Ramos showcases the story of his co-anchor, Ilia Calderon, who faced discrimination throughout her life before joining Univision, as an Afro-Latina herself. Furthermore, Mr.Ramos goes on to talk about the way Afro-Latinos have had to endure verbal abuse that equates to racism. A connection is then made between how Afro-Latinos face racism in the United States as well as in Latin America. Mr.Ramos also provides a historical context regarding slavery and how it has affected racial equality today. The article concludes with the desire for change in society to end the discrimination that many Latinos face today.


Newspaper, NBC News


The article “Racism, not a lack of assimilation, is the real problem facing Latinos in America” was written by Suzanne Gamboa, a national reporter for NBC Latino and NBCnews.com. The article speaks about the hate crimes and discrimination that Latinos face in the United States. The idea of Hispanics being seen as foreign by other Americans is brought upon throughout the article. The historical background of this idea is also shown and explains how the idea of not being seen as socially equal began since the Mexican American War in the nineteenth century. Furthermore, the article discusses the discrimination Latinos face that ranges from being denied mortgage loans to being treated unfairly for speaking a language other than English. The article concludes with the idea of a presence of more Latinos in the media in order to counteract the unfair treatment many Latinos face today.


Scholarly Source


The scholarly article “Perceived Experiences of Discrimination and Latino/a Young Adults’ Personal and Relational Well-being” was published in 2019. The article focuses on the negative effects that ethnic discrimination has on the mental health of young Latino adults in the United States. The article emphasizes the impact that discrimination has on the self image and identity of the victims to said behavior. The article then focuses on a study made of young Latino adults in the United States which included several variables. This study was made to evaluate the effects of discrimination on the stability of relationships and that of the individual. The article concludes with how ethnic identity plays a role in the outcome of discrimination towards the Latinos who participated in the study.


Essay #1 (Topic Reflection): Ethnic Discrimination

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Many social issues have appeared throughout history and into present times. As society becomes informed, many strive to find solutions in order to improve the wellbeing of victims facing these issues. Racism, being one of many dilemmas, has developed into a widespread conflict that millions of Americans face every year. By definition, racism is considered to be a belief that race determines someone’s traits and capacities and these racial differences lead to the belief of superiority of a particular race. People of different backgrounds experience this discrimination all around the United States. This has become an important social issue that many speak out about through literary works, especially in the most recent years. Americans who identify as Hispanics or Latinos have fallen victims to this issue as have many other Americans from different backgrounds in the United States. Hispanics or Latinos make up about twenty percent of the total population in the United States today. This percentage translates to around 60 million people, making Hispanics the largest minority group in the nation. This type of discrimination has affected the lives of many as they face obstacles caused by others. These obstacles can range from discrimination in a job environment to being discriminated while walking around. This subject has gradually turned into one of my many interests as I become more aware of the different social issues found in today’s world. A rather more specific reason as to why I believe this is an important matter is due to the many ways that I have seen people share their experiences with society, whether it be through the internet or sharing these unfortunate moments with friends and families. This social dilemma has been around for some time and I would like to further analyze the reasons and intentions behind the inappropriate behavior that Americans face around the country. I would also like to read more about how this behavior has developed over time and its effects on the daily lives of the victims. Being able to read and analyze how people have chosen to bring light to this social issue is also essential to gaining a better understanding in this matter.

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