Extrasolar planets were a difficult topic for some of the projects this semester. I chose this topic because I knew very little about it and I wanted to learn more throughout the semester, just as the topic guidelines suggested. Though the photo essay was difficult to relate to the topic, I am happy I stuck with my topic through the entire semester. I am happy about it because I have gained knowledge about something that interested me and I now want to know more about the subfields that surround extrasolar planets. I had the goal of finding out where this research was headed. I found out that extrasolar planets were now being classified as different types of planets rather than scientists discovering these planets’ locations and knowing nothing else about them. I succeeded in that aspect of my research, however, I did not find out where the nearest extrasolar planet was and if it was habitable for humans. I suspect these answer will be announced once technology catches up with sciences’ needs. I think the research paper helped me learn the most about my topic, but I learned to look around and see what the earth has to offer humans and why it is so precious to us, through the photo essay assignment. The rhetorical analysis paper proved that I needed to evaluate my sources more and not only the text element, but also all visuals accompanying the text. The information was not hard to find, but that made finding reliable and creditable information harder to decipher. The online databases through the library were extremely helpful in finding sources for my research paper and I was able to select certain options to make sure the sources I had were credible. I think the photo essay was most difficult to write because I wanted to relate it to extrasolar planets but I was not sure how to because I cannot take pictures of far off planets. Then I thought about the possibility of human moving planets; that sparked the idea of looking at what earth offers and why it houses life here. Then I was able to take picture from all seasons I had to compile them into a PowerPoint presentation that argued what humans would need on another planet to survive. The most interesting was the research paper because there was so much information that I needed to read through and look at to develop an argument.
The layout for my blog is based on the major projects, from the one most recently turned in to the first paper we did; the annotated bibliography, because that was not a paper but an activity I had never done before; design plans for each paper we did in class, and then other class activities. I chose this layout because I felt the best things I accomplished should go first and then the things I was not as sure about in the middle. The feeling of being unsure came from it being new to me and I feel it got my point across but the formatting was not my best. Then lastly, I put my reflection at the end to wrap up the entire semester. This entire semester working with my peers showed me that a new perspective is always helpful. Some people did not edit for grammar and punctuation, but rather for content and ease of understanding. This was nice because when I edit I usually edit for grammar and punctuation. This made sure my meaning was getting across to my readers, which was helpful. Other papers that I read helped me see a new perspective on the topic at hand. I was able to see a way of thinking for my peers and that opened my eyes to what I could then discover myself. The in-class editing sessions were most helpful because I could get two or three different inputs for my paper to make it the best paper possible. I think what I liked most about my other peers was that I was able to see what they were passionate about and I could ask why and that really opened my eyes to many things around me.