A Semester In Review (Portfolio)

The portfolio really shows my growth in terms of my organization and execution of projects. In the satire video is where I think I did the best job of showing my skills in organizing and executing. In the satire video I was forced to work with other people, balance schedules, and find times where we could meet and have productive work. By being in a situation where I needed to seriously manage my time I found that I was forced to then be more process-oriented and efficient. This not only improved my time management skills, but my writing skills as well.

This course did wonders for improving my writing process. My old process was without form and structure to it, and mainly consisted of me writing without direction and frequently editing. In the end I was usually happy with my work, but that time that it took was usually unsatisfactory; and as time went on I saw that writing like that often caused time conflicts. These conflicts ended in me either turning in work late, being unhappy with my product but having to still turn it in, or missing out on other homework that I had to complete. As the year went on I learned to write in a more time condusive way, while still being able to have the same creativity and flavor that I enjoy having in my writings.

This started with me learning to make good and useful outlines, instead of the vague, skeleton outlines that I had become accustomed to making. My previous outlines were usually made hastily and quickly, because I thought that teachers just wanted to see them, and the sooner I get done with them the sooner I can get to writing. This led to many times having to scrap the outlines and make something up differently because I didn’t like the direction my original outline took. But, by practicing and learning to make real, solid outlines I was able to actually cut down my writing time, and make my work not only better, but easier to finish and start. I believe that this is most evident in my narrative, because in that project in particular I was very happy with the outline I created, and it set me up for a fairly easy flowing written narrative that I translated into an audio file for class.

The portfolio shows my growth from the beginning to the end of the year. As the year progressed, and we had more readings and videos that we learned from, my knowledge of what rhetoric was, and what a good rhetorical piece of literature was grew.       In my analysis of “Dear White People” I think I had some of the most profound and interesting realizations of rhetoric and argumentations. It was not until my second viewing of “Dear White People” that I truly began to grasp the satire that was being employed to help the rhetorical argument. Initially I viewed DWP as a quite offensive and crude movie that lashed out, but upon viewing the movie with a cooler head I began to see what I was initially missing.

This portfolio serves to show the reflection and thought that I put into each piece that I turned in. Before I began each of my pieces that involved research, I made sure that all the evidence and research that I would need to do had already been completed. One point of growth that I experienced was that instead of researching on the fly, while writing or composing, I made sure to look at my outline and consider what I would need to know in order to complete the assignment. In the research paper I did on social media advertising and the role that athletes can play in it, I did hours of research into the amount of money they could make, the tactics athletes could employ, the effectiveness of the strategy, and countless other topics to ensure that I was adequately prepared to write on such a topic.

Critical reading was employed while reading the required material so that I could get a better feel for what was going to be discussed in class, or that I was going to be responsible for on the next assignment. My research, like I said, was mainly focused on preparing me to make true, powerful statements on my topic.

Multimedia has allowed me to access works from other more experienced writers in order to analyze and see how they compose, and then work that into my writings as well. I saw that with each writer there is a different flavor or flare that they employ, which inspired me to try and find a way in which my writing was unique and emphasize it in what I wrote. The readings we did on rhetorical analysis not only improved my knowledge of rhetoric, but it also gave me a new way of reading. Instead of reading for the content on the page I was taught by the various authors we studied to read deeper than the words on the page to find the true deeper meaning. Whether it was through looking into the “signs”, or acknowledging that everything in a frame is there for a reason, I learned to see and catch little nuances that I never would’ve normally seen. This led to me being able to better understand the writings, better compose my own writings, and in general just enjoy writing more.

The research portions of this year helped develop an admittedly lacking ability to conduct and use research efficiently. Just as with my outlines, I figured out that the more work I put into my paper before I started writing the better I ended up doing. By researching before I needed to know something I not only saved myself time, but gave myself the ability to work in what I had researched in a more powerful way; as opposed to just slapping it onto the paper so that I could fill a requirement.

I am most proud of my analysis of “Dear White People” as well as the video that  I made with Harry and Audrey. The analysis was the first time that I wrote a paper truly efficiently. It started with a great outline, and proceeded from there. In addition to the outline I was very proud of the research I did in order to put the paper together. Instead of waiting to need a reference or a moment to help out the point I made, I sat down and watched the movie and simultaneously took notes so that I could have the references right next to me whether or not I would need them. This allowed for me to have a smooth writing process that was specifically dedicated to writing, as opposed to having to take breaks so that I could find these evidence points to support my claim, then return back to writing. This not only made my writing a quicker process, but it also allowed for my thoughts to be linear and better organized because I was doing it all at one time.

In the video project I was again very happy with my organization skills. I had a great group, who was willing to work with one another and meet at irregular times to get the work done, but also we meshed well and each contributed ideas that worked well off of one another’s. The division of labor between the three of us was very conducive to our creativity, I was able to come up with the script and the themes of the video, Audrey was able to analyze what we were doing and put it into words on the paper, and Harry was able to direct and edit the movie in a way that best conveyed our satirical message. We all helped one another out, and nothing was done alone, but all of us had a moment when we were the head of the group and could put our own touches on it to make the project more unique.


Thank you for a great year Dr. McLaughlin. I enjoyed the course more than I thought I would have to begin with, and I think my writing shows how much I have grown from start to finish. Thank you again for a great year!


Eddie Griesedieck


Ted Talk

Ted Talk

Social Media in Sports

  • Intro
    • What is social media used for
      • keeping in touch
      • learning information
      • general ridiculousness
    • The growth of social media
      • has grown from something we occasionally check to catch up with old friends to something that is checked daily, almost more than even hourly by most who use it
  • Point One: Social Media is Permanent
    • Once something is out on the internet it will never go away.
    • If you post something there is a record of it, and it will come back to bite you
      • for example: old Facebook posts that your friends resurrect to embarrass you
      • free access for others, show mugshots of Ashley, and other guys
    • Snapchat possibly an exception but we don’t know for sure
  • Point Two: Social Media can be a useful tool
    • Companies promoting their products efficiently to better markets
      • by marketing to specific age groups and types of people by advertising on selected sites that their customers or potential customers would be likely to see
    • Athletes can make money off of social media promotion as well
      • slide of how much money top athletes get paid per tweet
  • Point Three: Social Media Can Be Dangerous
    • Recent example Kurt Schilling
      • anything you say can and will be used against you
      • Kurt Schilling was fired for something that he posted on a personal social media account
    • This is not to say that he is the only one with various other sex scandals and examples that have come to light through social media
      • Ms.”Bum bum” and Lionel Messi on Instagram
  • Conclusion
    • Social media is a great tool. But tools can also be dangerous when used the wrong way
    • Social media is still relatively new to us and we are quickly finding out the limitations and rules to social media
    • Just as a rule, don’t share anything that you wouldn’t want your parents seeing.

soURcEs fOr My PApEr

Athletes in Social Media: An Untapped Marketing Resource (Website)


This article written by Brian Kotlyar explores the benefits of using athletes and social media in order to market better and smarter. It is an informative piece that describes the obvious reasons for why companies would want to use athletes through social media and how they have begun to do it. This is an explanatory piece to those who may be uninformed or unaware of why there has been a recent increase in the usage of athletes on social media promoting a product or service. Instagram alone has blown up with athletes, celebrities, and fitness professionals promoting products. Kotlyar begins by explaining that we, as consumers and people in general, have perfected ignoring paid, company made advertisements. So companies have taken to social media, the only problem is that they do not have enough followers, but their athlete promoters do have enough followers. Brian explains that Cristiano Ronaldo has twice as many twitter followers as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and Starbucks combined. This realization article speaks perfectly to the point I am trying to argue, that athletes can bring revenue to a franchise in ways that had never been considered before. An athlete can send out a single tweet and increase attendance or viewings of a sporting event just like that, he does not even have to play. Because of the wide audience that follows the athlete he/she has the power to influence their audience to watch, buy, attend, or listen to things that they may never have heard of beforehand.

Cristiano Ronaldo Heads The Most Popular Athletes On Social Media (Website)


This site dives into the influence again that athletes can gain from social media. Unlike the previous article, Forbes goes a step further and begins to explain and quantify the value that players add to a franchise just by bringing their online fan following with them. The article’s audience is directed towards those, like myself, who are interested in knowing just how much someone’s presence can be valued at. Cristiano Ronaldo “delivers tremendous value for Real Madrid, which ranks as the world’s most valuable soccer club at $3.3 billion, and he is richly rewarded by Real with more than $50 million annually in salary and bonuses.”; this is just one example of how teams quantify the social media presence that athletes bring to the table. The article goes on to list more numbers, relating the number of views or number of followers that an athlete may have to his/her earnings. This is relevant because from these numbers I can already see a clear trend of athletes with more followers earning more than athletes of the same calibre who have less followers; all because of their ability to draw attention and revenue to their team and sponsors.

Unique Strategies For Using Social Media in Sports Marketing (Website)


This website instead of writing about how athletes can increase their “stock” in the world of sports, writes about how teams can use their athletes’ influences to their advantage in order to make money. Instead of going towards the audience that wants to know how do athletes better their own chances of staying on a team or being paid more, goes towards the audience that is curious about how teams can actually generate revenue and “buzz” from their athletes’ social media accounts. Instead of allowing the athletes to dictate and create buzz teams are now beginning to do their own thing and rely on their athletes to draw attention to the team’s social media. By starting hashtags on twitter a team can create buzz about their upcoming games and trades so that the fans are more in tune with the team. By using social media the team can inform the fans more quickly of things that are happening, creating a better more intimate relationship which then creates more revenue through sales of tickets and merchandise. In addition to leveraging your players the article explains how a team can create a voice for themselves through social media by “spreading original content”, doing “a showcase on a high-profile player”, or breaking “down down the history of the rivalry between your organization and another”. This draws a buzz from the fans and in return gains excitement for upcoming events, making the fans more likely to buy tickets or watch the game because they now know more and feel more invested in what is happening. This also helps my argument because it allows me to illustrate not only how teams use players to draw more fans to their games, but to the team’s social media accounts as well. Then by having more fans follow their account they can create their own buzz by feeding it to a bigger fan group, thus creating more growth and revenue.

Possible Research Questions

  • How do players’ social media accounts and relative “popularity” affect their value to a team?
  • How does the relative popularity of players on social media affect the attendance, profits, jersey sales, etc. of a sports team?
  • Is there a way to quantify what a player adds to a team by looking at their social media?
  • Should a player’s social media presence be considered in addition to their talents when being considered for a trade or draft?


For the most part, the only type of research I have done in my life thus far has been for school, whether it be a research project, or research for mock trial. When I first began to have to research for homework and for different clubs I found that I was NOT a big fan of research. It was laborious, tedious, and I thought that I could do a much better job of proving a point by just going off of what I already knew. So, I would try to cut corners and rely on my ability to convey points without exactly backing them up with facts, which led to me oftentimes having to fill the gaps of my argument with what I assumed to be facts. I quickly realized that this was not a strategy that would benefit me in the long run of life. My grades began to decline as teachers started calling me out on my “findings”, and it became apparent that I was using filler answers that didn’t really do anything to show research or reflection of any sort.

This was during a period of time where students began to start doing research and turning in work that was far superior to mine, because I had obviously not done research and was unable to go as in depth or provide competitive work. Similar to when a naturally talented athlete begins to get surpassed by the athletes around him who continue to practice to get better, instead of coasting off of raw talent. I quickly realized that I needed to start “practicing” and learn to do research so that I could once again compete with my classmates.

Now I recognize that though research may take more time than just going with your gut feeling, it is better to enter an argument fully prepared and researched. By doing this I am able to have a better understanding, and give myself a better chance at succeeding in proving my point. Which has come in handy for mock trial, and especially so for Notre Dame, where everyone is way smarter and I find myself constantly trying to research more so that  I can stay ahead or catch up.

Save the Twinkie

save-the-twinkieThis is a comic I came across a couple years ago during the dark ages where it seemed as if we may lose our treasured Twinkies forever. But, if you have not been living under a rock for the past five years, you know that we did finally get our beloved “snack” back. I feel back calling a twinkie a snack since that makes a person think of food, where you can clearly tell by looking at a Twinkie that it is not food. I am not sure what it is, and I am not hating on Twinkies by any mean, but they are something else and continue to confuse me to this day.

The central argument in this comic surrounds the will of people to rally behind a worthwhile cause. The comic makes light of the people trying to save the earth, by showing them compared to the hoard of Twinkie crusaders. The issue is that this was a very real thing back when the Twinkie was gone. The media attention and uprising that occurred when the Twinkie went away outweighed any attention to saving the earth by massive amounts. This is not an isolated incident though. There are many issues with our earth that we need to address, and that pose very real threats to us. Whether it be global warming, animal extinction, or any other of the plethora of issues that we have with our earth today, there is very little coverage and attention even though it is such a big issue.

There are multiple different types of snacks out there that are just as good, if not better, than a Twinkie. As far as I know currently, there is only one earth. The author of this comment strives to bring attention to the fact that we need to prioritize our problems and address the ones that can do the most damage to us if we don’t. Yes, it is great that we brought the Twinkie back; and it is a testament to what we can do as human beings if we put our hearts and minds into it. That being said though we need to direct our attention to the bigger more impending issues at hand, rather than the ones that pose little to no threat to us at all.

By making light of this whole issue the author hopes to bring attention to our silly doings; that by pointing out how stupid we are for overlooking the truly important issues in life. Because if we continue to chase things that we want, rather than fight for what we need, we will soon cease to be able to do anything because we will have lost all of the things that we need. And, to me personally, I like the earth a little bit more than I like my junk food.


Angles of View

  1. Introduction
    1. Overview of movie and introduction into some of the basic themes
      1. race relations
      2. stereotypes
      3. controversy
      4. personal identity
    2. Thesis statement
      1. Thesis Statement: The series of camera angles, and editing effects used throughout the film gives the audience a hint at what is to come and characterizes some of the roles that characters will play in the future. The camerawork serves as an “aside” (referring to the Shakespearian usage of the word) to the audience of things to come, and what a character is currently thinking; thus giving the audience a better and more full understanding of the movie.
  2. Body Paragraph #1
    1. Thesis Supporting Point #1: The audience gets a full view of all of the [main] characters at the beginning. By being positioned as the TV while all characters are watching the same program we can tell, from the way they appear, how they will play into the story that is currently occurring. i.e. The Dean is drinking, Coco is smoking weed (as we are led to believe, yet never get a definitive yes), Troy is slouched over and looks exasperated, Kurt is eating an apple and seems to be quite calm, and Sam is recording the whole episode unfold, showing that she has a vested interest in the news as well.
      1. We are able to see the characters each out of the company of other people. While being alone they are able to exhibit their true self and not have to carry on any acts that they do for those around them. We see Coco smoking weed and not trying to fit in elsewhere, and we see Troy slouched over with his shirt unbuttoned now that he does not have to put up the act of being a well kept citizen ready for the professional world.
  3. Body Paragraph #2
    1. Thesis Supporting Point #2: By changing camera angles the audience is able to gather more information that may not be apparent to others in the film, or that is trying to be hidden from other characters. Such as Sam’s apparent nervousness when she is about to give her speech for head of house, or Troy’s bathroom moments to himself where he runs the water and smokes weed instead of actually showering. Moments such as these go to aid the audience in understanding the characters, as well as see that the acts these characters may put up are only acts and there is something lying beneath the surface.
      1. In addition to Troy in the bathroom we also see that everything is not as it seems when he interacts with his father. The weed smoking while letting the water running becomes a more clear cry for help or needed vice to get away from the stresses of life that his father has given him. It becomes apparent through his father’s scolding that Troy is not the one really running his own life, and that his father is pulling the strings to make Troy into what he wants him to be.
      2. Similarly, Coco and Helmut have a similar relationship where Helmut implants ideas and prods Coco along so that she causes mischief in order to obtain her fame. Helmut dangles the idea of fame in front of her, knowing it is what she wants in the end and that she will do almost anything to get it.
      3. Yet we also see scenes where Sam becomes worried or unsure. To everyone else she may seem to be a rock solid supporter, but she even gets confused or beaten down sometimes. She nervously fidgets with her hands behind her back before she gives her head of house speech; and even when she is in the dinning hall and people are getting kicked out she looks a little guilty. Another example comes from when she runs out of her class seemingly distraught and overloaded by everything that is occurring; as she tries to avoid Gabe.
  4. Body Paragraph #3
    1. Thesis Supporting Point #3 The usage of characters in the background, eavesdropping, and snooping gives new developments of character to the audience that helps build the plot for the movie. This is seen most clearly in Gabe being behind Sam when she is with Reggie, or when she gets the call from her mother; further showing that Gabe is behind her supporting her and in her corner. Or how Sam eavesdrops on the conversation between the President and Kurt talking about the party, which allows her to come up with the plan to send the invitations out and put her plan into action.
  5. Counter Argument
    1. What if we are not seeing the true story? We are seeing the whole story as it flows logically, and the film has been edited to convey the ideas of the director. What if the director is skewing our vision of the story by using these examples to falsely characterize the main characters.
      1. It would be more honest to see everything and make our own assumptions rather than to have one pushed towards us with editing and forethought.
      2. Human beings are supposed to form their own opinions and not just follow the status quo like lemmings
        1. that is one of the main ideas of the movie
      3. So shouldn’t we be shown all sides of a character and then be able to make our own decisions?
  6. Conclusion
    1. What can we gather from the movie?
      1. Characteristics are built from what we can see
      2. What we initially see isn’t always the truth and people are prone to putting up acts
        1. especially to people they do not know very well or are trying to impress
    2. Wrap up of points, and counter argument