This project allowed me to dig deeply into a topic that I did not previously know much about. I have enjoyed exploring the food industry in relation to poverty for the past few weeks, and think that this topic was just broad enough to allow for a new and interesting conversation each week, without being totally overwhelming. I appreciated that over the course of this project I was allowed to do research on this issue over a longer period of time. I feel like I’m now an expert on this issue, but it didn’t feel like I was just cramming the information in and the regurgitating it onto a single assignment. The task of writing 10 plus posts circulating around a single issue has given me the chance to take the facts, process them, and think of new ways to discuss and analyze them.
While working on this project, I started off with an incredibly broad topic. I had seen a documentary called “Fed Up” on Netflix a few years ago, which mainly focused on the detrimental effects of processed foods as well as this revolving door between government officials and influential members of the food industry. After watching it, I was really turned off by the amount of unnecessary sugar that is incorporated in practically every manufactured food product. For some reason, when this project was assigned, this food inequality as a social justice issue came to my mind.
I feel like I am much more acute when it comes to differentiating between reliable and unreliable resources after doing these assignments. The minimum external link requirement really helped push me to not fall back on the same dependable statistics and sources each week. I appreciated that we could hyperlink all of our sources because I feel like doing a formal works cited is antiquated and a bit of a waste of time.
Throughout the past few weeks, I have sharpened my ability to sift through immense amounts of information online and find what is useful for the topic. Every week I would kind of come into the blog post not quite knowing what I was going to be focusing on, but by the time I had read through a few articles something important usually stuck out to me. I made an effort to tie in themes from the previous weeks while still focusing on something different. I feel like overtime I improved at this as well. I looked at the different aspects of my topic and narrowed them individually, rather than getting more and more specific about one facet each week. I think my topic was more conducive to this type of coverage because it allowed me to relay all of the information that I wanted to my audience, while still being explicit enough to relate to.
This project pushed me to use common language and mixed media in ways I had not tried before. I’ve only ever been assessed on my ability to perform in fairly formal writing assignments, and since my position in this case was much more casual, I was worried I would not perform as well. That said, with each post I tried to experiment with images, videos, and more common slang to relay my message to the audience.
I am a Peace War and Defense, Global Studies double major, so I’m here to study things like diplomacy and interactions of people on an international scale. My blog topic dealt with domestic poverty and large corporations, which does not directly relate to what I’m studying. However, both my majors and blog topic fall under a social science category. Learning about relevant issues and being tasked with crafting solutions is definitely an important skill to have. Additionally, the research and synthesis of information as a whole is an integral part of my liberal arts education. For example, I think that in my implications post, by looking at the possible consequences of this contentious issue, I was sharpening my problem-solving skills which will certainly help me in whatever career I pursue. Overall, this was a very influential assignment in my growth as a writer and I thoroughly enjoyed it.