The rhetoric writing skills that I have been learning as a modern-day student in English composition is certainly relevant to me because of my profession. To be an effective leader of the United States Army and to be able to provide adequate counseling to my soldiers, I must be able to get my ideas across effectively in both writing and speaking. Rhetoric, being the art of using language to communicate effectively, involves communicating my vision and effectively being able to express my ideas and disagreements. It is essential to me as a Signal Support Systems Specialist and my unit’s ability to accomplish its mission.
The study of rhetoric is valuable in allowing me to further enhance my abilities in persuasion, public relations, and technical writing that I use in my job. As a leader, my first priority is to ensure that I not only understand the mission assigned, but that I am able to communicate the intent, standard, and goals to my team. This is accomplished through writing out operation orders that are later discussed in detail in a small forum. Since there are cases where the decision that was made may not be in the best interest of my team, rhetoric is applied to communicate such concerns.
There are also instances that the Senior Advisor in Signal Support to the commander delivers briefings and presentations. Having studied rhetoric, I am able to easily provide a presentation that is not only is informative but also gives various courses of action that can be implemented. Currently, under my supervision are three soldiers. As their leader, I must communicate consistently and effectively and this is done through verbal and written counseling. The purpose of counseling these soldiers is to ensure that they are sufficiently equipped and informed about their tasks and responsibilities.
This highlights rhetoric’s importance in my ability to perform to standard. Rhetoric may be an ancient form of communication; however it is still prevalent today and allows me the ability to perform effectively daily. New Orleans is more than a tourist city to me. It is my home. It is where I was born and raised. To others, New Orleans may only be known for its Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street, and more recently, Hurricane Katrina. But this city is known for so much more that just these things. New Orleans is alive with culture, music, heritage, and great food that not many have even heard of.
New Orleans is famous all over the world as the birthplace of Jazz, and is nicknamed Hollywood South for the numerous movies that have been filmed or produced in or around the city, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Last Holiday, Glory Road, and others. New Orleans has hosted nine Super Bowl games and the Nokia Sugar Bowl. This place is also the home of the Essence Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and other events. New Orleans is a multicultural city that is rich with heritage and history that dates back to 1718.
The multicultural environment can be owed to the fact that this place is a major port city. A testament to this is the presence of America’s oldest black neighborhood, Faubourg Treme. The Faubourg Treme is located between the boundaries of North Rampart Street and North Broad Street and from Canal Street to St. Bernard Avenue. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, Faubourg Treme was the first place free persons of color could purchase ownership of land and real property during a time when America still patronized slavery. New Orleans is a very musical city.
It can be heard all throughout the city from local jazz musicians, brass bands, and high school bands. Music can be called the heart of New Orleans where people can enjoy them from street performers to any night club to where live performances are done. This is the only city where death would be celebrated with a jazz funeral, which begins with a march by the family, friends, and a brass band from the home, funeral home or church to the cemetery. I have a lot of recorded music from multiple arts and performances that people can listen to and enjoy as a testament to the musicality of the community.
New Orleans is also known for its great food. There are a variety of food choices including fine dining restaurants to the local cafes, delis, and pizzerias. One of my favorite restaurants that is a must-try is Copeland’s Cajun Bistro located 1700 Lapalco Blvd. in Harvey, LA on the Westbank. The variety of Cajun dishes and seafood platters are worth the two hour wait without reservations on Friday and Saturday nights. A must-try dish is the ricochet catfish, which is great combination of Cajun and seafood mix. New Orleans is unlike any other city in the world. It has a great past and a promising future.
When coming to visit, plan on returning for additional trips because no one can experience everything this city has to offer in just one visit. I mentioned a few places can be enjoyed doing on your trip but, there is so much more. I have lived here my entire life and I still have not taken in all of the culture, music, heritage, and great food New Orleans has to offer. Enjoy your trip! Being a Signal Support Systems Specialist in the United States Army, I use technical documents daily. In the field of Tactical Radio Communication, I refer to technical manuals to be my guide.
There was a sixteen week course of training I went through to learn how to operate various equipment. The technical manuals used for the equipment I use have complicated flow charts and diagrams that contain instructions on how to effectively operate them. By fully understanding the technical manuals and how to operate the equipment, I transform the technical language into simpler terms others less versed with them will be able to understand and operate the equipment. If my audience was unfamiliar with the equipment, it wound be difficult for them to understand the text inside of a technical manual.
This is why, when I give instructions to personnel who do not have the same knowledge as I do, I reconstruct my text so that that my class would understand. When explaining the contents of the technical manual, common words are used to explain the point of the book. Words like SINCGARS, Cypher Text, and DAGR are changed to better understand into simpler words such as radio, secure communication, and GPS. Choice of vocabulary for a general audience will get your point across without confusing your audience, and give them a general idea of what you are saying.
When crafting the sentence structures, short and concise sentences are used to capture the attention of my audience. The technical manual is filled with a lot of safety warnings and limitations that are very lengthy. Constantly reading these limitations can confuse, scare, and take away the attention span of my audience. Instead of constantly reading safety warnings every three to five lines, I omit the scenarios the audience would not face to make it easier to follow. This will simplify the understanding of what they are reading.
In any writing, it is important to pay attention to your choice of text, sentence structure and sentence length. Breaking down the contents of the technical manual taking out the use of technical terms and replacing with common words, it would be easier for my audience with no knowledge of the equipment to understand. The use of basic terms makes it easier to keep the audience attention and help them understand them importance of what you are describing to them. I chose threes three essays to be in my portfolio because these are where I learned so much.
These three essays show different styles of writing that I can use both in my personal, everyday communication as well as in my profession. These three essays also contain many of the points that were important for me to improve on. From vocabulary to grammar to mechanics, I have seen where I can improve my written English skills to best serve me now and in the future. The way I edited my work is through reading it first. There are many cases when I thought that the sentence just doesn’t read or feel right.
So in the first instance, I focused on style before I went to the detailed nitty-gritty of the whole essay. Such cases like the first sentence of my first paragraph, “As a modern-day student of English composition, the style of rhetoric writing is most applicable to me because of my profession” I changed to “The rhetoric writing skills that I have been learning as a modern-day student in English composition is certainly relevant to me because of my profession. ” I did this because I felt that the flow was better and that it hammers the point across better than the previous sentence.
Another example is the change of the sentence from “Since the city serves as a major United States port, New Orleans is a multicultural city” to “The multicultural environment can be owed to the fact that this place is a major port city. ” To aid these changes, I also extended my vocabulary so that I would not sound redundant in my work. Such instances include deleting nouns and using pronouns in their place or using other nouns (such as “city” for “New Orleans”). Sometimes, I even revise whole sentences in order to reduce the number of times I need to write the actual noun I was referring to.
In terms of vocabulary, using a more extensive choice of words also worked to keep the flow of the sentences moving, but more importantly, make the point clearer. A case in point is when I used “Faubourg Treme was the first place free persons of color could purchase ownership of land and real property during a time when America was still immersed in slavery” in my earlier work and replaced it with “Faubourg Treme was the first place free persons of color could purchase ownership of land and real property during a time when America still patronized slavery.
” The precise use of the words made it clear that America was using slavery instead of the former which can be confused as Americans being in slavery themselves. This highlights the importance of using precise language in delivering our messages and getting our points across more clearly. I was also careful of the use of punctuation marks when I revised my three essays. I noticed that I often do not use a comma when a comma is required. I also observed that I use the wrong spacing in between words; most especially in between two sentences (after the period and before the first word of the next sentence). These errors, I also removed.
I also followed comments given on my papers. One such example is cutting a redundant paragraph in the last essay (on the point that most of the key information can already be found in the first paragraph). Other things I followed are accepting the comments and revisions made on the paper when some sentences and words were changed or deleted or added to. I also took notes on important comments and internalized them, such as giving out topic sentences. I revised my work to accommodate the comments and revisions made on my paper and kept an open mind about the mistakes that I made to make sure I learn my lessons well.
In all, I learned so much from the exercise of drafting my writing and editing them. I have learned the importance of editing because without it, I make so many mistakes and these mistakes might become a source of confusion to those who will read my work. I also know that if I edit, I can make my points clearer and that I can even emphasize things that are needed to be emphasized when they are not done so in the first place during the first draft of my work. In all, many of my editing came from conscious decisions that I learned in class.
Courtney from Study Moose
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