The end is near!

As the end of the semester quickly approaches, I find myself swamped with proposals, papers, and projects. Scanning my to-do list I realized not only do I have several papers to complete, but I’ve also been behind a little on my blog posts for class! Without further ado- here is what is happening in my Rhetoric and Professional Writing class here at Bloomsburg University!

Dr. Martin has assigned our class one final major paper. No final, no summaries, no group projects. One major final paper. (Yes I am happy while pulling my hair out.) The topic of the paper is based on the major of the student writing and the current events involved with that major. I am a double major: Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and English. With these two majors in mind, I have decided to write my final paper on Fake News in the media and the rhetorical theory I am examining is the rhetoric of transparency.

While explaining the overall assignment on March 20th, Dr. Martin provided the class with five important questions we should ask while writing the paper. I hope to use this blog post to sort out my information and thoughts on the paper so I can see what information I already have and what information I need to research more.

Question 1: What is the argument?

Reading that question over and over, my head goes blank. While I am aware of my topics: fake news and the rhetoric of transparency, what exactly am I arguing in the paper?

Question 2: How was the argument created?

Surprisingly without knowing my actual argument right off the bat, I understand where it came from. During the 2016 presidential election, fake news was a major topic of discussion which involved both Trump and Clinton. In my paper’s proposal, I spoke about how many individuals feel that it is because of this fake news that Donald Trump became president of the United States of America. While writing this paper I am attempting to be as unbiased about that issue as possible but since I am writing a blog I’d like to use this time to quickly air out my opinion- I feel like it is common sense for most citizens to know that the outcome of the election was more influenced by other factors than by the presence of fake news. Keep in mind, I say that with no research or evidence to back it up, it is just my opinion.

Question3: What are the different viewpoints?

In my argument regarding fake news there are two basic viewpoints on the issue- 1.) Fake news is a major issue in society  2.)Fake news is not a major issue and did not effect the election.

The issue I have with the statement above is that I am not sure if the topic of rhetorical transparency needs to be present in the viewpoints because although it is incorporated in my paper, it is not directly stated when addressing the issue of fake news.

Question 4: How is it being argued?

When rereading this question I became unsure of what the ‘it’ is referring to. If the word is describing how is the issue of fake news being addressed- there have been investigations, articles, and news discussions in regards to the issue of fake news especially regarding the recent election. While researching for my paper, one of my sources stated that the issue of fake news wasn’t really heard of until the election. In my opinion, (based on other media articles) I believe fake news has always been an issue our media has dealt with, however it did not effect as many people until it came to articles about the election.

Question 5: Where do you stand in the argument?

As stated in the paragraph under question 2, “I feel like it is common sense for most citizens to know that the outcome of the election was more influenced by other factors than by the presence of fake news. Keep in mind, I say that with no research or evidence to back it up, it is just my opinion.” With that also being said, I realize most of the people receiving fake news are people that regularly check the news especially on social media outlets. While I don’t click on news stories that appear on my Facebook feed, I’m aware that a majority of the community on Facebook regularly use the social media platform as a regular source of news.

After speaking with Dr. Martin about my paper today, I feel more confident. I will be working on my outline for the next two or three days and redoing the parts of it where I was unsure of what I was actually doing.

Until next time,

xo Bri

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