In the first week of this term, I had no idea about which course I should choose from a variety of English courses. It seemed that each English course had its own focus. Some focused on improving writing skills while others worked for better communication skills. Later, one of my friends who took the first two classes of ENGL119 advised me to take this course. Then, I enrolled into the course and started my journey to communication skills learning.
The learning process
We learnt about the concept of the rhetoric triangle.
The rhetoric triangle emphasizes the importance of the roles of the content, the speaker and the audience. To deliver a persuasive speech or writing a convincing article, the speaker or the writer must have reliable sources supporting their words so that the aiming audience would listen to him/her and understand the message delivered. The content of the speech or article should be organized in a logical order, assisting the understanding but not distracting audience. Understanding these three fundamental segments of the rhetoric triangle, the later study in writing and communicating became more accessible.
Applying the rhetorical appeals in the blog posts, we arranged our paragraphs in logic orders. Comics, interesting graphs and coloured words are used to draw the attention of the audience and emphasize certain ideas in the posts.
TED talk, which was a really really really vital part of this course, also implemented the rhetorical triangle. We were divided into groups according to our choice of TED talk topics. I chose the topic : Is Algorithms Controlling or Freeing Us?. At the beginning, our group decided to talk about the uses of algorithms in different areas like shopping, and cryptography. My part was introducing the application of algorithms in Finance. My draft contained the function of taxations and how taxations affect our daily life. However, the first rehearsal did not perform well. The whole speech seemed discrete without coherence. Some words in my part were seemed too technical and I failed to illustrate and explain these terms to my audience with simplicity. Hence, after the rehearsal, our team rearrange the order of our individual parts and changed some topics so that the entire talk is coherent. I have to admit that the anxiety was the most serious problem for me. My hands got wet and my voice got shivering. Luckily, my group did an excellent job. I am so proud of them !
What came next was writing a proposal and the report. I have no experience about writing either a formal report or a proposal. But Sara led us step by step, showing us examples and formats and letting us practise writing by breaking up the proposal into segments. Every “shitty” draft built up the foundation for our final work. It was time-consuming and sometimes frustrating to collect information and revise our “shitty” draft. We needed to carefully choose suitable sources and data, which could assist the demonstration of our concepts. The use of rhetorical triangle had been applied in the writing as well!
The end of the term is coming, and I really enjoy the joy and the agony brought by this course and. The frustration and the pain during the process of learning professional writing and communicating is inevitable. We must go through all the obstacles by ourselves and keep practising so that our communication skills could be enhanced and gradually become a valuable treasure for our future.
Thank you all~