All posts by LN1995

Utilizing Multimodes



Technology plays a major role in human development, especially with my topic of genetic engineering. We are around technology every hour of every day, and the multimodal research project has made me aware of this fact. Most people, including myself, are so used to using technology, that we sort of become blind to the fact that we are using it. It is important to utilize a variety of modes in academic writing. They add diversity and can be more effective in terms of engaging our audience than a paper with all text.

I will be including images in my research essay. I will also be referencing many videos in my essay as well. One such video is called "The Next Species of Human." In this TEDTalk given by Harvard scientist Juan Enriquez, he demonstrates how current technologies, such as hearing aids, have evolved over time and predicts how they will continue to evolve in the future. This source is credible, because TED is well known company, and only the world's most innovative and influential individuals give presentations there. Enriquez uses multimedia such as pictures and video in his speech to illustrate his point, and also utilizes humor to further engage his audience. This source adds diversity to my list of sources used, because it is someone giving a speech on the subject.

Having multimodes puts your abstract ideas into concrete examples and statistics that you can see and hear for yourself, which in turn leads to a better understanding of your topic by your audience. As for the layout and font design, I will keep it simple by using the standard MLA format. The photos, charts, and videos already add to the multimodality of my research essay, and having too much going on could be distracting and confusing for the reader. It is important to have a balance of both so your argument does not get lost or overlooked.


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Interacting With Technology

Genetic Pic

Imagine a world where diseases and disorders were almost nonexistent. Every human being had desirable traits and was perfect in every sense. Going to the doctor’s office for being sick and not making the school sports team because you were not physically up to par will become a things of the past. Advancements in technology are happening at a rapid pace, and these scenarios may just be the reality in the future due to genetic engineering. The Oxford English dictionary defines genetic engineering as the alteration of the genome of an organism by laboratory techniques, especially by the insertion, alteration, or removal of a gene. Everyone will be utilizing this technology to better their children and grandchildren.

Humans have already managed to modify animals, such as the cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996, as well as plants and other crops. Genetic engineering is one of the most controversial topics in science today because of the arguments regarding whether or not this process is ethical. It is a universal idea that a person is born the way they are and little can be done to change that. As time passes, people will probably reject this idea and genetic engineering will be something that is needed to have a healthier population.

The article "The Hazards of Developmental Gene Modification" discusses the negative consequences that may come with genetic engineering. With any technology, there are risks, and it is important to be literate about how the technology works. It states that there is always room for human error. There could be a "miscalculations" in where a gene is supposed to go. You could possibly end up with a baby with three eyes or only one leg. The author discusses the ethical issues as well and argues that replacing a kidney does not change the "nature" of a person, but replacing a gene does. This article is credible, as the author, Dr. Stuart Newman, has a PhD in this field and is a professor. This shows that he is knowledgeable on genetic engineering. A flaw with this source is that the author cites the Council for Responsible Genetics as a source, which is the website on which the article is published. That raises suspicion for biases. Also, Newman frequently uses specialized jargon. It proves he is knowledgeable on the subject, but simultaneously creates a disconnect from anyone who is not in the targeted audience of the scientific community. My other sources focus of what good genetic engineering can do, and this article is the opposite. This will provide another perspective in my essay.


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I Agree to the Terms and Conditions


Most people, if not all, probably click the “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” button without actually reading and agreeing to them. I know for a fact that I personally have never sat down and completely read them. The terms of service are simply way too long and dense to read, which is very time consuming. The reason why people sign up for whatever service or download it is ultimately is because they want to use it. If someone wants to sign up for Facebook, they are doing it because they are interested in what Facebook has to offer. Even if that individual were to read the terms and conditions and find a phrase or clause in it that they did not agree with, I doubt that would deter them from continuing with the service or download anyway. Being subjected to some form of governing on websites is better than not having an Instagram or Google+ account like all of your friends do. This goes back to the idea of web literacy. It is up to the individual to be aware of the potential consequences of having your information online.

Most of these websites’ intentions are not malicious. We use them everyday and without any problems. I purchase things from all the time and using my credit card number, and no more than the amount of money purchased is ever taken from my account. The educational system, especially the public one, is a different story as schools are government funded, and therefore any online activity through schools is regulated by the government. These terms and conditions may be stricter.

I feel that Americans in 2015 are too paranoid about this argument of privacy online. It is no secret that the owners of these websites and government agencies have access to your information. There is nothing that we can do about that. The only way to be truly private is to shut off your cell phones, and Internet, and satellite tv, and live off the grid.



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Defining Plagiarism


Plagiarism is defined by Wikipedia as the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions.” For example, breaking patents on inventions or copyrights on music is plagiarism. It comes with negative consequences if someone is found guilty. I feel that one cannot really avoid plagiarism, as everything has already been done before. For example, the sources that I cited for the literature review essay were not the first ones to come up with the topic or ideas presented. They got their ideas from other sources, and those sources got their ideas from other sources, and so on, and so forth.

Students in today’s society are not motivated to sit down and learn, especially with growing technology and overuse of the Internet. It is easier to copy and paste an essay from a website than it is to write your own. I agree with Howard in the fact that it is both the student and instructor’s fault in this situation. The teachers could pick more engaging and meaningful subject matter, and the students should overcome laziness and take advantage of their education.

How plagiarism should be dealt with depends on the intentions. If the intentions truly were to pass as own work and get out of doing an assignment, then it should be dealt with. If the one plagiarizing gets away with it, then they benefit and the original author’s work suffers. If they do not get away with it, then the original author benefits (suing, publicity, etc.).

A middle school student and a college student will have very different consequences if found guilty of plagiarism. A student may not be aware of what plagiarism means, and use another author’s work without giving them credit. This goes back to the argument that teachers should educate their students on how plagiarism can affect them. I think that one should not be punished and face consequences that could hurt their academic career because they forgot one little source.

I cannot truly believe that the any author was the very first to come up with an idea. Two people can come to the same conclusions and have the same analysis without seeing the other’s work. It is merely a matter of who claimed it first. Nonetheless, a person should give credit to anyone they are taking an idea from. If you were the first to come up with something, and others started passing that something off as their own work, how would you feel?


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Autonomy and Technology

The Oxford English Dictionary defines autonomy as “the condition or right of a state, institution, group, etc., to make its own laws or rules and administer its own affairs; self-government, independence.” I feel that technology can sometimes negatively affect personal autonomy.

Autonomy is tied to web literacy as one cannot protect themselves if they do not understand the consequences that come with having a personal profile online. Our interactions online diminish our autonomy. The more you share online, the more information the government has access to about you. Websites like Google and Facebook are always tracking where you are and what you are doing. Your Internet history will always be there. Although we would like to believe that what we do online is private, people believe that the government is always watching. This is for good reason, as we could use this technology to convict criminals or prevent crimes, but should we sacrifice our privacy?

I agree with Godin and Richardson in the fact that individuals do have a responsibility to protect their lives online. You never know who is watching or if your information can be used against you in the future. According to the first amendment, you have the right to say what you want, but because of autonomy, that doesn’t mean you should. You could ruin your reputation by posting something unfavorable online.

We are never truly autonomous with the way technology is growing. It is not a fact that the government might be keeping track of you, but companies like Apple with its location services definitely are.