Reflection Essay: Reconstituting the Labor of Production
Due by: April 28th
Naming Convention: LastF_Reflection
Directions: Write about 500 words (two pages)
Theorist Andrew Cole cogently argues that in Marx’s concept of commodity fetishism, “the commodity literally makes and embodies itself and appears magically as a self-animated, autodriven Thing, rather than as a product of any labor process.” In other words, capital, as it tries to sell us its products, strips the labor, the human, from the production itself, so we can have guilt-free purchasing pleasure.
Our own writing doesn’t escape this fetishism. Our audience, whether it be the public or your professor, only sees the finished product, stripped of all the labor, the work, we did to create it. Until now. In this reflection, you should reflect upon your own labor as you created your essay. Take us to the google docs data your work generated and show us the humanity in the essay’s production.
In this course, you’ve written 1000s of words and done many revisions. In fact, you may never have spent so much time rewriting a project before. How we think we write doesn’t quite reflect how we actually do write. In this reflection, therefore, I want you to reflect on your writing process by interrogating the data of an essay you created in Google docs for this class. You should take us to a specific moment in your writing and explain to us your process. What do you want us to notice? Why?
You might want to address some of the following questions:
What does the data tell you about your writing and your writing process? What surprises you about it? What do you learn about yourself as a writer? How can this data help you with your writing process? Does the total amount of time you took to create the document surprise you? Do the amount of drafts? The amount of sessions it took to write? What patterns do you see? What do they tell you about yourself?
You might also walk us through a section of your text in order to explain to us how your essay developed or how getting a sentence just right or how reworking a paragraph helped you make your point.
The most successful reflections will give us concrete exhibits / detail to support your reflection and connect to those exhibits to an argument. In other words, don’t just say, “Note how I jump from the intro to the middle paragraphs a bunch,” or “I notice that I rewrote sentences many times more than I thought.” Rather, connect those exhibits to a larger argument: explain why we should notice that or why that exhibit matters Therefore, along with some concrete data points, I also hope to see some textual examples, including a “Draftback Playback.” I’ve included one here of my own writing. You should also incorporate such links smoothly, as I’ve done here. Aesthetics do matter. As you would with any exhibit, you should appropriately frame it by explaining what you want us to notice about it and why it matters to your claim. Your clip needn’t be as long as mine: it could even be one sentence that you revised a couple of times. It could be a paragraph you worked on for a bit and then discarded. I’m just looking for it to help us understand your writing process.