Introductory Reflection

Welcome to my ePortfolio, the platform that showcases all the work that I have completed in this class. Within the tabs above or scrolling below will help you navigate the assignments completing this class, and browse the progress that I have made about becoming a better writer.



My growth in this class as a writer and a communicator has been much greater than I ever expected coming into this class. Every assignment that we completed resulted in some sort of improvement in the WOVE. My favorite assignment this year was the documented essay, because it forced me to look at both sides of the argument. It changed the way that I approached writing. Every assignment this semester challenged my creativity, and each assignment motivated me to progressively get better. I have had a lot of fun in this class, and I want to thank you for everything you thought me.

From your favorite student, Thank You!

Logan Sass

Electronic Communication Reflection

The ePortfolio was the main theme for the class because everything that we need was posted on our website. I think this helped us as a student because it allowed us to showcase our work. With the ePortfolio, becoming the author of web content had its advantages because we had more authority about what was posted on our website, and how It was published, and what it looked like. Everything about our ePortfolio was up to us. The ePortfolio really helped spark our creative mind, just as any other assignment did, and with creating our ePortfolio in this class, it opens the door for me to create web content in a more professional setting.

-OVE Reflection: Visual Rhetorical Analysis

My Visual Rhetorical Analysis was my first -OVE opinion, not only based on the content, but also how it helped me improve as a student, In the assignment, I tried to interest the audience by using a visual that is not often seen in advertisement. Most advertisements feature athletes or models, while my visual showed a young, out-of-shape kid. I think what the assignment showed about me is that I am very raw in oral communication, but that does not mean that I am not willing to get better. I think that this assignment connects with other assignments because of the way I approached it. I was never afraid to do something wrong or work on something that was not within my realm of comfortability. Every assignment, I approached it with the view that there was only room for improvement, and I think that mindset helped me be successful in the class.

Final Reflection Prompt

The beginning of the semester, my goal was to become a better writer. Nothing extraordinary or specific, just get better. With the conclusion of ENGL 250, I now realize that there is so much more to becoming that writer that I aspired to be. Within the WOVE, I have become better in every aspect. My oral and visual had become the most improved through the Visual Analysis. I loved to hate that assignment because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone and sit in front of the camera, something that I had yet to be accustomed too. It was awkward and uncomfortable but I think that I became a better writer because of it. The ePortfolio helped me improve my electronic communication, because it allowed me to showcase my writing and proved the importance of networking. Even though the ePortfolio was shared with a small amount of people, it is still more people that got to see your work than if those documents were kept within the files of my computer. The final thing that I improved on is my writing, the one thing that I strived to be better at in the beginning of the semester. Through ENGL 250, the writing assignments that we had, each and every paper made me a better writer. My comfort zone was pushed as I had never been challenged in my writing before this class. Each paper that I wrote was approached in a different way, and overall I think I have improved because of it. What I have written in this class versus what I wrote in high school are lightyears apart, which I think shows that I still have a lot of room for improvement. In the future, the things that I learned in this class will stay with me for the rest of my journalistic career, and I will continue to get better. For now, I will write with what I learned in ENGL 250, my favorite class of first semester.

Assignment 3: Textual Rhetorical Analysis

Do you remember Reggie Bush? Yes, the blazing-fast, hurdling into the endzone from the five-yard line, Heisman Trophy winning Reggie Bush. To the sports fan, this question is rhetorical, but Bush’s legacy as a college athlete has never been remembered for his uncanny ability to run the football at USC, but rather as the centerpiece of the biggest scandal in the history of college football. In an investigation that costed USC its 2004 National Championship trophy and Bush’s 2005 Heisman trophy, it was uncovered that Bush received compensation for his talents on the football program, but instead of criticism being accumulated towards Bush, the aftermath raised the question of whether or not athletes should be compensated for their services to the university. In the eyes of the traditionalist, athletic scholarships have been compensation enough for the students, but after a Forbes report that the University of Alabama makes a whopping 45 million dollars from their football program, some questions have been raised about the future of college sports.

All Players United was a movement backed by the National College Players Association that began in 2013 with the goal to promote player compensation and better health benefits for athletes before the NCAA reform. It was in that year that the sports world first took notice to the idea of player compensation thanks to former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. O’Bannon won a lawsuit that he filed on behalf of former college athletes in which he sued NCAA and Electronic Arts for using player likeness in former EA video games without compensation. At the end of the lawsuit, O’Bannon walked away with a $40 million settlement which lead to a $4,000 payout to as many as 100,000 former athletes featured in the video games. The following football season turned into a hellstorm between the NCAA and it’s athletes. Players wore “A.P.U” handwritten on their wristbands and towels, and the media took notice. Soon, the players movement became more important than the play itself. In the normally quiet world of college football, controversy and protest flooded the league.

The 2013 NCAA reform came and went, but change for the players never came. The NCAA ruled that players can be paid for their likeness after their playing days, but cannot be compensated while they are still enrolled. The decision deflated the efforts of the temporary union, but hopes of change still exist today. In a recent poll done by ABC News and the Washington Post, the general public is still against player compensation as 64 percent believes that academic scholarship is enough, yet some still have hope that change will come sooner rather than later. Murmurs of player compensation has started up again, and this time, the media is behind it. Multiple reports from ESPN, Huffington Post, and NBC News among others have argued for the players and they have the arguments to back it up. The biggest problem that the NCAA has had with it’s players is bribery from agents or coaches. Reggie Bush has been the most prominent case, and other big name athletes have gotten their name caught up in accusations such as Cam Newton, O.J. Mayo, and Dez Bryant. Their has always been a gray area for players accepting money and player compensation seemed like a respectable option. What makes the situation so shady is that the players understand their worth. In a Business Insider article earlier this year, it was reported that the average Division I college basketball player is worth more than $170,000, with players at bigger schools such as Kansas or Louisville being worth more than one million dollars. This becomes a huge problem in the eyes of the student-athlete, and is much of the reason why the “One-and-Done” phenomenon has been so prominent in college basketball. The downfall of that statistic is that it feeds into the argument of the opposing, more traditional side of the argument that players should not be paid. With the age college players ranging from ages 18-22, the fear is that player compensation will lead to irresponsible spending. The players will oppose that statement, but it is hard to argue, although some are trying to come up with a compromise. Former UConn basketball star Shabazz Napier has been one of the greatest advocates for All Players United just by sharing his personal experiences as a scholarship athlete. When asked about his financial situation in college, Napier stated:

“We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money. I feel like a student athlete. Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities.”

Napier provided an interesting perspective to the situation because the beliefs of the general public is that players would be paid similarly to professional athletes, but what Napier was trying to convey is that he believes athletes deserve at least enough to live an everyday life just as every other college student. SB Nation also reported that, in turn, this will reduce the temptation for any type of corruption by accepting money from outside sources. The hope for supporters is that with player compensation, it will also entice players to stay in school. Since the One-and-Done rule has been implemented, graduation rates have gone down drastically. In a 2009 New York Times report, only three years after the NCAA rule was implemented, the graduation rate in the NBA dropped all the way down to 21 percent. The goal is that if the students are in stable financial standing, they will not only stay in school longer, but hopefully stay long enough to leave with a college degree.

Although there is growing support for player compensation, the traditional view still rules as majority of people still believe that student-athletes are deserving of only what they already have in a full athletic scholarship. As put in a 2013 Forbes article, athletes are already paid up to $125,000 in tuition and housing. Besides that, there are also some solid arguments for not paying college athletes. One argument that highly opposes one made by All Players United and its supporters is that athletes, more specifically the ones with pro-level talent, will put forth less effort towards their academics, although this idea has been highly criticized due to the fact that eligibility rules would still apply. Another reason that is not admitted to by NCAA officials but still recognized by media is that the students would receive more control of the NCAA if they were to receive compensation. What is feared is that it would lead to a more professional-like atmosphere between the league and the players where student-athletes would then have the control to take more powerful action against the NCAA such and striking and boycotting games, a move that would be costly to the NCAA. Along with that idea, if players did get paid, there would inevitably be the discussion of how much players would get paid and if they would be paid the same amount. For example, a Heisman-trophy caliber player would not want to be paid the same amount as a Division-III player. A lot of the arguments behind not paying players revolves around the same premise: the avoidance of conflict.

Undoubtedly, the issue involving player compensation will only grow as time goes on. Since 2001 when surveys about paying college athletes was first recorded, support for the players has grown tremendously, both within the general public and college representatives such as coaches and professors. It is an issue that will more than likely be addressed within the next decade, and it will be interesting to see how it unravels.

Assignment 2: Textual Rhetorical Analysis

Mallory Simon’s purpose is clear, just as it is with all media covering Hurricane Harvey. Through words, photo, and video, the reader is influenced to feel the effects of Hurricane Harvey, at least indirectly. Simon uses a strategy of expressing a somber tone throughout the article, including multiple perspectives of the victims to create a solid development of the story, and providing context of how Harvey has obliterated communities along the Texas coast. These techniques force the reader to acknowledge the tragic pain and suffering that this natural disaster has forced upon the Houston area.

As Irma approaches Florida, Harvey has already created a devastating aftermath that will take years, maybe decades, to rebuild. In the CNN article, “What Hurricane Harvey left in its wake”, Mallory Simon depicts the destruction that struck southern Texas. For most, Harvey surprised victims with it’s sheer power, ripping walls off buildings, feet of sitting water flooding neighborhoods, homes being thrown hundreds of feet from their original location. As the storm came and went, victims were left deciding what was next. Families try to cope together as parents try to calm children. Other individuals try and salvage anything they can from their former homes. Instead of retrieving the things that are deemed valuable by society, victims are instead trying to save the things that can never be replaced . School started on Monday, a blunt reminder that life goes on but in a current life of devastation, normalcy might be just the thing that keeps the community moving forward.

From the beginning of the article, Simon’s writing carries a devastated and sunken tone. Her descriptions of the wreckage early on in the article draws an immediate emotional response from the audience. An initial feeling of sympathy gets the story started on the right foot. As the article continues, a relatively similar tone begins to carry a different message. As each victim is introduced, the reader is led to question why Hurricane Harvey has intruded on the innocence of these people. Through these accounts, a connection is made with the audience. As with other similar content covering the story, overwhelming support for the victims is drawn from the readers. As the article approaches its endpoint, Simon attempts to reveal a hint of positivity, while also closing her point. She purposefully includes the idea of school, a normal aspect of daily life, but counters by saying, “for all that powerful positivity, it’s hard not to think of the fear of people.” The message remains clear that although the hurricane has passed, there is still a long way to go for the victims.

As the point of the article was to create an emotional response, nothing helped develop that better than the personal accounts that Simon includes. This type of organization helps develop the connection with the reader. With stories that involves the amount of victims as this, it is very hard to the reader to connect through statistics. What Simon does so well is including the stories of victims who carry very different perspectives, which helps create a more relatable experience for the reader. What this up-close approach to the story does is that it lets the reader realize that they have very similar lives as these people and it makes the reader put themselves in the shoes of the victim. Another thing that helps develop the story is that the victims have very different stories, which allows the article reach various different audiences. Whether it’s the elderly couple, the family of four, or the single mother, almost everyone reading can relate.

As the reader reads about the victims, a connection is truly made from the context that Simon provides. Starting early on, the author notes the simple things that the everyday reader would notice. She starts the article perfectly; “It begins with a couple of shingles in the road, a power line down here and there.” Things that are barely even noticed in everyday life are used as vital images that help create the scene within the reader’s mind. Attention to detail continues with images sprinkled throughout. Liquor stores without walls, a torn apart little girl’s room, and a water-damaged baby book are only a few of the images that strike the reader. Little tidbits perfectly intertwined throughout is the final detail instills a lasting impression upon the reader.

Mallory Simon’s context, tone, and inclusion of multiple experiences produces one of the most well-rounded articles throughout the media’s coverage of Hurricane Harvey. Her techniques helps the reader attempt to relate to the victims of this life-crashing event. As of today, it seems as if the only way to go is up for for the Houston area, and their primary focus now is following the road to recovery.

Assignment 1: Article Summary

“CTE found in 99% of studies brains from deceased NFL players”, a CNN article by Daniella Emanuel brings to light the dangerous disease that has been paired with the NFL over the past decade. Her piece examines the results of the study, raises questions about the disease, and looks forward to what’s next for the NFL.

“There’s no questions that there’s a problem in football,” Dr. Ann McKee stated. McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center, was one of many doctors involved in the study in which 110 of 111 brains of deceased NFL players were diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is defined as “a degenerative brain disease that affects one’s mood and behavior.” Often found in athletes with repetitive brain trauma, the disease has often been coupled with Alzheimer’s. In the article, Emanuel states that individuals with the disease are more prone to mood swings and aggression, and that it is impossible to diagnose the disease until after death. This report has sparked fear among players at all levels of the sport, and while the results are appalling, there is reason to believe that the numbers might not be what they seem. In a video paired with the article, Dr. Sanjay Gupta states that “the number (of brains diagnosed with CTE) could be so high because of selection bias.” This means that only brains of people who complained of symptoms before their death were studied. Gupta also argues that although recent studies have focused on football, others such as boxers or military personnel should also be concerned.

As for what’s next, McKee and her colleagues within the program continue their studies and tells CNN that they “are looking at the lengths of exposure to head trauma, the age of first exposure, and lengths of playing careers.” Through their research, they aim to relate their findings to the severity of CTE and soon “develop biomarkers and therapies by understanding the pathological features of the disease.”

Annotated Bibliography


Although college athletes have never been paid, one might believe that players should be compensated because of the fact that they make so much money for the university. The following sections will outline the pros and cons of paying college athletes, evaluate the arguments of both sides, and provide a potential solution to the future of athlete compensation

College Athletes Getting Paid: Some Pros and Cons

This source by the Huffington Post evaluates the pros and cons of paying college athletes and provides insight on the situation. It profiles a couple of athletes such as Ed O’Bannon and Shabazz Napier to build an argument towards paying athletes. It also provides statistics to build the foundation of the argument. With Huffington Post being one of the most credible newspapers, this will be a great source for my research paper. I will such this source primarily for the player accounts.

College Athletes Should Be Getting Paid

This source by ESPN is more of a biased take on the situation and argues that athletes should be getting paid. This article uses primarily statistics to build their argument. This article by ESPN is credible because it is a high-caliber sports outlet. The author of the article Michael Wilson has been one of the most credible personalities at ESPN, so I am comfortable using this article. This article will be used for the statistics and to build the pros towards paying athletes.

Want to clean college athletics? Pay the athletes

This source by the Washington Post once again takes the side of paying college athletes and provides it’s own argument. It uses examples such as Rick Pitino and several scandals as a reason to pay athletes. It creates a great counter-argument against the traditional college athletics system. This source if very credible because its from Washington Post. I am going to use it for the counter-argument against not paying athletes.


Determining Criteria and Finding the Argument

The criteria for this video is any halloween costume, as the video ranks the top 10 “traditional” costumes. Overall, I think most of the costumes belong on this list, except for the clown. I have literally never seen anyone in my life dress up as a clown on halloween, so maybe my experience is different than the majority. I agree with the number one spot because just as the video stated, the witch solidified it’s top spot with the movie The Wizard of Oz. Although I agree with the number 1 spot, some may feel differently because others childhood experiences may be different and so what they recognize as the most prominent costume