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Victoria Leary

Final Reflection

Victoria Leary 

Dr Lucas 

ENG -1102 24

30 November 2021

This semester, I gained and obtained a lot of tricks and tools through this course. I acquired knowledge that allowed me to better, not only my writing skills but also my life skills. We took part in multiple activities and assignments in class such as, in class readings, maintaining a wordpress blog, oral presentations, the final essay and annotated bibliography, and scrabble word play, that really helped me gain confidence in my writing abilities. 

For our final essay and annotated bibliography we got the opportunity to work collaboratively with classmates. We also got to pick the topic we researched and wrote about. This assignment helped me feel more confident in working with new people, picking a topic, writing an annotated bibliography, and researching not only through the web but using the school’s libraries database. As a freshman this was helpful to introduce me to the school’s resources such as the libraries website.  I really feel like I have benefited from getting to work with a classmate on this assignment. We made a plan to meet at cottrell together to research and plan the assignment out.  With this came the opportunity to schedule a time to meet with a classmate, but also get the chance to branch out to new experiences. This is something I know I will be doing in my future job. I am a firm believer that writing is more beneficial and enjoyable when you know and connect with what you are writing about. I think allowing us to pick our own topic was really beneficial.

I have always enjoyed getting to know new people. This semester playing scrabble each week helped me feel better connected with my class. Random new groups each week promoted us to have to make conversation and get to know one another. I have got to make friends through this class and playing that I see outside of class. Also, scrabble offers an opportunity each week to work on and expand vocabulary skills. Before every friday Dr. Lucas would create a blog post. This blog would offer several playable words with their definitions. This gave me the opportunity to expand my vocabulary.      

Overall, I feel like this class taught me alot and gave me many opportunities. Throughout this course I have bettered my writing abilities, worked on group presentation and planning, and sharpened my vocabulary. Aside from the writing side of this course, I have gained life skills, such as, how to use the schools offered services like the library system and the writing center. I have also worked on team collaboration skills and meeting with other students outside of the class to strategize on our assignment. 

Final essay and Annotated Bibliography

Teen Girls vs. Social Media

In the article, “Facebook Knows Instagram is Toxic for Teen Girls” researchers Jeff Horwitz, Deepa Seetharaman, and Georgia Wells conducted a study over an eighteen month period that they entitled “teen mental health deep dive.” What they had discovered is that the app known as Instagram is used for showcasing one’s body and lifestyle. Social media is a huge part of today’s world and as teenage girls ourselves we have experienced first hand its effects. We scroll through Instagram or Tik Tok and see girls our age or older with what we believe to be our “dream bodies”. This then allows us to believe that this is what we’re supposed to look like and it is causing teen girls’ self esteem and mental health to decrease dangerously. 

An experience we hear about in the article is about a girl named Anastasia Vlasova who joined Instagram at the age of thirteen and instantly spent hours a day scrolling through looking at so called influencers. She then began to notice all these fit bodies and how a woman could do 100 burpees in ten minutes. Vlasova then develops an eating disorder that she traces back to the time she spent on Instagram. By seeing that these fitness influencers receive so many likes and comments, it is obvious why teen girls would try to be like them. With the power that social media holds over this generation people believe that whatever you see online is what you should be doing as well. Teen girls have been proven to be the most influenced by Instagram due to the idea of looking perfect. The pressure that they feel to fit in in this world is immaculate, but the pressures of social media are only making it all worse. One thing that needs to be more emphasized on social media is that just because someone looks perfect doesn’t mean they are.

As teenage girls ourselves we have personally experienced what it is like to be influenced by what we see on social media. For example, every year around the time of the holidays we watch videos on Youtube or Tiktok to see what others are asking for Christmas gifts to make sure that we don’t miss out on the latest trends. Why do we care what others want? No matter how many times we ask ourselves this for some reason we will still continue to do it. 

The American Journal of Epistemology conducted a study based on how mental health develops in young people and how social media affects it. The main conclusion of the study was that generation z mainly communicates through posting pictures and receiving likes online. A major point that the article made was that young adults’ brains are still developing and are not matured enough to have a high self-esteem. Since teens are so influenced by what they see online this could lead them to unhealthy tactics like inappropriate sexual behavior, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders. These are all things that I have seen occur around me, and I believe a main cause of this could be from social media. 

Researcher Mabel Yiu states in the article “New Studies Show that Social Media Has Become A Global Mental Health Problem for Younger Generations” that she has witnessed firsthand what social media standards and cyber-bullying can have on the self-esteem of young girls. She has worked as a licensed therapist working in the specific fields of suicide and sexual assault has concluded that a main cause of suicidal thoughts in teens is the idea of a “perfect image” which has caused people to take there life. There is no definition of perfect in the world we live in. We can each have our own idea of what perfect is but it is different to everyone. The person that you see on Instagram that one day receiving so much praise for their photo could actually be one of the most depressed people. You never really know what is going on in that person’s life behind the screen and that is something that young adults fail to realize. 

In today’s day and age social media has taken over almost everyone’s lives. Teenage girls have been drastically affected by this and as a result have had a lot of negative effects. Looking deeper into these negative aspects we can better see into modern teenage girls minds. The main issue with this is that this online criticism causes them to overthink. With new age pressures like cyberbullying and online dating almost 30% of teen girls are reported to have anxiety. Things that you post like where you are, who you are with and what you are doing are judged by everyone and puts pressure on teenage girls to be “perfect.” They look up to influence it such as the Kardashians and Ariana Grande. 

When it comes to communication it seems like all thoughtful communication was thrown out the window and replaced with emojis and short texts. Parents are often left in the dark because these young girls dont feel comfortable sharing how they feel. In film on demand’s “Teenage Girls Open Up About the “Constant Pressure” of Social Media (aka Behind the Glass) the teen girls share their experiences, thoughts and feelings then their moms are revealed to have been there the whole time. 

Annotated Bibliography

ABC News. “Teen Girls Open Up about the ‘Constant Pressure’ of Social Media (Aka Behind the 

Glass).” Log In – Films On Demand =146096.

In the video presentation “Tern Girls Open Up about the ‘Constant Pressure’ of Social Media (Aka Behind the Glass)” we get to see how real girls feel about the situations they are put into in today day and age regarding social media. These are real girls with real experiences so the source is reliable when trying to see what young girls in this age group go through when it comes to bullying, harassment, and social media pressures today. 

ABC News is a division of the American Broadcast network ABC. Films on demand have hundreds of different articles that vary in topic. They have several articles about Teens habits and attitudes and social media in general across their website. They are produced by ABC news, the news division of the American broadcast network ABC. In addition to their division television program ABC News has radio and digital outlets including a radio station, live news, and various podcasts. It began in 1943 as a political broadcasting website. The Walt Disney company also owns a significant amount of ABC News. They are a known organization throughout the United States of America. 

Horwitz, Jeff, Deepa Seetharaman, and Georgia Wells. “Facebook Knows Instagram is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show.” Wall Street Journal, Sep 14, 2021. ProQuest,

In the article “Facebook Knows Instagram is Toxic for Teen Girls” journalists Jeff Horwitz, Georgia Wells, and Deepa Seetharaman elaborate on a study that they have conducted over three years. The study was created to see how the app Facebook affects teenagers and young adults. The main thing that was discovered was that use of Instagram is causing harm to teenage girls mentally. Teenage girls are using the app to compare and criticize themselves on their looks.

Journalist Jeff Horwitz works as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal his job at Facebook is controlling how the world views the company. Horwitz has received recognition multiple times for an award called a Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He produced articles with two of his colleagues about the struggle that Facebook had with police hate in the country of India that was called Gerald Loeb Award. Georgia Wells is also a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and she speaks with how social media is helpful but also abusive to people. She has been recognized from multiple organizations such as the New York Press Club, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, the George Polk Awards, and also the Deadline Club. Deepa Seetharaman covers technology and politics as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. She published stories of how technology companies and their team work with politics and how society reacts.

Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,


The article “Blogs versus term papers” by Matt Richtel Braves the debate between new and old technology. Which still takes us through different professors around the world experiences with modern versus old-fashioned ways of teaching. Looking deeper into this article there are many professors who give examples of how students are affected by this new way of teaching. There are good and bad aspects to both sides.

Professor Lunsford studied from 2001 to 2007 should students’ writing abilities and passion start to evolve as new technology made its way into the classroom. This new technology included blogs, tweets and other forms of online writing that could be incorporated by professors into their lessons. professors all over the world are looking for the perfect balance of old versus new technology.

All of these Professors Teach in schools around the United States of America. Because of this, all of these professors were able to collect this information and put it into one big article about the pros and cons of writing in the new generations form. 

“New Studies Show that Social Media Has Become A Global Mental Health Problem for Younger Generations: A recently concluded study shows that social media is gradually becoming a facilitator of mental health problems across the globe. The Women’s Health Institute is now looking to help teens who struggle from social media addiction.” PR Newswire, Mar 29, 2018. ProQuest,

In the article, “New Studies Show that Social Media Has Become A Global Mental Health Problem for Younger Generations”, it focuses on mental health in young adults and their specific experiences with social media. By elaborating on how young adults idolize the people they see on social media as “perfection” it allows them to build low self esteems for themselves which is doing detrimental harm to their mental health. Mabel Yiu is the author of this article and was inspired by witnessing the damage firsthand of the damage that social media can have on young girls.

Mabel Yiu has been working as a licensed marriage and family therapist for years and has specifically specialized in suicide and a crisis counselor, a sexual assault counselor, and also a parenting instructor. Yiu also work at the University of San Francisco and also at a community college in San Jose, California as a clinical supervisor at a health clinic. She is also the founder of Women’s Therapy Institute in Palo Alto, California.

Analysis Assignment

Blogs Vs. Term Papers

Blogs vs. Term Papers by Matt Richtel braves the debate between new and old literature and the technology used in writing. Matt Richtel provides an explanation for both slides of this argument, with evidence, research, and facts that other English professors around the world collected. These professors gathered research from their classes over the years and it was used in these arguments made. On the side of new technology and blogs, Richtel states it helps shape the way kids learn in today’s growing and changing world. It is argued that to empower kids to fully understand this ever changing world, a modern take on teaching and writing would be most appropriate. However, when talking about old fashioned ways of writing, it is believed that blogs fail to teach key aspects of writing that risk being forgotten. 

The academic paper is used by professors to teach students how to make a point, then explain, defend, and repeat it. Cathy N. Davidson, was an English professor at Duke who used the blog in her classroom. She believes we should do away with essays and papers and substitute them with blogs. Benefits that come with this include instant feedback from classmates or readers and connection to modern communications. “Instead of writing a quarterly term paper, students now regularly publish 500- to 1,500- word entries on an internal class blog.” All over the country blogs are being favored by professors because of the feeling of relevance, instant feedback from classmates and connection to the digital era. Professor Davidson watched this harsh form of writing convince students she tutored that “there is brilliance in the art world, brilliance in the multimidia world, brilliance in the music world, and that writing is boring.” Professor Lunsford’s study from 2001 to 2007 showed students’ writing abilities and passions evolved as new modern technology made its way into the classroom. Richtel reports on experts news’ articles on the “old fashioned” term papers, where they were seemingly against it. As a member of the younger generation, I have to say I agree with this. I don’t believe that the outdated way of writing will be upheld in the modernizing world we live in. Teaching and writing need to be greatly modernized. As someone growing up with this debate among teachers taking place, I know the struggle of students having to go back and forth on their forms of writing based on what a teacher is looking for. If the teacher’s expectations don’t align with a student’s preferred writing form, there is a risk of a bad grade, and I do not think that is fair. Papers can feel like a punishment to students, blogs have a sense of freedom and can be fun. 

Defenders believe that blogs fail to teach key aspects of writing, formatting, and thinking. Papers have writers organize the points then want to get across, fashion an argument, and demonstrate their knowledge on a subject. The paper’s harsh aspects are not intended to be a punishment but to be training. Douglas B. Reeves, a columnist for the American School Board Journal and founder of the Leadership and Learning Center, says “writing term papers is a dying art, but those who do write them have a dramatic leg up.” He pushes the point that the critical thinking skills that are acquired from this form of writing are used not only in college but in the job market. Although blogs are interesting they don’t provide premise, evidence, argument, and conclusion.

This debate ultimately leads to “old literacy,” a more traditional form of writing and “new literacy” leading into blogs, tweets, and other forms of online writing platforms. It is clear that term papers have been out of favor for some time now, but professors are still looking for what part of “old literacy” is worth preserving while continuing to push for more modern ways to keep kids engaged and excited. Andrea A. Lundsford, a professor of English at Stanford says “We’re at a crux right now of where we have to figure out as teachers what part of old literacy is worth preserving.”  Lundsford also states that teachers can simply use both methods of teaching. Incorporation the structure of a formal paper into a fun assignment with a modern twist.   

To agree or to disagree the facts are undeniable. Each year new technology comes out and it plays a large factor in how teachers ultimately teach. In 2011, The National Survey of Student Engagement found that 82 percent of freshmen in college were not asked to write a paper more than 20 pages. These long papers that cause so many college students misery have been replaced with one to five page papers. In 2002 around 80 percent of high school students did not write a paper more than 15 pages. Today’s professors have the students’ best interest at heart when they decide what to push them to focus on in their writing.

Literacy Narrative Assignment

New people, new school, new sport, welcome to highschool. This was no longer middle school. The intensity was turned up especially when it came to sports. My best friend and I decided to try out for the field hockey team. Our love for the sport and any physical activity was unmatched. We had a love for sweating and way too much energy. Tryouts came and we made the freshman team. Coach Boswitck was the best and she taught us so much. The next year the head coach retired and Coach B got pulled up to be the varsity coach. As sophomores we got to practice with the varsity team and my best friend Olivia and I even got to play in a game. After that sophomore season covid- 19 infected the United States. Olivia and I lived decently close to one another so we would go for runs on opposite sides of the street out of boredom. This turned into doing workouts across the driveway and partaking in other quarantine activities circulating Tik Tok. This was a perfect way for us to stay in shape and motivated while also getting to hang out without breaking quarantine restrictions. 

Finally Senior year hit us. Unlike the year before, we didn’t have to wear masks or stay six feet apart during games. Everything was almost back to normal. The whole team got so close. We were all best friends and hung out all the time. Me and Oliva would carpool to every team event. After one team dinner Olivia was driving me home. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Until it was almost as if the universe decided that everything was going just a bit too smoothly. Time stopped. One second we were laughing the next there were sirens wailing. Where am I? What just happened? Olivia’s lip, cut open, was dripping blood. I watched as they examined her, not even conscious that there were EMTs asking if I was alright. The more I thought about the last five minutes the more I understood what happened. My knee met the dashboard and my head met my knee as the driver behind us car met the bumper of hers. The excitement of our senior night game was flushed with worry and pain. Not knowing what would happen the next night was terrifying. 

When stadium lights came on to what we thought at the time was the most important game of our highschool careers, we both felt our heartbeat in our heads. My knee was throbbing and my entire body shaking out of fear and pain. Coach B approached us and asked “Are you girls ready?” The entire team started yelling and there was so much excitement in the locker room. It was suffocation to say the least. Our run out to the field was a tough one. I knew this was going to be a long game. Standing under the lights I looked over at Olivia and instantly could tell she was feeling the same way I was. 

We were pulled off in what felt like thirty minutes but in actuality was only three. Coach B had picked up on this behavior and asked what was wrong. We assured her it was a rough start, just one bad play, and nothing to worry about. However it came abundantly clear that it was not just one bad play but something was in fact wrong. We had managed to convince four EMTs and two police officers that we were fine but this was so much harder. Olivia and I had our own play, something that for four years straight we had done everytime we picked up a stick. We would alternate taking it from the fifty yard line, up to the circle then slam it in as hard as we could from the corner. Coach B was the one who taught it to us. We had been best friends for so long that we could read each other’s next move easily. This was something that we had done in almost every game at least once since sophomore year. Our coach being the one to come up with and teach us it knew what it was supposed to look like. At half time she pulled us both to the side as the defense coach talked to the rest of the team. We hadn’t been able to bring the ball in more than twenty yards. She looked at both of us and said, “I invented that play and watched you both execute it perfectly one hundred times, tell me what is wrong.” The blank guilty looks we gave her were telling her we weren’t coming clean anytime soon. “Vic you have been jogging and Liv that pass went directly to the other girl’s stick.” She knew us far too well for this act to continue any longer. Our feet stayed behind the white line that marked the field and the sideline for the rest of the game. When the time ran out the three of us walked into her office. Our heads hung low and we explained the situation. Needless to say she was upset, but she always had a way of turning everything into a lesson. 

I matured that day and each and every day I had an encounter with her. Her calm, assertiveness  and incredible work ethic was something I always admired. Holding three jobs, she never once complained, made excuses or missed a practice. When Covid-19 ran throughout our community she was the first person there to offer a helping hand. Push passes, high balls, fast feet, and good sportsmanship were not the only skills we were left with. Coach B preached Work ethic, persistence, focus and responsibility.​ In my adult life I continuously use each skill Coach B bestowed upon me.