Ceyda Baysal

Engl 300


Summary/Synthesis Response 3


Chapter 11 of Scrolling Forward concludes the entire book with a rough timeline of the world’s technology. There has been great growth in the efficiency and speed of documents and the spread of information overall. The author, David M. Levy, shares personal anecdotes to share his experiences through the changing times. However, he noticed one characteristic remains unchanged: the ability of documents to clearly and accurately represent oneself as the creator of the document. He stated, “For to look at our written forms is to see something of our striving for meaning and order, as well as the mechanism by which we continually create meaning and order” (Levy 202). With this quote, Levy presents documents, and written words in general, as creations that reflect the growth, intentions, function, and  thoughts of the people.



Chapter 9 of Scrolling Forward credits people for creating culture and refers to this process as a business in which documents are the greatest partners. Levy stated, “Virtually all the cultural institutions and practices that help us make order, that help us bring meaning and intelligibility to our lives, draw heavily on documents for support” (Levy 159). In this statement, Levy distinguishes documents as a reflection of the people. Documents present the “meaning” and “intelligibility” of the people in an orderly fashion hence eventually capturing the growth and integrity of the people during a specific time. Technology, a relatively new application to documents,  has also allowed documents to be accessed anywhere virtually. This change in platform itselfs presents a change in the public. Technology has become so conventional that it has even begun to be involved with documents which are notoriously known to be accurate representations of people.

Chapter 11 of What Writing Does and How It Does It focused on social facts, activity systems, genres, genre systems, and speech acts. The chapter concluded that all of these ideas suggest, “how people using text create new realities of meaning, relation, and knowledge” (Bazerman 309). These ideas directly address that people create their own culture with their social cues, knowledge, and behavior; they use documents to establish and confirm changes in societal perspective and/or behavior. These documents therefore reflect the people and their thoughts, intentions, and knowledge at a specific time. People organize these documents according to genre and utilize genre systems. Genre systems show a conscious pattern of similarities between documents; the documents are categorized by their meanings. This shows that like ideas indeed coexist and are grouped together to represent a popular thought.

Chapter 10 of Scrolling Forward claims that all documents address the questions that naturally emerge out of living human life. Levy sees that classic documents are typically believed to present higher, enlightened beliefs, “So it isn’t hard to see great documents like the Bible, the Constitution, or the works of Plato and Shakespeare as sources of stability, providing meaning, direction, and reassurance in the face of life’s uncertainties” (Levy 183). Life’s uncertainties harvest on an undying fear of all humans. Anthropologist Ernest Becker claims that each document is fueled by the base of human culture: the fear of death. Becker interprets, “human anxiety as the result of our inability to come to terms with our finitude” (Levy 184). And so, humans create documents as artifacts of their own lives and expect documents to preserve their lives, or in the least, their characters and thoughts; in other words, documents are used to capture the thoughts and essentially the entire lives of people. Documents serve as proof of life to both its readers and the writer him/herself.

Feminism and Affect at the Scene of Argument addresses the wrongfully discredited feminist position. Feminists are often seen as stereotypically dramatic, angry man-haters. Because of  how documents, reflectant of the people’s interpretations of feminists, inaccurately represent feminist movement, the actual intentions of feminists are overlooked and often ignored. The author, Tomlinson, proposed the use of feminist socioforensic discursive analysis when reading in order to aid the bad behavior that is assuming incorrect information about feminism. The book discusses the relevance of binaries such as male/female and sun/moon  in our culture, “Binaries have long been recognized as a central and damaging way of structuring Western thought, so feminists and other thinkers have provided us with tools for reconsidering them” (Tomlinson 11). The idea is that whatever word is listed first in a binary is valued more by society. In other words, the constant use of “he” before “she” in documents reflects the people’s overall belief and thought that men are more valuable than women. Because of the shifting societal perspective that is the feminist belief that men and women should be valued as equals, feminists aim to adjust this binary in future documents.

Feminist Research in Theory and Practice brings attention to the lives of women. This document intends to normalize and share the lives of women. Author Gayle Letherby explains that this is necessary, “This is important because historically women and women’s concerns have not been given much attention by researchers and when women were included they were presented as ‘not male’ and therefore as ‘other’, as not the ‘norm’, as deviant” (Letherby 6). With this statement, Letherby suggests that the lack of attention to women in documents, again, reflects the people’s belief and shared thought that men are more valuable than women. It also states that when women were addressed in documents as “not male”, this reflected how people thought of women as, not their own individuals, but rather as deviants and inferiors of men. However, presentation of women in today’s documents showed the changed people’s perspective which sees women as individuals independent of men.



  • Do you think the fear of death underlies every human action and thought as Becker suggests? If so, can you think of any behaviors of your own that subconsciously reflect this natural human fear?
  • People are said to create their cultures. What do you do to contribute to a bettered society and help adapt our culture?
  • Do you think there is a misalignment between how people perceive their culture and how it actually is? Why or why not?

Word Count: 1018



Paradigm Shift Final

Final Script:

Saima: Since its inception, the idea of ‘dating’ has changed quite a bit. Dating used to consist of first dates that ended with marriage proposals, or families making marriage deals between their children. However in the past three decades, dating has very much evolved. Today, online dating has become one of the most conventional methods to find love. However, online dating wasn’t always readily accepted, but, as the population of online daters grew, the societal perspective has gradually become more accepting of online dating.

In the early 1700’s  with the invention of the first modern newspaper, Personal ads were put in to the paper by bachelors to find eligible wives.The ads weren’t placed by men only looking for wives but men looking for other men as well- and so it became the #1 way for gay communities to meet discreetly and safely at the time.

Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for women. It was frowned upon to have a woman place an ad in the newspaper looking for a husband. One particular woman, Helen Morrison, was able to convince the editor of Manchester Weekly to feature a small ad that read she was “seeking someone nice to spend her life with”. A man did respond to Helen, but it wasn’t the man she was hoping for. It was the mayor, who had her committed to an insane asylum for four weeks for simply placing the ad. Despite all these ads in the newspapers, the need to advertise for a husband or wife was still considered a “failure” and associated with deviant behavior for many judgmental straight, white, middle-to-upper class people in the mid-19th century.But as magazines and periodicals such as The Wedding Bell in the US and The Correspondent,hit the newsstands with immense popularity, matchmaking and personals took off as well, creating the first wave of true mainstream normalization for the personal ad.

And Around the turn of the last century, personal ads enjoyed a renaissance of popularity, especially in the Western US with low populations and the harsh realities of rural life without a partner.  Lonely farmers, ranchers, and shepherds began placing ads looking to continue their legacies with a good, old country girl.

Personal ads went mainstream again in the early 20th century, when social pressures to get married by 21 (and thus, expectations for relationships) were much lower, thankfully than their earlier incarnations. Many of the postings were simply calls for friends or pen pals. These kinds of ads were especially fashionable among lonely soldiers during World War I. Many relationships were formed via pen pals with woman helping run the country at home and men away in Europe fighting the war.

Removed from the context of wartime, old stigmas crept back in. Like the Internet today, lonely hearts ads were suspected of harboring all sort of scams and perversities. Because they were often used by homosexuals and sex workers, police continued to prosecute those who placed personals until the late 1960s, when ads became part of the burgeoning youth counterculture.

Grayson: However, the greatest influence of online dating is technology. The growth of technology has created and spread online dating. The first social networking site, Six Degrees, was launched 1997; this was a great step in connecting people from all over the world by allowing users to create online profiles and become friends with other users.

In fact, dating sites are sometimes considered the first social network. Myspace was  founded in 2003 and by 2006, it had grown to be the most popular social network in the world. Facebook started out as a harvard-only social network in 2004, but quickly expanded to public by 2006, and it eventually surpassed myspace in 2008.

The first site strictly created for online dating was and went live in 1995. Today, 40% of Americans use online dating. 27% of young adults report using online dating sites which shows a  10% increase from 2013. This is likely from influx of dating apps on smartphones For 55-64 year olds there has been a 6% increase from 2013-2015. Also, more men use online dating than women 52.4% vs. 47.6%.

As a result, more than ⅓ of marriages start online. It is the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet and the most popular method for homosexuals. Online dating has also reflected an increase in interracial marriages. And married couples who meet online have lower rates of divorce than traditional meetings. Technology has made communication simple for those who are physically distanced  and, as a result, has encouraged the creation of relationships.

Ceyda: As technology advanced, apprehension regarding online dating digressed. Some argue that, because technology’s ability to connect people from all around the world made online dating virtually inevitable, people who gain experience with online dating will inevitably support it. In other words, anyone to engages in online dating will likely approve of it and sustain this biased opinion that stems from the innate motive to protect one’s self image in society. It’s easy to rationalize one’s actions if the motives are approved by society.

However, above all, an individual’s opinion on online dating is based on the experiences of someone he/she knows who has online dated.  For example, if I knew a guy who met his stalker through online dating, I’m more likely to deem online dating as toxic and dangerous, but if I knew a girl who met her husband through online dating, I’m more likely to approve of online dating. Here’s the key: since more and more people today are online dating, individuals are more likely to know someone who has had a positive experience, hence collectively creating this shift in societal perspective.

This is interesting, for the risks of online dating have not dissolved. If anything, with the exponential  increase in users, the risks are heightened. One of an online dater’s greatest fears may be to romantically connect with a catfish, a term popularized by media and television, used to describe a person who treds online under a false identity.

However, because more people are willing to take these risks associated with online dating, an element of ease is involved. This traces back to an evolutionary approach which reports that humans tend to gravitate towards situations involving groups because it inherently feels safer since animals who stayed in groups were less likely to be killed.

But, why do people online date to begin with? Well, for one, individuals fear embodying a personality that may be ridiculed and disliked, and so they use the internet to customize their characters and “test run” identities in order to choose one that is most liked by society. For example, online dating may allow an individual to virtually eradicate a quality that isn’t admired by society like shyness, and encourage the user to present more likable characteristics. This is a subconscious form of self protection from embarrassment, neglect, rejection, and other forms of humility. Creating online profiles has become a modernized version of identity formation.

Online dating is a reflection of the people’s expectations. Society made us believe that it’s basically crucial to find a life partner. And so, people rush to find “true love” and get married within a “socially appropriate” span of time. Online dating is the easiest and most convenient way to meet people which corresponds with this idea in psychology that says you will naturally do whatever is fastest and takes the least amount of effort for the same reward. The effort of going online, compared to going out and meeting people, is minimal, and the reward of social, romantic interaction is desirable and remains the same for both methods. And so, the online daters have built a substantial population that will continue to grow.

Everyday, the population of online daters continues to grow. As the community grows, the likelihood of knowing someone with a positive online dating experience increases hence increasing the societal acceptance of online dating overall. And so, more and more people today choose to click and swipe to meet their “happily ever afters”.

Youtube clips used:



Writing Prompt 4/30

  1. (Like Vs. Dislike) A situation in society in which pleasure used as a rationale to ignore or avoid social change is the issue regarding gun control. People who own guns may dislike the advocation and imperitve need for gun control simply because they find pleasure in owning and using their guns. Their pleasure prompts them to ignore and disregard the need for gun control.
  2. (Gulf Between Emotion and Reason) In 2004, Serena Williams was suspended for two years from competiting for reacting to a referee’s judgment (a foot fault) with anger. She was dismissed as an angry Black woman and the public, focused on her “inappropriate behavior” which they wrongly attributed to her character, ignored her arguments.
  3. (Unwarranted or Impossible Standards of Proof) Men still get higher pay than women, and so some men, because the pay discrepency does not hurt them (and rather benefits them) may not deem the issue of  differences in pay necessary or valuable .


Ceyda Baysal

English 300 Texts & Contexts


Summary/Synthesis Response 2


In Chinese Fortune Cookie, LuMing Mao discusses the inevitable difficulties faced when attempting to introduce two cultures. Because both the Chinese and American rhetoric have individual sets of expectations and norms, Mao confesses that he must use a strategic angle in order to make his Chinese rhetoric palatable for the American readers. However, he argues that instead of translating one culture’s common rhetoric in order to match that of another culture’s, people should learn to accept and enforce together-in-difference. Mao encourages the use of Chinese American rhetoric and explains, “I want to characterize the meaning of Chinese American rhetoric as ‘articulated moments in networks of social relations and understandings’—to be created, negotiated, and experienced between ‘border residents’” (Mao 3). The author encourages that, like a fortune cookie, rhetoric should fuse two cultures together whilst maintaining their individual characteristics such as organization, intention, and underlying meaning.



Chapter seven of Scrolling Forward describes the innate, human need in American culture for organization. The chapter describes how the physical organization of humans typically reflects their mental organization. Physical organization fuses together the mental stability and the physical world which could be seen as separate cultures. Therefore, Americans possess an underlying desire to physically tidy and organize their belongings. Specifically, the organization of documents pacifies this need. Each document carries its own characteristics and connotations which allow humans to approach each document with an individual set of assumptions and emotions. The author clearly states, “Each of these documents has its own trajectory and its own rhythm” (Levy 122). For example, a person would be more stressed by the sight of a bill than a birthday card from grandma. Although each document has an individual set of connotations, when combined to form a collective pile, the documents provide a visual that can be either very approachable or overwhelming based on the level of organization achieved.

Chapter four of What Writing Does and How It Does It focuses on intertextuality. Intertextuality is the combination of multiple medias and texts in one piece which essentially creates a hybrid of multiple works. This can include the use of other stories, shared phrases, or even just commonly known facts. The author reminds, “Intertextuality is not just a matter of which other texts you refer to, but how you use them, what you use them for, and ultimately how you position yourself as a writer to them to make your own statement” (Bazerman 94).  Intertextuality encourages the fusing of multiple texts in order to create an ideal, rhetorical piece that most people can view with some sense of understanding and even relation. The created piece is an entirely new piece that, although protects the integrity of the original pieces, makes its own, independent statement.

In A Teaching Subject, Joseph Harris confronts the major differences between English classes in America and in Britain. Although, the subject of English is constant, the lessons taught face great variability based on the country. British English classes tend to follow the growth model which focuses on the experience of the students and how the use of language shapes their experiences. Americans view this approach as too lenient; they believe that English should be taught academically. Harris directly compares the two styles of teaching, “One can view the American position at Dartmouth, then, as an attempt to justify the study of English to other university experts, and the British position as trying to place such work in relation to the needs and concern of the students” (Harris 6).The American school system aims to teach English as a disciplinary weapon in the scientific American culture and focuses on justifying English to other scholars; in other words, America, in the presence of scholars, strategically protects its face. British schools, however, seek to bring together the diverse knowledge and experiences of the students themselves. British English classes not only seek, but also encourage, divergent thinking that may combine culturally bound ideas in order to create an entirely new statement or belief.

In Voices of the Self, Keith Gilyard approaches the subject of Black English and whether or not it should be integrated into everyday language and American schools. Gilyard argues that Black English is already commonly used and therefore a piece of everyday language. In fact, in 1979 Black English was officially ruled as its own language form. Despite this, Black English is still not accepted all over the U.S. and those who use it are typically deemed “slow learners”. People who speak Black English are expected to understand and adopt standard English. Because of this, Gilyard states, “I would expect, therefore, most Blacks to be bidialectal to some extent. But if we accept…that no one is ever perfectly bidialectal, that is, even-handed in a linguistic sense, I think we can safely assert…that for me Black English was developing as the dominant tongue while Standard English, though quite significant, was not wielded as handily” (Gilyard 31). Much like when theorizing a way to combine the rhetoric of two separate cultures, Gilyard first dissects the differences between Black English and standard English. He notices opposite phonics and differences in subject-verb agreement. In other words, Black English and standard English present the same meanings just in different sounding ways, and ultimately, it is society’s choice whether to actively accept and integrate the two types of spoken English.

Chapter 3 of Scrolling Forward is titled “Leaves of Grass” in honor of the works of the phenomenal, world-renowned poet, Walt Whitman. The chapter specifies that Walt Whitman’s book of poetry, Leaves of Grass, is not identical in every edition. Based on the publisher, certain lines, words, and illustrations are either added to or removed from specific poems. The subject matter of the poems remain constant; however, they are presented differently, and the published poems do not present the entire integrity of Whitman’s intended initial product. Much like how rhetoric of cultures are molded and translated to fit the norms of a different culture, Whitman’s poems were modified in order to cater to the current audience. However, the author reminds that some of these changes were made by the poet himself, “There can be substantial textual differences among editions, a good deal of which are due to the changes Whitman made over the years” (Levy 43). Whitman adjusted his own poetry in order for it to accommodate to changed societal perceptions and changes within his own perspective. He himself had a desire to adapt his “outdated” work to the culture’s current norms.


  1. How can public schools teach different rhetorical norms of different cultures?
  2. In America, we act on reason. However, in China, most behaviors are engaged in due to emotion or the value of the perception of others. Should American children be given the liberty to choose to act upon and strengthen emotional intelligence such as in China?
  3. What are the differences in characteristics between citizens who were raised in individualistic and collectivistic cultures? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
  4. Should old works, such as Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”, be modified to cater to the reading styles and societal understandings of present readers?


Word Count: 1190