“Am I an Author?,” William James (2015) — Inquiry 5

Am I an Author?

My first reaction to this question is one of dismissal.

Take a minute to consider.

On occasion, the motivation to write seizes me and my mind regurgitates onto the page.

More often, I choose to say nothing.

Feeling detached from your own self, it is easy to forget that others may not see the difference.

In that moment, my silence failed me.

I feel ashamed for not providing the needed assistance.

The blanket of silence that was always my solitude seemed to turn against me, smothering me.

I knew that I must change.

Explore the dangerous and confusing world.

In order to achieve a deeper understanding.

Take notice.

The weight carried by the words.

A two-edged sword.

Silence can command the power of healing, but more often than not it wounds more than it heals.

In the choice to stay silent, you can still do harm

I have the ability to help.

My strength in writing.

Makes a significant impact on the way that I have been regarded by others.

It is important to see past the evil.

I will not allow the world to pass by without my having a say in things.

It has been essential for the survival of our species.


I am an author.



Inquiry One

Inquiry Two

Inquiry Three

Banksy Analysis


Reading Response

Writing Inventory


Inquiry Five Reflection:

I decided to frame my final Inquiry with the question “Am I an Author?”. This question serves not only as a way to explore my progress as a writer throughout this year, but also to allow me to explain how my attitude towards writing has changed. From day one of English 111 to now, as I sit writing my final essay, I have grown from a student who used writing only as a tool, to a student who realizes the full implications of writing and rhetoric in everyday life.

To open my essay, I began with a quote from my reflection on Everyone’s an Author. I wanted to open with one of the first major questions that we pondered in this class, and to better address the main question that framed my essay. At the start of the paper, I used quotes from Inquiry One to describe my tendency to stay away from writing, and to rely on silence to shield and comfort me.

I used the idea of my silence failing me to show how this class has caused me to reach a turning point in how I addressed the use of rhetoric in my daily life. Forced to extensively analyze and ponder the rhetorical choices that I made in my essays as well as in class discussions made me come to a realization. As I say in my collage: “Silence can command the power of healing, but more often it wounds more than it heals”. This quote from Inquiry One really identifies the climax of my growth this year, as I realized the necessity of embracing rhetoric.

Inquiry Two was a very important one for me, as it was the first time that I truly was forced to analyze the rhetoric of other sources. I chose to include this paper with mostly descriptions of how writing and rhetoric can be used to heal, as I learned from my analysis of the “Liking isn’t Helping” ad campaign.

I felt that Inquiry Three was the hardest to include in this collage, as mine was dealing with a fairly scientific topic. Although the biologist in me saw that paper as purely a logical data analysis, I was forced to look past the numbers and find other ways to persuade and relate to people. I wanted to include this element of struggling for knowledge and understanding in my collage, as it represented the growth that I had undergone during this course.

The rest of my quotes were taken from in-class work or reflections on readings. I was surprised at the amount of insightful thoughts that I had in unfinished projects scattered across my Google Drive account. I used these snippets to seal up the gaps that the loose, big ideas that came from my Inquiries. Looking back through all of this class work made me realize how much growth that I underwent between each submission for this class.

I ended my collage with a simple answer to the question that I have pondered for so long: I am an author. I now believe that no matter how humbly or lavishly walked, anyone making the journey through life is also making a journey of authorship.

The most valuable skill that I have taken from this class is the ability to identify and analyze rhetorical strategies employed by others, and the ability to employ the same strategies myself. From the self analysis of Inquiry One to the creation of my own pieces of rhetoric in the later Inquiries, each piece of writing that I worked on this class honed my skills as a rhetorician.

For anyone reading my collage, I would want the main message passed on to be my monumental growth from day one to finals week. Closemouthed, quiet and generally turned off of writing, I didn’t really see the use in pursuing the art of communication. Today, I see just how wrong I was. While I may not be that much louder than I was before English 111, I have certainly learned the importance of having a mastery of rhetorical strategies. Whether life takes me to an engineer’s workplace or to embassies in foreign lands, I know that the skills that I developed in English 111 will always be with me, shaping my decisions and thought.