I chose my topic of immigration for two reasons: one, because there had been recent news about the topic, and two, because I knew absolutely nothing about it. Before beginning my blog, I was (and I cringe at thinking this now) one of the people who thinks about illegal immigration and pictures someone sneaking over the border in the dead of night. My only experience with immigrants was when the boss of my part-time job picked up two undocumented workers one morning, had them help us with a Christmas tree delivery, and then dropped them back off. So, it’s safe to say that I had a rather stereotypical view of the average illegal immigrant. The biggest thing that I have learned, however, throughout this project, is that those stereotypes are completely wrong.
I recently read through my first post, and it seems as though at the beginning of my blog, I relied more on powerful language rather than actual knowledge on my topic. I also think that I focused more on specific things such as in my post “Encouraging young people to DREAM” and I did not relate them back to the election or show the greater significance of the specific acts or laws in the scope of the entire issue of immigration reform. In my post about the DREAM Act, I seem to be reviewing the act, rather than analyzing the potential positive or negative benefits of the act as it relates to immigration reform as a whole. I also think that I came into this project with a particular political bias, so I could not see past what the party I supported wanted to do. This is evident in my post about the DREAM Act, when I discuss the Republican Party’s fight against “amnesty.” At the time, I wasn’t even exactly sure what amnesty entailed. I blindly agreed with more democratic platforms for immigration reform, because that was the political party that I aligned myself with. I also think that my use of links at the beginning relied mainly on government sites, such as long webpages that showed the entire versions of the House and Senate bill of the DREAM Act. I think that this was a little bit silly of me, because I did not even read the entire versions of both bills, so I don’t know why I expected the readers of my blog to do so.
My growth as a thinker really started to develop after I completed my analysis post. This post clarified many facts and figures about Immigration that I was still unsure of, and I learned about a more complete history on my topic. I also think that while writing my analysis post, I started to develop a higher level of thinking about my topic, because I began to recognize all of the different aspects of my issue that I had not researched before. I also think that my use of links improved tremendously in this particular post, because I began to use sites such as the Pew Research Center and the CQ Online Researcher. The switch to more reliable and more useful websites helped me think about my issue on a higher level. During this post, I also examined both presidential candidates’ views/platforms on immigration, and this reflects my growth in that I did not critically analyze only the views that I supported or the views that I did not support. I attempted to show both candidates’ views in a non biased way.
After my analysis post, I wrote two posts that I think show my further growth as thinker. These two posts describe the positive and negative impacts of immigration on the economy. I am proud of these posts in particular because I think that I made two separate, non-biased arguments using research by think tanks such as The Brookings Institute and the Cato Institute. I included a poll after the second of these posts gauge the class opinion on the issue, and I think that because of the results on the poll (mixed, although there was a slight majority for one answer), I can conclude that I presented enough evidence for both sides of the argument for each student to be able to make an informed decision on his or her own.
Looking at posts before and after my analysis post seem like night and day to me as a blogger. I feel that my posts have a better balance between looking at the issue overall and looking at specific aspects of the issue. For example, I have two posts that examine the positive and negative impacts of immigration on the economy, but I also have a post that is quite specific and analyzes Alabama’s immigration law. I think that this balance helps make my issue more relatable to blog readers, because I analyze more broad topics, but also illustrate specific examples of locations in which immigration reform is taking place.