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(Apologies, I was not sure how to put them into individual links)


My name is Christopher Sharpe, I am a freshman in my second semester with a major in biochemistry. My final goal is to go to medical school and become a psychiatrist. I hope this class will help me improve my essay writing for the future. I have never done an online class before, so I am interested. I've always enjoyed reading stories, with my favorite being "A Song of Ice and Fire". I also enjoy reading comics and spent lots of time focusing on school and I have traveled very often in the past. I am a Dean's list student and want to keep that up and my favorite subjects are history and chemistry. I always try to see what enjoy in the stories I read and follow it back to its source, like following a length of string, I use this to try to find out why I like the media the way I do. This helps me search out more media that I feel may be of the same vain.


Artifact 1: Philosophy essay: In Nicomachean Ethics Book 1: Part 2, I gravitated towards Aristotle’s idea of all good things helping towards a greater good or being a part of that greater good. Specifically, I believe that it addresses a hole in Plato’s Republic that I found. Plato’s Republic attempted to create a society with maximum efficiency and everyone being brainwashed and sorted into specific careers to maximize efficiency. Despite this, they also said that they could not get too rich or too poor lest it risk the collapse of the nation. This creates a situation where the citizens are on a treadmill running towards a future where their work is simply used to maintain the status quo, which feels somewhat dystopic. It reminded me of the plotline in animals farm where all of the animals are breaking their bodies trying to build a mill that is supposed to help them. After it is done, the pigs use the productivity of this mill to immediately move into building another mill. Going back to Aristotle (as this is what the reflection is about), I like the fact that he grounds all of the efforts to a greater good and attempts to identify it. He does not use “the greater good” for goalpost moving and attempts to find the quickest way to this elusive “greater good”. He wants to create a lasting happiness as opposed to a lasting control. He sees politics and nations as a means to an end as opposed to what is served, as Plato appears to say. While I do believe in the idea of finding the best case scenario first and whittling it down to something realistic, that actual perfect example can’t be made out of thin air and needs to be upheld by real world opinions and logic to view it as the ultimate goal, giving it more substance than Plato’s Republic.


Artifact 2: Music literature class essay: In the boygenius-EP album, it carries a somber, beaten-down tone in the songs. The songs use the piano and a slower strumming of a guitar that accompany the words, reminding me of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” immediately. There seems to be a theme to the songs where it appears to be from the perspective of someone in a toxic/abusive relationship, with titles and words that allude to a pet or object and their owner. It alludes to the idea of being forced to suffer through a sort of punishment because the singer’s wellbeing is seen as lesser than the abuser’s general comfort. There seems to be a degree of guilt in the singer’s voice that comes from being constantly condemned as the bad guy, saying that she can’t love them the way they want or accepting herself as a monster and tearing herself away from the abuser despite the guilt. The singer seemed to have been fighting a losing battle of trying to fulfill the abuser’s impossible expectations and is now done with it, not because the singer reaffirmed her values in a healthy way, but because she can’t endure the pain anymore. The album speaks to me a lot due to my neurodivergence. There are times where I feel I can never show affection in exactly the way others want to receive affection and it seems like others can unintentionally prioritize their own comfort over my happiness. The way the singer expressed her frustrations were not necessarily raw or pure or straight from the source. It seems as if these are grievances she has suffered and has never been able to say because of a fear of being the bad guy or backlash. While the context differs, the tone and emotion spoke to me viscerally.


Reflection: This class has given me a greater awareness of how to write. While there were certain terms that I was familiar with, such as ethos, pathos, and logos, I didn’t put the same level of thought into it like I did in this class. Writing to me was a means to an end, not something I thought of much as a skill to be honed with lots of future utility. I now believe in the potential utility of writing more than I did prior. What is more? The knowledge I’ve gained goes beyond just essay writing for me. Learning about the concept of artifacts expanded how I viewed communicating what I want to say. How you can show others your ideas is not simply done through essay writing, but through finding out how the mediums used can reach the people you want to reach. That is another thing that is necessary for this level of communication: knowing your audience. What I hadn’t thought of was identifying the specific groups I want to direct my essay too. I had honestly used essay writing like a shotgun, just blasting until it hits something. Turns out, knowing what I’m aiming at makes me more likely to hit on what I want to. I can then distill my ideas into something I’m passionate about, narrowing in to make it hit rather than spreading out. This was an extremely challenging semester and class for me specifically, but was rewarding in other ways and I feel as I have become a better student as a result. I truly hope to be able to take these new skills to the future and develop them even further. This has been a unique experience and it has helped me grow into a more capable students at this university for this semester. 

Project 2 Revision:


Ask any autistic person what they have been told after telling someone they are autistic and they will mention being instantly compared to characters such as Rainman, Young Sheldon, or Sheldon Cooper. These are get mentioned by many neurotypical people (term for people without a neurodivergent condition) as a way of saying that they don’t fit the “traditional” look of what they think an autistic person is. This typically takes the form of a white man or boy that is rigidly logical, good at math, and serious when this is very far from the norm. However, this does introduce the issue of preconceived biases associated with autism, something that you would think many psychiatrists would be clean of. Unfortunately, psychiatrists are individuals within society like everyone else and are subject to commonly held biases, despite their professional nature. This rigid definition is harmful because autism is not only a spectrum, with very few autistic people presenting exactly the same, but also occurs across all demographics. People of color, middle-aged adults with careers; kids; and social lives, children who are unable to do math or science to save their life (let alone their grade), etc. are all individuals that can have autism. The list can go on forever of examples differing from stereotypes, but the focus of this essay is specifically on women and undiagnosed autistic girls are often overlooked due to a combination of medical bias, societal gender standards, and differently presented traits through masking (which will be expanded on in the second artifact). These two artifacts share the experiences of these autistic women.

Analysis of First Artifact: 

This artifact is “a blog based study of autistic women’s experiences and well-being during autism identification and diagnosis”. While this artifact can potentially be read by a layperson in the field of psychiatry, the study is very long and detailed, being primarily targeted towards a more learned audience and is not intended for leisure reading. This blog-based study has certain benefits for informing the reader, best described in the artifact itself “One strength of the blog approach is that data are naturalistic and reflect what is important enough to the women themselves for them to decide to write about” (Autism in Adulthood). In short, it delves quite fully into pathos, acting as a breath of fresh air against the expected heavy use of ethos and logos in this scientific study. On top of the quoted experiences of these women, it also provides stats and two of the researchers involved are women with PhD’s. The material is quite expansive, but it first delves into the topic of under-diagnosis among autistic women and the struggles they face in that process. The bloggers then explore the reasons why women often are under-diagnosed, including the fact that boys made up the original sample size, having them present differently, and various biases, stereotypes, and social stigma often associated with the diagnosis process. It finally proceeds to describe common sentiments from interviewed late-diagnosed autistic women and showing their side of growing up undiagnosed. Horrifying effects are revealed, driving home the severity of the issue to the audience, elaborating that these women had far higher rates of anxiety, suicide, and depression. Yet, the women who are less likely to be diagnosed are not better off because they “don’t look autistic”, but rather are even more at risk of other mental disorders, and autistic people without intellectual disabilities are more likely to commit suicide as well. There are parts that can’t be covered here due to the sheer volume of text in the artifact, but what was mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg of this study.

Analysis of Second Artifact:

This artifact is a presented essay called “Why autism is often missed in women and girls”, being told by a young autistic woman named Kate Kahle on TED Talk. Due to being on the popular conference, TED Talk, the essay is intended for everyday individuals without a background in STEM or psychology, as it is short, easy to understand, and can be listened to for leisure, meant to be accessed by a very wide audience. Kate first starts by introducing the concept of through an anecdote of an instance in childhood where she was affected by her disorder, using it to move into her main talking points. She then attempts to debunk and explore misconceptions, such as clarifying that autism is a disorder from birth that can never be “grown out of”, as well as the fact that the autism spectrum is not a spectrum of “more autistic versus less autistic” but a series of varying symptoms. She then goes on to describe the act of masking, where an autistic person suppresses the traits of their disorder to blend in, describing the effort it takes to mask and the negative side-effects. This leads her into her final points, where she paints the picture of the disparity women have in terms of diagnosis relative to men due to the presence of high masking and other symptoms that present differently, presenting stats in addition of the high rate of anxiety and depression resulting from this. Her talking points primarily consist of ethos, which supports and leads into her use of logos. While logos is involved and commonly used to solidify her points and connect it to the broader world, it is ethos that is used as the foundation to build up her argument. Her points are meant to illustrate the experiences she had as a girl with undiagnosed in order to illustrate the effect this has on a child, using the details to affirm her right and ability to speak on these issues as a form of Ethos. This is a topic that is not widely understood and often misinterpreted, so the speaker knows to reaffirm her ability to speak on the issue before going into what the research shows before making it apparent she is not the only one who experiences this. By first setting up her argument with ethos, she simultaneously affirms her authority on the issue and expands on how the issue is truly a problem by relating her experiences to other women like her and informing the viewer of their struggles.

Comparison of Both Artifacts:

These two artifacts, while discussing same issue, are completely different in their approach. The first artifact is a written study that is tens of thousands of words long with dozens of sources, very much not intended for everyday readers and certainly not fit of leisure. The second artifact, by contrast, is a video of a spoken essay through a popular conference only a few minutes long. The video is intended for everyday audience without experience in the field of psychology, not designed to require a large deal of time or energy, posted through a popular platform towards a wide reaching audience. What’s more, the latter artifact spends a larger portion of its time using ethos. The speaker needs to spend a great deal establishing their authority on the issue at hand due to the platform and wide intended audience. Due to this, the speaker can’t simply expect the audience to accept what she says and needs to build up herself in order to build up their audience. In contrast, the first artifact’s authority is all but implied, at least to an everyday reader. While the researchers of the blog study listed dozens of sources and described the background, methods, and results of their study, the vast majority of the artifact was targeted towards outlining the facts of the study and the researchers did not have to defend their personal credentials to the same degree as in the TED Talk. Both artifacts relied on logos to illustrate their points, but the speaker in the second artifact necessitated establishing their personal authority through The blog study’s conditions allowed it be very thorough with their results, as it was intended to show the results of the research and could be revisited by interested readers later. In TED Talks, however, time is often highly constrained as to be listened to in just one sitting, even in the format of a video.


Both artifacts are informative and well put together, with the speaks being well researched and articulate in discussing the struggles of autistic women. Despite the completely distinct mediums, audiences, and modes, these highly educated women are able to shine a light on this highly troubling issue for their intended audiences. Whether it be among a select few of knowledgeable scholars or the wider consumer audience, these artifacts reveal that the goal of education can be done anywhere, through any means, when taught through passion and logical reasoning. The true magic of educating others is that not only the readers, but speakers as well, finish having learned more than before.

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I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

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