As a student, I write for many reasons. The purpose is the reason why my thoughts are made. When we discussed a transition from five-paragraph writing to an actual development of thoughts without any real format, I realized that this course was a larger effort than I previously thought.
I realized coming into college that my writing was not necessarily bad by any means, but instead extremely uninteresting. After leaving the public secondary education system, I thought that I had a strong foundation in writing, which I did, but it did not hit me until the first week of my writing class that I was a “formulaic” writer. I would follow the typical five-paragraph essay format that I had been given since eighth grade and wring it out until it was dry. After getting every drop of the benefits of a typical five-paragraph essay, I panicked after stepping into college and thought that my writing process would only have to change by suspending my thoughts over time and sentences, allowing single thoughts to melt onto the page line after line. For some reason throughout the years, I thought that I could distract my teachers from my weakness, but this ploy eventually ruined me, and if anything, this suspension of my thought did nothing but accentuate my faults.
At this start of the semester, I had set my mind on achieving several goals. I had set three goals for myself that consisted of working on my grammar errors, procrastination in writing papers, and fixing small mistakes that easily can be fixed. In order to achieve my goals, I had to plan to reach them. During the semester, I had several difficulties writing English assignments especially in terms of grammar. The first week of the semester, I sat down, organized my thoughts and comprehended that throughout the semester, I had to achieve all that I had planned for. As a student of English, I had planned that throughout the semester, I had to improve my skills as a scholar, writer, and critical thinker.
As for fixing my grammar errors, I have been going to the writing lab at the library to have some else easily find errors that I may have not seen myself. To reach my second goal which was to not procrastinate on writing papers, I set schedules for myself as soon as I get a due date for a paper. This way I have time to write multiple rough drafts and make my papers the best they can be. My last goal was to edit my papers more. To do this I asked my friends to read my essays and edit them after I had gone through them multiple times and corrected any errors present. Overall, I believe I met all three of my goals throughout this I have gone through all the steps I set in order to accomplish these goals. As the semester went on, I began to set a new goal to work on tone throughout the papers I wrote, and I am still working towards fixing that in my writing.
These first two assignments were very difficult at first because I wasn’t quite sure what to write or even how to write an analysis. I tried reading the samples we were given and that helped, but what made it possible for me to write the narrative was going through the writing process step by step. I sat down and eventually came up with an idea centered around using the opinions of my friends and family. Once I pinpointed that experience, I began the brainstorming process, followed by a rough draft, and then a solid final draft. The first part of that assignment wasn’t too hard. My real struggle happened when I began trying to expand the short narrative into a full-length essay. It was very difficult for me to elaborate without adding “fluff” to the essay.
In the first essay that I wrote this semester, I learned quite a few largely-important points about writing. Before this class, I knew very little about any writing method. The first essay taught me the incredible importance of a thesis. Without a thesis, a paper cannot accomplish anything; it becomes nothing more than rambling nonsense. Another important thing that the first essay taught me was comma placement. I have always struggled with comma placement. This essay helped me to understand it a lot more than I previously did.
The second essay that I have written for this class, the oral history essay, was my favorite essay this semester. I believe that this essay was a major turning point for me in my abilities as a writer. While working on this essay I learned the power of ‘showing’ through words, instead of ‘telling.’ This essay also helped me to increase my knowledge of punctuation use. In many of my previous essays, (in high school) I over-used the semicolon.
I am now able to utilize descriptive words in my writings that can create a scenic imagination to the reader. I believe that these are very critical skills that will help me throughout my entire course and even after my studies. Throughout the semester, I have gained the skills necessary for understanding and utilizing logic while writing. I am now aware that for any writing to be scholarly, it must possess an introductory section, a body, and a conclusion section. Further, I am now able to understand as well as utilize most of the basic techniques useful in pre-writing, revision and editing.
This semester has broadened my learning skills, approaches, and strategies. My expectations were to develop effective communication and writing skills needed in my day-to-day life, besides effective learning strategies and approaches. I believe that my expectations have been attained because I have developed productive communication and learning skills that will help me succeed as a student in higher education. The learning styles and practices, academic and communication practices have helped me develop competency in my education and it is my expectation these activities will help in my continuation throughout college.
Initially, I thought the course was taxing, but I came to realize that with determination and interest, the course is as interesting and exciting as any other. This course has helped me to develop improved professional attributes. I must admit that the activities involved in the course have been resourceful and developed my confidence. My skills are broadened and morale towards the attainment of my goals boosted.