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Emily Parnell

Dr. Cook
Writing Across the Curriculum
8 December 2014
Reflections on Writing
For as long as I can remember I have loved to write. From stories to essays,
writing has been enjoyable and enlightening. The beginning of this course helped me to
discover why I have loved writing so much. I believe that I enjoy writing because it is
very revealing about my own thoughts and emotions. When I write short stories, or other
creative pieces, I find myself writing about my own hopes and dreams, and the conflict
within the story is in some way parallel to the conflicts within my own life. When I do
more professional writing, I tend to focus on issues that are important to me. Often I am
not even aware that I am feeling these emotions, or that I have such strong convictions,
until I see them written down. I was aware of how I expressed myself through writing
before, but by discussing the writing process throughout this course, I have become more
familiar with the fine details of how this writing comes to be.
I like to think of my writing as a tree. It has certainly grown over time, from my
elementary school stories, riddled with grammatical errors and simple sentence structure,
to what it is today, which hopefully sounds eloquent and intellectual. Unfortunately, the
tree of my creative writing is currently in the midst of winter, with few leaves clinging to
its branches. I have not felt proud of any creative pieces that I have written in years,
which I consider to be one of my greatest weaknesses as a writer.

What my creative writing lacks, my analytical writing usually makes up for in
full. Since high school I have been practicing writing essays analyzing literature, poetry,
history, even certain aspects of the sciences. One type of analytical essay that I am
familiar with is the rhetorical analysis, like the essay we had to write about the Wall
Street Journal articles. Honestly though, if my rhetorical analysis was a tree, its leaves
would be falling. I had to write countless rhetorical analyses my junior year of high
school, using in depth discussions of a wide variety of rhetorical devices; with the Wall
Street Journal analysis, we were only asked to discuss ethos, logos, and pathos, in a very
broad sense. I felt quite lost while writing that paper, with nothing specific to hone in on,
and I’m afraid that my ability to write rhetorical analyses is dwindling.
Despite the difficulties I faced in writing the rhetorical analysis, by far the most
challenging piece assigned in this course was the collaborative proposal. It seemed as
though I had nothing in common with the people in my group, and we all had different
writing styles and work ethics. We were supposed to be writing within our chosen
disciplines, but most of us had to make extreme compromises to be able to form a
coherent paper. For example, my group was supposed to have a common interest of
biology, which would be fine except for the fact that two of us, myself included, are not
even part of the biology department at Appalachian, and all of our concentrations are
completely dissimilar. This forced us to write our proposal on a fairly broad topic, which
none of us had any prior knowledge on, and which none of us were especially interested
in. I believe that in writing within a discipline it is important to focus on a specific subject
in order to be able to provide as many details as accurately as possible about a subject
that the author is genuinely interested in. It is my greatest hope that in the future any

collaborative writing I do in my discipline will be with colleagues who have very closely
related interests, so that we can all contribute whole-heartedly in order to achieve a
common goal.
The collaborative proposal could not have been done without the use of
technology. Technology aids writing in so many ways, although some would say that it
hinders writing in other aspects. I am very appreciative of the tools that are readily
available to help my writing, such as email, internet, and writing programs such as Word,
but I don’t think they necessarily affect my writing style. For instance, many people
believe that the language used in texting and emailing is detrimental to formal writing. I
tend to disagree. I am currently writing this reflection much as I would an email to a
professor, which I intend to sound informal but still polite and intelligent. As for the type
of writing used in texting and instant messaging, it is very easy to differentiate the proper
time and place to use such techniques, and more importantly, when not to. As long as one
uses proper discretion, technology can open a new world of writing resources.
Out of my entire portfolio I believe that my writing self-analysis best reflects my
writing self. The way that I wrote the paper reflects my love of creative writing, while
maintaining a serious, analytical style. I definitely learned the most about myself from
this piece. Before then I had never paid much thought to the evolution of my writing. I
realize now that it is important to be aware of all that you have learned over the years to
best be able to fix your mistakes, or continue what was done well. Knowing what I do
now about my writing, I look forward to writing both for class, my profession, and fun in
the future.