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Mar 1

Cameron Mar
Professor Haas
Writing 37
7 December 2014
During the Fall Quarter of 2014, I took Intensive Writing, more widely known as Writing
37. I didnt know what exactly to expect when I walked into this class because I knew that I was
placed in the class because I wasnt proficient in English, but I also wasnt incapable of creating
well-written pieces. Once I entered the classroom, Professor Haas laid out the rules for the
classroom and gave the class the grade contract, which we needed to abide by to earn at least a B
in the class. Next we focused on The Habits of Mind: Curiosity, Openness, Engagement,
Creativity, Persistence, Responsibility, Flexibility, and Metacognition. These concepts are the
foundation of this class. We were always encouraged to exercise these habits whenever we
wrote or presented.
This class has helped me learn how to analyze the detective genre and its context.
Reading these detective stories has taught me how to identify genres now. I have read four
Sherlock Holmes stories where many aspects of the genre repeat themselves like how the case is
always solved by Holmes and it was always explained to me by the end. The fact that I was
engaged in the book was a huge reason I actually read these stories. This will help me in the
future when I need to identify genres when I just look for repetition of similar elements in
different books. I also learned from the oral and visual presentations that I should never put
words behind me when I talk. I should only use pictures because it allows my audience to listen
to me rather than focusing on the words on the screen.

Mar 2

I had and still have trouble reading scholarly texts. When I was assigned to read certain
texts for homework, I tried to just read through them once. I would read a paragraph and I
couldnt remember any of it. It took extreme concentration and a lot of rereading for me to be
capable of discussing the texts in class. I think it would be more beneficial to me if I read the text
over several sessions in order to digest the material. Reading the whole chapter at once was
probably one of the reasons why I couldnt remember everything. When I read the texts
repeatedly, I became an expert on the subject. I should have taken responsibility for my inability
to remember everything after one go by reading every text repeatedly. I have looked over the
chapter Doyle in Leroy Paneks An Introduction to the Detective Story and a couple other texts
several times and I think I am well-versed in their content. Because I used them for my Literature
Review and my Rhetorical Analysis essays, I was forced to review them many times. My
understanding of texts I have only read through once, such as Nils Claussons Fin-de-Siecle,
are extremely poor though. I dont really know what this article is about even though I read it a
few weeks ago.
I have learned very little from this class about academic writing. I already knew how to
write to a scholarly audience, but my skills as a writer prevent me from actually creating essays
that cater to a scholarly audience. I always knew that these academic essays required an objective
voice and that using first person is not acceptable. I also knew that each body paragraph should
have a topic sentence usually followed up by a quote in order to state what the paragraph is about
and then begin analysis without wasting time. I have learned that there is no longer a thesis. It is
now called a controlling idea where I should synthesize my ideas into one, so I can write my
essay based on the one idea. I wasnt open to this idea at first. I even wrote a thesis that I learned
to write in high school, but I learned soon after that I needed to adapt to the situation and accept

Mar 3

the controlling idea as my new thesis. I have never been good at writing conclusions, but the
prompts helped me learn how to write one. The Literature Review conclusion section gave me
step-by-step instructions on how I should write the conclusion, which is basically to restate my
controlling idea and then make a statement about the genre and how it developed.
I rewrote the whole Literature Review essay because my controlling idea was poorly put
together. The passage I chose was the introduction because it contained ideas that didnt
particularly pertain to my new controlling idea. I revised how I directed the essay. I made sure to
funnel all the ideas I had before into one idea: why the Sherlock Holmes stories were popular. I
also rewrote the general statements I made about the authors I used to ensure it was clear to my
audience what their books were about. Before I wasnt clear enough about why I would even
pick the book since I didnt write anything about the texts. Then I rewrote the controlling idea
from a vague topic based on the conventions of the detective genre to a focused idea onto one
core convention.
I revised the second paragraph of my Rhetorical Analysis essay the most because it
seemed to have the most faults in it. I needed to make the paragraph more concise and clear to
the reader because it was a long mess of summary and analysis that needed to be cleaned up. I
had spent a good amount of time in my essay summarizing Watsons jog through the city, which
isnt as relevant as I originally thought it was before, so I removed two sentences about her jog. I
also clarified myself throughout the paragraph by being more specific about whose point of view
is used in each point of view shot. There were also some grammar errors I had to correct
throughout the paragraph. Since the time I wrote my Literature Review essay, I knew I was
improving as a writer. Even if this essay wasnt perfect, I could see the improvement because of
the fact that I didnt have to rewrite the whole thing.

Mar 4

I never knew that peer reviewing another paper improved my own writing. This idea had
piqued my curiosity when it was uttered in class. An article called To give is better than to
receive stated how giving feedback is more beneficial than to receive it. I didnt believe it, but I
realize it is much better to learn from others mistakes so I dont make the same ones. I had
actually learned more from the reviews I received on my Literature Review though. I think it
could have been because I didnt know how to write the essay in the first place, but I found
reviewing Vishalis and Jesuss papers didnt improve my own writing at all. Their mistakes
didnt pertain to how I could have improved my paper. They organized their essays well and I
couldnt figure out how I could apply their ability to organize their thoughts to my own essay. I
still persist in trying to improve my organization skills though. It is one of my biggest weak
points, so I will always try to patch it up.
I have learned that collaboration is very important in life. Being capable of working with
others is essential in real life. For all of my presentations and wikis, the work was usually
divided evenly, but if there was anything extra that needed to be done, I made sure to step up. I
found it important that each group has a leader who will lead and do whatever is necessary for
the success of the group. I had to step up several times by presenting material by myself because
I was usually the bravest. I also made sure to extend my film elements wiki presentation by
adding an extra term and finishing the analysis for the scene. I can definitely use these skills in
the future to be the favorite of my bosses. I will be coding in my future where collaboration will
happen no matter what, so I need to apply the leadership skills I gained from collaboration in my
future job. I can also use the skill I have to just do the work that needs to be done for the success
of the team.

Mar 5

The most challenging topics for me was paraphrasing and summarizing to understand a
text, pronoun types and cases, and semicolons. I knew how to paraphrase and summarize, but my
reading is quite poor, so when I read over the passages, I couldnt tell which one was
paraphrased and which one was summarized. This one probably took me the longest to complete
out of all the Connect assignments but I persisted in trying to finish it. I would do poorly on
pronouns because I wouldnt know whether to say he or his. I couldnt figure out which one
would work in the sentences. I have never used semicolons before in my writing, so this
assignment was pretty tough. I knew where to put semicolons when a writer wants to separate
two independent clauses, but I didnt know where to use them in any other case. I have gotten
much better at using in-text citations. I was never really sure if the parenthetical reference went
before the period or not and this cleared up my confusion. I recharged the pronoun assignment
and the integration of sources in text assignment. I thought I did well on the integration of
sources, but I recharged anyways since I didnt do too well on it before. I do think I have a very
good understanding of it though.
I think the most important lessons I can take from this class is the collaboration aspect.
As stated before, I am a coder and so I need to collaborate with others. I can take my experiences
in this class of being in a group and bring that into my future job. I have also learned to take my
time when reading. I need to realize that I am not a good reader and that I need to take my time
when reading especially if I am reading a more difficult piece. I definitely should be more open
to changing my ways to adapt to the situation at hand like when I reread the texts in order to
understand them. I will continue to work on adapting to my situation and staying open to new
things even if I dont necessarily like it.