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Matt Hiles

Professor McCampbell
English 101
14 December, 2015

The Inevitable Flow Of Time Will Wash Away Any Remants Of My Suffering: A Reflective Essay

My semester in English 101 was an incredibly rewarding experience. Entering the

course with little interest in reading, the class not only made reading and research fun again, but
restored the inner passion for reading and writing that initially drove me to become an English
teacher. This burst of inspiration led to me taking much more of an interest in my academic
papers, leading me to look internally and discover much more about my strengths and
weaknesses as a writer. As the class continued, my once sloppy and unrevised writing style has
refined into a much more academic approach, allowing me to catch many of the initial errors
that used to hinder my papers. Through the development of more thorough habits, defining clear
goals for the course, and making an effort to analyze my writing style,
I have managed to grow as a writer both in approach and technicality.
Proper scheduling for my essays has improved both my grades and my peace of mind.
When the semester first started, I attempted to compose all of my written work the night before it
was due. While I still managed to get As with this approach, it often left me feeling panicked and
worried that I was going to fail the assessment due to a lack of focus. Because of this, I often
wrote very hastily and with a cynical approach in my writing. I soon came to realize that writing
through emotion eliminated the possibility of writing papers from a non bias perspective, causing
me to search for new habits to fuel my writing. I developed a system: Two days are devoted to
developing a topic for the paper and gathering research, two days are devoted to developing a

first draft and writing the bibliography, and the rest of the allotted time is devoted to revision.
Dividing time spent writing in this way is not only much less pressure inducing, but also allows
me to be less distracted while working due to the fact that I feel less intimidated by the
These habits were critical to me achieving my goals of getting an A in English 101,
eliminating all errors in my MLA formatting, and doing well enough that my teacher would allow
me to use her as a recommendation for the honors program. Setting these goals defined the
way I approached writing for the semester. I had to work diligently and with intent to keep each
of these goals in a state where they were capable of being accomplished. Ive managed up until
this point to maintain my A in the course. Without this grade, I may be at risk of losing potential
scholarships related to academia in the future. I want to be the best student possible, and a
critical part of that involves maintaining a perfect GPA. This drove me to spend more time
working on each assignment. My time on essays went from a single nights work to a full
semesters. My papers required much less time in editing because of that as well. I used to rely
heavily on the writing center for help with proper formatting of my papers. However, by the end
of the course, I was able to edit and create papers without editing errors entirely by my own
devices. This caught the attention of Professor McCampbell, who did recommend that I sign up
for the writing program.
My writing skills have improved throughout the semester by switching my focus in writing
from my emotions towards a topic to analysis and statistics. When the course first started, I
often phrased things based off of my emotions. This led to my papers often being written in a
stream of consciousness, as I would write as though I was talking to an individual. By analyzing
my writing style, I was able to pick out these flaws and work to rephrase my papers. Paragraphs
that were once tangents on my opinions towards a topic became statistically backed arguments
that proved my point; sentences that often ran together were now less verbose and to the point.