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Cassandra Morand

Professor Latchman
English 105
April 2016
Reflective Essay
Honestly, writing has always been my weakest point in school. I have never been fond of
writing. If I had a writing assignment that was due for class, I would always do the bare
minimum to get the desired grade. I would have loved to go above and beyond but I never knew
how when it came to writing. I feel like I have all of these amazing thoughts but I do not know
how to put them down on paper in an effective manner. I also think in a random way so when I
do attempt to put my thoughts down on paper, it just looks confusing and disorganized. I think
the reason I have this dislike for writing is because I have to do it for a grade. People are
basically judging your work. I think writing is very subjective because a student may have put all
this time and effort into a paper and think that it is the best work they have ever done just to get a
C on the paper. That can be such a discouragement. However, since I have come to Howard I
think I have grown as a writer and I have found that what I like writing most about is usually
science related which I think is due to the fact that I am a biology major.
When I first arrived at Howard, I was still writing with a high school mindset instead of a
college one. I was still set on the essay with a three body paragraph, an introduction, a three
pronged thesis and a conclusion. I had a huge wakeup call when I received my first C on an
essay. I honestly thought I did a really good job on that essay too, and I worked extremely hard

on it. That literally brought me to tears and I thought I was going to fail the class. But I could not
let one bad grade discourage me for the whole semester so I went to my professors office hours
and went to the writing center to try and improve my writing. Thankfully he gave us a chance to
redo our essays and I took his advice and ended up receiving an A on my paper. When it comes
to writing I like to think about what Martin Luther King Junior once said, darkness cannot drive
out darkness: only light can do that. This quote helps me to stay positive and to keep striving. If
I am stuck in a writing rut, I have to find a way to get out by thinking optimistically. That is what
helped me receive an A on that paper.
A huge component of writing to me is communication; however, school teaches us that
the most important thing about writing- the very essence of writing- is accuracy, not the
communication of something meaningful. Sheeran and Barnes suggested that schools fostered
specific genres of writing that were not present in the world outside school, and therefore were of
limited relevance in becoming a writer. That is why many students dread writing school
assignments like essays. I know for me, writing was never my strong point and I always hated
the fact that teachers had to judge my writing based on grammar and organization and not on
what I was trying to communicate; it was really frustrating. I would much rather write a biology
or chemistry lab report and then communicate to others the results or findings on what I had just
experimented on. That is what I am passionate about; however, I feel like I have to pretend that I
am passionate about some other topic in order to receive a good grade on an English paper.
Writing does not only involve school activities, but also out of school activities too like
rapping or poetry that applies to students lives. Schools should incorporate that into their
curriculum. Although one of our arguments throughout the book is that school writing needs to
connect with out-of-school writing in order to embrace the universe of discourse (Moffett

1968/1983), we need to consider school writing (Sheeran and Barnes 1991) again, and in
particular the place and function that writing has in schooling. Teenagers get their sources of
inspiration from their reality rather than books and then communicate it through others ways than
writing, like poetry, plays and songs. If schools were to incorporate this information into their
curriculums, then students would definitely enjoy writing and expressing their thoughts more.
My time here at Howard has taught me that in life, you will not always be given
assignments that you like. You might be given an assignment that you may think is completely
irrelevant to you and has you questioning what is the purpose of this work. For example, I was
once given an assignment on the difference between academic and critical writing. First of all, I
had never really heard these terms before and I did not really even know what they meant. And
since I had never heard of these terms, I obviously did not need them in my academic career so I
thought this assignment was irrelevant to me. However, I have learned that you still have to do it
no matter how much you want to complain about it or how much it seems like it does not matter.
Also, this semester we read Habits of the Creative Mind and it told us that when doing
research or working on an assignment, you need to find all the information about that topic and
to somehow get creative with it; make it interesting for yourself. I would always do the bare
minimum just in order to get what I need. However, I learned that if I actually try my best and
find as much information as I can beforehand, it makes writing the essay or doing an assignment
much easier and much faster.
Overall, I think I have grown as a writer since my time here at Howard University. I have
gained an appreciation for writing and have realized that it is not that bad. I used to always dread

writing assignments but now I understand that I am going to have to write in life and that it is
okay if you do not like, but I just have to keep a positive attitude.