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Newton Campbell

Lecturer Eric Meljac

English 111.1

November 3, 2004

Writing Improvement

In the beginning of this class, I came in with the same amateur writing style that I used in

high school. This consisted of doing the paper the night before, usually making only one draft,

and barely ever revising the paper. But I decided that when I came to college, my writing style

would improve. My writing style has improved greatly over the course of this semester. I now

begin my papers about a week ahead of time. I also usually make at least two drafts and revise

them twice.

This class has taught me a great deal about clarity. Back in high school, I would try to

impress the teacher by using big words and extremely long, unclear sentences. With the help of

the Styles book, I learned that a good writer tries to make his or her text clear for the reader

instead of trying to impress him or her. Clear writing has had a major impact on how well my

papers turn out to be written. There is no point in trying to impress someone if you are only

going to confuse them.

The best thing about my new style of writing is my ability to complete the assignment

that I am given and make good points while doing it. I try to make good points without making

the writing too biased. In an effort to make the reader think, I give evenhanded opinions in a

clear form. I try to complete assignments by going over the questions of the assignment both

before and after I have written the paper. If there are any questions left unanswered, I will most

likely start an entirely new paragraph and try to elaborate on my ideas.

The fourth and last thing that I think that I have improved on is my paragraph flow. The

way my paragraphs flow in my writings is not yet perfect, but I have improved on it. I now try to

let one idea bounce off of the previous one. One can easily tell that, in my writings, the first few

sentences of one paragraph usually match the last few sentences of the previous paragraph. I

have, in my opinion, become exceptionally good at trying to do this. This is a good way to help

make your writing clear.

Certain aspects of my writing style still need improvement. For example, one of my

biggest problems is not elaborating on my ideas. Usually when I make a good point, I do not

explain my point in order to persuade the reader. I think that I do this because I feel that some of

my points are self-explanatory while others may not comprehend exactly what it is that I mean.

This was one of my biggest problems in high school and I still have not improved on it.

Another one of my writing weaknesses is the way that I create my introductions and

conclusions. Usually, when I make them, I find myself just trying to fill space on the page. When

I actually get to the body of the work, it is not hard for me to spew out information. But when I

have to get back to the conclusion, I stop. I think that I have trouble finding one main idea that

summarizes all of the ideas that I put into the text. This may be due to the fact that the ideas

contained in the body of the text, as well as they seem to flow together, are too different to


The last of the biggest problems in my writing that I see is that it is usually too wordy. I

use too many small words to describe something instead of using one big word. I can change this

by using higher diction and combining certain grammatical phrases. I also need to work on my

vocabulary and read more. I have noticed that reading can help a lot when one is trying to write a
paper. Reading can help a writer to not only use higher diction, but to use better grammar and

learn how to combine ideas. A writer reading helps a writer to write.