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Nick Leising Ms. Ingram English 1103 December 1, 2012 Reflection On The Evolution Of My Writing This reflection essay is primarily to show how the various assignments I have completed in 1103 have affected my writing development over the semester. It is organized to best show how I have evolved throughout my work. My experience this semester was almost like an evolution, which is the theme I was going for. The Blogger, daily entries, and Annotated Bibliography, were the first part, or the learning areas. Next was the adaptation, which consisted of the WILTBY Essay, Three-Sided Essay, Midterm, and process work. Finally were the Research Essay and the responses, which were the final stages of the process. I think the best way to start my reflection of this semester is with the Blogger Assignment. It was a very good way for me to wrap my head around each assignment that we used it for. It helped me to answer questions that steered me in the right direction. For example, I developed my WILTBY (Whats It Like To Be You) Essay inquiry question while completing the first blog entry. The questions asked in the blog prompt where very useful in getting me started and organizing my work in order to reach a final product. They were starting points that made the assignment more clear and helped me begin to develop a completed piece of work. I put this first because it really was the starting point for most of the bigger assignments. It was like the first stage in the evolution. It didnt have too much substance to it, but it gave enough to build off of.

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The daily entries were good ways of just getting me to write more, especially informally. I saw them as ways of improving how much I could get down on paper since they all had fairly loose requirements. For example, the longest daily entry I wrote was about my year so afar and how I would spend my winter break. It allowed me to write about something only I could answer. It was a way to sum up how I felt without worrying about other peoples opinions. I just wrote until time was up. There wasnt much to it besides helping myself look at what I had done so far, as well as relieve a little stress by looking ahead to the break. Like the others, it wasnt just about writing as best as possible, but getting as much down as possible. These daily entries were quick writing assignments that allowed me to get a little better at word quantity in writing. The Annotated Bibliography was good in that it helped me to better understand the sources and how to use them. It summed up the information that I would be using, which laid it out in a useable way. It kind of simplified the information I wanted to use. The Annotated Bibliography and daily entries were placed here because, while they were at the beginning stages of my work, they were also at the point where my writing started to evolve. It helped me understand my topic, the health effects of traveling, by looking at who was talking about that subject and their opinions on it. They were the starting point at which I had to apply what I was learning in order to improve. I think one of the most important pieces of work this year was the WILTBY Essay. First of all it was the first big English assignment of the semester. It was a re-entry into writing papers after not having written much since high school. However, it wasnt just returning to writing, it was also a learning experience. It was interesting what I actually found out about myself. I

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hadnt really thought much about what it was actually like to be me until writing this. I actually came out of my shell a bit in order to write this. To really show what it is like to be me, I had to open up more than I was comfortable with normally. I had to talk about how I am generally a negative and pessimistic person. I opened up about my homosexual cousin, which I hadnt talked about much with anyone before. And best of all, I found out how much my life actually revolved around family. It was a great way to become a little more open with my informal writing while finding out more about myself. The Three-Sided Essay allowed me to actually apply the sources from my bibliography by writing from three different viewpoints. The most important of those were students looking into study abroad programs. This was good for two reasons. I found out more about something I myself have interest in as well as led to something I could use in my research paper. I also had to use the sources from my annotated bibliography in order to find credible evidence to support my points. It was difficult to find three different viewpoints to use, which turned out for the best. It let me attempt to write in a way I wasnt used to. Again, this helped me open up by forcing me to do something I hadnt done before. The Midterm was a pretty interesting assignment. This was a good way for me to measure myself at that point in the semester. It was almost more of an informal assignment since it was a letter written to a friend. I used that in order to write to my friend Tyler, who recently left for basic training for the army. It allowed for me to write about what I had done in a different way. I could use examples from my past that he was involved in to personalize the essay. It forced me to write from a slightly different perspective which was a positive thing. It

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just took me out of my comfort zone a little, which allowed for my writing to develop more. It also just let me sum up where I was at and what I had done. Process work was a nice midway point for each assignment. It showed what was done well and what needed changes. They were good evaluations of work at the current stage as well as how to improve in later stages. The positives and negatives can be looked at here in order to make a better finished product. It is a guiding material for the writer to make improvements. The WILTBY Essay, Three-Sided Essay, Midterm, and process work were next because of their role in actually applying everything I had learned. This was where I had to adapt to the new styles by using the skills I had learned previously. They were the middle section, where my knowledge began to be applied. The responses helped boost the quality of each assignment. They come from different perspectives than just the author, so unseen errors can be discovered. These responses improve the writing by showing what may have been missed previously. One of the more helpful ones was when Lauren, one of my group members, explained that she thought I was using an example from a Christian point of view was a false generalization of Americans. However, since I am actually an Atheist, I wasnt trying to assume that all Americans were like me, I was just using an example. It did shed some light on how my intentions could be incorrect because of not thinking it through. Responses like this helped me improve my work throughout the semester. They are good for polishing the work in order for the final product to be as good as possible. The research paper was the final assignment that really brought everything together. It took everything from the semester (mostly the Annotated Bib and Three-Sided) and put it

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together in an argumentative essay. It was an application of the openness and quantity from the WILTBY Essay and daily entries as well as the formal writing techniques and use of sources from the Annotated and Three-Sided. It was a culmination of everything from the previous work in order to argue an audience in my favor. The essay also required a counter argument, which meant I had to look at why I may be wrong. This was the first time I had done this before, so it was a bit of a learning experience. I couldnt just talk about how I thought everyone should travel because of all the benefits. I had to also show the reasons why someone wouldnt want to travel and explain why I disagreed with them. The research essay was very good in that it showed me how to use counter arguments as well as apply sources in order to make a point. It was the finalization of everything learned. I would like to add a paper I wrote for engineering to show how all of the lessons came together. While it was for engineering, the paper wasnt extremely formal because it was about me and what I want to do. I was still using the ideas picked up on in 1103. We even had to have a peer review the paper in order to make improvements. It seemed like a good essay to show how everything from class has come together by using a paper that wasnt even written in class. Using the ideas from English I was able to create a well written essay (which I ended up making a 100 on). Everything I have done this semester has changed how I approach writing both in the first draft and the following final drafts. It has changed the way I write by helping me write more and make the writing show more quality. A lot of this comes from how much I put into the course. While I could have done a better job getting my work done ahead of time, I still put in effort when I finally did it. I think the amount I learned along with how much I put in deserves

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a low A in the class. I feel that I showed improvement and a fair amount of quality throughout the semester. From the Blogger Assignments to the Research Essay, everything I have done this year is a little different and has, in some way, improved my writing.