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Horner 1 Devin Horner Prof. Jan Rieman English 1101X March 22, 2010 Did I Do This Right?

When it comes down to writing a paper and you cannot decide which “process” to use, it is not just a step-by-step list you can look up on Google to write the most amazing paper ever. It is more of a complicated, annoying procedure that has neither occurred in the same format as your previous paper, but will never happen in future writings either. Yes, there are sources to help one along in writing, but it is always up to the composer to choose the right steps and writing techniques that fits him/her best to successfully get through their work. Chapter one of Min-Zhan Lu and Bruce Horner’s book, “Writing Conventions” gives some good outlines and ideas on the starting points of writing and getting over writing speed bumps and obstacles with the use of general composing strategies: some being known and obvious, while others less talked about but could be very helpful to a specific person. How do I start this paper? Where do I go after I do, finally, get started? Just a few questions one asks him/herself when sitting down to write a paper. And next, to make things worse, when a good idea may pop up in your mind, it turns into something horrible once put to work. When Lu and Horner go into this, they point out that there is not just one specific writing style, and for the same in writing steps to getting started: they aren’t the same for everybody, for each person does not think the same. Chapter 1 gives an example by describing two different college students assigned the same paper. Both

Horner 2 students went straight to writing down their strategies they wanted to use; but these did not remain the same. One student, Bill, couldn’t move on with his original ideas and kept going back and forth in his process as he broadened his knowledge about the subject. He would come to a new point, and figure out that some of his own personal experiences and other perspectives could get him further, and from then changed his whole writing process for his paper. Lu and Horner call this “pose  repose”. A strategy is posed at the beginning but may be reposed as writing rolls on. This will also occur when the dreaded writer’s block kicks in. Writing speed bumps are hated, and get the best of every writer. You plainly don't know what should come next, or can’t get that “perfect word” off the tip of your tongue. Without any knowledge of some writing techniques, a person could be stuck for a long time, but Lu and Horner give some great composing strategies to get on with your writing, or even avoid these problems in the first place. Some well-known actions discussed are practicing the simple prewriting and brainstorming: exercises that originally get thoughts flowing. These could help you glide through your writing piece, or can be looked back upon for forgotten ideas. Drafting, also known as revising, is a great way to get back in focus. By going back to edit what has already been written you can get back on track with your paper. Lastly, though not usually done unless told so, getting help and advice from another person is almost one of the best things you can do. Receiving input from somebody else can quickly get you over the speed bumps, and help with your paper in a whole. With the knowledge of some of Lu and Horner’s composing strategies, one can more easily surpass writing blocks. Chapter one in “Writing Conventions” explains that writing processes vary not

Horner 3 only from paper to paper but inside the paper as well, for writing is always sloppy until finished. Many times it is difficult to maintain one single process because of the unhelpful writing blocks, that you need to use the “pose  repose” technique in order to move on, or even getting started in a whole. Also, taking advantage of Lu and Horner’s very helpful composing strategies such as brainstorming and drafting will strengthen your feelings about your writing piece and defeat the ugly writing obstacles.

Horner 4 Self-Assessment My first draft was more of direct points. So, a high priority I had in this draft was to add good explanations of what I thought were the chapters’ key points. Also, I needed to tie everything together. I feel I did a pretty good job of doing this and think my paper has a nice even flow. My major concern after reading it the last time before submitting this draft is if I need more personal beliefs and examples of the way I write to get my main idea more efficiently explained. The new paper editing exercise presented for this paper was not helpful to me. Peer workshop with at least two people other than myself reading it is most effective for me. Usually in my writing, the first or second draft is where I don't know what else there is to write and two or more persons’ insights help me a whole lot.

Devin, It’s helpful to hear this detailed account of the work that you did with this essay. I also appreciate the feedback about the guided workshop. You do a good job here or showing how you understand Lu and Horner’s chapter, just as you recognize in your self-assessment. Your idea about weaving in how what they say relates to your own writing practice is a great idea, and you should do this in revision. If you decide to include this in your portfolio, you do not need to adhere to the word limit of the original assignment. In addition , what I’d encourage you to work on in revision is polishing your piece be spending more time with your sentence-level revisions. I’ve highlighted several areas.