Adams 1 Margery Adams Dr.

Jan Reiman English 1101x 21 March 2010 Reinstating the Rules of Writing When you are in middle school, you are taught that to develop a well written paper, you need an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. They called it the five paragraph essay. Paper after paper, teachers asked you to use this set up, criticizing your work if you strayed from the guidelines. From sixth grade to my junior year, I used this form of writing. After taking some English classes in college though, I have come to realize that this little bit of information is far from the truth. In chapter one of Writing Conventions by Min-Zhan Lu and Bruce Horner, they explain why it is not necessary to complete a written paper in a certain format, or in the correct order. Instead, they say writing is a process and that there is no single correct process that can be applied to constructing a paper. This reading asked me to challenge everything I was taught in middle school on writing. They say you will use different ways you think are helpful, as you write different papers. Lu and Horner also discuss how crucial rough drafts are. It is important to save every paper, and not go in and make corrections on the original draft. Making corrections on the original draft can erase information that may have been helpful. It is important to be able to see the progress in your work, so you can see how far your paper has come, how your original ideas blossomed, and it may give you ideas you missed early on, that you can now include in your final draft.

Adams 2 I agree with the majority of what Lu and Horner say. There are no set steps you should take when writing. Lu and Horner use the thesis statement as an example; you do not have to come up with a thesis statement first, during, or last. Many people create a thesis statement, then try and fit their paper within those parameters. But wouldn’t it be so much easier to write your draft, and then come up with a thesis statement that fits your whole paper. When I sit down to write, I just type out what first comes into my head, and to be honest, it usually is not that good. But after I play around, finish the paragraph, go add an introduction, and jazz it up a little, it doesn’t come out too shabby. If you follow a strict set of rules as you write a paper, I do not see how you would ever be able to get your thoughts down. Lu and Horner stress the importance of finding a strategy that works well for you each time you write. They state that when you are faced with the question of what to do, you should "use others advice and your own experiences to pose possible models for your composing process and re-pose-compose an actual course of writing." They talk about many different writing processes in chapter one, and one topic, the importance of peer editing, we have done many times in class. It is good to have a fresh eye look over a paper you have written. This new perspective will give you insight to what you have forgotten, where your grammar has faulted, and places in your paper that make utterly no sense. Peer editing help us "compose" and "re-compose" by using thoughts from our peers. This chapter has taught me how to develop new strategies and reiterated the importance of revising our peer’s papers. I know now that papers do not need to be written in a specific order, no matter how you were taught in sixth grade.

When you turn in your final paper, please write a self-assessment, where you note what you have revised, what you still feel needs work and where you’d like me to pay special attention to your work. The more insight and information you can give me about your paper, the more I will be able to help guide you in revising it. I found this paper very difficult to write. The chapter itself was hard for me to read, so I struggled with putting what I thought about it onto paper. My final draft is very different than my original draft. I have gone into more detail on different subjects. I have also included more quotes and things from chapter one. I still feel like my paper could be stronger. I just really find it hard to write a paper you are not interested in. I feel like there are some places where I might stray off topic, or not really make sense, so I would ask you to pay attention to that for me.

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