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Alvin Khambay Professor Rieman English 1101 28 February 2010 ³College Writing´ When I first entered the small, cozy classroom of Fretwell 223, I felt a strange feeling that I had not felt since I was in high school. As everyone entered and the teacher sat down we introduced ourselves. It was unlike any other college class that I had taken. Now midterms are almost here. Spring break is closing in. Yet, I feel that I have more to learn in this class. There is so much to writing I have not learned and there is also so much that I have learned. Different writing practices, my comfort zone in writing, my challenges I have faced, and my progress of accomplishing my goals are all valuable pieces of information that I have slowly discovered in this class. As I further my development in my own writing process I will learn what the ³college writing´ is all about. In high school we learned many reading and writing practices, but in college it is more in depth on those topics. In this course, so far, I have learned how to take notes. Pfft, easy enough. I already learned how to take notes throughout grade school. I have also developed a habit for reverse underling; which is a very interesting concept. Reverse underling does the opposite of underling. Instead of highlight the important parts of reading, a person should highlight details that are occasionally looked over. It helps keep the reader from habitually scanning for the main idea. Also in my reading practices, I slow down my reading as to not rush over the minor details
that could maybe piece together an answer to a question of mine. As for my writing practices, I came to the conclusion that there are different ways to express through my ideas. It could come from expressing my words by looking at a picture, reading an essay, or even just imagination. I have figured out that each task given to us was not meant to be busy work or anything extremely hard. The work given to us was meant to be used for our writing development. As I walk into a classroom, that is as small as ours, I settled into my comfort zone. The small class environment was how all of my grade school years were like. I knew everybody in the class and they knew me. It is the same way for my writing. I have slowly learned a lot of writing styles and practices throughout my schooling and I feel comfortable in them. When I learn new styles of writing, like I have this semester, I get a little nervous. I wonder if I can do well in a new style, what will the reader think as they read my paper, and I question myself about if I really can adapt to a new style of writing. Luckily for me I haven¶t had many difficulties with these new writing practices introduced to me. For example, the daybook is a great way to convey my thoughts about random prompts and also to keep me from writing in one type of style. There is also the interpretation of Anyon¶s essay that made me realize that others works can help me fit into my comfort level and achieve my goals. The last practice of writing that we have learned in class, which has slowly adapted to my comfort zone, is the evaluations. The peer evaluations, or peer workshops, have helped me learn how others write. It also helps for others to look at my writings and critique them from a totally different writing perspective from my own. The self evaluations have showed me that I do need to revise my papers more often. I judge my strengths and weaknesses from what I have learned from the peer workshops and myself as a writer. Then I learn from it.
As a writer, I¶m still trying to learn as much as I can. Although many writing practices that I have learned this semester adapted to my comfort zone, I still feel like I¶m in a rut sometimes. I could revise and reread an essay of mine a million times over and still overlook something; whether it would be a run-on sentence or grammatical errors. It goes the same for the papers that I produce outside of class. Usually I rush the papers, because writing is such a tedious task. Then when I get the papers back I look at it and most times there are the dreaded red marks. I usually have trouble with the grammatical errors, sentence structure, and switching writing styles from the daily tasks of writing. Anyon¶s paper was challenging because it tested my understanding of all those ideas. This paper is also challenging, but still has the same concepts that I struggle with in many of my papers; grammatical errors, sentence structure, and different writing styles. It also takes a different approach from the usual research papers. Instead of a regular self evaluation, it takes it and expands it into a whole essay of my strengths, weaknesses, and goals. That is a challenging concept, because the one who wrote the paper, also has to figure out what they are having problems with. As the writer they see nothing wrong, but others see mistakes from their point of view. Just thinking about makes me shudder a little, but it is necessary in order for me to achieve my set goals. Through all the reading and writing practices, my comfort zone on these practices, and my challenges in these practices, I feel accomplished. I have learned how to use reading and writing for a purpose and a meaning. I have learned how to write in various ways that I would not normally do. I have learned how to make thoughtful writing decisions. And I have learned to accept that I will not become a great writer by tomorrow because of academic writing¶s complexity. Although I feel accomplished now, I still have other goals to finish; especially my main goal of becoming a better writer. Therefore, this accomplishment will last only until I set
my next goal. Taking notes on how to take notes helped me understand that as a reader I can¶t just read and skim. That style of laziness takes away from what a reader need to learn from the text, and I have strayed away from that style recently. The day book has helped me write in various styles that I would never regularly write in. I wrote abstractly and critically in the daybook. As I wrote in class and outside of class, I learned how to make good writing decisions and slowly perceived that writing is not all bad. It is just not as exciting as other subjects to me, but helps me to critically think. Personally, I hope to achieve the rest of the course goals before semester¶s end. It is still only the first half of the semester. I have a long way to go before I have accomplished my long-term goals. Of course, I don¶t plan to actually reach the end of the cycle because I will keep setting goals to get better. I will learn more reading practices. I will study other writing practices. There are things out there that will challenge me, but I will become familiar with them and gradually slip into my comfort zone. This is only the first year of my ³college writing´ and I have three more years of college. This is just the beginning of my writing process and I expect to experience the rest.
Self Reflection From my first paper I did the same setup as I done in Anyon¶s Critical Interpretation. The ideas do not wander away from the point I try to get across. I have reduced my sentence structure so it would not stretch on forever. I have read and reread my essay several times to check grammatical errors. I have also tried to have my ideas more in detail. I also believe that I have not strayed as much as I have in past essays. Although I have read over my essay, I feel as though some parts just do not sound write. For example, when I talk about my comfort zone it doesn¶t seem as solid as I would like. That being said I don¶t know how to word it so it could actually make sense. In paragraph three and four where I describe my comfort zone and goals, I feel as though it is still not in its complete form. Maybe look at those two more in depth. Look to see if it flows with the rest of the essay and also I would like to know if I overuse common words. I would like to see those two paragraphs look at more closely as well as the rest of the paper being looked at in the same manner, but not as closely.
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