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Renieh Nabaty

ENG 3020-002
Prof. Christopher Susak
19 December 2016
Project 5
Signing up for this Intermediate Composition course I knew that I was getting myself into
a course that was going to be heavily researched based, and seeing as this course involved
completing my community service requirement for Honors 3000 I knew that I would somehow
be researching the community that were working in. As for my writing skills I thought that I had
my writing capabilities set. I assumed that because I have written many papers in the past that
my writing in this class was only going to get better and more effective, which it has, but this
course has opened me up to many new styles of writing that I had little to no experience in and
had no idea how to navigate, making it feel as if I had forgotten how to write essays. This course
was centered around the learning objectives since the beginning of the semester, and every
reading, assignment, project and paper related to these objectives. The objectives included;
reading, writing, research, reflection, and community. The one objective I have seen the most
improvement in over this semester has been my writing capabilities. I have improved in my
ability to write with out instruction or specific guidelines, I have learned to write a successful
literature review and my abilities to work collaboratively and write group essays is a skill that I
have improved upon the most.
One of the biggest aspects of the writing objective is the ability to use a flexible writing
process. The idea of a flexible writing process was one that I did not know how to approach
an is evident in the first project for this course and is one that I felt as if I struggled the most at.

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The instructions were somewhat ambiguous and, for some reason, difficult for me to
comprehend. I read the assignment prompt multiple times in hopes of determining the purpose of
the assignment and what was expected of me but could never completely figure it out. I wrote
my rough draft of the assignment and had it reviewed during office hours and it was then
explained to me why this assignment prompt was so ambiguous. As students we are so used to
being spoon fed directions on what to write and how to write it that this assignment allowed us
to take control of what we wanted to write about, that we were writing based on what we wanted
to write about. It is somewhat evident in my first project that I had little to know idea what to do
with that much power; my paper transitioned from describing community engagement to a bad
experience that I had at another non-profit organization in Detroit, to the negative viewpoints of
Detroit and lastly to my fears of volunteering at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. It seemed
as if the paper had no thesis or main focus point but somehow every topic interconnected. The
main principle obtained from project one was that the writing in this course will follow the
flexible wring process as mentioned before. To me, this means that instruction will be provided
but these instructions main purpose is to be thought provoking enough to complete the
assignment but still provide the student the opportunity to do it their own way. It means that
instead of being told exactly what is expected of my writing, I must determine what is worthy to
write about and state. This style of writing is one that I was not used to, but is now something
that I have come to appreciate and, surprisingly, prefer. I would not call myself a master at
writing but after facing the challenge of writing with out straight forward directions or outlines I
have become accustomed to being able to know what is expected of my writing with out being
directly told, which is a skill that I plan on carrying on through out my future courses and
learning opportunities.

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The research objective of this course says that we would be using research genres and
methods to do research for not only ourselves but also for our professional community
partners. This means that, unlike other courses, the research that is conducted and found is
meant to benefit other people, not ourselves, other than just to complete the assignment. This
small part of the research objective means that we no longer were doing research that would only
be used for our own purposes but now the research that we find could potential alter the way a
large non-profit organization runs. The objective is to do research with the audience in mind, a
topic that was ingrained in almost every assignment completed. This objective is seen quite
evidently in my part of the group literature review for project three of this course. I took the skill
of writing research terms from the knowledge base and used it to find useful scholarly sources
for Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. These two sources, after reading and summarizing them,
will provide the organization with two different plans on how to increase their external
communication between themselves and the public. The research I found and reviewed for the
literature review will be tremendously useful for the organization if utilized. As for me I gained
significant amounts of research and reading skills along with the satisfaction of knowing that I
potentially impacted the way an organization works. One of the major things I had to learn
during the process of writing the literature review was being impartial while summarizing and
explaining the research I had found. I actually struggled to avoid analyzing the sources and their
plans potential effectiveness and was consistently reminded that the purpose of the literature
review was not to analyze the scholarly articles ideas but rather restate them, determine their
usefulness for the assignment and to compare them to other resources found. Thus, through the
learning objective of research I learned how to complete proper research, and how to conduct
and write about research that benefits the audience first, before it benefits me.

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To summarize the course learning objective on community, as a class we collaboratively
worked with the community and used our newly obtained academic skills to complete
community-based projects. But, we not only collaboratively worked with the Detroit Rescue
Mission Ministries we also worked collaboratively as a class in order to complete these projects.
The community learning objective was the focal point of all our assignments and thus, it made
sense for us to work collaboratively as a group to complete them. Each member of the site teams
noticed different aspects of the organization while they were there and thus in order to provide
the best analysis, it would be ideal to work collaboratively. Working collaboratively meant that
every member was tasked to complete an aspect, provide input on anything that needed changes,
and share ideas with the rest of the group in order to better the assignment and ultimately, our
community organization. This learning objective can be best seen in project two were as a group
we analyzed different aspects that we all noticed needed improvement in the organization. As a
group we conferenced, wrote contracts, kept meeting minutes and wrote in layers in order to
accomplish the main goal of the project for our community partners. Basically, we formed our
own community in the class that collaborated in order to improve our community organization in
Detroit. It was incredibly important that we worked collaboratively both as a classmates and as
volunteers at the Detroit Rescues Mission Ministries. If we had not worked together to complete
these community based assignments, the organization would not only had a less effective
analysis but they also would have had to go through about 25 different papers that each focused
on something different. The collaborative worked allowed us to develop each others ideas and
put our own input into each one. I have learned that working as a group and collaboratively does
not mean that one can slack of, rather more effort will actually need to be put in in order to
understand other group members and utilize their ideas.

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This English course was like no other. I never thought that I would have to be put in
charge of my own learning and writing with in an intermediate composition course that
participated in doing community based participatory research. Through the learning objectives I
have learned how to properly do research that not only benefits myself but could be beneficial to
my intended audience. I have learned how to collaboratively work with other group members in
order to complete the intended projects and the benefits of collaborative work compared to
individual work. This course has not only changed the way I write and approach research but it
has also opened my eyes to a whole new area of study and potential careers that I never
considered being a part of.