You are on page 1of 6

John Iannacone

UWRT 1102

April 17, 2017

Final Reflection

Last semester I completed the course University Writing 1101 with several goals

that I wished to improve on and or complete by the end of the year after completing

University Writing 1102. These goals were to improve my grammatical skills, learn new

ways of creating outlines for works of literature, become more versed in group work

assignments and figure out how important writing is for my chosen career path. “My

parents have always held me at a high standard in school and as such I have pushed

myself to succeed.” After my first semester much of these goals remained the same for

this class. This was because I knew that although my skills had grown, I felt that I was

still not at the level that was needed to be successful in my college career. Being an

electrical engineering major, I felt that much of my time was going to be spent on

research of labs and other hands on work. This turned out not to be the case, as an

integral part of engineering is knowing how to write.

Beginning the year, I was required to take a course entitled Electrical Engineering

Technology 1201 which was an introductory course to engineering technology. To my

surprise one of the biggest aspects of this class was writing assignments. For the

beginning of the semester I struggled in finding the words needed for these

assignments as the topics themselves were not of great interest to me and tended to be

very long. As the semester went on though, I found that with the assistance of
University Writing, skills began to grow and sentences began to flow with more ease.

My papers and project write-ups became increasingly easier and was able to get my

work done sooner to give myself time to review. Soon after I began to see my grades

rise in the course and was able to successfully pass a class that can be considered one

of the hardest courses to get through.

By the time I reached this semester and began University Writing 1102, I found

that many of the problems I once faced were not as much of an issue as they were

before. The times that I saw the most error were at times when I rushed through

assignments or drifted off when writing. The ways I was able to combat this major issue

was to once written, if time was available, let the assignment sit, then a few days later

reread what was written while saying it out loud. By doing this I was able to catch some

simple errors that otherwise, I would not have seen. Other times I found that another

great way to fix errors is to let a friend of family member review the work that was done.

By doing this they might be able to see some errors that you were not able to or even

give advice on how something could be worded better. Although I must admit I did this

very few times, I still feel that it is a great way to receive constructive criticism before it

is actually graded by the professor.

Throughout this course we have had many different assignments, most of which

tie into the inquiry project that is a significant portion of the grade. For it we were

required to brainstorm, come up with a multitude of questions, create an annotated

bibliography among other things. For the major paper of the assignment we had to
have a topic to discuss. Mine being How did Steve Jobs make Apple innovative, and

how has planned obsolescence affected the company today? This topic has always

been of great interest to me as I am studying engineering specifically the electronics

side of it. Here is an exert from one of my drafts of the inquiry paper that gives an idea

of what my focus was on, “What really is innovation? Is it the demand to make a new

product or to make improvements to an old “model”? The answer is complicated but it

is based around taking an item that already exists, redesigning it to be more user

friendly, to upgrade it with the latest technology, and then selling the idea to the public.

The question posed is in regards to how Steve Jobs made the company innovative in

his time as CEO.” Although this quote does not represent every idea posed, it does give

a good idea of what the reader can expect to see later on in the paper. Later in this

inquiry paper, I began to compare innovation and planned obsolescence directly and the

following quote represents this, Innovation and planned obsolescence are closely tied

together and affect Apple directly. “For the years that Jobs was with the company, many

innovative products such as the Apple I, Apple II, iPod, iPhone, the iPad, and the

MacBook line became a reality. The products fulfilled Steve’s wants by not being

average.” By the end of the paper I solidified my argument and was able to make the

case that Apple has indeed lost the way of innovation and that planned obsolescence

has had a profound effect.

“My main goal for this course is to grow my knowledge of writing, learn new skills for the

topic, and finally apply these to create better works of writing in the future. The other

reason is simply that for engineering although many may feel that it is not that
important, writing is a very useful skill to have and in many cases is a necessity to

succeed in the workplace.” At the beginning of the semester, my goals were quite

simple. Follow the ideas represented in the above quote and in doing so will be able to

succeed in my intended goals. That being said, a lot more goes into truly succeeding in

the course. This is because if you simply follow the motions, you may get the intended

grade, but the learning aspect will not be accomplished. “English or writing courses

have never been a strong suit of mine. Over time though with practice I have realized

my potential and have continuously improved my writing skills.” I feel that for me I have

improved most in creating proper outlines for my work as well as having a better flow

within assignments. I do feel that I am least proud of grammatical errors. I feel that

most of it is simply caused by a lack of attention to detail on my part and as such is

something that I need to work on for future reference.

During University Writing 1102, we had a set of student learning objectives. They

were as follows, rhetorical knowledge, critical reading, composing process, knowledge

of conventions and critical reflection. A great example of rhetorical knowledge are the

peer review letters that we had to complete. These letters show how other people’s

views on the subject for the inquiry project gave insight on where improvements could

be made as well as the positive aspects of what we had already written. For critical

reading, the assignment that stuck out to me the most was the reading entitled boredom

analysis. Within the article we were required to analyze what it was saying in a written

assignment. Here we were able to give our own thoughts on the reading and elaborate

on our peer’s thoughts. The composing process is a very important step in any
assignment as it is where various information is gathered to be able to form a draft. The

greatest example of this was the topic proposal that was completed back in February.

Within this assignment we were required to set out our ideas of the inquiry project and

give a brief overview of what the paper would encompass. The next part of the process

is knowledge of conventions. For this the best example is in fact the inquiry paper. This

paper required that grammar be properly executed to give a proper flow and to simply

be up to par with college level writing. Once a first draft was completed, we had to peer

review other student’s papers to give them helpful feedback on flow and grammatical

correctness. Last but not least, critical reflection is an important student learning

objective. The e-portfolio is a prime example of this topic. This is because it is a

reflection of the work of the entire semester. We the students had to throughout the

course collect our assignments and as time went on fit them into the e-portfolio to show

our progress as a writer.

This semester has overall been greatly beneficial to me and my future career as

an engineer. As was stated earlier, you never realized how much writing is really

involved with engineering until you begin the degree path. Gaining knowledge to be

more grammatically correct, have a better flow, and become a better writer overall. I

have had struggles along the way but with help from the professor, friends, and family I

have been able to fix my mistakes and be able to recognize them in the future. I am by

no means a perfect writer but I will say that with hard work and determination I have

become a better writer in University Writing 1102.