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Jocelyn Hernandez

English 101

Professor Batty

24 May 2017

Reflection Essay:

Most things I learned this semester were actually refreshers of what we learned in English

28. Nonetheless, we went over some of the same concepts in the book They Say, I Say but

more in depth. I think it is crucial to reiterate some topics because it is so easy to make mistakes

on the easiest concepts. This semester we did three different essays; we wrote a visual rhetoric,

ethnographic, and literary analysis essay. The visual rhetoric essay was an essay we wrote

interpreting a mural. I learned that there are many elements to an image. We learned about this

through the book showed in class called, Picture This How a Picture Works by Molly Bang. This

book taught us about visual concepts; how color, size, positioning and many other things

contribute to the message of a picture. I used this information to interpret a mural in a Hispanic

community and through this assignment I learned that the mural had a deeper purpose and that it

is also open to interpretation. The ethnographic essay was most likely my favorite essay to write.

It was my first time writing this type of essay. What we did for this essay was choose a place in a

Hispanic community and write about its secondary purpose. We used the short story, A Clean

Well Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway, this story talked about a cafe that a blind, older man

went to, however to him it meant much more than just a place to eat and drink. This means that

the place had a secondary purpose. For my assignment I went to Olvera Street to try and find a

secondary purpose it might have on its community. I came to find so many meaningful things

about Olvera Street and some of the other meanings it has on the members of its community
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other than a market place. My favorite thing about an ethnography is that you learn so much

about culture. Finally the literary analysis essay was based on a character analysis that we did on

the novel, Still Water Saints, by Alex Espinoza. This had an interesting twist because as opposed

to a regular character analysis we had to choose a character from the book and describe how they

portrayed saint like qualities. Prior to this I had never done a character analysis. Some struggles I

had writing this essay was finding good sources to support my points while meeting the grading

criteria. This highlights one of the most important things I learned in English 101 this semester,

which is how to find great sources. Before learning how to use the library source data or a goggle

scholar, I would simply use a regular google search which can make the task very difficult

because of how many results it gives you. The library source data makes finding scholarly

articles so much easier and you are ensured that they are credible articles. Through all of these

essays I improved my critical thinking, reading and writing. One of the things that we constantly

went over was how to make quote sandwiches. It is something that I think I have learned to do

very well but it is also one of those things that I find myself constantly checking the handout to

make sure I did it right. It is very important to integrate a quote correctly because if you do not

than it can look very awkward in your essay and can detract from your essay if not given enough

commentary. As I learned the semester it is not really about the quote it is more about what you

say. That is why you can add Meta commentary to make sure that what you are trying to say is

understood even if you are being repetitive. Another thing I find myself constantly making

mistakes on even though I have done it numerous of times is the works cited. There is a

difference between a work cited and a bibliography. I thought that they were just two different

titles you could use. I now know that a work cited page is used to address the sources you used in

your essay, and a bibliography is used to show all the sources you looked at while writing your
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essay even if you did not use them. I also learned good strategies for editing my papers. One of

my favorites is reading your paper out loud. This helps you catch your own small mistakes and

helps prevent making small grammar errors that could lower your score.

This class helped me realize things about myself as a writer. I used to think of myself as a really

bad writer because in other classes I would really struggle when given an essay. I now realize

that I am not a bad writer, I just lacked key information to help me write a good essay. I hope to

keep improving on simplifying the essay writing process. I want to be able to write an essay in

the most efficient way possible. I realized that I have many ideas but it is extremely hard to

structure them. I will continue to use an outline for essays that require more research. I also want

to improve on revisions. In the future I want to be able to revise my own essays, be able to point

out mistakes in my thesis and in how I analyze my quotes and introduce them. I will be able to

use all the information I learned about essay writing in not only English but every subject I take.