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Jingran (David) Mu

Professor Marie Webb

Ling 12

June 5th, 2019

Self-Study Reflection

As I go through the course of Linguistic 12 in the University of California, Santa Barbara,

I learned more and more about writing, more importantly, I learned several writing techniques

through self-studying the book named Language Power. When students are learning in classes,

not only is it important to learn from the lectures given by the professor, but it is also vital to

learn through self-studying course materials such as Language Power. In the Linguistic 12

course taught by Professor Marie Webb, she offered us an opportunity to learn how to learn by

ourselves through working on Language Power and correcting our own papers with practiced

given by the textbook. Throughout the course of a year, working on 4 different tutorial

assignments and correcting my own papers on different subjects every time, I have learned

many things, especially writing my papers in better grammars.

My very first tutorial assignment, which is a tutorial chosen by myself, is how to fix wordy

sentences. As an international student who is learning English as my second language, I always

have the problem of having wordy sentences that does not present my ideas clearly. Therefore,

I chose to learn how to fix this problem by myself, using my writing project one as a practice

material. Writing sentences that are concise and clearly present my ideas is challenging, so I

started by reading Language Power’s examples of how to shorten sentences. Through self-

learning, I noticed that I have a problem of repeating the same ideas that are already presented
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too many times, and this may have been a habit of mine since high school, so I edited my paper

focusing on sentences that I have repeated myself twice in two consecutive sentences. For

example, I wrote “Part of the reason why there is a stereo type thinking Asians are good at

math, is because while many of the U.S. elementary is teaching addition and subtraction, the

Chinese elementary has already moved on to fractions. The Chinese elementary education tend

to be ahead of most of the U.S. elementary, and so students are also stressed”, and after reading

about wordy sentences, I noticed that both of those sentences can be shortened because they

both present similar ideas. After my editing following the steps given by Language Power

tutorials, the sentences became “Different from elementary in the United States, where kids are

mainly playing around and having the time of their lives, Chinese elementary education really

puts pressure on kids and force them to study. Part of the reason why there is a stereo type

thinking Asians are good at math, is because while many of the U.S. elementary is teaching

addition and subtraction, the Chinese elementary has already moved on to fractions.” Even

though the sentences seemed longer, I made the sentences into two separate sentences that

presents two different ideas and connecting them with some transitions.