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Since the beginning of this assignment I think I have come a long way. It took me a while to think about myself as a writer before this course started, how to organize this paper and what examples I would like to use from my past writings to reflect on my writing pieces and what goals I have for the rest of the semester. Brainstorming helped me a bit to figure out exactly what I wanted the meaning of this paper to be. Looking at my completed work, I am content with how it turned out. I think I effectively portrayed how I have grown as a reader and a writer since this course has started and where I hope to go with the rest of the semester. I do think I still have a few weaknesses, such as proof reading and possibly how this paper is organized. If I had more time to spend on this paper I would might try to change my wording to have the content be more engaging than it is, and I would also keep checking for punctuation problems as this is one of my weaknesses with writing. While starting this assignment I thought for an extended period of time about myself as a reader and writer before I came into this course. I remembered my difficulties in years past and how frustrating it was to deal with them. I knew how to write a decent paper, and even knew how to research properly, but I never really challenged myself to go out of my comfort zone with
Bradt2 writing. As for being a reader, I would avoid any article if I could not understand the meaning of the first paragraph the very first time I read it. Now having challenged myself in both these areas I feel looking back I could see myself changing. I came into this course knowing the goals of the class and having set goals for myself. Throughout high school I did well writing papers and interpreting texts we read in class, but when I came to this course I knew that I wanted to work more on my writing skills and take the time to look in depth at the texts we read as a class to have a full understanding of the meaning. My goal for this midterm reflection paper is to find out what I have done well and what I still need to work on as a reader and writer, in hopes that I can polish my skills. Each writing assignment we have done in, and outside, of class has shed a new light for me on who I am as a writer. I particularly enjoy the Writing to Explore pieces I have found that the prompts that we are given are not topics I would typically write about. Not only does this challenge me to look deeper into a topic and to use the skills I do have to convey an idea, but some of the assignments force me to look at myself and the skills I need to work on. While looking at each of the writing to explore pieces I have completed I have noticed that it may be time to try to write in a different style, instead of the same five paragraph essay style everyone was taught in middle school. Also, each of the writing to explore pieces has made me recognize something about myself. The writing to explore piece I completed after keeping a writing log for seven days revealed how much writing I actually do on a daily basis without even sometimes thinking about it. The Sponsors of Literacy essay was also an interesting assignment for not only me, but I think the entire class each one of us had to explore our past and decide what institutions or individuals motivated us as a reader and writer. The most interesting aspect about this was that
Bradt3 everyone had very different experiences. I found, looking back, that reading did not come easily to me. I had to work extra hard compared to others. Most of the reading so far in this course has been challenging for me. The essay by Deborah Brandt, “Sponsors of Literacy”, was one of the more challenging essays I have read. I learned while reading that essay that sometimes you have to re-read paragraphs and take notes to comprehend the message of the essay. The next essay we read called “Intertextuality and The Discourse Community” was a bit less challenging for me, because I re-read almost every paragraph and took plenty of notes on it. The essay by Malcolm X, Learning to Read, was not as challenging for me. The vocabulary was easier for me to understand, and the essay itself was very interesting because it was about a public figure I recognized and have taken interest in. In this sense I feel I have my personal goals for improving my reading skills, along with meeting the goals of the class and the ones we created for our classroom culture document. For example, one of the goals of our class is to use one reading and its meaning as a critical lens for another text because of the more challenging readings we have done it has forced me to understand and apply one idea from that reading to understand another because the readings we do for class all relate to each other in some way. I have also become more aware of the practices I use as a reader and writer this happened while working on the writing to explore piece writers on writing. In high school I noticed that I did not have to take many notes on texts I read, and never really forced myself to do any preplanning for a writing assignment. Since I have been here, and as a part of my personal goals, I have started to take more time before I sit down to do a writing assignment to figure out what the
Bradt4 goals of the assignment are, any initial ideas I have that I can use, and to find any sources that may help to answer my prompt. Essentially, I have gotten myself into a habit of creating an outline for all of my papers. This helps to make me feel more comfortable when I do begin to write a paper, because it prevents me from getting nervous about writing and I have all my ideas already organized for myself. Peer workshop has also been helpful to me; it helps to read everyone else’s paper and to give them constructive criticism while receiving it too. My peers in my writing group have helped point out my weaknesses they see in my papers, such as my frequent punctuation mistakes, and also my strong points. Because they not only point out my weaknesses but my strong parts too, I feel comfortable letting my peers in class read my pieces. In the past I have never really liked anyone else but the teacher to read my works in the past because I have felt self-conscious of my writing skills. When it comes to writing I only feel challenged when I have to proof read, which some students think that is the easiest part of writing a paper. I have never been good with using punctuation. This is another one of my goals to work on when I came into this course. So far, I believe that I have made myself more aware about using grammar in my papers I am not sure if my skills in this area have improved but it will be something I will continue to work on. I feel confident looking ahead to the rest of the semester and for my inquiry paper. Before we began researching I decided that I wanted to research the effect of location or different styles of schooling on the literacy levels of students. It was a bit hard for me to come up with a topic to research because I was not exactly sure if my idea applied to the task. I have always been
Bradt5 interested in the effects of something in particular on a person, so I thought this would be a good place to start. After going to the library and doing a bit of research on my own my inquiry question has not changed too much. I believe I will focus a large part of my paper on the literacy levels of students attending urban schools, and why there may be a difference in the literacy levels of these students. Additionally, I would like to continue to research how these issues can be fixed. Although I have not begun my paper I feel as if I have already met some of the goals of this class with that particular assignment, such as the one listed on the general syllabus for this course, “to conduct sound and engaging academic research about writing.” I feel as if I have chosen an interesting topic that will keep my interest for the duration of the assignment. I am now committed to researching this topic in depth and while doing that have a full understanding of what I am learning about. Currently, I have some sources to use for my paper that provide good insight on the equality gap in education in different locations, although I have some good sources to use I still feel that I need to continue doing more research to be able to effectively write my inquiry paper. Looking back over the first half of the semester and the work I have done in this class has showed me who I am as a reader and writer. I have learned new practices of reading and writing that have helped further my skills in those areas, and I will also continue to put an effort into refining those skills. Looking ahead I hope to continue to be aware of my weaknesses in these areas. I also hope, by the time I am done researching for my inquiry paper, that I answer my inquiry question in depth and have a full understanding of this topic that I have been wondering about. I feel confident that as this course continues that I will come out of it being a better reader
Bradt6 and writer, and to have learned what college professors are expecting out of me as a reader and writer.
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