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Comment [J1]: Need last name and page number
Comment [J2]: No self assessment?
A Glimpse of Retrospection and Foresight
We are essentially halfway through this crash-course now and looking back we can see the trail carved behind us; the words we have written etched into the ground. Yet when we turn to look forward we can see forever. Before us there are infinite possibilities and a vast horizon. At some point some of us may turn towards the left in our paths, others right, and some may keep forging forward. We all will continue to head into the future with our stories engraved in our shadows, and we must all tackle the same objective that looms before us: the midter paper. A paper that will make us look at our footsteps m and describe the process that has brought us where we stand and also make us wonder where our , journeys to tomorrow and the days after will take us to.
Over the short amount of time that we have been meeting together we have been challenged to attempt different styles of writing weekly. To try and broaden our comfort zone of writing. Unfortunately I have barely stepped outside of my shell, only endeavoring to try different methods of composing a formal essay. I have experimented with amore intra-personal standpoint in my essays than I normally use as I was taught in high school to never speak to the reader. I never couldagree with this point. I feel as if you lose the opportunity for the reader to superimpose themselves into your position orventure at putting themselves in your shoes. In one of my earlier writing pieces I also tried to play with my levels of description. Some authors are very skilled with the way they can describe a scene, almost painting a picture in the readers head. Now when I look back at my previous works in which I tried to be descriptive, but I don t find myself very gifted in that department.
Comment [J3]: Read this aloud
It would be nice to have more specifics in this paragraph, some examples to help illustrate your point.
Inversely it almost seems I am better off with trying to make the reader think. Pushing them to read into the subject and create correlations between the concept presented and other ideas. These are the main things that I have noticed in my recent pieces that differ greatly from my standard writing format.
Comment [J4]: Is this a new para? Comment [J5]: Read this aloud Again, can you give a specific example of how you ve don t this?
As for the actual composition of my works I do not find myself comfortable enough with communicating to strive at expressing my notions in any style other than that of a formal essay. While I might not write in the standard format of Opening paragraph, definable thesis here, three body paragraphs, and conclusion I do not stray very far from that format either. Instead my style doesn t eventruly define a thesis in the opening paragraph which I find myself very distressed about. Instead it , attempts to open a thought process within the reader in which they might agree with or sympathize with my thoughts. I then proceed to build paragraphs as you would in an other essay. Each paragraph y being a definite stand-alone thought process or elaborated thought based off of the concepts presented in previous paragraphs.
Comment [J6]: Read this aloud to see if it sounds like you want
Now in my style of writing there are things which I find quite problematic: namely that I do not define a thesis in my openingparagraph andthe ability to keep the reader s attention When it comes to the opening paragraph many readers are looking specificallyfor the thesis statement to understand what the paper is about. So understandably they become lostbecause, as I have already stated, I do not define one. This has led me to worry that some readers will not know what to expect throughout the paper. If this happens then the original hook that grabbed their attention quickly wears off and the reader loses interest in the paper. This brings me to my second point as I do not feel I can efficiently keep the reader s attention throughout the entirety of my paper. Some people state that my papers are presented too scholarly and are hard to follow, and we all know that if your target audience does not even finish the paper then you have failed completely .
Comment [J8]: Then why not just include a thesis statement to guide your reader? Comment [J7]: I ll stop marking these weirdly shoved together words
Now, putting the way I write my papers and my worries aside, we look instead to standards I and the course had set for those works to meet. In the beginning of this adventure we had to ask ourselves what we wanted to learn. We had to ask what we wanted to gain for our composition skills through the class time together. I myself merely wanted to bolster the level of my papers, not to change the way I wrote them or constructed them. I wanted to have a better sense of what needed to be done with my papers, and to have a better understanding of words I used. Those were my goals; the hurdles placed by me at the start. The course goals on the other hand seemed to be more geared towards the advancement of my own literacy as a person; to build on the confidence we already held and present us to the world as more sophisticated people than we were before. In both respects I can say that I feel like I am advancing down the marked path, but the speedI am moving at I cannot place. However, I feel like the tinkering I have done in my writingshas given me an idea of what I wanted to know. It became possible to learn what I searched for because the chains and shackles of the defined formats we had impressed into us in our earlier schooling experienceswere torn asunder.
Another thing I believe that has been, and is, imperative to our continuous growth towards these goals is the criticism we receive from having peer workshops. I myself could look at my paper over and over and not be able to find any problems in it. It s like a mime m imicking another mime. However when another person analyzes your work the flaws beco so much more apparent because they have me a differing thought process. Going with the analogy of the mime again say a mime was to mimic a person he passed on the street. The person in turn would the become extremely conscious of their n actions and attempt to change anything that seemed out of place or unusual. The peer workshops and analysis of our peers works really gives us a boost and well needed hints to creating the perfect work.
Comment [J9]: That s from a writer s standpoint. What s it like to be a reader in PW?
I really enjoy having peer workshop with my group. It shows me what different styles of writing exist and how other people write their papers.Dillan for example, one of my peer workshop members, has an extremely good vocabulary and is very good at keep his sentences short and concise. I feel like ing looking at his papers gives me a better sense of mine. Dixie andNicole are also very descriptive with their papers and make me wonder where I could add more adjectives or descriptive phrases. The best part though is when we pass the papers around though as we did in the first peer workshop and then analyze each other s works. This brings out even the most miniscule errors in one s paper, again helping to create a greater work then possible by one s self.
Comment [J11]: Nichole Comment [J10]: Dylan
With all of these ideas, criticisms, and techniques in tow, we have begun to theorize and create our inquiry papers. Originally my inquiry paper had beenon a very broad scope of questions such as How is one influenced by the writings and readings the analyze in their early days? and How is one s y literacy formed? Eventually though I began to realize how hard it would be to write about such a large field of questions, so I narrowed it down. My new question is that of How is one s written literacy formed? Is it emergent or is it genetic? In a simplistic explanation however what my question is asking is when we are young do we learn how to write and understand writing as a necessity and based on text surrounding us? Or do we simply pick up the language as a genetic understanding? This is the argument of emergent literacy versus genetic literacy. With this idea I hope to realize the way a child learns to understand, write, and read. Once I have this answer I will have a necessary clue to the other q uestions that dance in my brain. Questions such as How is the existence of literacy defined or What are the effects on a person s written literacy based on their sources of learning?
Looking back on all of this it feels like I have crossed thousands of miles, swam treacherous waters, and braved enormous mountains. Yet when I look fo rward I realize that we are only halfway, and even then our journey is not over. It is merely a parting place from where we will say goodbye to
our traveling companions and begin a new travel. In this sense one must wonder when ourroaming is over. Do we ever stop pioneering forth? No, of course not. After all life itself is aadventure.
Comment [J12]: Like who?
You adopt a very interesting tone in this paper and combine it with this travel analogy. I m glad that you are playing with language in this way and that you ar giving yourself a chance to experiment with e what s effective or not. If you chose to include this paper in your portfolio, we can talk more about these aspects of your paper.
As for content, I can see that you have incorporated some of the ideas we tal ed about in our k group conference, which makes for a richer paper. As a reader I often felt like you were too general or esoteric in your discussion here and craved more concrete examples of what you were writing about. I also got distracted a bit by some of your phrasing. So as you look at this again, read the paper aloud to yourself and see if it has the desired effect.