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Amanda Mailloux Dr. Rieman English 1103 October 12, 2010 Reminiscing on the Past and Planning for the Future This paper has allowed me to look back and see the work I have done throughout this semester. This has been helpful for me because it allows me to see my strengths and weaknesses in writing and also has shown me where I would like to improve in my writing. I also talked about what I plan to write about in the future and what things I would like to learn by the end of this course. In writing this paper, I wish I had more time to re-examine my “Writing to Explore” pieces so I would be able to talk more about their impact on my writing style. Although I was not able to do this, I think that I have written a good paper because I have revised it two times and have added things that my conference group suggested I add. At the beginning of this semester, I assumed that this English class was going to be like all of the other English classes that I had taken in high school. There would be a lot of reading and writing about topics that the teacher would choose, and I would try to complete each assignment as accurately as possible to get a good grade. What I was not expecting was to learn a new approach to how I write and find different ways to think about how I learned to read and write. The Sponsors of Literacy paper and presentation that we did has helped me learn to think about my literacy history. Before this assignment, I never really thought about how I learned to read and write; it was just something that I did without thinking about. Now whenever I write a paper, I think about all of the people who helped me learn how to write and all of the papers I
have written to get me to this point in my writing career. Thinking about this showed me why I write a certain way and has allowed me to start to think of new ways to write papers. This will help me in the future because I want to be able to learn how to write many forms of papers, not just standard essay papers. Another thing the Sponsors of Literacy paper has helped me learn is that writing is a process. In past years, most of my English papers have had a specific due date and we did not get the chance to revise our papers after we had turned them in. With this paper, I was able to see comments that Dr. Rieman wrote about my paper and I have a chance to revise it before I turn it in for a final grade. This will help my writing process because it allows me to see the areas that I struggle with and will help me learn to fix those errors. Academic texts have also been another important part of this course. Reading these texts has allowed me to see writing at a professional level and learn to find a way to read this writing that will help me understand what it is trying to say. One text that we read was Porter’s “Intertextuality and Discourse Community.” This text was difficult to read because it was hard for me to find a clear meaning of what the author was saying. I had to read and reread many parts of this article because I found it challenging to understand the concept of intertextuality. After reading this article a few times, I was able to understand what the author meant and I learned a lot about writing and the idea of plagiarism. Also, writing talk-backs about the articles has provided me with an understanding of what the article is saying and allows me to see what other people thought of the article too. Reading these articles will help me become a better writer for the next part of this course. Our “Writing to Explore” pieces have also been influential in helping me to become a better writer. These pieces allow me to explore different styles of writing that I am not used to
writing in. There are also a wide variety of topics to write about which makes it fun to pick something new to write about every week. Additionally, these topics have a focus but they are also open-ended which allows me to expand upon the the topic and bring up different points about the topic. One topic that I particularly liked was “Home Language.” This topic focused on writing about the different types of languages used at home and with your friends, but I also expanded mine to include why my language changes and gave examples to go with the explanations. This made the piece a little more personal and gave me a lot more to talk about. Another thing that has helped me generate ideas to write about is my Day Book. At the beginning of the year, I found it difficult to write about the topic for 5 minutes straight because I did not really know what to say. Now, my Day Book entries have become more focused and I have looked at topics in ways that I would not have originally looked at them. Going forward in the class, I would like to learn how to revise my writing so that I can see where I have made mistakes and learn how to correct them. I would also like to learn how to look at a paper that I have written in a different way so I can try to re-write it to make it better. This is something that I hope to accomplish by looking at the comments that Dr. Rieman has written on my papers and find a way to use her comments to revise my paper. Additionally, I hope that peer workshop will help me find my writing mistakes and allow me to hear feedback from my classmates about what they thought of my paper. One of the things that we will be doing in these next few weeks is writing my Inquiry Question paper. My initial question was “Does every one have different writing processes for each type of writing he or she does and how did they learn this process?” After doing some research on this question, I found that I should focus more on the writing process and how it is taught. This will help to answer how people developed their own writing process. My revised
question is “How do people develop their own writing process and how does this process change with the different styles of writing he or she does?” To find the information that I need, I am going to interview people about their writing process and find out how their processes changes with different writing tasks. Using these interviews and the research I have done, I can find an answer to my question and have a better understanding of how people become the writers they are today. In this course so far, I have learned a lot about writing that I did not previously know. I have looked into my writing history and learned more about how I became the writer I am today. I have also learned to revise my papers in a way that does not just fix the grammatical mistakes but also makes me rethink what I wrote and see if there is a different way I could write the information. In the weeks ahead, I hope to continue to learn how to affectively revise my papers and learn new approaches to writing a paper. I also plan to continue to research my Inquiry Question and find a clear answer to the question so that I can write about the topic accurately. By the end of this course, I hope to have a better understanding of who I am as a writer and find different ways to write about a topic that I would not have tried before.
Amanda, I get a very clear sense of the kind of work that you’ve done this semester as well as how you are relating to that work. You also nicely look ahead to what you want to keep working on the rest of the semester. Things to consider in your next revision: course goals and how they relate to all this work and sentence-level revision work. I’ve highlighted a number of areas here that require attention. I like your goal of learning to read you papers differently, and I think that you are
getting quite good at seeing what revision work needs done. See my marginal comments for other suggestions.
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