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I am certain that I have developed myself into a stronger critical thinker, as well as, a more interesting writer. Throughout this semester I have gradually felt myself getting better as a writer. Looking back on my first few weeks of journal entries I can see how much I have developed. I feel certain that I have met my personal goals, along with hoping that I have impressed you with my new found abilities. Looking through all of the different styles of writing we have used it is easy to see why I developed the way that I did. I feel as though my peer review experience dramatically increased during this class. Even though I have taken two previous English courses in college, I have never gone so in depth with my reviews of others drafts. Looking back I can only hope that my feedback helped my peers in the end, yet I can say that I put a large amount of effort in to my peer reviews. Personally I know that I developed myself involving peer reviews. As I mentioned previously I feel as though I gave loads of feedback, along with improving on the type of feedback that I gave. Throughout the semester as we began to tackle new projects I thought to myself, “what have I gotten myself in to?” Now I can look back and say thank you for the Historical Inquiry project as well as developing a portfolio and having to basically pitch a final proposal. All of these instances have helped me develop in several different ways. With the Historical Inquiry paper there were many steps involved, developing a concept that we wanted to research and had interest in. Having to research and research nonstop really developed my skills of searching for details. Along with research, the works cited page and footnotes made for an interesting challenge. Having to take a small historical concept and develop it into an eight page paper and pack it full of facts really pushed me to my limits and made me work as a writer. Working with the e-portfolio was definitely a challenge yet, I willingly embraced it. It’s just
awesome to see yourself develop a webpage from square one into a huge, information filled pack that can teach someone else so much about your concept. Working with weebly and scribd was a new challenge for me simply because I had never seen nor worked with either of these two sites. The finished product made all of my work worth it though. Now working with the final proposal posed a different challenge. Now please don’t take this as me placing the blame on anyone other than myself, but I felt a little rushed when writing up my final proposal. I just felt liked I need so much information for a smaller paper and I felt as though I didn’t have enough time to polish my proposal up before submitting it. Now the presentation for the class was a different story, I felt as though we had plenty of time to prepare for our presentations. Overall my thinking as a writer has changed for the better as well as developing into a much stronger writer. Writing journals at the beginning of the class everyday helped develop my skills as well. It engaged my brain in writing activities that I normally would not do. We also wrote in different styles in our journals than we did in either of our two big projects. Also starting the day with a small journal would get my brain actively engaged for the day which made class experiences even better. Now we come to my biggest leap of the year, revision. I have always heard of my friends writing papers all year and then revising them all at once at the end of the semester which I have never done. Heck the only time my papers even received any revision before this class was if I wrote the paper a week in advance and had enough time to muse over it. Several key points of revision popped up in both of my final drafts. Removal of fluff, transitions and clarity all made an appearance on both of my revision lists. Really the whole truth behind why I have been notorious for fluff is because I always try to include as much information as I can in a paper, which I have learned is not always best. Clarity has been another issue of mine, which I can attest to always knowing what I want to say but not knowing exactly how to say it. I always do
my research and plan my papers out but sometimes I simply do not know what to say. Transitioning has always been a big problem for me as well. I get the ball rolling on an idea and the excitement is building and wham, move to a different concept. I have really battled with this for years because I have known this was a writer’s block of my own. Having transitions that are used correctly makes a world of difference in a paper and helps it flow while reading rather than being choppy. Within the Historical Inquiry project I felt as though I had a few informal sections that needed to be cleaned up with proper language. Personally I believe the use of electronic mail and text messaging has increased the likely hood of laziness while spelling and conversational tones during a formal paper. Cleaning up a paragraph and rereading it with the ability to not slow down is an awesome feeling that lets you know that you’ve accomplished a goal. Also word choice was a point of work in the Historical Inquiry project. I just felt that some of the words I used were elementary in style and sounded out of place. With the Final project as I mentioned earlier, the most difficult aspect for me was being able to elaborate on detail about certain scenes or characters which I made it a point of work in my Final revision to work on. I felt as though I placed many ideas of mine into this paper with only minimal backing of each one. I realized that my Final proposal was not as strong as I would have liked it to be which was caused, in part, by failure to elaborate. Structuring my final paper was somewhat of a task as well. I kept thinking that I had to finish this so quickly that a lot of information was out of order or just in the wrong place. When revising I went back and rearranged details and parts of paragraphs to fit together like a glove. Now when it comes to taking risks and playing it safe, I usually like to be 100% sure. Yet with this class I feel like I took necessary risks to succeed. I branched out and started to put more time and effort into my papers, I took daily class assignments seriously with the same
rigor every day. I spoke out in class which I tend to shy away from for some unknown reason. I must admit that there were sometimes when I refrained from speaking out or asking a question that should have been asked, so yes I still remained safely in my nest. Although several exercises from class as well as the final presentation helped me with my public speaking, if you will. Even though I feel accomplished as a writer after this semester I must admit that I still have many weaknesses. I procrastinate still when it comes to getting research and minute work done. I still rush my ideas on to the page without putting full thought into how or why this fits in there. I know my writing skills have at least doubled in mastery from the start of the semester. Many different aspects of your class have helped me develop. How you interacted with the class was very helpful and how everything was set up straight forward from the beginning of the semesterwe knew what we were doing and when it was due. There was honestly not one thing that I can say about this class that I did not thoroughly enjoy. The only recommendation I would have for the next class is to maybe just give another week on the final proposal paper so they do not feel rushed! Thank you so much for an awesome semester and if I ever need anything you will surely get an email.
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