Over the course of Intro to College Writing I have written a total of three essays and turned in. These three essays consist of: Narrative, Profile, and Argumentative. My first essay was the Narrative in which I wrote about the night of my mothers arrest. With this essay. I as a writer was trying to convey the emotions I felt during the experience and describe the many atmospheres that occurred throughout the incident. The only memorable thing from this essay was figuring out how to end the essay in a way that wrapped the entire essay back up in a short meaningful, stylistic way. That I felt I did well with my last line being “That was the first time I had said “I love you” in well, I couldn't tell you.” Through writing that last statement I felt I summed up a struggling relationship I held with my mother sparring details that spanned over years into a simple sentence that echoed around the core concept. This was the only breakthrough I met as I wrote this essay recalling the night and describing my feelings flowed easily and I found myself done quickly. I only stopped to find a fancier word or write a sentence in a different way. Either making it longer, shorter or include more details. I had strong feelings that I communicated the entire situation in a comprehensible and touching way. Looking back on the essay there was much too be corrected as I did in my re-write such as: Organization, fragments, Contractions, comma splices.
In the beginning of English 101 I was what you call a novice writer a person who only wrote what they felt was required. However, certain techniques that I learned in English 101 made me realize that writing was not about filling requirements; it’s about speaking out, exploring and proving a point. “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” (Trimble, 17) In John Trimble’s quote he tries to point out that writing is something that you grow with and learn as you go along. I believe this growth was achieved with a technique that was introduced to me by my professor called repetitive revision. What I found out was that revision of your essays helps in recognizing your mistakes and enhances the flow of your essays. By providing me...
Many of the mistakes I would have deemed inconsequential in the past resembles glaring flaws now. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs were where the most work was done. In the introduction, I inserted a hook and blended the paragraph together. I accomplished this by adding transition words and changing the tense to fit the rest of the essay. In the conclusion, I completely started over. The original was bland, boring, and just plain repetitive. In the revised version, I outlined the essay, restated the thesis, and ended by suggestion other applications.
The second time I revised my essay I focused on my topic sentences and concluding sentences of my paragraph. I made sure that my evidence supports my claims and that my paragraphs do not get off topic. Once again, I put my essay away for about two days.
One improvement I made over previous essays was moving the thesis sentence to the beginning of the introduction paragraph. Moving the thesis to the beginning of the paragraph made it easier for readers to understand what the essay was about and the tone of the paper. During the revision, I corrected the mechanical writing problems, such as not italicizing movie titles. Rereading the paper, I found that I tended to write long, wordy, sentences. In my rewrite, I worked on improving the flow of my writing and tried to avoid awkward sounding phases. As in previous papers, one of my ongoing errors is using the word you. During the revising process, I discovered a factual error. The original essay stated the Mexican Revolution ended in 1910. The Mexican Revolution started, not ended, in 1910. The error was corrected during the revision. After reading, and hearing the essay read, I decided the essay needed a stronger conclusion. I expanded the conclusion to provide a better summary of the paper and also to better explain how “Reefer Madness” could still be relevant for today’s audiences.
...more to myself. For instance, I gave more detail about my parents’ divorce and how I felt instead of stating how most children felt after and during divorce like I did in my first draft. I also changed my image to a image that showed my family instead of using the image I first found off of Google, that showed a girl looking out the window while it was raining. I found my second essay, The Day That Changed Everything, to be the easiest essay to write and revise. I thought it was the easiest because I felt like I had a good story to tell with plenty of little details that could be added to make the essay stronger.
My main problem was the structure of the essay. Even though I have made progress I still think I'm not where I want to be. If you read my personal narrative essay, which is in my portfolio, you would know what I'm talking about. It is like I'm telling a story step by step without mentioning the important details of the story. However, this was my first draft of my first essay, so I expected it to be that bad. However, I'm getting better and better with each essay I write, so I think I will get where I want to be in the near future.
Throughout this semester we have had to write many types of essays. Although this is a college English class there is still room for improvement. I made much improvement during the semester of the class. I was able to identify my weaknesses. I learned how to make improvements to the areas I was having problems in. Although each essay we did was different I was able to begin with one essay and throughout the semester turn it into two other essays. I was able to change my style of writing to fit the type of audience I was working with. I will continue to work on my writing and keep improving it.
It was a task that took a significant amount of time and effort, but was truly an excellent learning experience. I found it intriguing how much the original essay can improve or modify over time; moreover, how different ideas flow through your brain each second. The revision of my essays taught me an enormous deal about writing and was genuinely pleasurable to do.
When choosing pieces to revise for this portfolio, I tried to choose the ones that I felt needed the most work. I ended up choosing “Welcome to Elizabethtown”, “How I know”, and “Why People Volunteer”. These pieces were chosen because I saw a trend in the errors that I was making. In all three papers, I found that I was making the same mistakes over and over. So when correcting them, I tried to employ all the things that I have learned since I wrote them. For all three pieces, I focused on fixing three main things, style, sentence structure, and vocabulary. Critiquing and correcting my own work was one of the more difficult assignments. Nonetheless, I feel that I came out of the class with more knowledge than I went in.