Personal Narrative: My Experience in College Prep II Writing

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For the entirety of my undergraduate career I had the distinct ability to successfully write research papers, critical essays and journal entries. On the whole I feel that my writing was successful due to the fact that I received excellent grades as well as glowing comments of support from my professors. Please understand that I am not boasting about my grade point average, class rank or even attempting to claim that I am a good writer. However, I do feel confident in my abilities to write papers that speak directly to the question at hand while simultaneously addressing, although not necessarily adhering to, the professor’s point of interest. I must credit much of my success as an undergraduate to Mr. M of the High School English Department. My outlook on academic writing was drastically altered during the fall of 1997 with the help of Mr. M and a writing course entitled College Prep II. Any High School Senior who wishes to matriculate at a four-year college or university can enroll in College Prep II. The purpose of the course, as if it weren’t obvious from the title, is to adequately prepare outgoing seniors to write effective research papers and essays at the college level. Before I delve into the specifics of the course itself, I must briefly acquaint you with the quirky Irishman mentioned above. Mr. M came across as the type of wise old Irishman you might run into in a quaint pub and spend hours sipping Guinness, telling jokes and exchanging personal experiences with. Perhaps the reason why College Prep II became such a welcomed challenge for my classmates and I had something to do with the high level of respect Mr. M showed us. Although we were nothing more than scared, immature high school seniors, he talked to us as if... ... middle of paper ... ...ard sentence structure or maybe even a few contradictory ideas would take our paper from a B+ to a C-. However, no one knew that Mr. M was not grading us solely upon our final draft, but on our ability to embrace writing as a continuous process where there is always room for improvement. Whatever the case, the methods Mr. M taught carried me through four years of college writing with relative ease, yet I never realized that I was adhering to his school of writing until I began to ponder this writing assignment. He did an excellent job emphasizing the technical structure of the process, while focusing intently on the personal or humanistic side to writing. Will my outlook on writing change during my future as a graduate student, straying from the ways of Mr. M? Probably, but I think a part of that process will always be in the back of my head, for better or for worse.

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