This semester was my first semester as a college student. Taking your college Writing 1 course to start off my education at Kent State allowed me to gain a basis for the next four years of my college career. Throughout high school I did not enjoy writing and to be honest I still do not take delight in writing, but your style of teaching has allowed me to see writing in a new perspective. I am relieved to have started my first English class with an instructor who shares their patience and extensive knowledge in a constructive environment. I knew from the beginning that writing was one of my major weaknesses.
Multiple essays have been formulated during the duration of Composition 1. These essays have taught me an important lesson about my writing, failure is acceptable in order to grow. On the other hand, I made an important discovery last year that I want to study journalism and advance further in that field after college. From taking journalism classes, to blogging in my spare time, to always getting an A on my papers, I thought I had no room to improve. I was mistaken.
I believe my skills as a writer have significantly developed over this semester. I have been able to identify my weaknesses so that I can improve on them. In high school, I always wrote a basic paper consisting of the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. My introduction was extremely vague and basic, my thesis was incredibly weak, and my conclusion was just the introduction reworded. I started my conclusion with “in conclusion” and this semester I have been able to grow away from this habit.
I began thinking, ‘what am I even going to write about if we did this?’ Then as soon as we began to break everything down from Wideman and the other authors the anxiety was going down less and less. Especially for this final essay that we just turned in. I honestly don’t know if I stuck to the plan I was going for despite finishing my outline and then changing it multiple times, but when I went to your office hours I felt my anxiety go away, and I produced a paper that showed my growth from my first essay till now. If we didn’t analyze anything in the class, this would have been very difficult for me since the readings still left me with many
In high school writing was completely different, a paper was written over the course of a month instead of a few weeks. In college, the longest span of writing time you have is about two weeks and mostly half of that is just prewriting. In my previous English courses, prewriting was not focal point before college. Now, prewriting is one of the most important steps of the writing process. I expected a college level course to be more challenging and it definitely is.
I just had to think back to what happened and the circumstances, take out anything of unimportance and write it on paper. This also was the most enjoyable essay to write and brought me to realization of how much I really don't need my dad. One of the last essays of the semester, the informational essay, "Slide into Style," was my weakest. In earlier years of high school the teachers didn’t seem to put much emphasis on things such as grammar and MLA format and citation. So when it came time to write this paper I had to learn how to cite it correctly within the context and really focus on the citation and format, it was too much.
I keep an archive of school work from past semesters of college and even high school. So I opened it up and looked through a few essays I had senior year at my high school. It quickly became apparent to me that although my writing style was consistent and slowly got better over those years, I still made some of the same mistakes in paper after paper. I tended to just throw out the idea I had in my head at the time onto the page. Yes I did manage to transcribe my meaning from my head to the text, but more often then not you couldn 't tell because It was buried under mountains of unnecessary text and formatted
I reflected on the types of writing we did in high school and how it shaped everyone to write in a passive tone to get more information across to the reader. With this paper, Dr. Schlueter let us write in our own style. This was a big change from what I was used to in high school. I was able to understand different types of writing though the research I performed to find out what kind of writer I was and how I should be writing in college. Without being given specific guidelines, besides “write about a memorable experience involving reading or writing”, I was forced to use my own creativity to write a paper that met the limited requirements (I use the word limited very loosely).
Reflective Essay Attending college at an old age, writing an effective paper is a formidable task I am trying to overcome. Although English was taught in my native country, there were no proper guidelines on writing a paper; hence most submitted essays were mostly results of brainstorming and “free writing”. Embracing such things as MLA, grammar, and structure, and exploring the limitless boundaries of critical thinking, I developed an idea of what is considered as “good writing”. Most of my papers were edited with the help of the Writing Center. I took all suggestions by my fellow peers and professors into developing my skills as a writer.
Instead, I was thrust into a small class of students, forced to write time-consuming essays about topics I didn’t care about. What I didn’t realize, at the time, was the true purpose of First Year Writing. Not only did the class help my already strong composition skills, it helped me transition into Yeshiva University and become a part of the university community. I soon realized that First Year Writing isn’t even close to the throwaway class I once thought it was. In fact, First Year Writing is definitely my most important class at YU and has also become my personal favorite.