Reflection Essay

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On September 20th, I walked in to the classroom for my first college level English class at 7:30 AM. As I sat down at my seat, I didn’t know what to expect. The biggest question in my mind, though, was this: Will I learn anything from this class? Or will this just be another class where I complete assignments, but don’t enhance my skills? My question was soon answered, since throughout this class I have learned innumerable skills which have forever improved my composition. Specifically, there are three main goals which I have achieved in this class: I have learned to think and read critically, compose and revise in context, and reflect and evaluate. The first goal mentioned in the student learning outcomes, which I have achieved is thinking…show more content…
During the first few weeks of the quarter, as a class, we watched a video of a blind man and his use of rhetoric when begging in front of an expensive store. We paused the video near the beginning, and discussed different aspects of the story, such as the setting. After holding a class discussion based on our observations, and hearing other’s opinions and claims on the video, we resumed watching it to see the man sitting in front of the store, who was previously receiving no money, all of a sudden, began to get so much more money. This all happened after a girl walking past the man changed his sign for him. At this point, Mr. Kopp paused the video again, and we were asked: “What is on this sign?” Again, we held paired and group discussions in which we heard other students’ claims, and had a chance to make an educated guess based on our observations. Finally, at the end of class, we saw the sign and understood why her sign brought in much more benefit to the begging man than the sign which he was holding in the beginning of the video. This particular class discussion was extremely memorable to me, since it was a pivotal point in my growth as a critical reader, writer, and thinker. Instead of simply watching the video in one shot, we paused and discussed segments of the video. This was extremely vital, because when thinkers react to texts critically, they break it…show more content…
After we had understood the methods of analyzing one single piece of text, we began exploring methods of analysis of many pieces of text. As a class, we first looked a different types of chicken nuggets. We also attempted this with a timed writing session. During another class, everyone in the class received a certain amount of time to write on the topic of love, and after we had done so, we turned to our partners and synthesized our responses. We then turned into groups of four, eight, and twelve students to repeat our synthesis together. This activity helped me gain a better understanding of the pros and cons of synthesis. Overall, these activities helped me build my critical writing and thinking skills, because through this, I learned to take multiple texts and analyze them to make a new claim considering these texts. This was a great leap in my skills, since before this, I was used to only analyzing one text separate from others. After this assignment, I began using this form of critical thinking and understanding in my daily life. Whether I am understanding a news topic, or writing a paper for a class, I now know how to think, read, and react critically to a variety of texts, and I realize how to identify bias and other fallacies in these texts. Today, I can read a variety of evidences, and present a synthesis of all of them in my research papers. Before this
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