Free Narrative Essays - What I Learned in English Class

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What I Learned in English Class


I feel this semester, only the first of many I will endure, was a

successful one.  The objective of the course was to make us better writers,

and I certainly have improved.  I learned what makes a paper good or bad,

what makes it easier to write a good paper, and how the manner that the

class is held makes a difference.


However, I feel I should have taken my high school English class more

seriously.  The teacher graded rather leniently, which attributed to my

lack of effort.  The amount of work required to get an "A" paper in my high

school was about equivalent to the work required to get a "C" paper here at

Lehigh.  It was a very difficult adjustment for me.  I went  through high

school writing what I now know to be not-so-good papers, but received good

grades for them.  Then, I thought they were good because of the grades I

got.  Now, I find myself working over twice as hard for half the grade.


This isn't a completely bad thing, though.  It teaches me that my writing

really wasn't very good.  What I used to think deserved an "A" I now

realize only does deserve a "C."  Now I have to take my writing more

seriously, and try much harder at producing good output.  Also, my goal

isn't to write a paper that will get a good grade.  Now, my goal is to

write better papers.  I write to become a better writer.


That is, I feel, a very important thing that I learned this semester.  I

don't think, "O.K., I have to get at least a B on this paper."  Instead, I

think, "O.K., I have to use this assignment to improve my work."  This is a

much better approach because it causes the writer to try to produce a well

written piece.  Writing for a grade often causes the writer to do just

enough to get by.


I also learned that it is much easier to produce a good piece of writing if

I am kept interested.  By choosing our own topics, rather than have the

teacher give us topics to write on, we often are much more interested in

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the subject.  If we are interested in what we are writing about, we tend to

have a better opinion, and we can explain our ideas better.  All of this

helps us produce better papers.  Also, if the writer is interested in the

subject, this interest often translates into the writer making a more

interesting paper, which keeps the reader more interested and gives people

a better opinion of how good of a writer that person really is.


Finally, I learned that the teacher makes a world of difference.

Throughout high school, my English teachers were boring, monotone, and

seemed unenthusiastic about their work.  they acted like they were better

than the students were.  They approached the class thinking, "I know what

I'm talking about and you don't, so shut up and listen to me."  You, on the

other hand, made the class interesting.  You kept my attention, which is

often hard to do.  You seemed able to relate to us in a friendly way,

rather than as teacher/student.  You seemed to approach the class thinking,

"I know what I'm talking about, but you might too, so please listen to what

I have to say and you can add what you want later."  This approach is much

better.  It causes the students to think.  You made the class fun, while

still keeping it a class, not a game.  When the class is more fun it causes

the students to become better motivated to do well.  This is what most

influenced me during the semester.  If it were just another boring old

English class I wouldn't have accomplished anything.


These are the things that I learned throughout the semester.  They are the

things I feel were most important.  Writing to become better at writing,

being able to choose my own topic that interests me, and the luck of having

a good teacher helped most in my improvement.  I only hope to improve more

next semester.  At least I have a better idea of what to expect.


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