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I can't apologize enough for this ugly piece of themewriting. Yes, I admit it, I wrote a standard themewriting paper. I started with a cute little introduction with my thesis sentence at the end of my introductory paragraph. Once I established my thesis statement I backed it up with the three magical points that were neatly wrapped up in three short paragraphs. I ended with a brilliant conclusion that only did what a standard themewriting paper does, I restated my introduction and what I had said in the three paragraphs prior to the conclusion. The whole paper makes me want to throw-up. I could have handed in just my conclusion because it said what the rest of the paper did with less of a waste of paper. I should have known when I read the conclusion that the paper was dung but of course I didn't have the knowledge of expository 220 yet. I learned quite a bit in the twelve weeks that the course offered. I learned how to use the web, how to write solid exposition, and how to rip apart a paper that I thought was "solid" just twelve weeks ago.
As I started to look over my paper the first thing that really popped out at me was my need to over-simplify everything. Instead of writing for a college professor my work looked more like a elementary school level expository assignment. I should have followed it up with a "What I did this summer" paper. I was embarrassed that I had wrote at such a level. My grammar was clearly not up to a university standard. I'm not saying that to write simple is wrong but I did so in such a way where, as I look at it now, I could have said a lot more to enhance the paper and really say it in a different manner. As I talk about the simplicity of my former work I'd also really like to state that I had a very over-simplified point. My metaphor for my university education has been over cliched enough already. I didn't offer anything new and really had no real meaning to my paper. Looking back at the assignment I realize now that I didn't put enough thought into what I was writing about, which really showed in my writing. I should have explored other metaphors before jumping into the first thing that popped into my head.
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The strongest vibe that I get from my paper when I read it again is the high cheese factor that screams from the paper. It's obvious that what I had intended to do with this paper and how it turned out were two completely different things. I suppose that's why professors and every other person of higher learning tell people to proofread papers so that the intended meaning of a paper and what a person hands in is one in the same. I intended to write on the metaphor of college being a singles bar as a rip on people who actually are going to Bemidji State to do just that, drink. I intended that the paper would show how unintelligent people with this kind of mentality really are. With these intentions I really screwed up on two separate points. The first one being that I totally missed the assignment on what a university education is like for me. Second, I wrote the paper in such a way that it actually made it look like the university metaphor to a singles bar was really how I felt about my education. I only brought out the point that I was writing a farce on people who really think like this once. In my concluding, insightful, last paragraph I wrote, "A university education, or is it "an" university education, is more than just a piece of paper and a place to gain knowledge to forward a career or just get a career." I intended the sentence to show how unintelligent people are who use the system as a singles bar. What it turned out to be was completely different. The effect turned out to be nothing more than the person writing the paper, me, thinking out loud. I didn't give another indication that I was trying to accomplish something else in my writing than what I actually produced. I see that now.
Another strong point that I found in my writing that I should have learned in freshman English was to not tell the reader what is going on but to show the reader what message I'm trying to convey. My paper was filled with such dry, tainted, useless words that, as well as not getting my point across, I really bore myself with the final outcome. If I feel my own paper is dry I can't imagine what another reader or even the professor would think of such nonsense. Looking back at the paper, beside choosing a different subject, I should have set this in to a different scene or used some other way to get my message across. That's one of the things that I enjoyed with the expository 220 class was the opportunity to read other papers and get a feel of what else is out there. So many times I get caught up in how I write I tend not to explore what other options are out there. This class taught me that.
With any good critique of a paper, along with the negative viewpoints, there must be something positive about the paper that I could focus on as being a strong part of my writing. I found just one. In my paper I had a voice. It wasn't the voice that I wanted to portray as being my own but there was definitely a voice in my paper. In fact, the testosterone screamed off the pages. I was pleased that I didn't get caught up in the "official style" that, as a class, we talked about for so many weeks. Though I have the tendency to write in the "official style" in a lot of my paper to sound more impressive, I strayed away from doing so in this paper. I'm not sure if this was a conscious decision or not, considering I didn't know what the official style was before this class, but now that I do know what the official style is I'm glad that I didn't get up with that genre of writing.
As I look back at my three years at this university it scares me to think of how many times I produced this kind of crap over and over again. I hope now with the knowledge that I learned in expository writing and with the help of the other writers in the class I can stay away from that kind of garbage and not have to apologize for any more of my writing.