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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What I learned in English 1010

Hey,

So I know it's been awhile...I'm sorry about that. But, I'm back now and I have a new article and I promise you that there are a lot of things in store for next year.

So, for my English final I was assigned to write a paper reflecting on what I'd learned in the class. This was my first shot at "modeling behavior". Modeling Behavior according to my Professor for the course is when "you do what you are trying to get others to do or understand. I think it turned out okay and I'm pretty proud of it. It might seem similar to other articles on this blog and therefore repetitive; but isn't that what writing is all about? Writing is hard work, you may not know where you are going- but that's where the "primary answers a.k.a. the fundamentals come into play. They help you get to where you need to be. So, here it is ...

(Please note that when I wrote this I was writing it in the present tense during finals)

Reflections Paper

What did I learn and what will I take away and put into use in future classes?

Writing is hard, but I love it. Never leave an assignment ‘til the last minute. “Writing is an act of faith.”- Jack Heffron. Bad writing sure does get the job done! Go through every tangent you think of and write it down, flesh it out, read it over, go to the Writing Center, and edit it…then you can turn it in! (Bonus points if it’s early!)

I hate sourcing things. I really, really, hate sourcing things. Sometimes I have problems doing reports. Research can be hard for me, I source other people’s stuff, but it seems like all I do is compile a bunch of people’s quotes. I need to make my reports uniquely my own.

And I’ve learned that it’s so much easier and more fun to type when you have a laptop.

Now I will personally demonstrate what I’ve learned in this class by turning the “bad writing” above into a cohesive paper...

What have I learned in English 1010 that I can put to use in future classes? I’ve learned that writing is a creative process. There is a beginning and an end; it doesn’t all come at once. Jack Heffron once said, “Writing is an act of faith”; which is completely true. Writing is a completely isolated journey where your task is to transform a tiny germ of an idea into a fully formed extension of your very being. Writing is hard, but it can be fulfilling as well; it isn’t impossible to write a good paper, you just have to write it down.

When you start out your prose will seem...bad. Don’t worry, that actually means you are starting out the right way. If you let go of your inhibitions and follow your every thought wherever it takes you and explore, you’ll end up with more original material than you knew you could create. Then, after you flesh them out later, it will begin to stand-alone. What you have to do next is to refine it.

The first thing I do when I begin to edit is read the paper from start to finish; most of the minor errors will jump out at me from my monitor. (Though it has been proven that this phenomenon can also occur on lined paper.) Then I’ll go onto fix the grammatically correct prose. How do you fix grammatically correct prose? Add more detail where you find it lacking and take away the embellishments that are unneeded, and then your grammatically correct prose will be articulate and cohesive.

If you are having a hard time with any stage of the writing process, feel free to get a second opinion. As long as they know what they are talking about, it doesn’t matter who you ask. One resource on campus that exists solely to help students with writing is the Writing Center. They won’t write your paper for you, but they’ll show you the way to your objective- be it brainstorming or the final stages of editing. I can’t accredit them enough.

There you have it, that’s what I’ve learned through taking this course. I still have a long way to go however; I have a really hard time writing reports. Which is a big problem since college is full of them. I’ll need to gather my sources faster, so I can fully process them and use them in my reports. I don’t want to compile a report of other people’s articles and comment on their views; I want to write a report where the articles support my ideas. If I improve in that regard I think they’d be more enjoyable to do, and I’d get better at doing them. I’ll have to work hard to get there but also remember what I’ve learned so far: write it down and then make it better.

And that's it! I know it's three days to late to say it, but Merry Christmas! One thing I'm glad I'm not to late to say however is Happy New Year. 2011 is going to be great guys!

See you later,

Katie