Writing has never been my forte and I've always struggled with the overall structure and organization of writing an essay. Even nineteen years ago, in high school, I can remember how hard this was for me. Sure, I'd eventually get it good enough to earn a B, but I never truly learned the process and what exactly it took to become a writer. It wasn't until this class that I was able to understand the aspects that go into every single essay. As I look back and reflect on the past sixteen weeks, I can honestly say I have gained confidence and developed writing skills that will help me to succeed in the future.
My report essay is where I acquired the most knowledge and really learned a process that works best for me. It was this paper that everything clicked for me. This essay required research on top of more research and pushed me to investigate and organize each piece of information I needed to make the report work. Not only do you gather data, but you also must separate what is fact from what is opinion and this can be especially challenging when you are dealing with a controversial topic. This essay required an intriguing introduction paragraph, data with solid supporting evidence, organization that makes the paper flow well, and a closing paragraph all that include both sides of the argument, without taking a side.
In my first draft, I put together ideas and an image that addressed my topic. I had many things that needed work after I got my first draft back. Improper citations, article errors, missing commas, and the use of second person are some of the key issues I needed to work on in my writing. Using the tools provided, Everyone's An Author and Purdue Owl, I was able to work through my errors. Trial and error is all part of the process. As I made my revisions and refined my essay for the second draft, peer revision, I checked for errors in spelling, mechanics, use of grammar, and form. It was on this paper that my ideas became more organized and clear. Peer revisions help me see things that I miss or give me ideas I didn’t think of, the more input the better. After my peer revision corrections and proofreading several times my essay is finally ready for the final draft.
I learned that writing takes a lot of effort, but once I figured out the process I became a better writer. Each draft I wrote and each critique I received all played a part in how well my final draft was written. English 1301 taught me structure, organization, and rhetorical thinking. Being in this writing class over the past sixteen weeks has taught me that no matter how much I already know there is still something more to learn. Each revision molds you, improves your process, and creates a better outcome.