Professor Brandi Moody
English 1102 Professor
Georgia Southern University
Dear Professor Moody,
As another semester comes to an end, of course I am happy, but also a little sad because I have honestly enjoyed this class. It was laid back, non-demanding, and as far as college classes go, pretty great. I have learned a great deal throughout the last months, but I must admit there have been some challenges along the way.
Research: The Most Dreaded Thing Ever
Throughout the course, we had to conduct academic research for basically all of our major essays. I have never once met a student who enjoys researching, so I honestly can't tell you it was fun. Although it was boring, it wasn’t necessarily hard to the point where I didn’t understand what I was doing. I guess if I had to pick I would say that incorporating MLA in-text citations from my research into a “digital friendly” style essay was the hardest part of the researching process. This is mostly because I just didn’t feel like the citations looked right with the colorful, exciting-looking essay. This did get easier though, in my documentary Essay, I got the hang of incorporating professional, traditional essay writing into more digital friendly writing through the use of Adobe Spark.
Composing for a Digital Audience: Adjusting to a New Norm
At the beginning of the semester, I was thrown off and a little bit annoyed at the fact that I had to spend extra time making my essays look “pretty” for a digital audience. One of the challenges I faced was mostly due to my lack of knowledge of technology. I wasn’t quite sure how to make my essays look appropriate for a digital audience through Microsoft Word, mostly because I had never played around with it before. Then, when we were told that we had to use Adobe Spark, I was even more confused. Thankfully though, it got easier. I sat down one day and took the time to play around with both Microsoft and Adobe, and now I actually enjoy making my essays look appealing. I realized it wasn’t so bad after I finished my first essay when I saw how much more appealing and easy to read my essay was.
Still in Progress:
I have always loved to write. Writing for school purposes has never been difficult or a hassle for me, but I am by no means a perfect writer. Even after a year in college and four years in high school practicing MLA writing, I still dread incorporating this format into my essays. I think this is due to the fact that a lot of research done today is electronic, and electronic sources can often be difficult to cite because of the lack of information provided by the author. I always stress when it’s time to start citing my sources, paraphrasing, or quoting in my writing. This problem occurred in not just one but all of the assignments this semester where MLA or APA format was required. While citing my sources, I was all too aware of how badly I need to work on and memorize these writing skills, because as a Communications major, I know I’ll be citing a lot of sources in the next three years.
Like I said, I love to write. I feel that I am decent at expressing how I feel through my writing, and convincing other to feel the same. In both my Opinion and Advocacy essay, I felt really confident in my persuasion, my research, and my overall voice through my writing. I love to talk in person, so I feel like my voice and personality naturally show through in my writing, which helps me to effectively persuade and convince my audience to agree with me. I think I take to persuasive writing easily because I choose topics that are close to my heart, so that I can write about them passionately instead of slapping facts on a screen and calling it persuasive. For example, I wrote about childhood obesity in my Advocacy Essay because my little sister has battled with it her whole life, so I know personally how dangerous and life altering it can be.
If I had to choose, I think the discussion posts demonstrated my writing strengths the best out of anything else. I favor the discussion posts over essays because they are more laid back and I can write in them almost as I would talk to a person face-to-face. The essays weren’t too bad either though, mostly because we were able to choose our own topics, which made it easy to write.
My Thoughts on the Course: Thumbs Up!
I was so nervous at the beginning of this semester to take a fully-online English class. I was scared I would have nothing but essays on top of essays every week, but I was pleasantly surprised! I wish I could take all my English classes online now! The class environment was so laid back, and I was so pleased with how open you were to meetings, emails, and constructive feedback. The discussion activities weren’t just pointless busy work, which I can assure you is very much appreciated. Writing for a digital audience is a skill that I will need for the rest of my college and adult career, so I am glad that I am mastering it now and that I had help and guidance along the way. The peer revision strategies were also helpful, sometimes they could get repetitive, but that is expected when it comes to peer reviews in any subject. Like I mentioned above, I loved that we got to pick the topics for our essays, I feel like that makes it so much easier for students to write about something they actually care about, therefore making the reading and grading less boring for you! It’s a win-win!
I have learned throughout this course to trust in my writing and my opinions, and to always write information that I know is correct and up to date. I know that I can construct an effective research thesis, because I know how to research the facts to back it up. I learned this by spending hours on the internet validating the sources I was considering before I chose to put them in my essay. I learned how to spot when an article is false or outdated. I am more confident in my abilities as a writer to construct an effective thesis, because I know I’ll have to facts to back it up through my newfound research techniques.
The Future of My Writing:
The skills, styles, and techniques that I have obtained through this course will help me tremendously throughout my entire college and professional life. Like I mentioned earlier, I am a communications major, so writing is vital to the success of my major. After I complete my undergraduate education, I hope to go on to study law. During law school, and after that in my career, conducting research and incorporating it into my writing will be vital to the daily activities that being a lawyer requires. Without the knowledge of how to conduct proper research, how will I ever prove to anyone that what I am advocating or arguing for is legitimate?
I think I make it obvious in this letter how I feel about this course, so I’ll spare you the long paragraph. To sum it up though, this class has challenged me, a student comfortable with writing, to think and write outside my comfort zone. Writing in digital format was something I had never had to do before, but that I can now do with complete confidence. I can now mesh boring, academic writing with digital writing to produce what I think is a more effective, interesting, and overall better essay. I have this class, and you of course, to thank for all of that!