College writing is a course to help students better understand the fundamentals and techniques of writing. I think I am a diligent writer because I was in AP English courses in my junior and senior years of high school, so I have had lots of experience. However, I do not write crazy detailed essays with depth and sophistication, so I think I think I am average, but diligent with how I write. There are improvements that can still be made in my writing, and this course is helping me get closer to achieving them. The most significant work is the planning, drafting, and revising of my analysis essay and keeping a journal. The most beneficial feature is the Check, Please! Starter Course lessons.
Planning, drafting, and revising my analysis got me back into the rhythm of writing essays. I am not great at planning out my essays because I just write a brief description or bullet points of what each paragraph will be about and start writing my draft from there. For drafting, I like to write a whole starting essay instead of just bullet points, which will make it easier to revise at a later date. To revise my analysis for the final draft, I typed my draft into a Word document, highlighted what I wanted or needed to change, and add comments on what to change it to and how to change it. It is at this point where I go back and make revisions. Most of the time I must add more details and sentences because my draft is usually under the word count and simplistic. Analysis essays are not the easiest to write even though they are mostly summaries of a text and how the author writes. However, analyzing how the author writes and why they write it is difficult for me because I usually just see the bigger picture instead of looking sentence by sentence to find meaning.
Keeping a journal is an advantage because I can look back at my writing and class activities. In class, we write Scrabble summaries based on our game the week before and assigned prompts. Writing summaries for Scrabble forces me to go in detail about the game played and think about the choices I made. In Scrabble, I must think of words to use and sometimes my partner puts a word together with the tiles that I did not see before. So, these games are increasing my vocabulary. This increased my ability to form words and strategize where to put words. Prompts that have been assigned include personal experiences and reflections on pieces of writing. I usually do not write a lot for journal writings if they are personal because I do not want to go into too much detail about my experiences. If they are summaries or reflections of things we read, I write more because it is easier to me to write about what I just read than thinking of things that have happened in the past and include detail. To me, journal writing is a warm-up to start the class.
Completing the Check, Please! Starter Course lessons that have been assigned so far have made me aware of the ‘dangers’ of not checking whether a source is credible or reliable. One quick technique that I like is “Just add Wikipedia,” which is used to check the URL, besides everything after the backslash, to determine if the source is credible or uncredible, such as fake news or hate. There were practice examples included to see if I was on the right track to deem a source credible. This Wikipedia trick is the most beneficial thing I learned from these course lessons because they will help me with future research projects to check the credibility of sites and people.
Since I had a full semester without a writing or reading class, I had to get used to writing essays again since I had not written essays since high school. I got back into the rhythm quick for this class because I was always so used to writing. My strongest suit was always argumentative essays because I can give my own opinion and support it. We haven’t done an argumentative essay in this class yet, so I am looking forward to getting an opportunity to do that and excel. Hopefully, I can push myself to put a lot of effort into my writing until the end of the semester.
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