When I first started this English class, I was not sure how well I would do. When I met my professor, Rebecca Samberg, I gained more confidence because she explained the materials in such a way that helped stimulate my interest. I feared I would struggle through the course but being under the supervision of professor Samberg, it got easier for me.
Aiming for a grade A average, I doubted myself when our professor asked us to write an essay supporting or disclaiming the “uptick in civic action impact on our country”. Although this was not a graded piece, I was nervous about what the outcome of this course might be. With this, I have learned about the steps to take when writing an essay which made it easier for me to follow when doing my assignments.
For the first writing assignment, “Personal Reflection on Belief Narrative”, I found it to be easy, or rather, I got complacent with it. By writing that essay, I had no doubt that I wouldn’t get a good grade. After my teacher reviewed it and graded it as an initial draft, it was a wake-up call for me. English is more than just putting my thoughts together on a piece of paper. Articulating my sentences, and using proper punctuation and grammar is imperative.
The biggest challenge for me as a writer is figuring out how to write a rhetorical analysis. This was evident in the third writing assignment. I chose the poem “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe, to analyze and even though it was an intermediate draft, I struggled with getting the main concepts together. I went from rhetorical analysis to literary analysis while I was doing the essay. Evaluating the text seemed harder than it should have been because I merely restated what the text already said rather than going into detail about how the writing itself conveyed the poem’s ideas. I placed too much pressure on myself to explain how the text had an influence on readers.
Another challenge I face is transitioning. In the second writing assignment about a profile of my sister, getting my sentences to flow and give them a mutual connection so it to not confuse my readers was a bit of a struggle. I lacked the confidence in what would make a good transitional word or sentence that would carry through my idea from the previous paragraph. Working on my transitioning skills will now be my key focus while I move on to more advanced classes in my major. This will help my readers to interpret my ideas and it will effectively carry my thoughts from one sentence to another.
In order to overcome the challenges of writing, I brainstormed ideas in order to get the creative juices flowing. I pick the ideas that best suit my essay and work from there to refine them. I admittedly also ask my boyfriend for help at times to bounce ideas off and see what sticks. I also dedicate more time to English by removing all distractions and sitting in a quiet room to help narrow my focus. I also put more effort into working on rough drafts and focusing less on getting them correct the first time. This frees up any tension I feel as well as lets my ideas flow without the worry of messing up. By doing so, rough drafts helped me to narrow my ideas down on what works and what doesn’t. I also structured my work time with breaks in between to give my thoughts some time to settle and to also reflect.
In addition to the challenges I encountered, I started to focus on my grammar and spelling to improve my writing. During my English class, I was required to read more and that opened my eyes to learn more about the fundamentals of writing which helped me communicate to my audience through my essays. English class has sharpened my writing skills and it made me more confident as a writer.
Writing essays 2, 3, and 4 is a testament to the fact that not only have I grown in writing but that I have applied what I learned to produce writings that are all about what I genuinely think and feel. My writing is more mature than before and even though I have not yet fully overcome the rhetorical analysis struggle, my writing skills are now refined because through practicing, I learned self-assessment was the key for me to knowing where to begin
As such, when I am no longer in class I will dedicate a clear space and time to help improve my writing skills as well as practicing how to write a personal paper and writing down my goals and objectives will help me succeed. I will set aside time to write and review my drafts which will help me to expand my vocabulary. This will help me to get prepared to write several drafts as the first draft will not be perfect but like they always say, practice makes perfect.
Writing tools are essential to learning and I have learned to express myself on the paper I am writing. Being clear, concise, and analyzing drafts during class gave me the desire and confidence to excel in my future endeavors of writing. Constructing my sentences carefully, using proper grammar, and reading more will also give a fluent message my audience can fully understand.