This class has helped me so much. I feel I have progressed immensely on my writing and reading skills. I used to think writing was all about grammar and spelling, but it’s actually way more than that. It ties in with so much. Thesis statements, conclusions, rhetoricality, using sources to construct a paper; all these things I felt are skills I have greatly improved on. Writing is much more complex than I first thought. Everyone has their own writing style; everyone has their way of writing. Each person’s writing has sort of their own voice.
In the beginning, when the semester first began, I was still stuck on the 5 paragraph rule high school had taught me. Within the first few weeks in this class I feel like I have already broken the habit of only writing 5 paragraphs thanks to the blogs we’ve written. Although I don’t enjoy writing, that sure doesn’t stop me from learning more about it. Mr. Frank has taught me so much, and his insight towards writing is so fascinating. He sees writing in a whole new way I never saw. My eyes are slowly opening.
Writing is like a web of connections that tie in together to talk about something. I’ve learned some useful methods to better understanding what I read. Like paraphrasing a paragraph or looking for patterns of repetition and contrast. These are two of my favorite methods to better understanding the literature I am reading so I can later easily talk or write about it. Writing and then receiving feedback from another person is possibly the best thing in writing in my opinion, since people get to read and give you their opinion. That is what helped me construct the piece of writing I have made.
This essay was by far the most challenging yet. I first wrote my Project 2 on the subject of marijuana, but thanks to Mr. Frank’s feedback, I was informed that all my paper talks about is the drug and not of any particular discourse. I was a bit hazy at first since I didn’t fully comprehend what a community discourse was, primarily because I honestly didn’t read the prompt. I just started my project based on the teachings I interpreted in class and the assumption that I had to talk about a community discourse, mine being “marijuana”, with information I got from sources and purely give my opinions on the discourse. I was wrong, really wrong. Mr. Frank was nice enough to soften his words towards the abomination of an essay I wrote. I didn’t follow the prompt one bit. I didn’t even write about the general thing we were supposed to write about, a community discourse! I rewrote what my sources said yet still giving them the credit they deserved, and then gave my opinion on it, when really; I should have conversed through my sources creating a conversation. That is what I hoped to accomplish on the complete makeover of my Project 2 paper. I chose a completely new topic. One of religion where I focus in on a particular church called the Westboro Baptist Church. It was so hard for me not to take a side when the most logical thing to do would be to go against the church. I feel I did a really good job speaking with my sources and articulating the article I provided. I have never spent so much time on an essay, researching and learning more about a discourse; the many conversations and questions that popped up from my sources.
My first encounter with having to use sources and bring them into a conversation was in Project 1 in which I did fairly well, but not as good as I could have done. Here is a quote I used in my first project: “As Cooper says in his article, The Mutable Mobile: Social Theory in the Wireless World,” “With cell phones certain kinds of public space have been intruded. As a result, the distinction between private and public has been blurred. People in public space are now unexpectedly exposed to one side of a two-party private interaction, which can be frustrating with speculations about the missing side of the interaction.” As a response to the source I state my opinion: “Although it's true, nobody wants to hear you babbling about how much money you owe your landlord, we just have to deal with it. I do believe it is rude to talk on the phone in public, but not to a certain extent where I would pepper spray or ram a person with my vehicle.” I successfully quote a source and incorporate it into the conversation, but what I fail to do is give that source a voice since I only quote it once. This is where I realized that a source is a precious thing in which a writer should focus more on. A source is a precious resource that should not be taken for granted and should be used to the fullest extent. If anything, it was writing Project 2 where I truly exercised my source utilizing skills.
This has been a completely different experience for me. Getting introduced to new things, especially in writing is good. Your view on writing expands further as you try new things. All the hard work I’ve done comes down to this final portfolio. I really feel like I’ve learned much, but I can’t stop here. There is much to learn about English as it is not a simple subject. I really feel accomplished finishing this class as I have worked hard and really learned a lot from a great professor. I will forever remember this class as the class that completely changed my view not only in English, but in writing.