Letter of Reflection
Dear Professor Myers and Classmates,
Throughout the duration of this course my flaws and fortes have been made apparent by means of the assignments we have had to complete. I never thought that in my freshman year of college I would end up turning in a paper four different times simply because I never thought I would have the time to make that many revisions. UW:20 altered my writing process considerably, and for the better. Now I know – whether it’s with a student, teacher, or writing center – my writing should be reviewed multifariously to press the most cogent argument out of my words. Revision used to entail the rearrangement and modification of diction; now it requires the addition of new concepts and analysis, as well as changing the foundation of the argument. This is similar to re-bricking a house rather than throwing a new coat of paint on it. The former takes a lot more exertion.
As most of us can probably attest from high school, assembling a first-rate paper in one night was became a habit. This had to change in college, but it happened abruptly with my first writing assignment, Essay 1. This writing assignment challenged the breadth of my writing capabilities, simply because this style and I had never crossed paths at any point in my career. To this day, even after three revisions, I still cannot grasp the layout of Essay 1 in its entirety. Having said this, that assignment required me to write in an unorthodox form I was not comfortable with. In high school essays were challenging but straightforward. If you did this, this, and this effectively an A grade would follow. Essay 1’s irregular structure gave me a new style of writing that I can confide in throughout my writings in college, regardless of if I fully understand its purpose or not.
My perception of a scholarly question has also changed. I used to associate a scholarly question with essay questions: one that has multiple parts regardless of its content or style. If an essay question had multiple questions to answer but were all close-ended, I considered it a scholarly question. After taking this course, scholarly questions seem to have been created by preliminary research and overall questioning. It takes a lot to answer a question of this nature, and I came to the realization – much like earlier in the essay – that one couldn’t be answered or even formed in a night. Multiple days of research combined with tinkering and tweaking from other students coalesce to create a scholarly question.
Some of the other letters posted have talked about perceptions of the quiz that we took at the beginning of the semester. Looking back on that quiz, I recall being scared because I thought the quiz was going to be on the Henrietta Lacks book we had to read over the summer. That probably wouldn’t have gone so well. I’m glad we took a similar quiz at the end of the semester and compared the two because it enabled us to see the differences from the first day. For the most part my answers were the same, but it was interesting to think about how I felt on the first day of class and why I wrote in such a way.
Even as informal as this letter of reflection is, I will still revise it in some way as opposed to if I wrote it at the beginning of the semester. The writing in UW:20 was challenging to me, and thorough revision will be a property that I will hold with me throughout my collegiate career as a writer.