Letter of Reflection
Dear Professor Myers and fellow classmates,
I’m not gonna lie, the main reason that I chose this class was because it fit in with my schedule. When I saw that this class met online on Friday mornings I rushed to sign up because it was perfect. I would wake up as 7:50 and do my work then rush over to my engineering class at 9:35. Despite that initial reason for signing up I am glad I did, because of the whole blogging aspect of the class.
I have been meaning to start my own blog for awhile but wasn’t really sure what to do it about or how to start it. Thanks to this class I am now in a much better place. Having to post every weekend on the blog, got me in the habit of posting on a regular basis which is going to help me when I start my own blog next semester. In addition the class blog helped me realize that my own blog will not have to be just news it can also be my own commentary on new stories. This class also helped me explore the blogging process as a whole and get used to the behind the scenes of a blog. I now know how to use WordPress to make and publish posts and will probably use that service for my own blog.
In addition to blogging, I also learned a lot about the writing process as a whole. When I started this class, I barely revised my essays before turning them in, and generally that worked. I would get A’s or A+’s without having to do that much work, but with this class without revision my grades were a little lower. I realized that before I thought my work was good, but what my teachers were looking for was not quality of writing but how fast I could write an average essay. Which makes sense because the whole goal was writing an essay in about 25mins for the SAT’s and AP’s. So I became good at writing excellent essays for the allotted time, but now that were in college we have much more time and our essay’s are going to measured on a much higher scale. As a result, I can see the necessity of having multiple revisions and taking one’s time on writing assignments. With multiple revisions, there is time to catch mistakes you missed earlier and there is the ability to move things around to find the perfect order for your content. You have time to take stories out and add new ones in as well as the ability to rewrite an entire essay if what you have just is not working.
As a result of having to put thought in to multiple revision, I believe my writing has at least improved a little. I believe I now have the skills to write a really good paper for my future classes. I am even excited to apply what I have learned in University Writing in my other classes. University Writing has also opened my eyes to research as well which I will hopefully be able to apply to my other classes. First the writing seminar that we were instructed to go to, helped me understand the type of research that was required for college. The classes in Gelman helped me understand how to use the resources that the library has to offer, which was a great help because at first I had no idea how to use the library. This final project also helped me learn how to do real research on a topic and then be able to filter out what is useful and not useful in a research paper. Overall my skills in research have really evolved throughout the course.
What is a scholarly question, is a difficult one to answer. But I have come to understand that it is a question which provokes further thought, and in order to answer it one must do in depth research on the topic. I believe that scholarly engagement begins once someone has done enough research that they know the topic in and out. Once this happens they can begin to see the root of the argument and realize that there is no one specific answer to the question at hand and that to answer it would require in depth analysis and thinking. This point can only begin once a scholar has done enough research on both sides that they see both sides could be correct. Scholarly engagement also tends to cause new questions to arise that have previously been unanswered and further provoke scholarly thought.
In the end, I am glad that I signed up for this UW because it has evolved me as a writer more then any of the other classes could have. I learned about blogging which I was not expecting, and more importantly I learned a lot about how revision is a key ingredient to the writing process and that it is not something to just shrug off. And more importantly I learned a little bit about how to be a good researcher which I am sure that I can apply to all my later classes. May all your journeys in writing be exciting and enlightening