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Letter of Reflection

Dear Professor Meyers,

This course has made me realize the importance of revision and through this realization I have learned about my own writing. In high school, when I would write a rough draft of my essay I would never really have great intentions of changing it too radically. Usually I would have someone read it to point out any awkward or confusing spots, I would change them and I would have my final draft. After taking this course I realized revision is a lot more and if you take the time to do it right, it will improve your essay significantly. After completing the first draft of essay #1, you told the class that you expected all of us to rewrite the entire essay. I was appalled, I spent hours on it the first time and didn’t want to spend another three hours doing it a second time. Despite, my lack of enthusiasm to rewrite it, I did and I was a lot happier with it the second time around. Then, when I got comments back the second time, I had decided I wanted to change the direction of my essay again. After finishing, writing the paper for the third time, I wasn’t sure if it was necessarily want you wanted but I was a lot happier about it and by revision I found my paper and found what I really wanted to talk about.

Senior year of high school, I was in a basic level English class, not honors or AP; it was one class I did not have to worry about my grade. I got A’s on all my papers and my teacher used my essays as models. I knew I should have taken a course that challenged me more. Coming to GW I was nervous to take a writing course because I know writing is not my strongest subject, I do not enjoy it, and I knew all the A’s I received senior year were not realistic in a college level writing class. At the beginning of the semester I was not confident in my writing and to be honest I can’t say that my confidence has improved significantly. I still see writing as a weak area for me. However, I know understand the importance of revision and what it can do for a paper, which is a significant step in becoming a better writer. For me, being a good writer really just depends on the grade I receive, which is solely based off of the professor’s view of your writing. I could have a professor who likes the way I write and the next year have one that doesn’t, therefore I am not completely sure how to perceive myself as a writer. I do not think I am an awful writer, but I just prefer numbers.

During the semester, I feel that I have grow as a writer in the sense that I have learned to diversify my writing more. This is also a skill that I wanted to improve upon coming into the course because throughout high school most of my papers were just analytical papers in response to a prompt about a book. Writing the first essay was hard for me because I wasn’t used to having so many different ideas in one essay and then somehow connecting them without really saying your “thesis.” It also forced me to write without editorializing. I wasn’t used to writing something and now making a comment to make sure readers understand. This definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. Then, switching from that writing to piece to essay two was also a challenge. Yet I learned about how to write an annotated bibliography which I see as important as I know other college students who have to write them every year.

After taking this course I understand what it means to read a scholarly article. Something that is scholarly formulates an argument and has an opinion based on credible information. Scholarly engagement can begin once something counters that argument or believes there is another side to the story. Research in this course has shown me that there are two sides to every story and even if it takes time you can find them. If you do the research necessary and answer the scholarly questions, you should write it down so others can see your opinion and where you base this opinion from. If you have a question research it, because it is almost guaranteed that someone else has had the same question so you should hear what their opinion is first. Thank you for a great semester!

Sincerely,

Rachel Stanley

 

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