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Letter of Reflection

                Dear Professor Myers,

                Through your University Writing class, I have learned many different things about myself as a writer and about the writing process. Coming into the class, I never considered myself a good writer. I had always loathed anything that had to do with writing because I never considered myself any good so I thought why should I even bother? University Writing helped open my eyes to my potential as a writer, and showed me that if I work hard at it I can get better and enjoy writing. One of the main skills that I worked on improving at was my revising skills. The idea of revision always sounded bad to me because in high school revision was always referred to in a bad way and meant that the paper wasn’t very good. I now know that that’s not the case at all. Revision is a tool to take your writing and make it better than you thought it could have been before. It allows you to look at your writing with fresh eyes to find places where things can be changed to make things better. Revision can take a good paper to a great paper. My favorite writing exercise that we did was where we were given a few paragraphs by various authors, and we were asked to mimic the authors writing style while writing our own sentence. I found this exercise difficult, but also worthwhile because it challenged me to share my point in a different way than I normally did. I try to carry this exercise over into my own work because it makes such a profound impact on my writing by helping me write a sentence or a paragraph in a way that I would not have seen otherwise.

                The essay that challenged me the most in this class is the second essay about the critique of an article. I struggled with this essay because I had a tough time communicating exactly what the article was saying in a clear way. My writing had a tough time flowing through each main point in my first draft, so it was quite difficult to understand. I also struggled looking at the article as a text itself by talking about the author’s views and biases. My first draft consisted of me relaying what the author said as information instead of showing that they were her arguments.

                This class also challenged me to think about research in a different way. I had always found research hard, especially if I had no starting block provided for me. That was a transition I was really worried about when I came to college, but University Writing calmed my fears about research. I was taught how to look at a source, find out how it could be relevant to my argument within my paper, and also find other articles like it through an online database, the library, or an online search.  Through this class I learned that it’s not as difficult as I thought to make a strong and scholarly argument. Strong and scholarly arguments comes from thoroughly examining a source and finding a certain trend within that source that would be interesting. Then, after doing research on that source and the argument that one are trying to make, they can make a very strong argument with the information that they researched.

                I plan to continue improving on my writing, especially in the areas of revision and clarity. I feel that this class has given me a great start and showed me the start of the path to become a great writer. I plan on continuing writing as much as possible, and maybe even start fun writing just to keep practicing. Writing is like sports, it can be frustrating when you learn something new, but once you master that new way, not only do the results get better but you also gain more satisfaction out of it.

Yours Truly,

Sean McCart

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