Professor Myers and my University Writing classmates,

Writing at a university level is no easy task. In high school, I honestly tried to avoid revising my work so as to avoid disrupting a mood I may have been conveying. I was pretty wrong. Not only has revision become such an integral part of every piece of writing I’ve handed in since coming to college, but my research has multiplied substantially.

I started UW in a mess. I did not get The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in International CI – I had to borrow my roommate’s copy and read the book in two days. I was, needless to say, a little bit surprised by the amount of homework I had to get done by the second week of school. Although the work load evened out eventually, UW remained one of my more demanding classes.

I found the first essay to be very puzzling in contrast with the second essay and even the final paper. Previously, I could rely on myself to grind out decent essays in single sittings and get respectable grades. Unfortunately, essay 1 proved to be too exacting to finish over the course of even several days. In the end, though, I grew frustrated and submitted a paper I myself frowned upon. I guess my grade was well-deserved.

I started essay 2 with the woes of writing essay 1 in mind. I made sure to give myself extended periods of time to tap-out my thoughts. I started from outlining my paper and moved on to throwing in my ideas. Although I was not overly pleased with the way my final result turned out, the essay was definitely much more open to revision.

After writing two papers for University Writing, I confidently moved on to my International Affairs writing assignment. I made sure to give myself at least two weeks for revision, took the time to compile a list of sources, and had others take a look at my essay. As a result, my final grade was far above the class average. I attribute my grade entirely to the lessons I inadvertently learned whilst writing essays 1 and 2.

 

I am not a scientific person; therefore, I cannot say I took up University Writing for the benefit of learning more about science. However, the scientific backdrop brought a sense of meaning to the course. It gave us something to focus on, something to write about. The blog, in conjunction with science, motivated me to do more research on scientific advances, thus improving not only my research skills but also my general knowledge of the sciences.

The blog was incredibly helpful in many ways. I learned to summarize very efficiently and drew lessons from the abilities of my peers. I kind of regret that I did not take a more proactive role in the blog, as I know that my writing skills would have improved far more drastically had I checked up on the blog more frequently.

Finally, Professor Myers’ comments on my papers have been more than helpful. They’ve taught me that sometimes, a few simple words can be more than enough to convey ideas. Long, confusing passages are not always necessary.

 

I see a bright future for my writing. I see more revision being employed and I see myself allocating much more time to writing each paper. I would like to take the time to thank each and every one of my classmates for bringing their brilliant ideas to each class, as early as they may be. Thank you, scholars, for your contribution!

 

Best wishes,

 

Oskar Sharman

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