Midterm Reflection

Looking back to the beginning of the semester from where I am now, I realize that I have come quite a long way. Before starting the course I did not believe my writing would improve at all; I thought this class would just be an extremely time consuming inconvenience but I was clearly wrong. The class is very integrative, captivating and extremely helpful in my development. New areas are explored through thorough explanation, examples and practice. This is what I appreciate the most about the class; I feel like for the first time, the instructor actually cares about the performance and the development of their students.

Thus far I’ve had experience with different genres of writing. I have wrote personal essays where the writing was more relaxed and informal to really give the reader an idea of who I am. Through my I-search paper I have seen the most development as I have explored a range of different genres. I have learned how to write out interviews (block quotes if necessary), the formal research aspect of it and the informal narrative part of the paper where I describe my journey of the whole process. Each assignment had a different tone to it due to the different audience and general genre of how it should be presented. This gave me practice in adjusting to different audiences and practicing different writing styles.

My writing process has developed a lot as well. Now when I start the writing portion of the writing process I write absolutely everything and anything that I can come up with in hopes of finding that diamond in the rough. It is filter free and no precautions are taken to make it acceptable at that point. After spilling everything out on the canvas, I eliminate and improve sentence after sentence and constantly re-read the work to make sure it comes off the tongue easily as I’ve had a problem with my works being too wordy. I make sure that what I’m writing about is relevant and addresses the topic at hand as I had a tendency earlier to babble on about something else. For example, in my proof-read I-search draft I had a whole paragraph restating who my interviewee, Chris, was. It was not apparent at first but it was pointed out by Adrienne and it helped me stay more conscious about this issue as I continued to read through my paper.

When it comes to research, I learned how to use online journal article databases. I learned that using quotations around the key words makes the search more specific to that topic which was extremely useful. For example, when searching for Michigan potholes articles, using quotations took down my search results from hundreds, down to 10 which is much more manageable and convenient since it typically leaves the most relevant articles. I’ve learned to spot bias in a journal article when we as a class searched my topic for Project 3 in class. One article was trying to ruin the image of Michigan governor Rick Snyder, this later made sense once we realized the article was written by democrats.

As I was searching through articles to see which ones will benefit me, I came up with an efficient technique. I would scroll to the part of the article where the key words showed up and would make sure that they were being talked about in the proper context before I went back to the beginning to read the entire article. This technique saved me a lot of time. I would have wasted 10 minutes reading an article that I determined not to read in 1 minute if I hadn’t came up with my technique.

In the next couple of months I hope to be consistent with clarity in works by providing examples to illustrate my points. The part of my project 1 feedback that stood out the most to me was the fact that I was too wordy. This is something I plan to keep working on. I’m also hoping my works in the future never stray off topic and really drive the point home. I plan on doing this by tweaking my writing process in that before I start writing I review these 3 points: be clear and concise, do not be too wordy and stay on topic. I look forward to tackling the next task at hand. Project 3 provides an exciting challenge. I also look forward to what the rest of the semester has to offer.

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