i A Reflection on Writing | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Ruby Castillo

Honestly, I have never loved to writing and I don’t think I ever will but I have learned to see it as important instead of a chore. In school I always feared any kind of essays, especially the creative writing assignments. Throughout my twelve years in school, teachers taught how to write in different ways never saying why they did things a certain way. It was always, “ Do it because I say so”. Also, every year teachers wanted students to write their way so there was never a consistent way to write. Some wanted a long introductions with multiple paragraphs, each introducing one claim. Others wanted a short to the point paragraph with to the point paragraphs. One teacher my junior year would give us a handout for every new essay that we had to write. One clear way never stuck because I had a jumble mess on how to write. Then, I came into college writing “sloppy” papers. I struggle thinking of topics and making them all fit into a coherent essay. The lessons that I have been taught in this class have really helped my writing become better. I’ve learned what makes a paper clear and how to do that. This class has really taught me how to prove my point and now I feel like I know how to write an essay. Overall I know why things are done and how they improve one’s writing.

In my first blogpost draft I had some major errors. First my essay was not clear. I was not offering “specific points” I was only partially offering a clear statement. It was mostly hidden in the middle of my paragraph. Also I had too much stuff in one paragraph, I needed to separate the topics into different paragraphs to clear up my argument. My quotations did not offer enough context so that other people could know what I was talking about. Then there were two quotes that were not quoted properly so there was a confusion if they really were quotes or not. This was a big problem because it could make my professors think I was plagiarizing and that would not be good. I improved this draft by adding hyperlinks to my quotations and introducing them more properly. This helps readers know that I am providing evidence for my argument and if they do not know what I am talking about then they can click on the link and read it for themselves. My paragraphs were revised but they were still not completely clear. I still needed to work on my clarity. In one of my paragraphs I say ’in an article by Edward J. Ray, he believes that…” instead I could have said “Edward J. Ray believes that…” This takes away any unnecessary information.

A good thing I did in my Blogpost 2 draft is announce my claim clearly. But I forgot to prove my point with evidence. I just stated my reasons and in doing this, I was making a strawman argument. In one of my paragraphs I talked about my French teacher being a helicopter teacher and that it was not helpful for me because she was holding me back from learning. It conflicted with my claim that the best education was in a classroom since I was not learning in the classroom. To fix it, I had to describe what the ideal classroom was and use my French teacher as an example of what not to do. In a way this technique that I was to use was the A&R that we learned in class. My professor offered my advice on my quotes. He told me that quotes don’t count as evidence and also my quote did not really prove my point. So, I had to state my quote correctly and explain how it went along with my claim. My revision on my draft showed that my overall argument was clear but I still had issues with one of the paragraphs because it still contradicted my argument. In order to fix it, I should have used the acknowledgment and response technique that we learned in class to show why helicopter teachers are not good for a student’s education in the classroom.

Blog Post 3 started off with me contradicting my argument. My claim was that athletics are beneficial to Division III athletes and then I ended my essay with John Oliver’s viewpoint that the NCAA is corrupted. My intention was to use it as showing that only the 1st division was corrupt but as the feedback stated, it is a better move to use it as an acknowledgment and response. It would solidify my claim that the NCAA Division III is the best for athletes. After fixing my essay’s structure I would have some information that I could use for background. In my final draft, I still had issues that made my argument weak. Instead of acknowledging then responding, I responded first. The acknowledgement is supposed to introduce my point that I am making. I was too specific in some paragraphs like only focusing on football players learning Swahili and how that is not beneficial to them instead of proving my point that Division III athletics in general are the better option and while trying to proofread others I added too much information. It would have made everything more clearly if I had separated everything so that the big picture could have been seen more clearly.

In my 4th blogpost graft, my argument is hidden in the middle of the paragraph. In order to make what I am trying to say stand out so that people get the picture, I should do a point last paragraph. That way I don’t lose sight of what I am trying to prove and my readers know what I am trying to say. I have a lot of solutions in order to increase diversity at this school but they can be put into separate paragraphs so the focus is more specific so that I do not lose it. Also, there is an issue that I did not think of. I state that schools need to give out more financial aid that does not need to be paid back but SNC already gives out a lot. I should acknowledge and respond to it and say that diversity is still not increasing.  I offer almost no personal argumentative voice. This makes my paper seem more research like. My points are also not reasons that should support my claims. In order to fix this, I should make my points into reasons by explaining why. Lastly my essay has no concluding paragraph. I need one so that I can tie in all of my points.

Overall my main problem has always been getting things to be clear. That is what I have been struggling with in all of my blogposts. In order to get my point across I think that I should utilize point first or last in my papers. Also, I need to focus on only one point instead of putting in multiple points in a paragraph. I believe that I have learned how to use my quotes more efficiently in order to prove my point. This class has also taught me to look for evidence to prove a claim when looking at a source. It’s easy to make a claim but the evidence is what makes it true instead of making an argument because one feels that way

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