i Reflective Essay | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Eric Bagg

This semester has shown me how important and useful writing is. Now that this semester is coming to an end, I am starting to notice the value in my writing and how I have improved it over this past semester. My professor has shown me through powerpoints and lectures techniques, different strategies to use when improving mine and other students writing. Now that I have finished this first semester, my writing has flourished into something better and I am now able to structure my papers better and develop a stronger thesis to back up my papers.

I have learned this semester to structure my papers more precisely. During the first few weeks of the semester, we went over as a class, how to structure our paper and what it needs. Before this semester started I was a terrible writer. I never really took the time to improve my writing and I settled with C writing. This semester opened up new opportunities for me. I took it as a chance to improve my writing and make it more clear for people to understand. The structure of my papers have shown great improvement. I can now write a paper that has a flow to it where it is easy to understand and follow. My blog post 4 is an example of how I structured my paper better. In it, I was able to formulate a clear thesis and branch subclaims off of it. With that, I found clear, valid evidence that supported my claim.

One of the key components that I used when I was having trouble on a paper was going back to the power points. Some of the time in class, I had trouble listening and I did not get what I needed out of that class. The powerpoints were a way for me to go back and relearn what I had missed in class. They were well structured and easy to follow. The most helpful powerpoint for me was the editing workshop one. I have never been that good at revising other students essays so this helped me do it better. Another powerpoint that has helped me was the revision workshop. During my blog post 3, I was having trouble revising my paper. Blog post 3 was about acknowledgement and response and I was unaware on how to do it. David Wegge, a professor of political science and director of the St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute said in his article, Toward a More Civil Discourse, Only then can you begin to synthesize the various points of view into a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Then comes the final decision. Not all will agree, but generally there will be a compromise position that most can accept.” After some time of having trouble coming to a consensus, I looked at other viewpoints from students in my class to get a general idea from it. In my Blog Post 3, I was having trouble deciding whose argument to address. I looked at many different viewpoints but it had turned out that I settled for an unclear one in my initial blog post. After looking at DJ’s, I was able to form a better point. Acknowledgement and response is important when writing a paper because you can analyze different viewpoints out of it and come up with new arguments.

One of the most important parts of writing is constructing a strong thesis. From an early age, I learned that the thesis is what structures the paper and it is what gives the main idea. Usually, I am good at coming up with ideas to form a thesis but can never really bring it all together. During Blog Post 2, I really worked hard on improving my thesis. With the help of my professor and other students in my class, they were able to give me advice on writing a clear, constructive thesis. My thesis in Blog Post 2 was,  “Online learning has proved to be beneficiary to my studies and is continuously getting better.” With the help of my classmates and my professor, I was able to make a clear thesis to back up my argument. It was essential to have a strong thesis in this blog post because I was arguing a strong topic about online education.

I have always been kind of shy when it comes to sharing my writing. I knew that I was never that good so I felt embarrassed every time I shared it. It was not an option not to share my writing and I finally opened up. Through constructive criticism I was able to further my writing. I learned that my classmates don’t really care how others write, they just want to give them constructive criticism to help them. An example of this was with my blog post 4. I was really having trouble completing my argument and my professor had helped me. Race is a very heavy issue to write about and it is something that has to be put into consideration before you can put it down on paper. In David Wegge’s article, he said, “Speak truth; do not exaggerate facts or evidence. Speak plainly and to the point.” In my paper, I did just that. I recognized in my paper that if I make a point, I can support it with valid evidence. I should not have held back my writing. I have noticed that I do my best writing when I am not thinking about it. In Blog Post 1, I was able to speak my own truth and just write freely. Even though some of my writing in it was not that clear, I had valid evidence to support my argument.

There is no doubt that writing is an important skill to develop. We all posses the ability to write strong and clear arguments, but it takes a little work to develop. This semester has helped me build and advance my writing. Now that this semester, I can transfer what I had learned this semester and apply it to other writing assignments in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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