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

Bridget Leen

Over the past few months we have written four different blog posts. As the course of this class continued, I saw my writing improve. Before this class I did not feel very confident in my writing. As of now, I feel more confident. I know that I still have thing to work on in my writing, but before this class I did not really know how to form a proper paragraph. I also learned about different things that was going on in our country. We talked about alcohol, to sports, and diversity in colleges. With out taking this class I might have not learned about these topics.

I know now how to use a point first and point last paragraph. Before I learned about point first and last paragraphs I would just write down what ever came to my mind and hoped for the best. I could barley get my idea across. On my first blog post rough draft I got a BC. Dr. Scheler, my IDIS 100 teacher, told me in my feedback “Generally speaking, there’s tons of good material here, but a lot of it really isn’t coming together in my head”. So if it did not make sense to him, it probably did not make sense to other people. I feel that as this class continued, I was able to see if ideas were not coming together and fix them. This did not happen all the time, but it was more often then in the beginning of this class.

Before I would just try to put all the points I had into one paragraph. I did not know how to narrow my points down. I would have to many points in one paragraphs and it would make it confusing to read. As I wrote more blog posts I learned how to narrow down the points in my paragraphs. In my first feedback from Dr. Scheler, two out of his three points were talking about how I should focus on the main point of my paragraph and not go into other points: “First off, there are many paragraphs here that make a range of points. The idea behind a paragraph, as I explained in class, is that you should make ONE basic point per paragraph, and that this point should come at either the beginning or the end of that paragraph” and “So, I guess I’m suggesting that you start by focusing each of your paragraphs around a single, clearly-announced point (either point-first or point-last), cutting out or revising any sentences that make a separate or conflicting point”. After I got the feedback, I revised my essay. I took all his point into consideration and made the revisions. I ended up getting an AB. I learned from my mistakes from my rough draft. When I got my grade back I was pleased.

Sometimes I would not explain my point thoroughly. This would leave confusion for the readers. I would just leave them hanging. Another thing I would do was contradict my main point. I would just make my points general and the paragraph would not be good. In my second blog post I was writing about students have creativity over their projects: “Students should have full creativity over their projects”, and Dr. Scheler stated “I like this idea (and this paragraph) very much, but ‘full creativity over their projects’ seems a bit vague. Maybe phrase this sentence in a way where you tell a story about the best projects, like ‘the best projects are those that allow students to be creative’”. I did not explain this point through. I should have been more specific. Seeing as the semester went on, I saw and Dr. Scheler saw that I was being more specific: “I think that your paragraphs now generally make specific points leading up to that claim in a much more organized fashion than before”. I have to say that I am pretty proud of this because I found this to be my weakest point in my writing. It was nice that my professor saw it in my writing also.

When the third blog post came around I did not do as well as I had hoped for. I was not stating my claim. I would just have examples of what I was trying to say, and Dr. Scheler pointed that out in my feedback: “However, that claim itself is never really articulated in words; in fact, all the paragraphs below start right in with either examples or generalities, but never really offer a clear statement of the point/reason you’re trying to prove”. As I was working on my revisions to this blog post, I had gotten the call that my grandpa had died. He was my best friend so I took it pretty hard. When I turned in my revisions for this blog post I did worse than in my first draft. So I guess what I am trying to say here is that things in your life can really affect ones writing. Sometimes we cannot avoid things in life, and the way we handle the situation is very important. When this had happened to me I probably should have tried to handle it better. I should have put more time into my blog post, but I did not and it showed in my grade.

Writing is a very important part of learning. In process Assignment 29 I wrote that I had learn many different things. I specifically talked about that I learned more about diversity. I have heard the word before and I only thought about the color of someone’s skin. I quickly learned that skin color was not the only thing that determines diversity. I learned that diversity could be the religion you are, or even your financial situation. If I did not do this assignment, I would have probably never learned about the different types of diversity.  I also learned that having diversity in colleges is better for the students.  The students learn how to work with different people. Going to a diverse college prepares you for the future.  This is why writing is an important factor.

In the long run of this class, I learned a lot. I found my strong points in writing, and I also found my weak points. If I had not taken this class, I would still be struggling with my writing. Taking this class, I learned many things that I might not have learned about if I did not take this class. We talked about many different things, I stated them in my introduction, like diversity, sports, and alcohol in and around college campuses. I am very glad that I took this course.

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