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

Cecillia Clausen

Over the course of the semester I have noticed my writing skills have improved and I am able to well organize my essays much better than I was able to in the beginning of the semester. I am able to write more clear of essays and arguments in this class as well as in my other classes. I have learned easier ways to form thesis statements, which is one thing I really struggle with and to get my point across in my essays.

One part of the class that was really helpful to me was how in class we went over the basic skills of writing. By reviewing the basics of writing it has helped me to start my writing from the basics and to build up my skills to the level I am at now. Starting with the basics is always good in school, sports, and in life. By starting from the basics I was able to grasp better ideas and to form my paragraphs. Another helpful resource was when the feedback on each essay we wrote from our classmates and from the professor. The feedback helped me revise the essay and to help fine small mistakes and grammar mistakes.

In unit 1 when we started talking about why we choose St. Norbert College. It made me wonder why I even chose to go to college and nevertheless why I did choose St. Norbert College. I liked the process assignment questions because they made me think and it helped me to write about something I actually had a real opinion and feelings on, rather than just writing about whatever the professor told me to. I was able to voice my own opinion in this class. I feel like my writing skills in this first blog post just show how inexperienced I was in the writing field. In our very first process assignment in class It was a bit shaky and short. This is a short tid bit from process assignment 30:  “My reasoning for coming to SNC was to further my education and to get a degree. I hope to become an elementary school teacher and SNC seemed to be the best place to do that. My parents wanted me to further my education after high school, but they did not push me to go to a four-year college. I decided on my own what the best place for me would be. Also SNC is close to my house so it would be easy for me to come home every once in awhile and to bring more clothes here”. As you can see in the beginning of this course my paragraph was short and not clear. I did not go into detail on the topic like I have learned to do while taking this course. I blandly answered the question not giving any other insight on my thoughts or feelings. Over the course of this unit I was able to see and compare the difference between experienced writers and my writing. I helped to show me how to improve my writing and to keep my writers interested.

Lesson two was the hardest for me, we learned how to form arguments. And understanding what a claim is and how to create a well constructed claim. Also, to add strong evidence to the reading, which I have never done before making this unit tricky for me. In the beginning of this unit I was adding weak evidence to my claims. Like in blog post two when I use my roommate Olivia’s experience in one of her classes and put it up against my claim: “I go to class with my reading done, but we never discuss the reading in class. My professor does not talk about the reading he talks about nonsense and random stuff not helping me to learn anything about psychology”.  I feel as this evidence does not strongly prove my claim in this post. I could have used a professional’s experience and have gone more in depth on the situation. But, that is the beauty of this course. It has taught me to find the stronger evidence to use to help support my claims in my posts and process assignment’s.

Most people go through the day in a “default setting” as David Foster Wallace would say. Meaning that we only have our own thoughts on our mind and we do not worry about what others are feeling or experiencing in life. Something goes for opinions. One of the wonderful things we have learned and were able to do in this course was to express our own opinion. Most people keep only their opinion in mind about a topic when in reality there are many different opinions be aware of. Which is something I do not like to do. In blog post 3 we were able to express our opinions and yet keep other in mind to help build up our argument.  Going through this unit we created our own opinion but yet were instructed to listen to others opinions and to respond to them.

In our last unit in class I had to opportunity to write about a topic that is a concern here on here at St. Norbert. Making it more interesting to me to research and write about diversity in the catholic church. I never really took the time to consider how other students on campus felt about the diversity and what the students who come from diverse backgrounds felt about the campus diversity. When researching diversity in the catholic church I found out many new facts about St. Norbert that shocked me. I have always felt we had a many good programs for diverse students here on campus, but I found out we actually do not. While writing my blog post four I did have a difficult time developing a topic and a strong claim to help my reader understand my feelings towards the topic.

All in all, this course has really opened my eyes to show how a good writer should see a paper and how a good writer should attack the essay and the topic. I have learned to take step by step procedures to make my writing clear, organized, and my arguments strong. I am now able to take a hard prompt and attack it step by step to clearly let my ideas flow on to the paper. I also was able to open my eyes to other opinions and matters in the class and to see how all different subjects can relate to each other. Now I know I have done what I set out to do in the beginning of the year, I have strived and pushed myself to become a better writer.

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