i What I’ve Learn From College Writing | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Nolan Matson

At beginning of my first year here at SNC, I thought that writing would only be a minor skill that would be need to know. However, I learned very quickly that I was wrong. Turns out as a college student, you have to use your writing skills in every class and use them to the best of your ability. This College writing class has help me develop my writing ability and taught me new techniques to take my writing to a whole another level. This is why I believe that writing is just as important as learning itself.

The first unit of College Writing, taught us the basic rules of writing, in the form of sentence structure. We mainly focused on the importance of clear sentences. I imagine like me, many of my fellow students thought this was a waste of time. We all knew what a sentence should be and how it should look. However, we did not know the importance of a clear sentence. In the beginning of this class I did not correctly source my evidence to support my claim in my Blog Post One: “Fareed Zakaria, who is a huge supporter in the liberal arts education, believes that it is one of the best ways to get an education. In his article, he says: “The final strength of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to learn – to read in a variety of subjects, find data, analyze information.”.” Instead, I should have hyperlinked Fareed Zakaria and put a colon after education. By learning the basics of writing, the class was set us up with a firm foundation for us to build on, as writers. As we began to learn to write fluently, I saw my writing starting to change, from long confusing sentences, to short, concise, well explained information. These simple change in writing may not seem like much of a change but it sets this class up to become a better overall writers.

Unit two was primarily focused on writing the best argument to our abilities. To do this, we had to learn what a true claim looks like, find and correctly use evidence that supported our ideas and how to develop corresponding reasons. We used other people’s beliefs to strengthen our own claims. We had options to either write on the topic helicopter teachers or discuss whether or not that online classes are good for the liberal arts institutions. I used my classmate Deshawn’s positive experience of being helicopter for my Blog Post Two essay: “In high school, I had my German teacher helicopter over me. She would never let us study in our groups for upcoming test or quizzes. We would play games to work on vocabulary and she would join in to really test us. This really helped with my learning because I would study harder in case I had to ever compete against her in one of our study games so I would not disappoint her or look like I did not know the material. I think that the fact that she helicoptered over us really helped improve my learning and made me a better German student.”.” Deshawn help me bring my writing to a new level, because I used his testimony for the benefit of my paper. This made my blog post two a strong argument.

Our third unit, reminded us that every person has their own sets of beliefs, virtues and values. The unit also taught us how to respond to their beliefs, acknowledge their claims, while stating our own claims. While reviewing our Blog Post Two material, my Professor pointed out that I already had mastered the acknowledgment and respond form of writing on my own without even knowing it. We were given the topic of the treatment of college athletics from the NCAA and had to agree or disagree with claims that pertained to them. I chose to write my essay on the idea that Division III athletics are different to Division I and that Division III student athletes have the best experience of sports than any division. To strengthen my essay I used John Oliver’s belief on treatment on student athletes in my Blog Post Three Essay: “the NCAA and coaches get millions while the players get an education, and an overworked schedule”. When Mr. Oliver makes these statements he does not specify whether this treatment is for just Division I athletes or for all student athletes. I then gave other evidence to support my overall claim that Division III athletic programs like those of SNC, benefits college athletes, rather than harming them. Since I used and acknowledge a claim that opposed mine, the opposing view actually help strengthened my own paper.

The final unit of College Writing was to find new and well informed resources on the web, that we could actually use to support or use acknowledge and response for our essays, along with finding the right audience to target. As an author you would want to send your message to an audience who can understand and have a value of your topic. This idea is pretty much common sense, however it is usually overlooked. Most of the time you are so focused on creating an argument that everyone that you are showing it to would agree with. So, you should research what are the major beliefs and values of the two sides of your argument. This will help you gain acceptance for you side of view, as well as giving you a better understanding how different kinds of people think. This will give you a sense of understanding and appreciation for the thought of your readers. These kinds of understanding and appreciation will be great values for your everyday life. Dr. David Weege, a former professor at SNC, tells us that these values along with many more are the key to be a good citizen. In his article, Toward a More Civil Discourse, he says: “As citizens we can, recognize that in a multicultural society such as the U.S., individuals and groups are going to have different and hence competing visions of the future for our society. We should show genuine respect for those whose ideas compete with our own, pay attention and engage in thoughtful listening….Be inclusive, listen to, and be open to, all points of view….Assert ourselves-but at the right time….Speak the truth; do not exaggerate facts or evidence….Support our arguments with strong underlying logic and evidence. Be accountable for what you say, and how you say it…Understand that our point of view may not prevail…And, as members of the St. Norbert College community, we can follow the Norbertine ideal of communio by mutual esteem, trust, sincerity, faith and responsibility…” Dr. Weege’s ideas were meant to help benefit the community, however they can also be used for writing. We can be open for all points of view, show respect, support our arguments with strong evidence, assert ourselves at the right time, and do not exaggerate facts or evidence. These values show respect to other people’s opinion while arguing a claim.

Over the course of this College Writing class, I have learned important basic units of writing, how to create the best argument as possible by using peer evidence, being able to understand your opponent’s argument while stating your own claim, and find up to date and correctly informed information on the internet. With all this new information, strategies, and knowledge, I hope to be the best writer I can be. I have taken some pretty large steps in writing, since I’ve taken College Writing. Now I have to utilize all of these new things that I have learn over this past semester and continue finding new ways to enhance my writing capability.

 

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