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

By: Sierra Severin

When asked how writing impacts my learning, I really had to think about it. I knew that writing impacted my learning but I didn’t quite know how to put it into words. When trying to figure out how it impacted my learning, I had to look at the two main words in that question, writing and learning. When we think about writing we usually think about putting words onto paper either using a computer or the old fashion way, pen and paper. But writing is much more than that. It’s a way to express how you feel about something. To be able to fully express how you feel about a topic, you have to be to know how to express it in the best way possible. Now let’s take a look at the word learning. Learning to me is always ongoing. You will never stop learning about things because no one knows everything. So back to the main question, how does writing impact my learning? When thinking about it and making argument boxes like my professor suggested, I came up with a few ways that writing impacted my learning.

One of the ways that writing has impacted my learning would be that I can now write an essay that is more clear and precise. I was never very good at writing out how I felt because I couldn’t put it into words. Although it is still hard for me to express how I feel on paper, I am getting better at it. My college writing class helped me with this problem because my professor showed me all the different ways I can write a paper that was clear and also still my opinion. When writing an essay you need to make sure that your evidence is correct, and that you are still standing your ground and making sure the reader knows how you feel about the topic. If the reader can’t figure out how you feel about the topic then your paper is pretty much useless.

The next way that I know that writing impacted my learning is that you can’t learn if you can’t write. Everyone pretty much knows that in order to learn you need to be able to read and write. We are taught in kindergarten how to read and write, and throughout our time in school we are taught each year how to be better at both, but what most teachers sometimes miss while trying to teach their students is that everyone learns at a different rate. The nice thing about college is that we take a test to determine how much we know so we can be placed in the correct class. For me, this class was the perfect fit. I was never good at writing in high school, and it’s nice that I can be put into a class that will help me become better at writing.

The final way that writing has impacted my learning is that every day I’m learning how to write better. Writing impacts my learning because writing is a part of my learning. Every day I see myself getting better and better at writing because I’m learning more and more. No one will ever be the best writer in the world, but we all can be as good as we choose to be. When it comes to writing, the only way to get better is to write. Learning how to write is only a portion of it, but to actually write over and over again is the only way to get better. You can sit in the classroom and listen to the professor lecture about writing, but only you and make yourself the best writer you can be. All it takes is a little determination and a professor to make you the best you. My professor really helped me learn how to be a better writer. We wrote four blog posts throughout the semester, and with each blog post we learned something new. I never felt pressured to be the best, and he didn’t grade us all the same. In my opinion, the professor graded us on how well we did over the semester. If he could see that we really tried and improved, then we would get a better grade. I think that when it comes to learning all professors should grade this way.

When looking at each blog post, I noticed how I improved over the semester. I started with my first blog post. I started off by saying: “I did not choose to go to college just to further my education, but for something that means even more to me. I chose to go to college for my mother.” This is called point first paragraph. I started off by telling my readers exactly why I chose to go to college. I never knew about point first or point last paragraphs until my professor had a lecture about it. After learning this I could see my writing was starting to improve already, and this made me want to continue learning how to be a better writer.

My second blog post was about how we should mix both in class lecture and online learning. This was the first blog post that I had where I used a hyperlink. In high school I was taught to cite all of my sources that I used at the very end of my paper, but during the process of completing my second blog post I learned how to hyperlink my sources. I think this is very cool because this brings me directly to the website I was getting my information from rather than having to go through each citation to find the one I was looking for.

My third blog post was the start of acknowledge and response. I have used this before in my essays, but I never realized it. Knowing that I have done acknowledge and response before made me more confident about my writing. I used acknowledge and response when I said: “Most college faculty and parents think it’s easy to make friends in college without drinking, however from my own personal experience, I can say that making friends in college has been one of the most stressful things so far.” I acknowledged that they felt this, and I responded by giving them an example from my own personal experience.

When it came to my final blog post I felt I didn’t do as well as I wanted. With worrying about finals and making sure I got everything done time, I wasn’t as focused in class as I should have been. Even though I felt like I didn’t do very good, I used the feedback my professor gave me to try and make my blog post as well written as I could. Having my professor give me feedback on each of my blog posts before I posted them really helped. Before my professor looks at my blog post, we have a peer review day. On the peer review day we pick a partner to look over our paper and give us some feedback to work on. One of the reasons why I felt like I didn’t do as well on my last blog post was because I did not get any feedback from my partner. My partner had told me that she gave me feedback, and even replied to my paper, but she replied to my paper with only a copy of my paper. I did not know how to make my paper better before having my professor look at it that I had to give it to him how it was. Even though I feel like I didn’t do as well on this blog post, I am still happy with how it turned out.

Writing is a crucial part of the learning process, and in my opinion it is the most important part. Not every job you have will require you to know the Pythagorean Theorem, but every job will require you to write. Even if it is to explain how you did something, write a bestselling novel, or the little heartfelt note in a Hallmark card, you will always have to write. Everyone is different when it comes to writing. We have our own style to writing, and that is what makes us unique. Writing is a way to be free and let your creative side run wild. When it comes to learning, there is limitless possibilities for writing, you can either try them all out, or pick the one best suited for you.

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