Collin Zovnic

By taking this course I have gained valuable skills, that will help me in the writing class I’ll be taking in the spring. Many of the writing skills I’ve learned are used in other classes as well, like when I write an essay or on a test I use the techniques we’ve learned from class to structure my paragraphs/argument. Beyond college, writing skills are an important part of any job, so having the quality of a good writer is essential. Throughout the course of this class (IDIS 100) we have written four blog post, that reflect the topic the class was currently engaged in. These blog posts are about online education, the affordability of college, and diversity in our higher education.

In my first blog post I talked about the problems with going to college (cost, dropout rates, etc.), and the benefits of staying in a college long enough to get the rewards. To support my arguement I used quotes and evidence, however, there wasn’t enough context there to make it understandable, even after I revised it there were still some issues. For example in the second to last paragraph I quoted Fareed Zakaria, however, according to the feedback I didn’t have enough context, so it didn’t make sense to the reader. When I recieved the final feedback on my paper I still didn’t fix the context issues, “please review the “quotations need context” ppt.” I gave the quote by Fareed Zakaria more context, but it wasn’t enough to solve the context problem. While I was revising my first blog post, I had to move some sentences around so they would fit in with the overall idea of the paragraph they were supporting. When I wrote the rough draft for Blog Post 1, I added information from outside sources that wasn’t on the snoodle page. They were deleted because the sentences didn’t really relate to what I was arguing. Overall what I needed to fix in the first blog post was the organization of my essay, it wasn’t very clear because sentences look out of place. I also learned to stop using the “you” statement when I wrote my next blog posts.

The second blog post argues that online education is great, despite many people thinking otherwise. When I wrote up the rough draft, I still had problems writing good quotations such as, context after the quote, no quotes, and not citing evidence. Such as not providing the source for the piece of information, “tuition has risen 1000%,” and providing context to who “Professor Sandel is.” When I went back to revise the essay, I fixed the organization problem, however, I didn’t fix the main context and citation problem enough. The biggest problem with the second blog post was with citing evidence that I gave, although there was no “you” statement problem again, I still needed alot of work to become an effective writer.

My third blog post, which was about college athletics, it was a third shorter than what was required (3 pages). The length of the essay didn’t change much after the revisions. Among the things I had to revise were some evidencing problems, and some acknowledgement and response. Although these were minor problems, my first two blog posts had more evidencing problems. My overall A & R focus helped me to support my claim, however, when I revised an A & R problem it ended up making my essay looked less like an acknowledgement and response paper. “Here you combine it with Ivkovic and, now, Berkey, which makes the whole thing take on too much at once. Indeed, the engagement with Oliver feels less like A&R now.” In the feedback he says that it took on too much at once, which is a problem, that could have been fixed by creating another for “Berkey” so it isn’t as long. When I tried to revise my blog post, it didn’t fix all the problems, and my third blog post could have used another paragraph or two, to make it complete.

The fourth blog post I wrote about is about how colleges are favoring wealthier students over low-income students. The rough draft of this blog post doesn’t have the sam’e A & R focus as the third blog post. It does, however offer evidence (statistics, other people’s opinions) to back up its claim. From the feedback on blog post four I recieved, what my paper covers is somewhat narrow, a certain “sameness” to the paragraphs in the essay. Overall I think that my blog post four is well done, it has less of the organizational problems and citation errors that my other blog post had.

From the beginning of this class to right now, I have improved my writing skill. I know how to correctly use quotations, the point last paragraph, and how to convince someone reading my argument to side with me. However, I still need to improve in some areas of my writing, particularly the length of the assignment, the third blog post was a page shorter than what the assignment called for. I think this class taught me alot about writing, and I’ll use the skills I’ve learned when I’m out of college.


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