Throughout the development of my writing process while taking Writing 101, I have noticed my strengths and drawn attention to my weaknesses. There are certain things that I never knew about when it comes to writing. For instance: writing a correct outline before drafting a paper comes in very handy. I honestly had never written an outline for a paper before; this is one aspect of writing that I will carry with me. One major thing that I learned while writing one of my essays was not to write an introduction to a paper first thing. Obviously you cannot introduce something if you don’t quite know what that something is yet. I learned that it is wise to do all of the research first, make the outline, draft the body of the paper, then go back and write the introduction so you can touch on all of the main subjects.
To be honest, writing has always been one of my weaknesses. Although I have always been told by my parents and my brother that I am a good writer, the grades on my papers disagree. I struggle to demonstrate my thoughts in an understandable way that makes sense to others and not just myself. I work hard on constructing a great essay, but my efforts may go unnoticed when my topics don’t flow or my points aren’t even relevant. I have developed a fear of writing when it comes to essays. When I receive the assignment I usually procrastinate. This is something that I have been struggling with for a while and one of the things that still needs to change before my next writing assignment arrives. I already have a plan that will help prevent procrastination from happening: instead of stressing about what to do or how to start, I will contact my instructor to receive assistance. This will be one great leap for me; I know it seems small, but it will definitely help me.
Aside from the negative, one positive strength that I have developed is my ability to make a sentence flow into the next paragraph. I was struggling with this on my first essay, but as I progressed, my second essay A Loyal Citizen to the Crown of Europe; New York 1777, turned out to be much improved. At the end of the first paragraph I said, “Taxes must be imposed on anyone living in the colonies”, and at the beginning of the next paragraph I transitioned into, “Patrick Henry reflects this opposing view of taxes.” I then touched a little more on the subject of taxes. My first essay that is included in the portfolio is Bacon’s Rebellion. Since it was my first it was not nearly as good as my second. It does not reflect me personally as a writer, although it did guide me into writing my next essay, it is an example of how I transitioned into writing A Loyal Citizen to the Crown of Europe; New York 1777.
After taking writing 101 I have actually developed a greater respect for writing. I used to think “Oh, writing is easy”, but I never realized how much really goes into it. The book that we used earlier this quarter, They Say/I Say, was very helpful to me. It provided useful templates that made me think outside the box and make them my own. They helped when you didn’t know how to begin or conclude. Another thing I learned is that as a writer, there are usually always things that need improvement because there is no such thing as a “perfect writer.” For instance, I still need to work on my introductions and conclusions. To me that is the one of the most difficult parts of writing. I hope to keep everything from Writing 101 ingrained into my memory in hopes that it will tremendously help in my future writing experience.