Weekly Writing 9: Reflecting on My Writing

This semester has been very helpful to me in terms of my progress as a writer.  Our class also provided the perfect opportunity for me to write about things that I am interested in, as well as write about things that I learned from my First Year Seminar.  In the beginning of the semester, I was nervous about how my writing would be perceived by my professors as well as my fellow peers.  But as the semester progressed, I became more comfortable sharing my writing as I knew that it was getting better each time I wrote a new piece.  I really enjoyed the weekly writing assignments, specifically the one about the Allentown Fair, and I also enjoyed writing about the different books we were reading, like Turchi and Harley, because each of those had some really cool quotes and passages that I could learn lots from, and I had a good time dissecting each of these quotes.  One place that I believe that I showed improvement in is my ability to paraphrase.  In the first instance that we were asked to paraphrase, I thought that I had a pretty decent understanding as to what I was doing with it.  However, after I wrote my first paraphrasing assignment, I realized that I needed improvement in this area.  I remember Professor Albert sharing with the class that she had noticed some of us were “summarizing” instead of paraphrasing.  I immediately laughed to myself and knew that this was me.  I knew that I improved at this because in my meeting with Michelle, we both had a look at this, and we identified my issues, and did some practice, and I was able to paraphrase much better.  One other area that I was pleased with my improvements in was the claims, evidence and ideas concept.  This is something that I really didn’t have much experience with prior to coming to Muhlenberg so at first my head was spinning.  But as we practiced in class I slowly began to get the idea of it and it showed in my writing.  As I was writing my first paper, I quickly realized that I was naturally gathering a claim, and then presenting evidence, as well as tying themes of the class into my writing.  After writing my first paper, I was so pleased with how it turned out, as I read it over, I had never read something that I wrote that sounded so concise and succinct, and I was impressed with my gains as a writer.  It was also very cool to learn about the unique ideas about maps that both Turchi and Harley presented, and I took a lot of unique pieces from each of them.  One thing that I will still look to improve is my post writing ability.  For my first paper, I received some really good feedback from my peers, but I guess I was too stubborn to throw those changes into my paper, and I think I would’ve gotten an A had I done this.  Furthermore, in the second paper, I noted to myself that I needed to do more in post writing, and I did, and I ended up getting an A on my paper, which to me is numerical proof that my writing did improve in some sense.  Looking back, I also regret not posting every single Weekly Writing assignment.  Even though I missed three of them, I think that the ones I did do were done well, and I think that they were the best way for me to improve my writing because it forces me to collect a body of work that I can go over personally and see where I need to make adjustments.  I also really thought that the Free Writes were a great exercise too, and I have a ton of those in my writing portfolio which to me can act as a place holder for my missing weekly writings.  They were great because they let me write with no parameters like I have on a paper, so I could just write what was on my mind, which gave me a good chance to develop my voice as a writer.  My FYS served as a wonderful opportunity for me to get my writing to where it needs to be in college, and I look forward to improving my abilities even more throughout my academic career at Muhlenberg.

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