Unit Reflection and Response
- Include the link to your blog here: www.aaronthewriterng.wordpress.com
2. Which of your pieces was the most challenging to write? Give three reasons and explain.
I think that my college essay was the most challenging to write. First, it was really difficult to pick a topic that I wanted to write on because many of the topics were really broad or random. Another reason I thought that this essay was challenging was because I had to practice writing by showing rather than telling. This wasn’t easy for me because I am used to writing essays for previous courses that required facts not stories. The last reason is that I didn’t know how I could make the essay really stand out; the type that would guarantee me an acceptance from any college I apply to.
3. Which of your pieces was the most enjoyable to write? Give three reasons and explain.
Without a doubt, the restaurant review was a piece that I most enjoyed writing. We had to research and take a look at many different reviews online to get a taste of how a review should look like. Through that process, I was able to discover many new restaurants that I would like to visit in my free time. Also, it gave my family and I an incentive to go out and enjoy some expensive, mouth-salivating food. That then led to an amazing dinner at a Korean restaurant in Tsim Sa Tsui. So through all this I was able to learn how to write a review, discover new restaurants, and try new food.
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? Explain.
I may not be the best at writing, but I think that a strength I possess as a writer is that I have the ability to create a smooth and fluent sentence. Whether I am proof-reading my own essay or my friend’s essay, I am able to reconstruct sentences to sound less chunky or strange. However, as I have discovered at the beginning of this course, I do not have the ability to incorporate stories into my essays. My teacher and peers have constantly reminded me that I should show rather than tell what I have to say because stories are more gripping and interesting to read.
5. What have you done to develop your strengths and minimize your weaknesses as a writer? How successful do you feel you have been? Explain.
Since I was kid, I have always been told that reading helps your writing. So during the course of this semester I have been reading a bit here and there whenever I have free time in hope to improve my writing. To develop my strength in sentence fluency, I always double check with my peers to see whether or not a sentence sounded alright, because a second opinion is always better. As for minimizing my weakness of telling rather than showing, I have attempted writing my essays with more voice, scenarios, and stories to make a stronger point. I am still a little unsure whether I am successful at minimizing my weakness because I get different opinions from my peers and teacher. The grade I have received from my teacher in all my essays has been constant through the year and has not shown any improvement. However, through my peers’ comments, I noted that people have begun to notice the increased amount of showing rather than telling scenarios in my essays. Therefore, I think that I have improved my weakness, but just not yet to the level that satisfies my teacher.
6. What kind of future career or field of study are you considering? What kinds of writing might be important in this career or field? Explain, giving specific examples.
A future career I am considering is business consulting. Unlike some types of writing submitted in high-school courses, business consulting requires the consultant to write in an advising, professional, and to-the-point manner, instead of describing stories or scenarios. When reviewing financial statements, evaluating business competitors, or analyzing business practices, the consultant has to give feedback with facts and statistics. Having said this, I think that my essay “Success: Just an Act of Courage Away” is a type of writing that I would use in my future career. I will be required to back up my opinions and statements with facts and evidence that I discover through research, calculations, and historical examples.
7. What advice would you offer the College Writing teachers as they plan this unit for next year? What might be some additional pieces of writing to add and why? How was the timing and pacing? Did you receive enough feedback? Did you receive enough instruction and input so you knew how to do each assignment? You can make specific comments about specific assignments here. What did you like or not like and why? What would make this unit more student-friendly, provide more learning, or make it more interesting? Explain.
I am not an expert, but I think that College Writing teachers should include more essays that students will most likely receive in college. Practicing these kinds of topics will help students in the future to cope better with such tasks. For the timing and pacing of essays, I think that they were pretty good. Essays were not given one class and due the next, there was a step-by-step process that the students had to go through, such as rough drafts, peer-editing, reflections, and so on. This usually took a week or two, which gave students adequate amount of time to cope with the essay being written and other subjects’ assignments. However, I was one of the many victims that were given an essay assignment that was due the day after a school concert. This made it hard for students to finish their essay with the limited time available that night. It is also stated in the handbook that homework should not be turned in the day after a concert. Other than that, most of the timing was good and gave students enough time to finish an assignment. Through the peer-editing process, I received many critical and helpful comments and feedback. But I don’t think I received enough feedback or advice from my teacher. In my opinion, the teacher should review each student’s rough draft and advise what to do next. I believe that this will thoroughly develop each student’s writing and help them in their future colleges, when only final drafts are turned in. As for the teacher’s instructions and input on each assignment, I believe it was good enough that students were able to complete assignments. Any questions that the students had were answered by the teacher, which helped students get a better idea of what the teacher was looking for. An assignment that was not posted on this blog was the resume assignment. I think that this assignment was given with good instructions, ideas, and advice by the teacher, but not for the final product. What I mean by this is that the teacher did not give me any feedback when I turned in my rough draft, and thus, I later handed my rough draft in as my final copy, thinking that my resume was okay. Only after I received my final grade for this resume assignment, was I told what I was missing in my resume. For future assignments, I think that this class should include more declarative types of essays that require students to effectively portray facts, rather than tell stories.