Reflection is a key part of human existence serves as a way people reconsider and contemplate in order to grow in life and move forward. Whether it is re-assessing the choice to have a burger for lunch, or thinking about last year’s trip to Paris, human beings naturally examine events of the past and their life choices. Reflecting acts as a coping mechanism, allowing for the opportunity to mature and do better. While critically reflecting on my junior year research paper, I examined what I did, and why, in order to resolve ways to enhance it in content, style, and organization.
A quintessential part of reflection is assessing the positives. If given the chance to rewrite my research paper and improve it, I would focus on the areas in which I was successful the first time. While writing my paper, I sought to delve deeper into the meaning of pride and examine the ways in which it is present in society, but not conventionally considered. On the same note, I would maintain my use of real-world, personal examples to make my definition more personable and less abstract to the reader.
For instance, on page 3 I illustrated a situation in which good pride is valuable in the working world, the reality that employers often pursue individuals who are confident as a result of their pride. To further present my argument and deter from defining pride in theoretical terms, I would increase my use of examples. As possible method of arriving at this position, I could rationalize that pride, in a positive light, makes people happy and gives them security of self-worth.
An example possibly worth mentioning is how a student, having earned an A on a tough essay, becomes proud, and thus is in a delightful mood for the rest of his or her week. An indispensable ingredient in bettering my essay would be to continue in the exploration of pride’s meaning beyond predictability and using examples to guide the reader to understand my argument. Although maintaining and expanding on my understanding of the Quality of pride, technicalities come first.
From my initial sentences touching on the essence of my paper, the reader should have an understanding of what I seek to uncover and the structure in which I intend to do that. For this reason, if I were to improve my essay, I would develop my thesis to outline the propositions I will introduce in my body paragraphs. To do this, I would include the word “connotations” to make clear that in my essay, I am explaining both the good and bad meanings of pride. Another thing I would add the idea that pride manifests itself in society in diverse ways—the topic of one of my body paragraphs that is essential for my readers to be aware of.
Another mechanical component of my essay that, if increased, would make my essay better is the use of transitions. In order to take my reader from the topic of one paragraph to another and ease the shift from one idea to another, I would multiply my use of transitions. For example, when going from talking of bad pride in my second paragraph to talking about good pride in the third, I wrote, “On the other side of the coin, adequate amounts of pride bolster the way a person views themselves, how others view them and how they interact with other”.
In addition to reaching fluidity in my syntax, it would be beneficial to juncture my ideas and strengthen my argument through increasing the showing of the interaction between my sources and addressing the importance of the counterargument. Because I explain the various complexities of pride in my essay—good versus bad connotations, role of intentions in evaluating one’s pride, and the manifestations of pride—I naturally deflate possible counterarguments of one definition of pride over another.
However, in order to make this organization clear to improve my essay as a whole, I would stress the notion that pride is no one thing—it has a binary, convoluted meaning. Furthermore, using seven sources in my essay prohibits coherence. If I were to rewrite my essay, I would combat this by making clear the interaction between my sources. For example, in paragraph three I relate how journalist Judy Lowe and write Walter Brand agree that pride can be a good quality.
To clarify this connection, I would state that just as Lowe recognizes that pride is often judged to be solely undesirable, Brand argues that it is “required for a person of character”. Connecting my sources with one another and emphasizing the importance of pride as a quality with different sides, would aid in improving my paper, making it more linked. If I were to rewrite this essay to improve it, I would al focus on the destructive aspects of my content and style. Like the lead of a news article, the introduction of an essay must draw the reader in at first glance.
To better attract the reader to my piece and the topic of my discussion, I would change my primary paragraph to tell a story of where any person may see pride on a day-to-day basis. However, because a premise of my essay comprises of the complex, double meaning of pride, I would describe two contrasting situations. Using a narrative style format, for example, I would illustrate how although a girl’s friend’s may view her pride from getting a perfect score on the ACT test as arrogant, she herself would use her joy from her pride to believe in herself more.
Doing this would add an essence of creativity to my essay, electrify my introduction, and expose the importance of defining the Quality. Just as the introduction of an essay is crucial to drawing the reader in and engaging them from the forefront, a conclusion must tie up loose ends and set the discussion into a larger context. In order to this, I would expand on the narrative presented in my introduction by asking rhetorically how it is possible for that one instance of pride can be perceived both good and bad.
This would not only bring my ideas back to a first circle, but would confirm the significance of defining the Quality of pride. The use of narrative as a mode of arrangement would make my bind my essay up a package—complete from beginning to end. However, the substance of my research is overlooked because of grammatical mistakes. In order to build my ethos further, for instance, I would need to decrease the amount of passive voice used because it makes my writing wordy and wastes space that could move my points along. By reducing the amount of passive voice incorporated into my essay, I would make it a stronger, more durable piece.
Courtney from Study Moose
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