Before taking this class, I really consider writing useless. To me, writing seems to me a torture to me that it is a waste of time. When I knew that I needed to take the EWRT211, I was absolutely scared of the workload. However, my view totally changed after the class that I started to like writing. This is because writing provided me a way to express myself on different issues and to let others know me. Meanwhile, by doing this, I was able to find out the real thoughts from myself that required time to dig into and generate the thoughts into an understandable essay. Through repeatedly doing this in EWRT211, writing is not an unpleasant task but a challenging work instead, where I enjoy doing it. After the class, I have a better understanding in myself and able to articulate myself with a proper manner regards to the academic requirement with letting others know more about me. Through out the 3 months lecture, the most common thing that I did was to find out the thesis from an essay.
This is quite difficult because it is necessary to not only read through the whole essay once but a few times in order to realize the real message delivered by the author. Afterwards, I was required to generate a thesis based on what the author was trying to do. Throughout the process of articulating my own thesis, I will need to keep asking myself with a few questions. It can be “So what?” “Who cares?” “What is the significance of that?”. These questions are useful to help me breaking through the challenges met during the process. Below is an example of putting this into actions. One essay assigned to read is Malcolm X’s work, “Learning to read.” In order to articulate my own thesis, I firstly need to get the message Malcolm X was trying to express. In that essay, I can then know that Malcolm X was trying to share his views on the Western history and also himself. Thus, after reading, I am able to write the thesis in responding to these two sections.
For the Western history, Malcolm was trying to tell the readers that the “Western” history written by the “West” was biased in the favor of the “White people”. Next for himself, he wanted to reveal that the will and motivation to self-educate allows him to speak and to stand up for his people. After that, by finding the connection between the two parts, I will then be able to composite my own thesis on Malcolm’s work. The final thesis I used is “ Malcolm X self-educated so people can notice the contributions made by the African Americans in order to fight for equal rights.” This thesis answered the key questions mentioned above. Malcolm X had self-educated himself and it came to the question of so what. Malcolm did that so people can notice the contributions of the African American because the “White people” neglected the work when writing history. Next, the part “in order to fight for equal rights” is answering the doubt of significance.
By doing the process, I am capable to get to a thesis related to the passage and with my own thoughts inside. Secondly, I get improved in my body paragraph. As the body paragraphs are explaining the arguments, they play an extremely role in an argumentative essay. Thus, when writing each argument, it should be having the topic sentence first, then using the “PIE”, which consists a point, interpretation and also relating examples. Before the class, I am weak at this, not in terms of the content but the way of organization. However, after the teaching, I understand the way to lay out my points in a well-organized way. For example, people can easily locate my three arguments at once by just looking the first sentence of each paragraph. Like the first paragraph, the point that I want to make is that Television makes my dad and I to act as friends.
It is clearly stated in the first sentence that the readers can expect me to interpret this point in the following paragraph with me giving examples regarding this. Likewise, I put the next two points in the first sentence in the body paragraphs. By doing so, it greatly raises the clarity of my essay and not to confuse the readers too. This change is very obvious because as I proofread my own essay, I can then notice the arguments I made in a short time, whether it is reasonable or not. Thus, I am able to know if my arguments got a big problem. The next thing that I started to handle is the “PIE” structure. Using the example above, the point stated is that my dad and I acted as friends in front of Television. Followed by is the example of chatting with my dad on different issues while enjoying sports. Then the interpretation will focus on the effect caused by the chat, where this eliminated the barriers between my dad and me that increases the understanding of my dad at the same time.
As time goes by, it helps intimating the relationship between my dad and me. After doing the “PIE” structure, the point of argument can be clearly expressed which can make the point more concise and concrete. Readers can read it comfortably and meanwhile, the persuasive power of the whole passage can also be strengthened. Thus, raising the overall quality of my essay. Finally, I still cannot articulate a satisfactory thesis. A successful thesis needs to fulfill a few requirements, where it needs to be a complete sentence, specific and also arguable. Though I was taught the way of finding thesis which is to free write for a few times and to arrive at a golden sentence. The golden sentence will then be the thesis. Generating a complete, specific thesis is not that hard, but the most difficult part is to be arguable. I had already written up to 5 to 6 essays, but I still cannot manage to compose a good thesis. It was usually the same case that I thought the thesis to be arguable but it turned out to be too general with no one disagreeing.
For example, in the rough draft of the second take home essay, the thesis that I used is “ I believe that everyone is born to be useful and should fulfill his or her responsibility to contribute to the society.” To me, I will consider this to be arguable because people may think themselves to be useless and to abandon themselves. Furthermore, some people may look down on others that they will disagree to the statement, which caused the thesis to be controversial with different arguments. Nevertheless, the comment from the instructor is that my thesis is too flabby, overly general, and most importantly, not arguable that no reasonable person would disagree, so in the end… it is saying nothing of note. The comment really frustrates me because not only me but also the classmates think that my thesis is arguable. The core reason leading to this problem is that the idea of arguable is too abstract that I cannot set up the thesis according to the definition.
As the experiences of failure accumulated, I started to find the key towards to a gratified thesis. This still take time to practice and also to learn from the others. These three points are very important because they are all essential components of a successful academic essay. They are dependent where they all affect each other at the same time. This is similar to a gear where if one part breaks down, the whole gear cannot function normally. After this class, I start to notice that writing is usually the result of stimulation by social issues or just current events around me. Thus writing is actually an action that holds its purpose, which is the thesis at the same time. In order to generate an effective respond, I must find out what is the main point of the current issue so as to hit the nail to the head at once. The ability of fining this had been increased through repeating the process and raising my confidence on doing it. However, I started to realize the way of presenting my own idea is affecting the persuasiveness of the essay.
I had a deeper understanding on this part and improved a lot on the body paragraph with providing concrete examples and appropriate interpretations. Reading through my past essays, I discovered the change in the essay is very obvious, where the layout can makes the point more convincing. Last but not least, when I was reading the passages assigned, I recognized the importance of the thesis, which played an important role by providing the readers a brief image of the whole flow of the passage. As my thesis was improving, the clarity of my introduction also increased accordingly. By achieving the above three points, a passage can be able to express my main idea. More importantly, this helps me to speak for myself. This is a great part in the communication, I was too used to hide their feeling and then complain others misunderstanding me.
Therefore, I can learn to express through this three points, even when speaking, it will make communication much more efficient while eliminating the misunderstanding. In conclusion, through this class, I discover the way of finding the true thoughts from my own self; this provides me a chance to understand myself at the same time. Meanwhile, I am also capable to express myself with a formal academic style that can let the readers know how my past experiences shaped me. Moreover, this improved my sills to communicate with others, where this also makes me more active while enjoying the time spending with strangers. Thus, no matter in verbal or written, I am still able to chat with others in a short time. Thus, I think I am already ready for the EWRT1A.
Courtney from Study Moose