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I remember back in kindergarten year where my teacher would have the whole class stand up and say the alphabet. At the time, I did not see the importance of this practice, I found it to be boring and all I wanted to do was nap. I guess you could say it was my intro to the English language but my young mind did not seem like that at As time went by, thinking about how to put letters together to create my name lingered in my mind, soon I was able to spell out my name and even write out a few sentences.
I felt accomplished, I was developing my writing, reading, and thinking skills and class felt awesome. Fast forward a couple of years later, I am sitting in my senior English class in high school. All I want to do is finish my last semester and get the heck out of there. But no, my teacher, Dr. Pelotte has assigned a four to five page essay regarding the different themes in the novel ‘Macbeth’.
Of course, there I go to read the novel, study the characters, the events, and decipher the various themes related to this story. However, I am a whole different student compared to before and I know I can conquer this task with ease. I go to my backyard, where my mother has her plants and I begin to read, take notes, and put ideas together.
This place specifically brought so many ideas to mind that the assignment actually felt fun.
I had always been a good student throughout school but English was not one of my strengths. Yes, I got a few good grades on papers here and there but it my skills in writing, reading, and thinking had to develop. In the end I was able to fulfill the needs of this assignment but looking at the B plus gave me more drive to develop and sharpen my skills. Entering the English 101 course has been instrumental in the improvement of various aspects of my writing. At first, reading over the syllabus, looking at the projects we had to do, I honestly felt overwhelmed. I knew that in terms of literacy, I had to go in depth, decipher key points in writing like in a novel and afterwards create an essay fulfilling specific criteria. However, the syllabus was completely different and I began to fear if what I had learned in my four years in high school would really help.
As the first writing project came along, a personal essay on the significance of an object, I did not know what to write about. The assignment talked about the usage of the rhetorical situation but I had never heard about it. At this point, I started to be feel confused, I had never heard about this in high school nor it being utilized by any teacher. On top of this, the essay had to be in APA format but I had been accustomed to only use MLA format. Despite the anxiety I felt going into this first project, I knew it would be a great learning experience. In the end, I received an A minus on the assignment and I began to gain confidence as the class progressed. A major part of the course I had in which I developed more as a writer, was revising and editing. I had never been a great person for feedback or revisions but the many writing styles I encountered in this course changed that. I developed more understanding of what to look for in writing, such as the audience, purpose, and stance. Giving feedback to peers and seeing them be successful in their writing projects made me realize I was also growing as a writer.
A major part of my development in this course came through the usage of personal notebook. When Mark and David let the class the know we had to have a personal notebook to help with projects, I did not realize how this would become so helpful. Through the use of personal notebook, I was able to take notes of important information given by the professors. Moreover, it helped significantly with developing my ideas for essays and putting those ideas in concrete sentences. My personal notebook came in handy when we had to do writing project two, in which we had to describe a place of significance. I had so many places come to mind and that was when I pulled out my notebook and jotted all these places and ideas down. This served as a base for what I would write and made the process that much easier and enjoyable. I utilized my notebook for all of my writing projects and I would even write down what I would turn into google classroom in it as well. All this information, made this course that much manageable and smooth. Now as I write this last essay, I feel content and glad I took this course.
The course overall has been of significant aid in the comprehension of the English language. I had no idea of what the rhetorical situation meant but after understanding the main components, purpose, audience, and stance, my writing skills have definitely developed. Learning of the different methods of writing has provided me with an opportunity to better understand my flaws and where I still need work. The ability to come up with accurate and precise pieces of writing have provided me with a chance to gain creative and analytical development that is necessary for effective learning and communication in other courses too.
With my other courses such as psychology 101 and math 117, what I have learned in English has made these courses doable. In my development as a reader, I no longer read as a requirement but for understanding and clarification. I realized that in many of my psychology assignments, I had to read an article and answer several questions. By no means was this an easy task due to the length of the reading, so it took critical thinking to find the answer. Nevertheless, the use of notebook for idea creation and questions helped with this and also made it clear what was being taught in class. I understand incorporating those components of English into psychology have been crucial to my success. Overall, I have seen immense development in my literacy and I feel I have learned new techniques to help improve and grow my writing, reading and thinking skills. Even though I see development in these areas, I still believe I have plenty of room for more growth.
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