Reflective Essay: An Analysis of My Writing
My writing has grown and improved tremendously since I first set foot on the University of Arizona campus. During my first semester, in English 101, I learned how to draft and write an
essay that presents my main points in a very organized and concise manner. During my second semester, while in English 102, I started to develop better methods of writing a thesis, using short statements about the main points that I wanted to argue in my paper. In high school, the introductions to my papers were jumbled and disorganized, while my thesis was always three main points that I would discuss in the body of my essay. The first thesis that I wrote for my English 101 class was, “The yellow wallpaper is an important symbol in showing the speaker’s view of women’s role in society, and, at the same time, reflecting the woman’s mental instability.” This is a very bland, boring, and unoriginal way to present the argument, as well as ungrammatical. I felt that over the course of the next seven months, the theses that I was writing became much more precise and interesting to the audience. The theses that I have created for my English 102 class have been much more intricate and have introduced my argument, but without giving away my main points. I can now create a well thought out thesis to any topic because I have been prepared this year to consistently approach any subject in the same way. I feel that my ability to write introductions has improved tremendously, making my writing style and essays much more interesting and creative.
I have always tried to insert humorous references in my writing, whether I am writing an English paper or a short skit. I started writing humorous skits or dialogues when I was in middle school. For my seventh grade talent show, I wrote a skit that lampooned the entire faculty of my school. The reaction of the audience was very positive, and this encouraged me to write more humorous stories and skits. I have written many speeches that I presented to the student body during my time in high school, in all of which I successfully made my audience laugh, while teaching them at the same time. I feel that this year I have had the opportunity to make humorous statements in some of my papers that encouraged the reader to laugh, but at the same time I was able to teach or persuade through my humor. I found that when I write freely about past experiences, I usually apply a lot of the rules that I have learned in English classes, which helps me to overcome some of the things I struggle with, such as grammar rules and wordiness.
Writing has always been part of my life. Writing has become somewhat of a burden to me since it has become mandatory in so many different classes, but I have been writing for pleasure for years. In the fourth grade I wrote a fictional story about a magic toilet and submitted it to a local short story contest. Weeks later I was told that I had won a fifty dollar check for my work, and that it was one of the best stories the judges had read in a long time. Since then, writing has become more than just a mandatory task to me, even though I do not enjoy writing term papers all of the time. Writing has been a source of expression for me ever since I was very young. I can see myself doing some form of writing for a profession, maybe writing for a monthly magazine, or for a television show. Writing and trying to develop into a better writer has been something I have wished to achieve, and now that this school year is coming to a close, I feel that I have made a lot of process in becoming a more mature, intelligent writer.
Throughout this year, my process in writing an essay has improved dramatically. I had never organized an argument, nor created a brainstorm or an outline before entering college. I usually just had an idea, started typing, and would see what would end up on the paper. I always lost track of my main ideas, strayed from my thesis in the body paragraphs, and even wrote paragraphs that had very little to do with my topic. Although I started writing this year without outlines or preconceived thoughts, I quickly learned that my papers were receiving low grades because of my unorganized content and my tendency to stray away from the main arguments. I started to develop ways to become more organized before I would write, helping me to write my body paragraphs with more focus on the main topic, and this also contributed to the coherency of my overall argument. During the end of the semester in English 101, I learned how to brainstorm before I would write an essay. I would spend about twenty minutes brainstorming about everything I knew about my topic, and then I would spend another twenty minutes writing a brief outline for each paragraph in my essay. This really helped me to focus and to write much better papers in English 102. I was able to take a subject like baseball bats and brainstorm about everything that I knew about them, creating six different ideas and a body paragraph for each idea. In my outlines, I would map out my main ideas, my opening sentences, and a good way to close each paragraph in my outlines. My writing process has improved tremendously throughout the school year, and because of my new tactics and my organization, my overall writing quality has been the best that I have ever done.
Throughout my time as a writer, I have been characterized as someone who writes very freely and openly. I feel that my writing style is unlike that of many others. I tend to write very quickly and rapidly, but always with my main ideas in the back of my head. I feel the exercise that we did in class, where I compared myself to the Tasmanian Devil, was a very accurate way to describe myself as a writer. I write whatever comes into my head, and when some ideas appear, I write them down very quickly, and usually my sentences are jumbled and scrambled. This can be analogous to when the Tasmanian Devil goes through his spinning motion. I find myself as a very insightful writer who effectively communicates my humor through my writing, whether it is my own personal writing or schoolwork. Throughout my time at the University of Arizona, I have learned and developed many key skills that have improved my writing from good to excellent. I feel that I have grown and developed a great deal as a writer, and am now more able to write in a professional manner. I have mastered how to write an introduction and a thesis, while also changing my writing process to a more organized fashion. I feel that this year my overall writing has improved one hundred ten percent because I have been able to evaluate my writing, recognize my flaws, and work hard to fix them. In my eyes, this has improved my writing tremendously.
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