This entire year of English I have learned bits and pieces of grammar, conventions, and comma usage. I am more equipped in knowing what genre of writing should go with the message I am trying to put across. Through this I was able to portray the emotions that I personally was feeling or the facts that I learned about to my readers in various styles of writing. I could continue to go down the list of all the things I have noted to myself throughout the year, but there are a few things that I would like to highlight in this reflection. If you take a look at any piece on my website here, you will be able to see the wide variety of genres that I have written in. In the Community Connections that I made I jumped from a journal article, to a poem, to a research paper. While all of them had to do with the community around me, all of them did so in their own style.
The piece that held the biggest challenge for me was my research paper. While trying to present a scholarly tone, I also had to dive into the research that I did and make conclusions on my own. I struggled with quote integration at first, but as we continued to draft throughout the process, I became more comfortable with how my sentences lined up. Taking the time to find the perfect quotes helped a lot too. In order to incorporate quotes the right way, I learned that I needed to have a very thorough draft written first. I couldn’t just pick quotes random quotes from my reading and write them around. I had to sift through what I read and pick the quotes that added to what I was trying to say. Adding quotes not only allowed me to completely get into a text, but they also helped me develop a more scholarly sounding tone in my writing. Instead of just stating random facts about mentorship, I was able to use what other intelligent people said and develop my own words.
The piece that I developed most during was my narrative essay. We spent a lot of time working through this piece in class, making sure each draft was slightly more advanced than the last. In my first draft I only focused on the ideas that I wanted to get across to my readers. My paragraphs weren’t fully developed and I didn’t have a very personal voice. At this point my words were simply words on a page. This is what I worked to develop in my second draft. Here, I added a solid introduction and cleaned up my paragraph structure. While I added more content in this draft, there were still pieces missing and you can see how I noted that to myself in my drafting. Coming to my final draft I knew I needed to add in quotes and some kind of research in order to give my paper some depth. In doing so, I developed a more personal voice and I was pleased with the message that I ended up leaving for my readers. This all fell into place because I took that time to work on specific things for each draft. I wouldn’t have been able to have a solid piece of writing if I had just written it all at once.