Reflection: Almost There

In this class we learned different techniques when writing to different audiences and with different genre in mind. The best way to learn how to accomplish this new way of writing was to analyze my peers and the way they wrote. I gained ideas from my peers’ works, and also I was able to think of new topics that would seem interesting to them rather than just me. My second encounter was about the website www.chevy.com which is a site about the vehicles made and sold created by GM.  It was very interesting on how the website was laid out for the purpose of capturing someone’s attention. I decided to write about this website because I wanted it to be interesting to my peers and those who would be reading my paper. From analyzing my audience, I was able to choose a topic that they would like to read or be interested in. My paper began with,

“When you were a little kid do you remember your disappointment when you would pick up a book at a library or a book store and there would be no pictures? I remember immediately putting that book down and moving onto the next one because no one wants to stare at a piece of paper if there are no colors or images. Now I know and agree that books can be intriguing without pictures or color, such as Harry Potter, but I guarantee a picture book will capture your eyes first. Although the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” is true in most cases, I am still going to pick up book that has a dragon on its cover rather than a book with only the word dragon.”

 One of my best paragraphs of the entire semester because it made a personal connection to people or made them laugh because of its simplicity. I would not have thought to write this paragraph if I did not have the idea of my audience in the back of my mind.

I did not like the idea of having to post to a blog page, mainly because I was not interested in reading other people’s rants and raves on topics that were pointless in discussing. Fortunately, the blog site we used was not this kind of blog space. This site called wordpress.com was a more beneficial type of blog space because there was a sense of people knowing what they were talking about and that there was research done before posting a paper on the blog site. The blog style of writing allowed for a totally different interaction between reader and writer. It allowed readers to give more accurate responses to the writer because there was no tension like one would receive from a face to face response. The readers could say whatever they wanted, and most of the time it was beneficial to the writer because of the more accurate responses. I enjoyed posting to the blog because I knew I would get real responses other than “hey good job” and other pointless reviews. I was glad the teacher made posting to a blog site a part of the class.

This fall semester of 2011, I enrolled in English 104 with Kim Volmer. I was not at all happy that I had to take the class because I had already taken it in high school, but I figured it would be the same thing and wouldn’t have to try hard, but actually this class at NIU was completely different. I began the class an average Joe in writing because I was used to just writing reports and papers that were full of information. When I started this class, Kim let us know that we were not going to be writing the way I was used to. We were told that most of this class would deal with rhetoric and response type papers. For example, my article 1 project paper dealt with me reading an essay called “A Different Education: Compost and Community, Not Literacy” which was about a school that sprung up out of a grocery store after hurricane Katrina left the area devastated and in disarray. In my article 1 paper I wrote about the definition of education and how it changes from person to person and region to region. I was able to type more fluently about this topic because I was interested in it and I got to choose how to go about it. In this article 1 paper, I was able to stay on topic and say what I wanted to say. I felt that through this paper I was already becoming a better writer. One of my favorite quotes in the paper I wrote is “In describing education, different points of views will be written and argued, but we can all agree that where there are people who are willing to learn there will education.” I felt as if this quote was able to sum up all the points I was trying to make throughout the entire paper.

Throughout the semester I had my ups and downs because that is just how writing papers are to me. It is a struggle I need to overcome in the future because it does cause trouble for me. For my final project, I had a mental breakdown the night before my second conference with Kim. I had not began writing my paper or anything, I didn’t even know exactly what my final project was about or if there was any value to my topic at all. That night I was researching books and papers written about my topic, and then I decided I didn’t want my paper to be some boring abstract like one of the papers I was reading. That meant that I was going to do a unique project in which I could show my topic in a new and different way that would make my audience want to know more about the topic. I wanted people to see my topic as I see it. Struggling with what topic I was going to do my final project on was the hardest thing to do this entire semester, partially because I wanted it to be important and not just some college project that nobody would care about. Once I got my topic written in stone and the type of project I wanted to do, then it was smooth sailing from that point. In the end I was proud of my final paper call “Recreational Fishing” and my website www.recreationalfishing.webs.com.

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