Community and Writing Process
One of the most helpful writing tools we used a lot this year was writing multiple drafts and peer revision. I don’t know if this is the same for everybody, but for some reason I find it the easiest for me to write when I sit down and finish the entire paper from start to finish in one sitting. I find that’s the best way for me to get all of my ideas out in front of me instead of having to search through stacks of old assignments to find support for my claims. 104 didn’t exactly break any new ground to me in terms of how revision helps, I think it’s widely accepted that it does, but I did notice that as time went on my papers got better. Throughout the semester I noticed fewer and fewer errors each time I read through my very first draft. It’s impossible to contribute this all to 104, however I think it’s safe to assume that it definitely helped my writing in terms of attention to detail. Another very helpful writing skill we used a lot of this semester was that of peer revision. I normally don’t like when another student reads through my paper, but it helps raise a lot of questions about my topic that I may not have noticed. As much as I hate when people continuously ask “why?” when editing my paper, it gets me thinking deeper and more abstractly about my topic, allowing me to agrue more critically and further benefitting the final product of my writing.
Strengths and Weaknesses
I think one of my most noticable strengths as a writer would be my ability to maintain the flow or tempo of my papers. I don’t know if it’s word choice so much as punctuation, but from what I’ve noticed is that my sentences flow together very smoothly for the most part. I found this skill to be the most beneficial while writing our Pro/Am Investigation final essay. That was an assignment in which there was a lot of information to be condensed into one specific idea. Where most people probably struggled organizing their papers in such a way that the information flows together smoothly, I actually found that assignment to be the easiest writing assignment that we had this semester. I think one thing that I learned this year that has significantly improved my writing would be the importance of significance. I never knew the question “why?” could be so effective in writing until I took this course. In other courses, I would always get my claim trimmed down to what I thought was the most specific it could be. However, this course taught me that by continually asking yourself “why?” there’s really no limit to how much you can break an idea down. This not only helped to target my claim more effectively, but it also allowed me to find additional points to argue in my research that I may not have noticed prior.