Learning outcome 1
The process of revision is something that I used to think was just one and done, I thought it took no more than about 20 minutes. You get your draft done, hand it to one peer, they give you feedback, then you may fix little things here and there such as spelling and grammar. No, that is not revision at all. That was the revision I was used to, up until this point. When starting our first major project, Soylent essay, the process was long. There were many drafts along with peer review sessions in class and outside of class. That was the first new thing to me that occurs when revising. Than there came the actual feedback part, I was not used to having so much feedback not just by one person but 3, and I also was not used to having peer review drafts that were not done. There where parts of me throughout the revising process that were hesitant with making every single change that my peers had suggested, at first this was something that I was worried about, it made me think about my writing a lot more but I didn’t engage fully with all their comments. When looking at the start of my Soylent paper and comparing it to the final draft few changes were made that really stood out. When looking at this final project, my significant writing project, the draft and the final draft seemed like two completely different papers. I made new paragraphs out of ideas that my peers and I had talked about in the peer sessions in class, I had organized my paper from head to toe, everything was different. The ideas become much stronger after revising over and over again even after my peers where done giving me feedback, even comparing feedback that my professor had given me on the last papers to how I could improve on this final paper. After the first project I seemed to engage more in the revision process. I was still hesitant with changing my paper in the ways that my peers suggested but went into it more open minded and in the end I believe that is what made my papers stronger. Something that I did more towards the end of the semester when I had a better understanding of the revision process was move many things around even entire paragraphs, add, take out, this process of revision was way different than before, it was a real revision process where I wasn’t afraid to make changes.
Learning outcome 2
With the last project being my significant writing project there where many pieces of text that I could have chosen form. The use of quotations has been ok for me in my writing, I feel as if they aren’t my strongest but they aren’t something that I am terrible at. Using sources in this significant writing project seemed to come easier to me than in the other two writing projects and I was able to connect them in a way that fit my thesis strongly. Starting out from the introduction I introduced the articles I was using right away. Throughout these writing projects I wouldn’t introduce them enough or I would just forget about it all together. This time I made sure I had a good introduction for my readers with these articles and expanded on the introduction of David Foster Wallace, as he was the main focus for this paper. Quotation use in my other papers was said to be to much from my other peers, many times I got comments that I would use way to many quotes or they just simply didn’t like the quotes that I was using to support my ideas. For my significant writing project I went in with a different approach, I wasn’t focused about all the quotes that I needed to put into my paper just to say I used the sources, I was more focused on what ones would really make my paper stronger, how I could integrate them into my paper without it taking away from my own words, how I was explaining them, was I explain them in a way that the readers could understand or in a way that just I could understand. For example when talking about human relationships with creatures no matter how big or small they where I decided to bring up the culture of Jains. This was a perfect place to give the readers some background information about what this culture is, where this culture is mainly found and a little bit about their lifestyle. After giving some background information it was time to introduce the quote, “Jains move through the world in this gentle way because they believe animals are conscious beings that experience, in varying degrees, emotions analogous to human desire, fear, pain, sarrow and joy”. This quote was then explained relating it back to the topic sentence of the different human relationships with animals. When starting out the semester we had always talked in class on the process of using the quotes, it wasn’t just a mic drop, there wasn’t just a place to insert a quote and leave it for the readers to try to understand. This was a process just like the revision process. This use of quotations is a skill that has developed for me over the semester and will continue to keep developing throughout my life when it comes to writing.
Learning outcome 3
Critical reading is a skill that doesn’t come right to me, therefore annotating and rereading are my best friends. When reading a hard text such as many of the ones this semester for class I didn’t just read them once. For me going through the reading once while making annotations is just the start, after that going back into the reading and digging deeper into what the author is saying, what the main point is, the tensions behind the reading, what is just beyond the words that are on the paper. Then after a second reading there are times where I will either read the article fully again or just skim through while reading all my annotations. Susan Gilroy states, “ Take the information, look at its parts, and then try to put it back together again in a language that is meaningful to you..”. This is my last step in reading and annotating an article. Going back this third time and reading my annotations gives me a chance to put the text into a language that I can understand more easily. My annotation approach is pretty much just the basic annotations that most people do. Gilroy expresses the many things that I do in. my annotations such as the ideas that occur to me, important things through out the text, relating text to issues, connecting text to in class discussions. When I think of annotating I think of things that will help me understand the text. Annotating is something to help me, it doesn’t have to look pretty or organized for other people, as long as I know what is going on and it is benefitting me in some sort of way then in my mind that’s all that matters. When it comes to under lining text I underline/ highlight things that I may not understand or things that stand out to me in that paragraph. Critical reading is a hard skill, its doesn’t come naturally for most, but at the end of this semester I feel as if I have improved in this area. From my first annotations, just trying to fill up the entire text, to my last annotations which are meaningful and very helpful notes.
Learning outcome 4
Back in high school I always would peer review my friends papers and give very little feedback if not any. When going in to the first peer review I didn’t know how to approach it, I knew I wasn’t a strong writer and not to good at correcting grammar mistakes so why would my peers want to know what my comments were? After discussing how proper peer reviewing should go as well as key things to look for in a paper made me feel more confident in taking on this new and improved way on how to properly tackle these papers. For my first time in this class peer reviewing the introductions I always looked for a strong hook, thesis, and introducing the articles that where going to be used. Moving onto the body paragraphs topic sentences and flow were a big focus as well as organization. For example, for my first peer review, Olivia Marshalls paper, the very first thing that I comment on was her hook and quickly moved onto her thesis. Throughout the semester I had kept this same peer review process and found it something that was very use full even when going through my own work. The most helpful part of peer reviewing process for me was the end closing letter, this is where I would wrap everything up and summarize the major key points to fix, this is also what I looked forward the most to seeing from my peers. That way I could compare what everyone said and look at it as an overall picture.
Learning outcome 5 & 6
With MLA format comes a lot of rules to follow but that’s just in any writing. MLA format was something that I was familiar with in high school, but it was also something that wasn’t followed step by step. Still up until this day I find myself making mistakes when writing even with these little tiny details, I am always finding something else no matter how many times I read my papers. With my significant writing project as well as all my other projects done this semester, I still find myself putting the date in the wrong place when starting out the paper. That is the very first thing people see and still I tend to make this mistake with this local revision.
When it comes to citation in MLA format coming to college and having to learn how to properly cite an article was something challenging. I was so used to just copying a website link and throwing it on a page that says “work cited”, not having to think about it ever again. College has changed that, in basically every single class of mine citing becomes part of everything especially in bio and English. For my last project which also happens to be my significant writing project this was the one I felt the most confident in with the citation in MLA format both in text and on the work cited pages. Throughout the paper I made sure to introduce my quotes with proper in text citations, when it came to expressing a thought or a statement that I did now need to use quotations I made sure to introduce the author, for example saying Andersen states… this was another intext skill I used. When it came to the work cited page there were times that I would have to go back and fix things such as indents and dates. Still just like writing it’s a work in process there is always going to be something that you can fix but improving each and every time is what matters, reaching for perfection.