Writing Reflections

The ability to write well does not appear overnight. Rather, it is developed overtime with practice. For me personally, this year as allowed me to grow as a writer. First of all, I have grown in the techinical skills involved with writing such as grammar and sentence structure. Along with this, I have learned how to write a variety of genres in numerous different voices. There have been many activities that contributed to this growth, whether it be brainstorming, drafting, or final revisions. As I have practiced my skills, I have become a more confident writer. Going into the future, I believe I am well prepared to write efficiently as this year has taught me how to write in a meaningful and productive way.

 

Objectives

Write in multiple genres and work to master different requirements of different genres

There are multiple genres to work with and each one has a different set of requirements waiting to be mastered. This year I was exposed to multiple genres and was able to learn the requirements of each. In some pieces such as my community response memoir, I was required to include details and descriptions. This imagery can be seen when I write, “the bitter wind immediately startled my body which had become acclimated to the heat of the car.” Genres like this paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Yet other genres require a more reflective, serious voice. In my literary analysis, I dig deeper into the themes of the novel. I focus largely on the stereotypes found within the literature. Rather than vividly explaining the characters, I state their role in the piece in a way that lays out the facts and examples. In one specific example I write, “male characters of this novel tend to slip into their stereotypical roles, the female characters contrast this by breaking through the norms of society to play an important role in the novel.” In this genre, it was better to tell the reader rather than show them. It doesn’t add on to the original piece but digs deeper into the analysis of the author’s writing. Pieces like this are written strictly in third person and provide examples from the text. This year, I have written numerous pieces that showcase my ability to write in different genres and meet the requirements of those genres.

 

Build skills on how to write in a formal tone and dig into research/a text

This year as encouraged me to build my skills as a formal writer who is able to dig into research or a text. As I learned this skills, I was able to apply them to my own pieces. In my social issue research paper, I dove into the research and was able to connect it to the topic. For example, I included data on areas such as the SNAP program and statistics on childhood hunger in the United States. This piece is written entirely in third person in order to maintain a formal tone. Instead of including imagery, I include explanations of research. There were other pieces I wrote in a formal tone that dug into a text rather than research. One of these was my literary analysis, which was also written in third person. This piece explains the text in an unbiased way that shows my own analysis of the text. Specifically, I discussed the stereotypes that the male characters succumb to by providing examples from the text and explaining them in my own way. Writing in a formal tone has allowed me to dig deeper into a variety of texts this year and has also aided me in understanding research. Going into the future, I believe this is a skill that will benefit me and I hope to only further my skills.

 

Develop a scholarly or reflective voice

When writing different genres, it is important to write in a voice that reflects the style of the piece. In my own writing this year, there were times when I had to write in a scholarly voice such as in my Social Issue Research Paper. The voice of this paper is much more formal as it is written in the third person and lacks a sense of storytelling. Rather, it lies out the facts and explains them in an academic way. It includes statistics on topics such as federal policies and research. This required me to use in-text citations which reflect a scholarly voice. This year also pushed me to white in a more reflective voice. One piece in which I did this was titled, “Discovering Untold Stories“. This piece reflected on what I learned about colonization through literature and real-life examples. It also reflected on how those topics connect to my life today. This reflection caused me to reexamine my opinion of certain topics. This is seen in this piece when I write, “Although we cannot change the negative impact colonization and imperialism had years ago, I can do something to change my own attitude on the topic.” Throughout this piece, I use a reflective void to comment on how the topic of colonization is impactful in the world and my life specifically. Whether it be in a scholarly or reflective voice, I have grown to use my voice to dive into deeper messages within my writing.

 

Show the ability to develop a piece of writing through multiple drafts

In order to construct a well-written piece, a writer must work through multiple drafts. In my own writing, developing multiple drafts of a piece allowed me to accomplish my best work. One example of this came from my final heroism piece titled “The Kid Next Door Flew“. This piece went through numerous stages before arriving at the point where it is now. The first draft I wrote fit perfectly in the category of rough. It was written like a normal story in a standard paragraph structure. Yet by the time I arrived at the final stage, I had completely changed the structure of the piece. Likewise, I benefited from developing this piece beyond where it was as a rough draft. During the revision stage, this piece was revised by myself and others in order to fix grammatical errors and iron out any confusing ideas. This further developed the piece, especially in the beginning where I was able to add more details about the characters in a way that gives the reader a better connection to them. This is only one piece among many in which I went from an extremely rough draft to a polished final draft that I am proud of. Throughout the writing process, I have learned what revisions my pieces need. By adding these revisions, I have been able to develop my writing from beginning to end.