Integrating Ideas with Others
Integrating your ideas with others is a very effective way to improve your writing along with certain arguments that are introduced throughout it. By summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting others’ ideas effectively, you can easily make your own writing much stronger. Being able to effectively signal other people’s work is another crucial part as well. You need to be able to do this so that you can give credit where it is due and so people can establish what ideas are yours and what ideas are others’.
When writing papers in the past, I never really introduced any of the sources that I would use. This might be fine for papers in biology but I would do it for classes that really should have had some introduction. I feel like over this past year I have learned a lot when it comes to integrating ideas with others’. For example, even at the beginning of the year, I would not really say who I was referencing, I would just add the in-text citation and call it a day and say that I gave credit where it was due. But now I am able to introduce who/ what each source is and where it comes from before talking about their ideas in my paper. Along with this, I have learned how to explain these ideas. I used to just add in information or “evidence” to my paper and hope for the best. Now I am able to introduce the idea, explain it/ quote it, and then explain why the ideas are useful in my case and why it supports my argument (or even acts as a “naysayer”). I can do this throughout different forms from it being required in final drafts of papers or even scattered throughout my homework where it is not necessarily required for it to be done.
Active Critical Reading Process
Using an active critical reading process can really expand your understanding of a text. Using annotations can really help in the sense of writing down definitions for words you don’t understand. Along with this, you can use annotations to expand your knowledge and understanding of certain concepts that may be new or hard to understand, as well as challenging ideas and getting those down on paper. Using different reading strategies can help you to think more critically about the readings as well as allowing you to easier respond to the readings in a way that shows your understanding of what could have been considered a complex text. It allows these complex texts to be seen in a new easier to understand light for you to use to your advantage when talking or writing about the subject.
When it comes to my active critical reading process I feel like I have greatly improved from the past. I used to never actually annotate anything, I would just read (or skim) over the required reading material which made it so that I would never fully retain any of the material. I went from not knowing any of the material to having a very firm grasp of complex ideas from different authors. Not only do I go on to explore the texts independently to get a better understanding, I also go one to try to challenge the ideas of those readings as well. Overall, the quantity and quality of my annotations have greatly improved from what they were in high school as well as from the beginning of the school year. Along with this, the quality of my homework has improved so much from what it used to ever be. I spend a lot of time trying to fully understand the reading so that I can answer each question to the best of my abilities. When answering homework questions I tend to go beyond what the question initially asked. I am able to use the question as a basis to continue writing further and expanding upon certain ideas.
Writing as a Recursive Process
Writing as a recursive process is more important than I once realized in high school. Using this technique can really improve the overall quality (and sometimes quantity) of your work. When you have multiple stages of your writing, you are. more able to develop your ideas about the subject even further than before. This is because the recursive process allows you to be able to see the subject in many different ways that may end up changing your viewpoint on the subject. Drafting gives you different places to start your final draft. A rough draft does not necessarily have to start with a full written draft of the paper. Instead, it can begin even as chicken scratch on a piece of paper. The point of drafting is to develop your ideas over time to eventually produce a polished product that you can be proud of. This can be the same for revision. If you were to just stay with the first draft that you ever wrote about a subject, how well do you think you would do? Possibly not very well. With revision, you are able to see the different places in which improvement can happen. As you revise, you are able to build upon certain ideas that can help to strengthen any arguments you may have throughout your work. Along with this, you can find many things in a grammatical sense that may need some fixing. You could find out that you have an error pattern of not capitalizing proper nouns.
In this post, you can see me freewriting to try and explore the different ways that I can go about my essay: https://aargerake.uneportfolio.org/2018/04/11/free-write/
When editing my drafts, I used many different strategies. First, I looked for paragraphs that seemed to be “out of order” as in they did not flow right, so I fixed these first. I then looked for information that could be put into different paragraphs as well as finding paragraphs that needed more information added to them. Once I had a good layout of my essay I reviewed it a couple times to see how things were locally.
Before English 122 and 123 I never had a drafting or revision process, I always stuck to writing a paper the night before and handing it in the next morning without even reviewing what I had just written. Whenever I would get my paper back I would just look at my grade, I would not even look at the comments written throughout my paper because I knew that I had a lot of errors all throughout my paper. Though this was a common occurrence, I never changed my ways with this so-called “process” that I had put in place for myself.
Critique Your Own Work and Others’
Critiquing work is not only important to be done for others, it is also important to be done for yourself. When you critique others’ work, you are giving them an important extra viewpoint. For example, when you write something you are so used to seeing the same words on your screen you are more likely to read over mistakes that need some changes and adjustments. Reviewing someone’s work can give them a leg up. Along with this, it is so valuable to review their work to point to certain places where ideas could be developed even further, or where ideas do not fit into the rest of the paper. Critiquing others’ work does not have to be mean and hurtful, if anything it should be more open and kind to help the person to improve themselves and their work even further.
When critiquing your own work, you are able to then recognize certain error patterns that may arise that you have never seen before. Critiquing your own work can be seen as a part of the recursive writing process that is very important. You cannot just jump into your draft and make it a final draft. You need to be able to go back throughout your work and look for certain places where ideas can be worked on to make them more complex, adding in new ideas to help build your argument or challenge others’ ideas, and even taking things away that did not benefit your work and just wasted space.