Writing as a Recursive Process
Whenever the class is assigned a writing assignment, I find some way to do some pre-writing. This process makes it easier for me to create the final product. Pictured below, I have two of my narrative sketches for my literacy narrative. Though these were required to do, I still took it seriously.
These are just my written sketches; after I wrote these down, I then typed up a more solid base for the sketches. Below is just one example of that. It is the typed version of my second literacy narrative sketch.
I also organize my thoughts on paper to figure out and frame how I will approach something. Below is my hand written notes on how to approach revising my first draft of my literacy narrative as well as how to write my final draft.
I am able to recognize that there is, more times than not, more room for improvement. For example, when I was writing my final draft for my literacy narrative, I did not just change words here and there, I did not just proofread. I actually went back and took my peers’ and professor’s comments on my first draft into consideration to see where I could make some improvements. I thoroughly reviewed the flow of my narrative and moved things around to make sure that things sounded good to me. I also reviewed my introduction and came up with a different one that introduced the topic better. But I also moved parts of my original introduction to different parts of my narrative to where they would fit in better. Although I did all of this revision, reading the narrative to myself over and over until it sounded about right, I still ended up having some weaknesses shine through.
When I received my professor’s comments on my final draft, I noticed that most of the comments were pointing out run-on sentences. I always knew that I struggled with this, but no one had shown me how to fix the problem. I always just wrote myself through life without anyone helping me out on the matter. I know that through some help and possibly some lessons, I will be able to fix this issue that keeps on coming up.
Active Reading, Critical Reading, and Informal Reading Response
Throughout the semester so far, I have been able to make connections between each reading. For example, when reading Sherman Alexie’s Superman and Me, I connected some of his writings to Carol Dweck’s TED Talk. You can see such examples in the blog post: https://aargerake.uneportfolio.org/2017/09/11/king-and-alexie-response/ Along with making connections in the format of a blog post, I was also able to discuss these similarities inside the classroom as well. This is the same for most other readings. In class, I try to participate as much as possible. While completing the readings, whether or not it is part of the assignment, I will highlight and annotate by writing comments and even some questions for me to pose either for myself or for the class discussion. So far, I have done every homework assignment. Though I have missed a day, I took the initiative to make up the homework as soon as I could.
The following are just some examples on how I annotate while reading:
These show that from the beginning, no matter the reading, I am able to demonstrate some note taking and annotating abilities.
Critique Own and Others’ Work
In the beginning of peer editing assignments, I did the opposite of what is best when it comes to peer editing. The first essay that I edited was Justin’s assignment on Higher Education. When editing this assignment, I made comments on how to grammatically change certain things throughout.
But after these comments, I learned that this was not the correct way to be peer editing. I changed my method to expressing areas of strength and asking questions and suggesting how to make things flow well. An example of this comes from my comments on Chris’s first draft of his literacy narrative.
These are just some of the comments that I had made on my peers’ literacy narrative drafts. You can see there is a large difference between the two different assignments from the beginning of the year to now. I comment on things he had done well and asking a question to see where he could elaborate on a certain concept.
I also make a lot of changes to my own work as well. From the first draft of my literacy narrative, to my final draft, I changed the order of things, omitted ideas that were not necessary, and added new ideas and details to make the narrative come more to life.
You can see the places from this one page of my literacy narrative that I made many changes to my original draft.
Control Individualized Error Patterns
One recurring error that I have come across is sentence fragments. Growing up I was never taught how to deal with this situation. But once this issue was pointed out to me, I wanted to make a difference in this error. For starters, while I write, I try to stay conscious of how I am writing. I take into consideration the comments that were made on my final draft of my essay. So while I am almost self teaching or disciplining myself to fix this problem, I am also open to keep talking about it and learning about it in class or during my times with Jack Moore in the Student Academic Success Center. I am willing to listen to a lesson (or explanation) on how to fix the problem of sentence fragments and run on sentences.
In the beginning of the course, I also made grammatical corrections while peer editing. This was a bad habit that I learned in high school. We were taught that grammar was a huge part of the grade, pushing students to make corrections when needed. But after learning that this was not the best, or correct, way of going about peer editing, I set out to change this habit. I immediately changed the next time we had peer editing. I started to make comments more geared towards how the author could make changes to their work to improve the concept as a whole instead of the latter.