Assessing My Writing Skills

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As a young student, I have first taught the alphabet. As years passed, I learned to put those letters together to make words, sentences, and finally, paragraphs in essays. For a big part of my high school years, my way of writing has improved, but when I got to English 101, I realized there is more to writing than just putting words on paper. English 101 has introduced me to many other different types of papers and writing techniques that I did not know. From summarizing, paraphrasing, in-text citation, rhetorical, descriptive, narrative essays, and organization. I have learned different writing techniques, different forms of MLA formatting, and how to find and properly use different sources. Through class exercises and writing the different types of papers, I was able to learn those skills. Although I have learned a variety of things, my skills when it comes to writing still needs improvement. Skills such as proper grammar and MLA format still need some adjustment. Even though I have things to improve on this semester, I was still able to improve some areas of my writing skills.

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One way my writing has improved this semester is that I have learned how to accurately organize information and decide how to present the material I’m talking about. Like first picking out the topic, then writing an outline to see the organization of the essay, later writing a rough draft and peer review for any comments, corrections, ideas, lastly make any corrections with the peer-review comments and prepare the final paper. I have also learned what the proper language for writing a formal paper is. In high school, it was okay to use contractions and second person. Since writing the first paper, I have had to make a conscious effort not to use contractions. Contractions have become a part of our daily life using texting or tweeting. When you approach writing, it is crucial to distinguish when it is appropriate to use contractions, and when it is not. I have also learned that it is possible to write a paper without the use of the second person, although it can change your approach as to how to begin or conclude the paper. There was an essay we did, a rhetorical analysis on an Ad of our choice, this essay I would have to say that it was the most challenging because of how descriptive and observant we had to be too able to do the body paragraphs. I am thankful that I have made this conscious change in my writing style because I know that writing papers will only get more and more challenging as I continue through college, and even though my career.

Not only have I learned how to organize and use proper language format for my papers but as well as how to summarize, paraphrase, and quote information in multiple articles. Summarizing and paraphrasing have differences, but they are commonly grouped. With both summarizing and paraphrasing, you must have a firm grasp of the article’s argument. To form a useful summary or paraphrase, the article’s main points must be present and discussed in a few concise sentences. The significant difference between summarizing and paraphrasing an article is that paraphrasing requires the information to be cited while summarizing gives an overview of the entire article. Quoting from an article can be extremely tricky. Citations are required in an essay in order to avoid plagiarism. I learned that the key to choosing quotes from an article is to choose the sentences that put the most emphasis on the argument you are trying to prove to the audience. I also learned that with every quote, the author’s name must be added in parentheses before the period. During this semester, I feel I have accomplished effectively using all three elements: summarizing, paraphrasing, and quotations. My body paragraphs have gotten better and more influential because I have overcome these skills.

In addition, with achieving certain goals, I was able to accomplish read, select, and use evidence critically to formulate and support arguments. One way I was able to achieve this goal would be through my argumentative essay. For the requirements of the argumentative essay, we had to pick a topic, look for the useful and correct information to support our defense side, and also show the other side of the coin and then show that their side is incorrect. Through the process of finding academic journals, credible information, picking a topic. I had to read and decide what articles would provide good statics to support my thesis and argumentative points. By doing this, it allowed me to improve my skills of finding and selecting information to back up argumentative points.

This course has provided me with endless opportunities to learn how to write papers effectively. Before this class, I had little experience as to how to construct a proper paper. It has taken experience, and getting average grades, to teach me how to write accurately. Although this course required multiple papers to be turned in, I am thankful to have been able to learn from my mistakes and grow as a writer. Not only does this help in school but certainly for my future career. My major is Information Systems, and I know the skills and proper ways of writing that I learned will be in good use for my career as I get older. Knowing how to correctly write an essay, correct my grammar, look for credible articles, will help me to look out for false information, write professional proposals, emails, improve my vocabulary when I give out presentations, talk to other people. English 101 has helped me in all aspects of writing that I may come across in the future.

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