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What Makes America Great Essay

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Preface

At the beginning of the semester, I saw this class as a requirement that I needed to get done as soon as possible. This class was a stepping stone of pre-requisite classes that I needed to complete prior to beginning with my Social & Human Services career, and I couldn’t finish fast enough. I have taken English classes in prior years in my college education, but never one quite like this. This class allowed me to expand upon my thought processes, improve my critical thinking skills, and it introduced different kinds of essays that I had not previously had experience with.

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My view about writing at the beginning of the semester was that it was a necessary evil that came with the territory of being in college. The writing was inevitable. From Personal experiences essays, research essays and argument essays were the multiple types of writing that we did throughout the semester. The various types of writing that we did teach me how to twist my writing depending upon the audience as well as make changes depending on the format (formal, informal, argumentative, and others). I have done different kinds of essays and writing in the past, but this class included well-rounded writing assignments and essays that allowed me to both practices and improve upon my skills.

Writing from Personal Experience was the first of the essays in this class based on a story, or personal experience, in which I was the main character but experience something significant with the person or at the place with an important setting. For this assignment, I wrote about a time I felt out of place when I used to live in Boston, and the obstacles I got through in my job but at the end how I succeed and overcame that bad experience. The most challenging part of this essay was to go back to my experience and felt sad again, but it also reminds me of where I come from.

“American Dream” or What i Want

The second essay that I wrote about was defining a community or buzzword. I chose to define a famous word in The United States, “American Dream”. The purpose of this essay was to write an Informative Essay to define and explain some concepts for an audience who possibly knows little about it. For this essay, I talked about my experiences coming to the United States, how the word has changed over time and its differences in how the portrait is today and back then.

Research essay, which was an Argumentative or Persuasive Research Essay at which we explore a significant social issue that we wanted to learn more about. Analyzing the actual writing of another author, and the types of rhetoric that they used is one of the skills that I had used in a previous class but analyzing discussions and arguments about an issue is something that was different to me. The essay taught me how to analyze a topic, and then form my own opinion or argument. In Writing project #3 I learned how to properly document sources according to MLA and the research methods. This project was one of the best and interesting projects I did in this class because I choose a real and present issue in the United States which is the Caravan from Central America fighting to cross Mexico-USA border. I liked writing and investigating this topic because for me every Latino who is trying to cross the border is a symbolism of many people trying to get their dream come true. Also, how the government is still processing and managing all these people.

My Weaknesses and Strength

One of my weaknesses was that when I ran into writing these essays was how to include information about the issue at hand while at the same time including my opinions, claims, and perspectives. I had to focus on where I would include what information and how I would phrase the things I wanted to say while sounding both educated and informed. Both essays above tested my analyzing skills as well as my argumentative skills.

One of my strength is critical thinking, this course has taught me how to improve those skills. Although this is a work in progress, I have learned how to analyze, create an argument with multiple claims, and think through how I can say what I need to in a direct way. Academically, these skills will improve my writing, and allow me to be a well-rounded writer. In the world, writing is a critical part of almost any career, and these skills will help me in any type of writing that I must do, including in the writing and conversations that will be used on a day-to-day basis throughout my career.

Techniques that I think helped to improve my critical thinking skills, analyzing, and writing overall are the free-writing in the daybooks as well as the three essays. As I stated before, I do not enjoy writing, but free-writing, argumentative essays all helped me to improve my writing because they were different types of writing. Free-writing was a beneficial technique because it allowed for brain-storming and just writing about whatever feelings came to mind. And the essays, although all having their individual challenges, gave me creativity and taught me to use my skills.

Being able to write different kinds of essays, both formal and informal, are important parts of being a skilled and crafted writer. I am happy to say that I feel that my writing is better now at the end of the semester than at the beginning when I started. My writing skills were challenged in a way that they have not been challenged before. I learned new techniques regarding how to write my own opinions, form persuasive arguments and others. The writing skills and techniques that I have learned from being in this class are a work in progress; they are skilled have not been mastered yet. As I continue my education and journey into my career, I hope to have more practice using the skills I have learned, so I can one day call myself an excellent writer.

Writing is a process that takes lots of time, commitment, and understanding to really help us develop our ideas and put them on paper. Through this English class, I have learned about a lot of valuable topics which have helped increase my knowledge. The different literary devices structured around the theme helped me to really push the limitations of my thinking to question and analyze so I can become a better writer. The most important things, I learned in this class was questioning while reading and using different forms of free writing to become a better critical thinker and writer.

I have learned that reading is something that we do in every aspect of our lives. It ranges from reading a book or article to reading a movie or play, and even billboard signs that have a whole story behind them. It is very important to question the reading because it helps to better understand the meaning of the different reading devices. By having a written dialogue through annotation with the readings we can create ideas that help us to create a more in-depth analysis and focus on our main points. Critical thinking is one of the most important parts of reading because you set aside your preconceived notions and ideas on a topic by looking at it through a more broader lens that doesn’t constrict our understanding in one area but helps to combine different to come to a common understanding.

The writing process of creating outlines of “before, during and after” helped to organize my ideas so I was able to write in a more effective manner. I learned that writing requires a lot of free writing, reviewing and constant re-construction so that the final product can easily flow and have good organization. The grading of essays helped to understand how an essay is viewed and graded which is something that will be useful in all my other classes. It taught me to review my final essay in a way that focuses separately on the essay, the paragraph level and finally the sentence level. It was a very difficult process because having to critically break down the essay into parts and finding the theme of each paragraph while making sure it related to the main thesis was something I had never done before in my reviews. It helped me to combine my sentences, so the structure of the paragraph looked better, as well as creating a stronger thesis that helped my writing improve.

Throughout this class, I have learned through the different reading and writing that it is very important to stay focused and on task when writing. I tend to have a really difficult time starting my essays because there are so many ideas and possibilities floating around in my head that I get distracted on how to separate the important from the unimportant. The topics in this class taught me that even though a topic might be related the ideas and responses vary in a number of ways so it helps to expand our thinking on a subject teaching me that there are a number of different types of essays that can be written because the articles or readings are different and so the theme will change.

Summarize

Overall, I feel I accomplished a lot in this course, and I am a lot more confident in my reading and writing skills. I have learned to really understand what it means to read and write by questioning and breaking apart articles to get a more in-depth meaning using the different skills I learned in this class. I really enjoyed taking this class because it not only helped me as a writer but also taught me so many new things about essays structure, understanding the elements of rhetorical situations, a basic understanding of how to properly document sources according to MLA. Even though my grades were lower than I expected, I put a really hard time to get there. What I would do differently if I had to take this course over again is to start my assignments earlier than I used to because writing and reading take more time than what we expect, and many things can happen during the writing process. Take the class more seriously, because I had so much confidence in myself when I get started because in my previous writing and English classes I did really great but now that this is my final project, my grades don’t reflect what I expected.

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