Posted on May 6, 2019
Over the course of the semester, my most prominent change in my writing has been my process. Depending on the assignment, I spent anywhere from 1-3 days on an essay at most with maybe one revision session. This was mostly to correct blatant grammatical errors and to add more sophisticated vocabulary for formality’s sake. Never in my life had I spent weeks revising and perfecting a single paper, letting several others reading it in the process. This did not only teach me the art of time-management, but allowed me to understand the real potential behind a draft instead of accepting it as the finished product.
The peer review/conference process was vital to my essay writing this semester as it allowed me to get several perspectives each time. I learned that by reading other’s papers, that I could find aspects that were lacking in my own such as humor, voice, a strong claim, etc. The conference was a useful tool as well because you could take the critiques from peer review and get a third opinion about how to incorporate those things into your paper without sacrificing your individual vision. Critiques from peers was a new addition to my writing process and one that I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did. The whole process of reading others’ papers and getting feedback on your own was a valuable use of class time and even acted as a method of bonding with other classmates over common interests.
Overall, this semester taught me a lot about myself as a writer starting with how I never gave my papers their best chance. Another important insight I found is that I can incorporate aspects from my fictional and poetic writing into my academic writing. A good essay can include a couple of metaphors or irony. Most importantly, I learned that the rules of writing are not by any means set in stone. Sometimes you just need to rip up the template and start from scratch.