Posted on May 7, 2019
Going back to the beginning of the semester, I thought this was going to be a very standard writing course, like the ones I took before in high school. I thought we would have readings every day, discuss the reading in class, write something about it, and move on to the next, with the occasional larger essay thrown in. Though the semester started off like this in the first few days, there was a massive shift in the third or fourth week, where we started to focus on exclusively writing and developing as a writer.
I think the biggest change I noticed about myself in terms of writing would be my actual opinion on writing. In early writing exercises we did, I always talked about how I liked writing, but school sort of ruined the experience for me with the multitude of research essays and rhetorical analysis essays I was forced to write in my previous writing classes. I’m not really sure if I drastically improved in writing quality or not, but I definitely learned to enjoy the writing process a whole lot more because this course. When I read the syllabus and the types of essays in the very beginning of the semester, I definitely didn’t think any of these essays would be enjoyable in the slightest. This course taught me that most essays are what you make of it. It doesn’t really matter what kind of essay you’re writing; there’s always some way to make it fun to write and have your own spin on it.
Throughout this course, I think I developed the most in my ability to shape my essay based on the audience. One of the most enjoyable parts of writing any of the essay was predicting what the primary audience, usually students, would think about and expect from my writing. Editing my essays for an audience seemed to make my writing have a clear purpose rather than writing for a grade. This was more important in the research papers I wrote, which I previously despised so much. I always thought research papers were fairly useless since I was just repeating information that was already out there and no one was going to learn anything about my topic which they can’t learn from the hundreds of other similar, more well researched papers.
My favorite part of writing in this course was writing informally, whether that was in the literacy narrative or the I-search. Even my research argument wasn’t perfectly formal. Writing informally allows me to use my own voice in my writing and things like humor, sarcasm, and emotions that can’t really be replicated in formal writing. Writing teachers in high school, at least in mine, weren’t fans of using “you” or “I” in most essays. Most of the essays I wrote weren’t unique in any way and could have been written by anyone in the class. I really had no space to develop a voice or a way to write because of all of these limitations.
Overall, I think I respect my writing skills a lot more than I did previously. I’m more confident in my writing and now know that even though I may not be ready to write anything, I’ll have fun trying.