My Experience As A Writer (Reflective Essay)
I would like to consider myself an articulate person with profound ideas. Often though I am able to express myself through off-the-cuff speaking rather than pre-planned essay writing, regardless though - I try my best. Composition 132 is my first college writing class I have taken since AP Language and Composition my junior year of high school, since my senior year English class was cut short due to extenuating circumstances. With that my experience with college writing is limited to last semester - aka my first semester - in the variety of essays I composed for the classes I was in. In this essay I will do my best to explain my style of writing, elaborating on my successes and failures in the matter, providing examples of my work and the context with that, and finally a summary of how that defines me as a writer.
In high school, I was explicitly taught the five-paragraph essay style and how to outline it. However, I quickly discovered within the first month of my Frex 134 class that I, personally, preferred a more relaxed style, without a focus on a paragraph deadline. Now I begin each essay with an outline establishing all of the major points and then going back and filling in the details. I find that this provides ease of writing the essay and clarity for the reader later. After outlining I then begin to write the essay and delete the outline as I complete each section and consecutive subsection of it. After writing the rough draft of the essay I will thoroughly revise and edit the piece. Then, I will go back and run the essay through many different softwares so that I can get the best possible result. I try and make sure there are as few mistakes as possible while making sure the essay has a sense of clarity and sensibility. Finally, I send it off for peer review to get opinions and revisions from others. Since my writing style is very detail-oriented I find that having my peers try and read the piece over for me is the best way to make sure that all the information is well thought out while maintaining relevance. Additionally, they have the best chance of catching mistakes I would not see as it is my own writing.
As I reflect on my writing it is important to note my success as a writer. Personally, I believe that I am better at writing informative and argumentative essays. This style of essay is one that yields my most solidified ideas and detailed papers. I like being able to rely on facts and evidence that come from credible sources. My comfortability with these essays is a strength of mine that I am lucky to have. Next, is my ability to outline essays with ease. Recently, I have found a rhythm with writing an outline and it no longer is something that feels forced upon me like it did in high school. This is not something that comes easily to others. Many are stuck finding their natural pace to writing. Finally, I would like to elaborate on my success in writing papers in college in comparison to high school. I did not score below satisfactory on a paper last semester, which, for me, is a major success. For someone, who in AP Language and Composition, often struggled to get a grade higher than a pass I am overjoyed at the fact that I have found my niche where I am appreciated as an author.
Indeed, while it is important to discuss our success while reviewing writing, it is just as valuable to go over failures. I have struggled immensely when it comes to formal writing and composition classes, and that is something I admit to regularly. Personally, an essay style I struggle with the most is personal narratives. Expressing my emotions and experiences is something I have a hard time with, which is quite interesting given my past with public speaking. Alas though, every time I am asked to write about myself or my experiences I falter. Next, I struggle with the technicalities of writing- such as grammar and spelling.While I have improved over the years, I definitely still struggle. Even with the advantage of using a computer (which comes with the benefits of spell check and software like Grammarly) I still manage to have mistakes slip by. This always hits me hard in grades when professors take off for spelling or grammar, rightfully so. Additionally, I am a person who struggles with procrastination, putting off assignments until the last couple of days (or even the day of), and then stressing the entire time about getting it done. This is never an effective or healthy way to complete assignments, but, nevertheless, I have yet to break this redundant cycle. The downside to procrastination is obvious, the work is not as good as it could be, and it’s done in a time crunch. I have yet to come up with an effective solution to this issue, and, as someone who is also a slight perfectionist, it is a massive pain. As soon as I discover the answer, I will be sure to pass it along. Finally, as I shared in my successes earlier, I struggled in my high school AP writing class, leaving the impression that I was horrible at essays and an incompetent writer. One of my failures is my self-esteem in writing, I struggle to believe any of my work could be good writing, regardless of if it is or not. That makes my ability to judge my own work difficult, which in return makes knowing whether or not it’s ready to turn in or not also difficult. To fix this issue is just going to take time, effort, and better grades, which I am working very hard to do, but it is probably the toughest failure to handle overall.
As to elaborate on my successes and failures I will be discussing some papers from last semesters as examples and their relevance. First is my SISE 231 final paper, which was an informative paper over my non-profit organization. This paper truly highlighted my strength over informative papers, as it was something I was super passionate about, and it ended up being 11 pages long. This was one of my favorite papers I had written all semester, and I think it to be a well-written piece too as I got a 100 on it. Next are the papers for American Politics I which were research-based papers. While I did relatively alright on most of the essays due to the subject matter, my trouble with procrastination often showed through. In the class, we were able to turn these papers in late, and often I would delay writing the essays until the last day or later, and therefore weren’t always my greatest work.
Overall I think that there are many conclusions we can draw from successes and failures in writing. I am someone who will try my absolute best to produce quality work, even though often I will procrastinate and do it later than I should. I excel in some areas of writing and struggle in others, but I recognize that and know when I need to ask for help. Moreover, I am not the best with the technical aspects of writing, but the process of writing comes with ease to me. With each flaw comes a complementing talent, and I think that makes for a well-rounded writer, one that is not overly achieving but can write a decent paper - hopefully. Thus, this semester I come to Composition 132 with an eagerness to learn and grow. I hope to gain a better grasp on how to write a comprehensive essay and produce a solid paper to add to my portfolio. Together, starting with this essay and moving forward, I do believe there is a chance to become more than just a good writer but a great one.