English 112 28 April 2006 Reflection Paper Dear Lindsey, Over my freshman year of college, I think I have really developed my writing skills. Much of this development has been from my English 111 and 112 classes. Both classes taught me new ways to look at writing, and added to my own writing style. In English 111 I learned how to use logos, ethos, and pathos more effectively in my papers to bring the audience to a whole new level in my paper. In English 112 I learned how to effectively analyze literature, and cite it in a flowing way in my paper. Looking at my first paper I wrote this semester and then comparing it to the last paper I wrote, I can see a difference in the style and an improvement in my writing. In my “Story Time” paper, I had many grammatical errors. I did not keep the same tense throughout the paper. “I could not go to sleep unless I got a story read to me…All of the books that I listen to we had read hundreds of times already” (Story 1). I also had a lot of problems with placing commas in the right places. As I look at my “The New Fairy Tale” paper, I can see that I have fixed many of these problems. I do not use “that” excessively, and most of my errors in my paper are not grammar based. Although I have improved in
Over the past four months, this class has been one of the most vigorous, yet most helpful classes that I’ve ever taken. This class has helped me grow tremendously all around! With the different discussion boards, annotated bibliographies, and essays, they have given me the chance to think outside of the box and take what I would normally do and go beyond normality. English 111 has done many things for me, including; helping me learn from my mistakes, guiding me to use time management better, and increasing my ability to research and write correctly.
In high school, we were always treated like children. Teachers extended deadlines, we received remind messages to study and there were no given responsibilities. We were also provided with thorough instructions and if that wasn’t enough, they basically showed you how to do the task given. If we even thought about making mistakes, they would fix them for us, ultimately making us too comfortable and avoiding the fact that we are supposed to make and fix our own mistakes. As a result of this, a good percentage of those after graduation have no clue what to do when they make their first mistake and are expected to fix it on their own. When I first started in this class, I was fixated on the fact that I always made well in English throughout my life, so I didn’t change anything about my writing. However, I quickly figured out that the standards for this class, were much higher than what I was used to. The first test was on Researching News Media, I received a sixty-eight as my grade. From that moment on, I knew I had to be responsible and actually work for a better grade. I definitely learned from that failure, and now I’ve passed every following assignment in this class. One of my high school teachers explained to me that the grade norm in college is much different than that in high school. For example, when you get a “B” or “C” in high school, it seems like the end of the world. However, a “B” or “C” in college is considered pretty average, and if you get an “A”, you’re unbelievably on top of your work and definitely what you’re talking about. Obviously, don’t settle for average, go beyond that and exceed your own expectations of greatness. I believe that college courses are intended to be difficult, simply because they’re familiar with high school teachers being more lenient. It’s completely normal to fail your first test or quiz, because like I stated earlier, the workload and expectations are higher than they were before students moved from high school to college. The only important thing is, is that you take credit and learn from your mistakes.
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Another advantage of taking this class, would have to be that I have learned how to manage my time better. Before this class, I would wait until the night before my assignments were due to even start on them. I’ve always been very good under pressure and I actually kind of like the feeling of being rushed, because that’s when my best work is done. Considering that my workload is steadier now than what I’m used to, it’s far more difficult to wait until the last second, especially when you have at least two things due for every class on Sunday night. So now, on every Monday night, when the week is posted, I sit and plan out in my agenda what assignments I will be doing on what days. This is helpful to me because with work and my night class, things tend to slip through my fingers and I forget about them. Another way I plan things out is, even when I have an assignment that does not require an outline for grading purposes, I make one anyways for a guide of what and how I’m going to complete the given task. Honestly, this class has made my life a lot easier because now, I’m not frantic when it comes to planning and getting things done. I don’t fret that I won’t make a specific deadline because I usually already have it done in the beginning of the week, so when the week is over, all I have to do is submit it. By doing this, it has helped me so much not just educationally but personally. I feel more in control of my life and less stressed about situations, that would normally cause me to panic.
Out of everything this class has taught me, the biggest achievement would have to be that my ability to write and research has grown drastically. Like I stated in the beginning, the first essay I wrote in this class definitely was a huge hit in the face. After that, I looked through different student examples that you provided and I also found some on my own. In high school, annotated bibliographies were always very challenging to me. I never liked to read the long articles and then summing them up were even worse. However, with these articles, there’s no way possible you can just skim over paragraphs. You actually have to put in the effort and read, or there is no way you’re going to get an accurate representation of the article as a whole. It was very time consuming and it took me at least seven hours to write my annotated bibliography for our argumentative essay, but I received one of the highest grades in the class, so the pain was definitely worth it. Like I stated earlier, the grading system is much different than what my generation is used to. So I feel very accomplished knowing that my grade is a ninety-four and on every paper I’ve made an A plus. Writing has become more of a second nature to me and I have this class and Mrs. Keffer to thank for that.
For this being my first college class, it was very overwhelming, yet one of the best experiences of my life. It not only has helped me grow as a student, it’s helped me transform myself into a more stress-free and organized person. I now plan my days out and know when things need to be done and I do them accordingly. Was this a difficult process, absolutely. However, difficult experiences are the ones that bring forth more knowledge.