The desire to question the utility of a particular course may be common among students who do not have a clear vision for their scholarly pursuits. From my perspective, the main objective of academic writing seems relatively direct, and as it happens with other types of writing, it is communication. Presenting ideas comprehensibly, impartially, and formally are characteristics of scholarly communication, constituting a set of skills that students taking English 1101 strive to acquire. Seemingly, getting lost in thought and failing to adhere strictly to one point are common mistakes, and in my case, they were the ones that the course helped me to eliminate.
Writing circles partially emerged because of the necessity to receive support and feedback from like-minded authors. Even though I would not dare to compare the collaborative activities that were conducted during English 1101 to the gatherings of The Dymock Poets, for instance, my writing certainly has refined by reflecting upon my peer’s responses. The “Drugs: Dangerous and Necessary” essay that I chose as my Best Writing Artifact is a piece of evidence for the effectiveness of editing and peer revision. It is a specimen of expository writing discussing the role that narcotics occupy in contemporary society. “Drugs: Dangerous and Necessary” materializes the skill set that was assembled by accomplishing a variety of exercises during the course. Remaining impartial and finding a balance between two somewhat conflicting points of view was the expertise that needed to be improved to logically and sequentially elaborate the topic.
Reading and writing are two intertwined processes since engagement in any of these two activities enhances the results in the other one. My rhetorical response to Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl constitutes the choice for Best Reading Artifact as it demonstrates an in-depth character investigation of the poem. Completing this type of assignment helped me to exercise in rhetorical analysis, unveiling the relationships between the author and her characters, examining the tone, and types of modes that were employed. Girl offers a glimpse into, to a certain extent, abusive interactions between a mother and a daughter, where an attempt to impose stereotypical gender roles takes place (Kincaid, “Girl”). Moreover, critically reading Kincaid’s Girl with the purpose of forming a judgment about the mechanisms behind the text fabric was another way to practice in gathering support for my ideas and creating a strong thesis statement.
Viewing writing as a continuous process, encompassing numerous steps was a notion that crystallized for me during English 1101 course. It may emerge in some moments as a spontaneous act stemming from accumulated reflections; nevertheless, it was the realization that those instances are rather rare that prompted my appreciation for cultivating writing habits. Even concentrated thoughts need appropriate framing so that they can benefit to a full extent from their delivery. Prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing as wearisome of activities as they may appear in comparison to the actual process of writing are the ones that augment the quality of a paper. The tasks and assignments that I was given during the course (from somewhat minuscule informative essays to larger research papers) all profited from following these writing steps.
Mastering the usage of rhetorical strategies was another goal that I have set for myself to achieve by taking English 1101. The employment of logic, authoritative statements, facts, and statistics was of use for tasks, where the main objective was to persuade the reader, and the emphasis on the reason rather than emotive constituents of writing was crucial. For instance, in the essay where I discuss the dangers and advantages of drugs, due to its comparative and contrastive nature, the paragraphs are aligned according to the logical deployment of ideas. Another benefit of examining rhetorical strategies is the ability to distinguish between opinion, facts, and opinion disguised as facts, which is indispensable for critical reading of a variety of expository and argumentative texts.
Effectiveness, consistency, intelligibility, and clarity, even though pertinent for fiction, are specifically distinctive for non-fiction and academic writing in particular. Eliminating emotiveness, condemnatory phrases, and personal words was a scholarly convention that I tried to embody in my essays. Albeit following rules may seem challenging, and the temptation to break them is tenacious, the understanding of how scholarly communication works established for me the significance of the common standards for all. In my opinion, it is the formality that ensures impartiality in relation to the ideas being investigated.
Demonstrating that I have conducted a proper research became increasingly important with the progression of the course. One of the ways in which I learned to do this is by citing and adhering to a specific citation style. From my point of view, a trustworthy scholar is one who gives credit to others and supports their ideas by using quotes properly. Furthermore, using the recommended software and resources to work on a paper efficiently was another benefit that English 1101 helped me to comprehend. For instance, Clayton State Library was of immense aid in researching supporting materials for a number of expository and persuasive essays and to those that I have included in my ePortfolio.
In this way, the course laid a solid foundation for my future endeavors in the domain of academic writing and scholarly communication in general. The knowledge concerning writing processes, audience awareness, rhetorical strategies, citation formats, and writing technologies from now on forms my academic writer’s toolkit. The assignments and tasks that I have encountered during English 1101 guided me in the domain of profound research and critical thinking.
Kincaid, Jamaica. “Girl.” The New Yorker, 1978. Web.