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Please engage with each discussion post with 75 words each. Totaling of 300 word for 4 discussion posts. Be engaging, analytical, responsive, conversational. Please number each response according to the posts I have provided.
1. From the beginning of this class, I had high expectations of myself to improve my writing skills and my ability to elaborate on the concepts I touched upon. I mainly had trouble with the tenses I wrote in, along with new vocabulary to implement in my essays or discussion boards. I knew that I was always able to improve my writing with different diction and my work would sound much more professional and can be more of an interesting read. I personally think that I have grown in my writing abilities and how I can easily convey the message that I am trying to get across to the reader.
Some challenges I had during this course were that I had an intense writing block and would essentially stare into my computer at a blank page for hours not knowing what to type but knowing exactly what to write. I had no creativity, nor did I have the motivation to come up with an intricate and cohesive essay or assignment. The first essay had me stuck for about 2-3 days before I was able to discipline myself to write out my thoughts in a messy manner and carefully dissect it into a well-written essay. I found that breaking up my ideas and dividing them into smaller paragraphs, helped me insurmountably and would essentially allow my brain into doing multiple smaller assignments rather than one large convoluted one. This helped me break down my writing block a little more and helped me finish the assignment in a sufficient time frame.
I feel as though my tendency to overcomplicate my essays and concepts decreased as I found more effective ways to structure my sentences, so they are able to cohesively flow, more importantly, make sense. I think the tense I usually write in has improved as well, I have become much more aware of this mistake I was constantly making when I was reading Plain Style. I hope to think that others feel the same as I do and find my writings much more readable and easy to understand.
2. When we first began this course, I remember stating that I struggled with finding the right words to use in my writing and writing too many words to explain something that couldve been explained more simply. I feel like these issues have been mostly resolved in the my time in this course through the enrichment of my vocabulary. As stated in “Effective Reading, Readable Writing, Understanding Literature, Mastering Language” by Professor Skafidas he made a very valuable point when he said, “Recently, a frustrated editor asked me to replace the verb “languish” in one of my articles for a major online newspaper with “fade” or “weaken” because, as he said, “young people might not understand it and we don’t want to alienate them.” Chopping up a language instead of educating people how to master it, might seem a convenient solution, but it is simply impoverishing. If you replace “languish” with “fade” then where will you draw the line?” This quote was one of the many reason I sought to enrich my vocabulary and not be afraid to use words that I had never used in my writing during my time in this course. The professor also brings up another valuable point within this quote which is why should the writer any form of literature have to dumb-down their voocabulary out of fear that the readers won’t be able to understand? This is a notion that, unfortunately, might hinder the writer from writing how they may actually feel or the thoughts they were trying to get down in words in the first place. In the case that a reader is stuck on what the writer is trying to say, they should always go out of their way to learn what the writer is trying to convey. In doing so, may expand their own vocabulary.
3. I have always known that writing was my weak point. Especially because it’s a summer course and only lasts for four weeks. It will be more difficult than a spring or autumn term writing course. At the beginning of the course, I had many flaws in my writing. After a few weeks of intense reading and writing, the quality of my writing has improved significantly.
Getting your ideas down on paper so that others can grasp the concept you are trying to convey is not a very simple task. I used to write long sentences in my writing to express my ideas, but due to my grammatical deficiencies, the meaning of the sentences was often ambiguous. When I read it again, I don’t even know what I meant at the time. After a few weeks of practice, I have learned to express my ideas in simple, short sentences, which not only expresses my ideas more accurately, but also reduces the bulkiness of the sentences and makes it easier for the reader to see the point I am trying to make.
Before this lesson, my writing was a one-off task. I had never checked my finished writing. This lesson has taught me that it is essential to check my essays twice and more often to help me identify any problems in my writing and make changes. Reading is the best way to check, it helps us to feel the mistakes more easily than looking. It is also easier to see and resonate with the author’s inner meaning through the text when reading. There is no doubt that I also learnt more about the technical aspects of the process in this lesson. For example, italics are used for main titles, emphasis and foreign words. What I learnt in this lesson will help me in my future writing.
4. One of the main challenges I struggled with in the beginning was introducing quotes/evidence from the text. In the beginning, it was challenging to intertwine my own words together with the evidence in a way that did not sound robotic. I read example papers online, and paid attention to how people introduced quotes. I learned two ways that you can introduce quotes without damaging the “freshness” of your writing from this; you can draw a connection to a theme the writer has touched upon throughout the reading, and then mention a quote that directly corroborates with your analysis of this theme, or you can mix quotes in with your analysis. One example of how I drew a connection to a theme a writer has touched upon throughout the reading, and then mentioned a quote that directly corroborates with my analysis of the theme was my analysis of the Creature’s overview on humanity; “He (the Creature) realizes that humans are capable of wonderful accomplishments and can be kind to each other, but he also learns about the ways that humans can be prejudiced, committing terrible acts and denouncing others; ‘I learned that the possessions most esteemed by your fellow creatures were high and unsullied descent united with riches. A man might be respected with only one of these advantages, but without either he was considered, except in very rare instances, as a vagabond and a slave, doomed to waste his powers for the profits of the chosen few’ (141).” (My discussion post on 7/22/2022). Here, I introduce what I’ve determined to be the Creature’s overview on humanity, and then introduced a quote that corroborates this theme. An example of how I mix quotes in with my analysis can also be found in this discussion post as well; “He realizes that since he is so different from humans, they’ll likely never treat him well; ‘And what was I? Of my creation and creator I was absolutely ignorant, but I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man … Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?’ (141) which was his main point, and eventually leads him to resent humans; ‘I will soon explain to what these feelings tended, but allow me now to return to the cottagers, whose story excited in me such various feelings of indignation, delight, and wonder, but which all terminated in additional love and reverence for my protectors (for so I loved, in an innocent, half-painful self-deceit, to call them)’ (143).” Here, I used a quote to introduce the Creature’s main point on his overview on humanity, and then another to show the effects of his views had on his emotions.