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My Writing Experiences

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Learning to be an adequate writer has always been a journey for me. I can recall many moments in my life where I struggled with writing. I would often spend countless hours pondering on what I should write about and felt that it was very difficult to come up with ideas to produce a coherent piece of writing. With guidance and practice, I was able to improve my writing style and become a better writer. However this ordeal was not an easy task. I can recall periods in my educational years where I felt the need to improve my vocabulary. I felt that I must complete this task because good writers were ones that had the ability to express themselves to the best of their abilities. By having a strong diction, it would be easier for me relate my ideas and produce strong writing. Thus, I allocated a good portion of my studies to learn vocabulary.

It took me over two months to build a vocabulary base of 4000 college level words. I remember putting an hour a day into learn this vocabulary to the best of my ability. After I accomplished this daunting task, I felt more confident in writing practically anything. I was able to express my ideas more fluently and for this reason I was able to finish my assignments quicker. My oral skills also were affected by this newfound change because I now had my own unique “voice.”I believe that one of the greatest things we can achieve through writing is finding our uniqueness or “voice.” It is evident that every individual is different and has their own way of expressing themselves. Thus, by using writing as a medium, we can have a tangible outlook on who we are as writers and more importantly, who we are as individuals. Peter Elbow once stated in his work entitled Landmark Essays that “one of the traditional problems when we revise dissertations for publication is getting rid of the deferential questioning, permission-asking tone- and getting more authority in voice.” (Elbow xxxii). I agree with Elbow’s statement because by finding one’s voice, one is able to present his/her claims with more conviction. Consequently, this will produce a stronger piece of writing.

My experience in completing assignments 1.1 to 4.1 for my English 1000c class helped me understand myself and my method of writing. I realized that I have a unique style of writing; however my writing still needs improvement. I also learned to analyze things more critically while writing about personal experiences. In doing so, I realized how I grew as a person and how my environment shaped the person I am today.

Taking my experiences of writing into consideration I have come to an understanding of what writing truly is. I believe that writing is a process and can only be considered “good writing” if proper steps are taken. According to a book entitled ESL Composition by Dana Ferris and John Hedgcock, the following steps must be completed to achieve a writing work: prewriting, planning and drafting, rewriting and revising, feedback, incubations and revision, editing and polishing, and finally publishing (Ferris 67). In addition to these steps, good writing must express a clear point, be tightly structured, grammatically and syntactically correct, substantive, and interesting.

For one to express a clear point, one must convey a main idea or the significance of the object, place or person described. If this is done correctly, an attentive reader should be able to grasp the writer’s purpose. I’ve personally had a hard time trying to organize my ideas to produce one entire argument. With practice and revision, I was able to provide a stronger argument for my works and have a main thesis to put the entire paper into perspective.

For writing to be tightly structured, it should contain logical or associative connections and transitions. It is important to use such words to clearly express the relationship of the ideas described. Moreover, writing must also be grammatically and syntactically correct. It should adhere to the rules of Standard American English, including proper punctuation and spelling. If writers choose to use unconventional language rules, they should be able to justify their choices.

Substantive writing is very important in its own sense. It should convey the impression that the writer is informed about the subject. The writer doesn’t necessarily have to be an authority on the subject but should demonstrate awareness of its significance and its implications within a specified context. Informed writing might include any or all of the following: citations of authorities, experiential evidence, discussion of debatable issues related to it, and relevant questions it raises.

To conclude, writing must also be interesting. Writing should engage its readers through original insights and precise, non-clichĂ©d language expressed in a “human” voice. It should demonstrate the writer’s awareness of the specific audience for whom she or he is writing.

Writing is a universal tool that can be employed for various applications. For instance, in Ways with Words by Shirley Brice Heath, the author depicts the uses of writing in Trackton. She states that writing is predominantly used by the women of this town as a memory aid (telephone numbers, notes on the calendar). Writing is also used when direct oral communication was not possible or would prove embarrassing (notes for tardiness or absence from school, greeting cards, letters). Moreover, it was used for financial purposes, namely writing to record numerals and to write out amounts (Brice 199).

Writing can also empower people. In a book entitled, Until We are Strong Together, the author is interested not only in how writing affects thinking, but also in how writing might more deeply affect the quality of people’s lives, especially their perceptions of themselves as thinkers and as people who take action (Caedline 10). I believe writing can in fact change society for both the better and the worse. By expressing one’s sentiments on certain issues we are able to amend the injustices that are ubiquitous. Conversely, writing can be used as propaganda to vilify nations or individuals.

Writing is a very useful skill to possess. It can educate the mind and serve as a means for expressing our thoughts and desires. Throughout my educational experience thus far, I have concluded that I have the necessary skills to become a good writer; however, I must be willing to learn through trial and error to improve. This will be another journey that I must undertake, and I believe I will be a more complete person once I attain what I seek.

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