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The Effects of English 1301 On My Writing

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My writing has improved after I have taken the course English 1301 in several ways. I have learnt to access important and credible sources through research. In addition, I have learnt how to document research sources and reference these. I have learnt how to dig up important sources, unearth important material and select appropriate substance for my writing. The effects of English 1301 on my writing are that I have learned to write well composed, articulate and research backed papers.

In English 1301 I have grasped the skills required to scrutinize and evaluate the audience. I have also learned to focus on the objective of writing. My writing now has a well-defined purpose and every word of my writing is directed towards that purpose. Most importantly, I have learned the art of orchestrating my writing towards the audience in a systematic manner so that I can persuade the audience to my way of thinking. My writing can plead, convince and sway the audience that I have targeted. When I construct an argument, I take into consideration the mood and the feelings of the audience. Then I present my ideas in a cogent manner so that my purpose is achieved. My arguments are backed by evidence, either in the form of examples or research material correctly referenced in MLA style.

My writing is not a haphazard collection of thoughts. After English 1301 I pre write, plan my writing, draft, revise and edit my essays (Farris 23). Earlier there were lacunae in my writing, now there is a smooth continuity. Before I studied English 1310, my writing was erratic and often incomprehensible now it is coherent and easy to read and follow. Before I went through English 1301, my writing was perplexing and meandered but now my writing is concise and convincing. My essays are written according to a plan, every sentence and every word has a purpose in my essay. There is a design and a rationale for every paragraph.

One very important effect that English 1301 has had on my writing is that now I know how to quote, reword, and recap using MLA guidelines. This is very important from the perspective of substantiating my writing and supporting my arguments with existing research findings. I support my standpoint to make my writing persuasive. For this I substantiate my perspective with research. I paraphrase the works of important researchers, cite correctly and prepare the table of references. Most importantly, I make my arguments forceful by backing it up with credible research.

English 1301 has honed my critical thinking skills and this reflects in my writing. I can criticize academic writing in a knowledgeable manner. I can analyze the points made by an author, pick out flaws in his writing and comment on his style. If the argument made in a paper is a straw man, I can tear it down to pieces. I can spot fallacies in arguments and point out weak logic. Moreover, after English 1301 I am easily able to spot the assumptions that writers make and pinpoint the weaknesses of the assumptions.  If a supposition is unsubstantiated I can identify it and expose it in my writing. I can evaluate the quality of evidence that is used to support writing. I can see the difference between a personal experience and an example, and the difference between an academic source and a journalistic source. These skills are important when I criticize writing.

An important effect on my writing after English 1301 is that I have become more aware of my civic responsibilities. My writings tend to take on the responsibility to support just causes and buttress the weak. For example, after English 1301 I took up the cause of a black woman who had lost her job due to discrimination and prejudice. I used my newly acquired writing skills to write an impassioned letter to the CEO of the company that had fired her. When I received no reply, I research about other such dismissals by the company and wrote an article that was published in a local newspaper. The public outcry that my article created compelled the company to reinstate the black woman. I felt proud of my writing skills and promised myself to take up such causes whenever opportunity arises. English 1301 has empowered me!

To sum, the effects of English 1301 on my writing are that I have learned to write well composed, articulate and research backed papers. I have learned to write clearly, effectively, analyze target audience, map and outline papers, modify and tidy up my work. I have learned the craft of researching for my writing, substantiating my work with relevant research and referencing. I have learned the art of criticizing and the responsibility of being a socially conscious writer.


Farris. S, The New University of Houston Downtown Guide to College Writing: English 1310, Houston, TX, University of Houston Downtown, 2000.

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