Learning Outcome 1:
Throughout the semester, I have worked hard on many different essay drafts and completed them. The first large essay assignment we did, consisted of two drafts. During this drafting process, I met with my professor and went over my first draft. We discussed a lot of global revisions such as my thesis and strengthening it as well as ensuring to bring my concepts into each paragraph. During the peer review session, I had three people read through my paper. The interesting thing was that although they found a lot of local revision errors they also brought in a lot of global concepts. They discussed my ideas for the paper and ways I could better set it up to allow my writing to really flow. In my final paper, we wrote about 4 drafts. All of which were difficult for me. I had a hard time setting up the paper the way I wanted to and found myself completely rewriting the paper to its entirety. During the peer review session, I received excellent feedback on ways to strengthen my argument by adding in my own opinions as well as those around me. They did still have some sentence level pick outs that I needed to fix and work on but overall, they really focused on helping me with the broader aspects of my paper. I believe that through the overall writing process, I have grown as a writer. I set my focus more towards my own opinions and my own arguments where I used to put all my effort into the use of other words rather than my own. I like that I now realize I can put together my own writing. In the first paper, I received a lot of comments about diving deeper into the argument. I interpreted this as not using enough of my own opinion and I believe that is what has brought me towards using my own ideas more. I dive deeper into my own argument rather than let my own opinion just die or get lost behind other words.
Learning Outcome 2:
My chosen Significant Writing Project was project number three. I believe this project ties together my ability to select and use quotes well. I had always had a difficult time integrating my quotes with my own ideas. I could easily flow quotes together with explanations, but I had a difficult time with using my own opinions or ideas with the textual evidence. I believe this is something I was able to understand by project three. For example, for one of my arguments I compared a piece of the article to my own experience, ““Our relationships with animals can also be emotionally complicated. Twenty years ago, Carolyn fell head over heels for a 1,100-pound manatee…That’s when her husband accused her of having her priorities screwed up, of loving a half-ton blob of blubber and muscle more than she loved him.” (Herzog 2). This stresses how relationships with animals can be connections that some may never understand. Carolyn loved her manatee friend so much she stopped vacationing to make her animal happy. Her husband lacked the ability to understand her feelings which resulted in driving the two apart because it was something they could never agree on. While I find myself understanding Carolyn and her connection to the animal who has a strong bond to her. I feel I have felt a connection like this with my own animal, a yellow lab, Jasmine. We have an inseparable bond and follow each other around everywhere. It is interesting to see how I can feel so strongly about another being and know deep down that others will never feel the same. I could describe my thoughts just like Carolyn did to her husband, but some will never understand or agree with us on how amazing and important the animals are.” This demonstrates my use of Carolyn and her situation to one of my own. I found that it flowed my ideas together with textual ideas well. It was a skill I am happy I could form by the final paper.
Learning Outcome 3:
When reading the selection from Susan Gilroy, I found myself to use the techniques of highlighting, annotating, asking questions and analyzing. Similarly, to the techniques discussed by Gilroy, underlining or in my case highlighting helps me to view the main point of the paragraph or the “skeleton of the argument” (Gilroy 1). It makes it clear as to what message the paragraph is trying to convey. Next, I use annotating after highlighting the main points to note in my own words what the paragraph is about. As Gilroy describes, my annotations represent, “things that seem important to me” throughout the article (Gilroy 1). Then, asking questions throughout the essay helps to signify active thoughts and questioning what the author has to say. I agree with the perspective of Susan Gilroy that the process of asking questions as, “reminders of the unfinished business you still have with a text…”(Gilroy 1). It helps the reader to stay engaged with the text and to offer any insight the reader may have. This creates an opportunity for the reader to integrate their thoughts of the article with thoughts of another article discussing the similar ideas. Lastly, analyzing is putting together the ideas you have read throughout the article and finding meaning to it. After reading and annotating an article in this course, we then follow through the process of analyzing by doing informal reading responses. This allows us to relate the ideas together and form our own opinion of what the message we take away from the article is and the topic at hand. Through these steps, I am confident in my ability to analyze the readings to find the overall meaning of the piece of writing.
Learning Outcome 4:
Throughout the semester, we had to undergo the task of peer review. We peer reviewed three essays for about three to four people each time. I found that in the beginning, I focused more on local revisions. This meaning I focused on sentence structure and adaptations of paragraphs like whether or not they had a topic sentence, evidence and a concluding sentence. I also checked to make sure they had a thesis. That for the most part was it though. What I realize now that I have completed the peer review is that I find I focused more on the broader spectrum ideas. Such as how you can support your thesis throughout the paper and diving deeper into the argument and making the paper almost a conversation between the reader and yourself rather than just facts. Some of my comments toward the end were like, “Commented [JM3]: This paragraph shows some excellent support to your claim as well as some unneeded information. I think you can take away from some of the summary portion of his article and include more support to the inhumane way of eating animals.” and “Commented [JM6]: Almost an extreme version here, good inclusion. Maybe consider a comparison here to another article.” These comments to Nick’s paper showed my transition toward bigger ideas. I tried to gear his focus towards the more important global aspects and use his own opinions with textual evidence in order to strengthen the claim. I think that throughout the semester I have definitely grown in caring for others work as well as hoping I have helped them see the bigger picture rather than simple grammar mistakes.
Learning Outcome 5 and 6:
My significant writing project aka project 3, was for me the paper I am most proud of. I thought I did a good job of relating my sources to my own words. The most difficult part from there though was the local revisions and MLA formatting. For the local revisions involving grammar, I had no idea where to start. I decided to read through the paper as I had the past two papers and see if I could find any errors from there. I would fix it as I would go and hope they were correct. Next, I always had my friend read through it to make sure there was nothing on a sentence level scale that I was missing in interpreting certain grammar or if some of the wording was off. In this case, they made note that some of my sentences showed some confusion which was something I needed to go back and reword for a better understanding. As far as MLA formatting is concerned the header and title have never been an issue for me but, citations were always a whole other ballgame. After the first paper, my professor handed out a sheet that had examples and how tos for fixing your citations and we also read a passage in they say/I say about MLA. These two together helped me to finally understand the order of which to set everything up within the citation and I now believe I have adapted those last two learning outcomes because of this course.