This course introduced and required a strict formula to implement when writing papers. The thesis sentences in the opening and closing paragraphs needed to be explicitly similar. Another requirement being topic sentences which clearly state the idea(s) of each paragraph. This formula has helped me be more direct in my writing. This has been a work in progress all semester long and I believe I have come a long way in terms of learning to utilize this method; as time has passed I have realized its value and have gone on to apply it to my papers in other classes. My adherence to this structure is shown from essay to essay and even from draft to draft. By keeping in mind professor Walker’s comments on previous essays I was aided in writing the next paper. These comments are also provided as evidence in the comment portion of the ‘process’ page.
Arguably, writing is an art. As many artists find it difficult to ever see their work as ‘done’—the word “process” is accurate on many levels. A requirement of this course was three drafts of each essay before turning in a final draft. As a writer I was forced to see where I went off on a tangent; which lines were imperative and which were unnecessary in respect to helping prove my point. This course really taught me how to tailor my writing toward an academic audience and the importance of doing so. In order to write to an academic audience, I learned it is best to keep my writing direct and focused.
Another aspect of this course was public speaking. This is something that admittedly, I do not enjoy especially in the classroom. But as the semester progressed I came to wonder why I so detested it as I grew more comfortable. It took a while to realize I had to speak in a way that was not too excessively colloquial in order to be taken seriously. This progress can really only be attributed to the practice I got through exposure. Group Led Discussions offered a setting in which all students could voice their opinions whether they were presenting or not. Through these presentations I was able to become more effective in articulating my thoughts aloud, encouraged by the dynamic of these presentations which was not intimidating and the classroom atmosphere as a whole respected all opinions.