After receiving a nice big D on my first paper in my AP English class I realized maybe my writing process needed some improving. In high school I always thought of myself as an ok writer. I would always do the assignment and get an A or a B and I would be satisfied. Then I reached my junior year, and I was in A.P. English with Mr. Higgins. I had heard he was a great teacher, but that he also graded really hard on his essays. I went into the class with confidence and soon we had to write our first essay. I turned it in with hopes of a B and left feeling good. Then I received the essay back with extensive notes on it and a nice big D in red marker on the front page. This teacher definitely knew what he was looking for in a good essay. It was at that moment that I realized I would need to put more time and effort into my essays.
Throughout the years up to today I have improved my writing skills greatly, and most of my improvement took place in my CO 150 class. While I had received the decent grade of a B it was evident that there was definitely more room for improvement. The first essay was a summary and response and my ability to write a thesis statement needed some help. The thesis statement I believed portrayed the specific text was “bullying is at its worst in the beginning of the school year and worsens as the years progressed, and the problem is that there haven’t been as many studies in the past that have informed or defined bullying” (Assignment 1, pg.1). The statement made in this passage is true about the reading, but it does not show the entire thesis of the passage. In another essay, while I had improved on the thesis, there were other problems in which I needed to fix. An example of something I needed to improve on was my use of topic sentences. As my instructor Matthew Bradley stated, “I think your letter would be even better if you framed each paragraph around a topic sentence” (Bradley, Assignment 2). I had not effectively used topic sentences in all of my paragraphs and I had even put two topic sentences in one of the paragraphs. This made the essay more confusing and more difficult to read. The most improvement I made was shown in my fourth assignment. I had successfully used the TRIAC outline to format my paragraphs and I also used pathos and logos well. An example of when I successfully used pathos was “while there are an excessive number of people sitting by their computers watching You Tube in rich developed countries, a mother and her young daughter are living on the streets of Indonesia (Assignment 4, pg.3). Even though I had improved significantly since high school, any writer can improve their writing skills and I have a long way to go.
As I said earlier my writing in high school was very lax. I had not put much effort into my writing and I soon needed to change that in order to keep good grades. While I may have put in more effort I still procrastinated greatly. I usually finished my essay the night before it was due and I also rarely extensively proof read my work. Once I got to college my professor had given us the opportunity to stop procrastinating by allowing us to write as a process. We had to have rough drafts finished a few days before the final draft was finished. With these rough drafts we would have a peer review workshop which allowed me to receive extra help from another perspective. When I do start to write my rough draft I usually begin by realizing that I have to turn it in the next day! Then I sit down at my computer and read over the directions. Once I know what to write about, I begin with the introduction. In writing the introduction I would first think back to the Rhetorical Situation and I would figure out who my audience would be and what the purpose of my paper was. By the time I am in the middle of the first body paragraph I am distracted by Facebook, friends, or a cool You Tube video. After this I get frustrated because I just wasted time. Then I finish