Writing process was always a mystery especially writing the academic papers that I have come to realize is a serious discipline that requires professionalism to avoid plagiarism and strict formatting requirements for MLA, APA, Harvard, and Chicago among others. However, doing the assignment and constant reminder from our good professor about the specific writing requirements made the course enjoyable. I have learned that there is no bad or mediocre writing, because it takes effort, determination, compassion, and discipline to be a good writer.
While doing essay one on "save the children," I learned that there is a lot to be done in a simple essay topic. For example, I realized the importance of introduction, conclusion and the thesis statement. I also realized that in an academic essay or research, one has to do in-depth analysis and provide only factual information such as quoting amendments, actual places, and historical dates associated with the topic in question. I also learned that in academic writing, quoting another persons work must be accompanied by a relevant citation of the original author of the article from which the quote was taken. This way, one would be avoiding academic malpractices and giving credit where it is due.
I also learned the importance of giving facts and providing statistical figures to support your facts. For example, in writing essay 1, I learned that According to Save the Children published reports; it is evident that approximately 5.9 million children lose lives to preventable and treatable diseases amongst them 1 million babies that die upon birth. Also, malnutrition has been depicted to have claimed lives of a significant number of children (156 million) below five years, 50 million underweight and approximately 42 million presumed to be overweight. These facts and figures would be useful as it supports the discussion, and conclusion about a topic.
The writing process was unique; I realized that one has to refine his topic and ensure that it is not ambiguous. While doing essay 2, I realized that the topic must also be debatable before one starts doing the research. What are the compelling facts, how would the essay or topic of research contribute to the academic works and what are the implications of the study or topic. I have learned how to improve my research skills and have determined that sources such as Wikipedia and blogs are not useful for strong disciplines such as academic writing or scholarly essays. I also realized that as a writer, there are times when the writers block set in and one lack the motivation to write anything. One might give up, but this is also a way by which the body tells one the individual that one has to stop and take a rest or break the monotony of writing. Fatigue is real, and that is why people have to take a rest, engage in other activities that would break the boredom. I find researching on different topic fulfilling and more so, my writing skills have improved as I have learned that the more challenging the topic, the more interesting the writing become.
The writing process involved prewriting, drafting, and peer reviewing and revising my work to produce the final write-up. The prewriting is the most critical process as one starts to structure the whole essay. For example, while doing essay 2, I had to do the prewriting first then drafting. I learned that prewriting and drafting. For instance, I wanted to write about Homeland Security; My career Future so I started by researching over the internet, taking notes, talking to people who work in with the department of homeland security ( data collections), brainstormed, discussed and outlined the whole essay;. I managed to generate ideas, chose my topic, gathered relevant information, facts, and figures and organized my knowledge into a good essay outline.
My process evolved over the semesters as I learned the importance using only scholarly journals, books, and peer-reviewed journals for my work. I improved on referencing and also on paper formatting. I lean that while primary research is essential when doing my paper, secondary information is also essential and easily accessible. Secondary data is also less time consuming, less labor-intensive and cost-effective.
I also learn how to use the internet as a source of information because currently the references materials are digitized and hosted online. They can be accessed through the school library and of courses; I must cite the sources in text and provide works cited list.
Writing may appear fun from the way, I am writing, but from personal experiences, I learned that writing is time-consuming, energy-sapping and can be challenging at times. For example, as I was doing essay three, I had to write about Intimate Partner Violence/ Domestic violence and abuse. This was mainly a rhetoric essay as I had to use my ethos, pathos, and logos to write the whole essay. The rhetorical situation affected my writing as I had to disagree with some of the contribution and argument from other researchers. Partner violence or intimate partner violence is just the same thing. There were a lot of personal experiences and opinions that might have affected my conclusion on the topic. I have to refute argument made by deferent experts. The potential exigency constrained my decision and led me to make a different conclusion that even I could not believe I would make on such topic. I managed to use rhetorics to appeal to the audiences and those rheboks eventually influenced my view of the topic.
The course was useful to me in its entirety from day one to the last day. I found researching the most valuable among them followed by the writing process. I, however, enjoyed more the rhetoric's much as it gave me an opportunity to air my balanced view and opinions on most social topics. Never the less, if I were to do this again, I would change my researching habits. I would focus more on using peer-reviewed journals as they provide string arguments and reliable facts that can be proven. I would desist from using Wikipedia, and I would endeavor to read more and wide. The skills I have learned from the WRT 50 would go a long way in helping complete the rest of my college classes. I would use the skills to research, format and present balanced, incisive and in-depth researches for all my college classes. For the rest of the WRT 160 and other college classes, I would like to focus more on how to use academic databases, and the school library. I would also focus more on how to avoid plagiarism and improve my presentation skills.
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