If writing papers could be as natural as breathing air then that will be my target for this semester. The people who practice Tai Chi or Yoga would emphasize the importance of knowing how to breathe: taking deep breaths and having a constant pace. This could apply to writing as composing profound and coherent essays. I wish to read and write without thinking too much while taking everything in. One breathes without thinking, and if the person has advanced level in Tai Chi or Yoga, he or she could have a deep and slow breathing naturally. Not to read and write without thinking, but to make critical thinking a skill I truly possess.
I found myself slow at writing comments about an article or novel I just finished reading. Sometimes I forgot about the content because there were vocabs that hindered my understanding of the article, and often spent too much time pondering without making much progress. This is one of my weaknesses I noticed when I took WR100 last year. I did not know how to give feedbacks to my peers after reading their works or listening to their theses. Because of the lack of confidence in my writing, I didn’t feel qualified to make comments on my peers’ work and was afraid to make a fool of myself. However, I understand that it is a great practice for me as a reader and a writer, taking in information and giving thoughts about it. Yet, expressing through oral conversation instead of writing is also quite different for me – often enough, I cannot put a coherent short speech together in a short time. Therefore, in WR150, I expect myself to be more perceptive, and to finish the required readings while thinking critically and forming feedbacks as soon as possible, no matter it is in spoken or written words.
My strength as a writer would be that I make few grammar mistakes; however, sometimes the sentences would turn out to be too stiff and boring because I am afraid to make mistakes. There could still be some awkward sentences here and there because English is, after all, not my first language. This year, I’d like to try different sentence structures that I wasn’t familiar with, and take my papers to the next level: from essays that are meant for grading to articles that could be fully appreciated. Another strength I discovered last year was that I am more adept at describing natural scenery and with a somewhat poetic tone. I studied Irish poetry in WR100 and the assignment that instructed us to imitate the author’s writing style didn’t trouble me at all, because I love elaborating on the nature, which the author, Seamus Heaney, did quite often in a decent amount of his work.
On the other hand, I am not familiar with criticizing and taking sides, which also suggests my incompetence in forming an essay with strong thesis. Even though I like writing poetic essays that describe natural beauty, I also hope to develop great techniques to write a strong and convincing essay. The thesis I had for the last paper in WR100 is as follows: “Boland’s distinctly feminine aesthetic can be seen through her use of light and darkness, manipulation of time, and interpretation of the natural world and art in her poetry.” Instead of calling this a thesis, I think it is more like a simple statement, without a strong standpoint. In this paper, I interpreted Eavan Boland’s poem in detail as what she’s trying to convey, but as a whole, the paper does not seem appealing enough because I did not find a way to state what was interesting when deeming Boland a master of feminine aesthetic poems.
Aiming to minor in photojournalism, I am compelling myself to work hard and make huge improvements in writing. Reflecting on my previous writing class and essays I have written, my goals for this year would be to make writing an everyday event, be more perceptive in reading and commenting, and to develop more writing techniques to enrich my work.
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