I cannot believe I am already half way finished with Autumn Quarter and it is time to stop and reflect over my work thus far. While this quarter has been packed with new information, I think defining and focusing on the purpose of my argument, thesis, belief, etc, synthesizing primary and secondary sources, and learning that writing is an open process are the most applicable skills that I have learned this quarter. I find these to be the most applicable skills because they have greatly shaped my writing over the past five weeks in WRD 103, and they also carry over and play an important role in my everyday life. On top of using these skills to construct strong papers, I believe these three skills help in communication, learning, and personal growth.
My ability to define and focus on a specific purpose in my papers was brought to my attention in the feedback for my rhetorical essay. In my rhetorical essay I analyzed Bill Clinton’s 2012 DNC Speech. When analyzing this extensive speech I struggled with creating a specific thesis, and then focusing on that thesis throughout the paper because I found myself getting side-tracked with all of the other aspects in the dialogue. After acknowledging this struggle, I continued practicing this technique in my following assignments, and I believe I improved each time. This technique was extremely important in my most recent assignment- a Critical Essay on the differences in communication styles between men and women. I needed to find my thesis and hold to it since the issue of communication differences between men and women is vast and has many different arguments that overlap and become confusing. Defining and then focusing on my thesis in this paper allowed me to create order and clarity in my analysis of the differences between men and women’s communication styles.
With this focuesed thesis, I began practicing combining primary and secondary sources when I wrote my Critical Essay. For this assignment, I had to take into account several different resources. My research contained primary sources from class discussions, and my observation, and secondary sources from readings for class, and further research outside of class. It was extremely important for me to take all of this information in with an unbiased view, and then determine my argument and focus in on it. Once I could execute both of these techniques simultaneously, I found my paper coming together in a very clear and understandable way.
I have not perfected any of these skills, but I know the only way to move towards perfection is practice. These methods do not happen on accident, and they do not happen perfectly on any first draft. They are apart of the overall writing process that takes time. After countless drafts for each of my papers, many peer revisions, and use of these skills in my everyday life, these techniques have solidified, and my writing, thinking, and communicating has become stronger.
Learning, expanding, editing, and revising my thoughts and ideas is incredibly important. It is important in writing for class, but like stated above, I believe the importance carries over to all aspects of life. It is extremely important in communication with others to express my thoughts in precise ways in order for clear messages. Each day I am faced with new information from the news, peers, teachers, and strangers. It can be overwhelming to take in so much information, but when I can synthesis the new information with old information while keeping in mind my beliefs and ideas, I am able to strengthen my communication, learning, and personal growth. Just like my writing assignments are each a process of growth and revision, all other assignments, tasks, and experiences in life are never final, but instead always evolving.