Being a Critical Thinker
I have grown as a writer this semester as is evidenced by my critical thinking, organization and writing development. I have never been a very strong writer before, but being in college, I knew I would have to learn and develop new skills to strengthen my writing. For many of our writing assignments, critical thinking was an important factor in knowing what type of information should be put into an essay, researching good sources, and figuring out what evidence should be taken from the source and what should be left. I use to think most evidence was good evidence, but now I realize that good evidence is very limited, especially in technology, and there are only certain types of evidence that categorize under being reliable. Sources that are unreliable usually are not peer-reviewed, come from a popular magazine, are written in the form of a letter to the editor, come from a “.com”, or the author is not facilitated with an institution or university. Looking for good evidence also falls under how recent the sources are, current events, as an example, are a good type of resource because they are up to date.
Figuring out what to put within the essay is also very important. There must not be too much information, as to be overwhelming, but at the same time, not too little. This can come from an even balance of ethos (ethics), logos (logic), and pathos (emotion). Throughout the research process, it is important to single out which evidence is most important and how to utilize that evidence in an effective manner. The type of information that is incorporated within the essay all depends on the topic of the essay. It is important not to sway away from the topic because then, the audience will lose focus of what is being discussed. It is a good idea to look over the essay before it is turned in to see if there are any unnecessary topics discussed or anything that is “extra” that should be taken out.
Structure and Organization
Organization is another way that has helped me grow as a writer this semester. As a writer, not only do you have to stay current and do research on a topic, but you also must be organized. Every essay I have written has been organized into a specific serial order. For example, when writing the Argument Essay for English 101, I use the “hamburger” structure to help me organize my paragraphs. This goes through the Introduction, Argument, Counterargument, Argument and Conclusion. This helps to keep my paragraphs separated into different section and each section has a title so that the audience will know what is being discussed and/ or addressed in that paragraph.
I have found that being organized creates a professional look to the essay and also keeps everything in order. This way, if I am talking about one topic, I won’t get it mixed up or drawn into another topic. Being organized is also having good sentence structure, being aware of who the audience is and using appropriate word choice. I have to make sure that I think about who I am writing the essay to even before writing it, because the audience makes up the structure of the essay. For example, I wouldn’t write a letter to a friend the same way to a boss or co-worker. Knowing who the audience is also projects the type of tone that is appropriate to use within the Argument Essay, I used more of a firm and direct tone, unlike the Narrative Essay, where I used a more friendly tone. The audience will also depict the type of word choice I should use. Which could be either more complex, directed words, or more simple and non- complex words.
Becoming a Writer for Purpose
I had never written for reason or purpose, it would be just to get an assignment done. My writing has changed through, from back then till now. I’ve learned to write with purpose and passion. Argument essays are my favorite because I love writing something about what I believe in. I use to write these plain, bland stories that never affected anyone or were really important or really mattered. There is a lot of effort I have learned to put into my writing. From the organization, to word choice, defining the audience, doing research, obtaining ethics, logic, and emotion. All essays are about detail and the story or argument that is being put across and the persuasion or influence the author uses towards the audience. All of which I have done this semester through the words and the stories that I have brought to each essay.
The way I write now is a big improvement from the way I use to write. Writing had never really mattered to me until I realized it was going to set me up for a good future. I had to write for my college application, I had to write a cover letter, a resume, a portion of my SAT was solely based on writing, arguments to why I should receive a scholarship, a narrative of my life and why I would be a good fit for college, a definition of college and why I wanted to do. Writing is all around me and will probably always be. Even now, it is a critical component in the field of law to have good writing structure. The good thing about it is that throughout the semester, I have finally learned how to use that writing in an effective way now, not only to help myself, but to help other as well.