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Julio Razza

Professor Watson

English 1001

April 22, 2019

An Act of Reflection

Participating in this English 1001 class has been a much better experience than I was

expecting. It had been about 7 years since I was in school prior, and I generally did great in

reading but only decent in writing in high school. Before the start of this class, I was confident in

my ability to phrase words and sentences together but concerned about my abilities to correctly

format sentences, paragraphs and essays since I had forgotten all but the bare basics.

Participating and doing well in this class has given me the ability and confidence to look at the

writings of others and myself from a rhetoric perspective. I can now utilize the ethos, logos and

pathos appeals to further strengthen my points to my intended audiences in my writings. I have

also gained the ability to correctly format using an MLA 8 style for my papers and have learned

how to correctly cite my sources both in text and on a works cited page.

I enjoyed the way the material was presented and taught to us in the class, and I was able

to pick up on it much quicker than I was expecting. I suppose I thought the information would be

presented in a manner like high school; however, this was not the case. I was able to take

ownership of my work and showcase my abilities for my own self. The discussion boards were a

nice way to get some of the students to interact with each other and gain different perspectives

on the points being taught; even though I couldn’t picture most of the names with a face until we

inched closer towards the end of the course. I have gained the confidence in my abilities needed

for progressing to the next English course.

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There are several learning outcomes that the syllabus covers. Before this class I didn’t

even know about a couple of them, but now I have gotten close to mastering them all. Firstly,

and most importantly is the ability of rhetorical knowledge. This wasn’t something I had any sort

of struggle with, but I did see this area improve dramatically throughout the semester through my

essay writings. In each of my essays I was required to identify the target audience and structure

my essay in a way that would most appeal to this target audience. I was taught the techniques of

ethos, logos and pathos as tool to help me achieve the highest appeal for my target audience.

Using these helps give the reader of my pieces a much better relation and understanding to

whatever topic I am writing on. I can connect emotionally, ethically and logically with many

different audiences now and can further my knowledge of these points by critically thinking and

reading other people’s work as well.

During the beginning of the course I would primarily read for the purpose of information

retention. This has changed quite a bit as I’ve been taught to read critically in this course. I can

now read with a different perspective; why is the author structuring it like this? This helps in my

ability to recognize what the author was trying to communicate, and in turn helps me

communicate my points better through my writing. Before I was confused on how to structure

and apply my writing from the thoughts in my head into a good structured essay. I know

understand the series of steps and tasks you need to complete in order to write a good essay. I

can properly and effectively find good sources and I know when they are credible or not. Using

these good sources, I know I can take their perspective and ideas for my own intellectual gain

and to integrate their ideas with my own.

The process of writing effective essays was something taught to me early in my journey

of education but forgotten over time due to lack of use. I have learned and strengthened the
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process of brain storming, planning, creating, editing, revising and presenting not just my own

work, but the work of others as well. I have been able to give some great honest feedback to

other students in my class regarding their assignments. Over the class and the various essays

we’ve created, I have learned through trial and error while applying the techniques what my best

style is for creating and revising essays. Before, I wouldn’t do much planning and it was very

hard for me to think of things to write sometimes. This is actually not an issue for me anymore,

as I’ve been able to identify my best writing technique; to formulate a mind map or “rubric” for

my essay and then brain dump all the information about the topic in a roughly formatted draft. I

then revise this draft into an efficient rough draft and ensure all the needed criteria are met. For

the final revision I ensure my audience appeals are on point, my topic is well understood and I’m

communicating everything clearly. I can also take the perspective of my professors or peers on

my own writings, using their critical analysis to further my own understanding.

Formatting and formatting knowledge were an issue for me before this class. I was

surprised to hear about MLA and APA and other formats that had specific ways that you needed

to write the information. I mean, it makes sense. But it was never something I put a great deal of

thought into. With this initially being an issue, it was not long before I was able to do this well.

There were many tools available in the classroom if you were confused, but everything about the

format was well explained in the class. Purdue Owl also had an immense amount of information

available which I used on many occasions to assist me. With this being such an important part of

the class, I was happy to have caught on to it and to possess the ability to use these formats for

my writing.

My use of computers and electronic devices has been one that I have grown up with,

utilizing each new technology not too long after it came out. Many of my essays in elementary
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school and middle school were done on computers. Before college I didn’t have access to other

tools such as school libraries though. I knew how to look up information but not exactly what

made it a credible source or how to best find the most relevant information to appeal to my

audience. I now understand this and how to effectively use the research I find. My comfortability

in using these electronic environments has certainly improved during this class, as well as my

abilities in them. Not only this, but all other types of sources to use in tandem with technology. I

can confidently use 2 online sources, a newspaper source, and a magazine source for the same

essay while appropriately citing all authors.

Being in this class has taught me immensely useful information regarding reading and

writing. I have learned way more than I had previously thought in this class, and through the

creating of this writing I recognized just how much I have really learned and how useful it will

be for me in the future. I am ready to take this next English class head on!