Reflective Essay: Writing Course
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your writing course. Prior to this class, my writing was rather careless and unimaginative. It surprises me now that I have never noticed how shallow my arguments were and how clumsily I used to formulate my thoughts before. I would not have believed that my writing skills could change so dramatically. My essays, which previously were unfocused and lacked clarity, became well-composed and argumentative writings. I have learned to employ the logic and make my reasoning easily understandable. As my arguments grew stronger, I have started structuring my papers to address the specific audience. Each of the WR122 assignments contributed to my newly acquired skills and I feel much more confident facing new writing challenges.
The whole course was sufficiently interesting, but I had been particularly impressed by the Rogerian argument. The power of this writing style has caught me as I have read the “Letter from Birmingham jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. Probably, it was the first time when I have fully appreciated the importance of those to whom we appeal in our writing. The audience is the key – this basic idea has changed my approach completely as I thought about MLK composing his masterpiece of an unobtrusive persuasion. It must have been tough, being locked up in the jail back in 1963 and knowing that the only way to get himself heard is to excel in writing skills. It was not about getting good marks or amusing his cellmates; something much more valuable had depended upon the success of his letter. I realized the real power of a written word and started to apply some of the most interesting features in my own writing. It was by no means easy, but the more I have tried the better my works became.
Among the works in my portfolio, I would like to single out the recent essay on the genetically modified products and their increased presence in our supplies. The food has a major influence on our health, and it is the main reason why the topic is important to me. In the essay GMO: An Equation with Multiple Unknowns, I have outlined my research concerning the origin, development, and eventual spread of the genetically modified foods. Although personally I feel rather cautious and uncomfortable toward the GM foods, you would find no bias on my part in the essay. The WR122 class has taught me to research the topic objectively, presenting the information from credible sources, and analyzing the issue from multiple perspectives. The temptation to portray the whole genetic engineering as an evil business was extremely strong; nevertheless, it would have been far too easy to slip into the logical fallacies if I had taken this approach. Instead, I have chosen arguments with regard to the root cause of the problem and done my best to explain that GMO will not solve the foods’ supply issue for the growing global population.
As I have strived to write better and developed my research skills, I could not help noticing that some information is not reliable even if it comes from the apparently credible sources. Starting to think critically, I was shocked at how many mistakes and logical fallacies could be spotted when you know where to look for them. I did not want to swell the ranks of such writers. Now that I am aware of the common patterns and features of biased writing, my first priority is being thoroughly critical toward my own reasoning.
What I have found particularly useful in WR122 are the assignments that concerned the other people’s writing. When I had first composed an essay assignment, the complexity and responsibility behind this task honestly surprised me. I was wrong thinking that it was easy to assign work to other people; now I appreciate your efforts even more. However, the most important experience came from reading my peer’s papers. I have learned from every single one of them regardless of how unskillful (though not unlike my own) they were. Many do’s and don’ts that I now regularly employ in my writing have come from my peers’ works. For some reason, this way of learning is more substantial than listening to the theory. Some works of my fellow students have set a high standard that I am still struggling to reach. I was deeply impressed by the essay Smoking: Taking Cool to Different Levels by Reayah Bennett. My ultimate goal is to develop the equally powerful and original style.
Looking back at my writing through the semester, I believe that I have earned an A in this class. True, my first papers were far from perfect, but I have put much hard work and effort into polishing my writing skills. The very writing process had steadily become more and more appealing to me as I had learned different types of arguments, styles, and writing techniques. I feel that I truly met all of the WR122 learning outcomes. My essays had been progressively convincing in a variety of complex academic subjects. I do not regret spending hours on researching a single fact that would fit into some particularly complicated argument. My critical thinking was not too bad prior to WR122, but now I have learned to exercise it in a respectful manner. Being fully aware of the improvements that are still necessary, I am reasonably satisfied with my progress in this class. Thank you again for your excellent teaching.