Over this past semester, I have learned a thing or two about the writing process. There is more to writing than simply drafting a paper and then later going back to edit the grammar and sentence structure. Joseph Harris’ Rewriting has been a helpful tool for me to examine how I write and for ideas on what I can do to improve my writing. My critical thinking skills have improved, which in turn has led to an improvement in my writing and even my critical reading skills.
I now understand what academic writing is and some of the processes behind it. From my understanding it is a forum for discussion. I used to view it as just really high level writing about topics I probably did not understand and certainly not capable of writing about in an effective way. I still think academic writing is really challenging and complex, but now that I view it more as an ongoing discussion, I think I can chime in and agree with a point made. I do not think I am on the level where I can create my own point of view and empirically prove it. I am just not skilled or accomplished enough yet at this point to be a major person of influence in any academic discussion. I am getting more comfortable with academic writing and while right now it is inconsequential, maybe in time when I can add something meaningful to the conversation, all this practice with academic writing will pay off.
My thought process on how to write a good thesis has changed. Prior to this class, I would sometimes spend an absurdly long time staring at a blank screen trying to come up with something to write. I would try to think of a perfect thesis statement that would make my paper function, but it was challenging and time consuming. Then the idea of a working thesis was presented to me. Just the idea of writing down a thesis that gets the main idea down to start writing was intriguing to me. Later once I have my evidence written down, it makes editing my thesis to argue towards my evidence far easier and it is even more logical. A thesis statement is simply stating what one is going to prove throughout the paper, and saying what one is going to prove after proving it already is simple.
Not only did my writing improve, but also my reading skills improved. I learned what was meant by the project of the writer. I learned to look for what the author was trying to portray and why, so I could better understand the meaning of the literary text. Examining the project involves looking at the techniques the author used in addition to looking at the word choice. After successfully identifying the project, one can understand the text in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Regarding countering and forwarding, my thoughts remain essentially the same. While they are certainly important parts of the writing process, these two concepts are understood pretty well by almost everyone, and therefore, a description of their uses and limits are not really necessary. Countering and forwarding have been ingrained into children from a young age, and as a result, have a good conceptual understanding of how to effectively use them. In addition, I do not think the concepts of countering and forwarding to be particularly challenging to understand.
English has never been my favorite class. At times I enjoyed it, could tolerate it, did not enjoy it, and flat out hated it. Despite all of this, I have always had a healthy respect for the class. I used to always think math and science classes were more important. As I have grown up and now understand the importance of reading and writing, I now think English is the most important class. Obviously math and science are still extraordinarily important, but English is used in every profession every day. Reading and writing are necessary tools for communicating ideas, which is how the world progresses. I feel as if this class has made me better at reading and writing, and therefore ultimately more prepared for the world.