Reflective – Bill Brooks

Valued Improvement

As our College Composition II class draws to a close, it is easy to look back and see how I have evolved as a writer since the beginning of the course.  My first few assignments were often awkwardly worded and lacked the flow necessary to be a proficient writer.  However, at each subsequent assignment slight improvements can be seen.  With the help of my professor’s feedback, the utilization of re-writes and the insight of other students, I was able to iron out the wrinkles in my writing that held me back.  The one area that I struggled with the most was staying on task and addressing what the assignment asked of me.  In my first draft of the assignment about the invention of money, I missed the point of the assignment entirely by rambling on about unrelated topics.  Looking back I am glad that I made this mistake early on because since then I have been careful not to make the same mistake.  My progression throughout this course has led to my portfolio which contains my best work as a writer.

I believe that this class has shaped my writing in such a way that I was able to embody the necessary course values.  Core Value III states that it is crucial to: Understand how texts represent meaning and how the process of writing and reading create and interpret meaning.  The critical reading in-class assignment helped me to better understand the meaning of this value.  This assignment showed me that carefully choosing the way to quote someone can greatly change the way an article is interpreted.  This is critical when dealing with persuasive pieces in which it is necessary to subtly sway your audience’s opinion of the subject matter at hand.  This value is not about deceiving the audience but rather presenting valid information in such a light that your point of view seems correct.  In my research position paper I used this technique to point out the fallacy of current stem cell research laws.

Core Value V states that a student must understand the role and use of information in writing.  This value is of highest priority when writing a research paper.  Even if one statement a writer makes is proven false, his entire argument is devalued.  For this reason attention to detail and scrutiny is required when gathering research materials.  Every piece of information I collected was thoroughly researched and analyzed for bias and accuracy.  I demonstrated this value in my research proposal paper by using only valid sources from Academic Search Premier and government sites.  By ensuring the accuracy of my sources I was able to make valid claims about my topic and support them with irrefutable data.  My paper benefitted greatly in this respect, it gained credibility by its sturdy backing with scientific data.

Core Value VII states that a student must also understand the power and ethical responsibility that comes with the creation of written discourse.  As the age old saying goes the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.  The power of the written word is immense and should not be underestimated as the value states.  The power of writing is derived from its effect on the reader.  A single piece of writing has the power to sway the opinions of the masses.  It is the responsibility of the writer to provide the reader with nonbiased information.  Equally as important is the ethical responsibility that comes with any written piece.  The ethical responsibility of the reader is to present accurate information as well as to avoid plagiarism by always citing the sources used.  I believe I have accomplished these goals in my research proposal paper by using credible sources, and citing all the information that was not my own, to provide the necessary information for the reader to make an informed decision on the subject rather than forcing my own opinion.

The overall objective of this course is to create better, well informed writers.  I believe I have accomplished this objective because my writing has improved during the course and made me realize my flaws as well as my strengths in order to become the best writer I can be.

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