To think five weeks ago I was just starting out this class. I was taking my first online class, and not to mention, my first college level English class. Not only do I feel like a more accomplished writer, but I also feel as if I know more about how to write certain types of essays. This class has morphed me into understanding how to take my thoughts and incorporate them into an essay without overpowering what the other text has to say, and vies versa.
Not only has my perspective on writing changed, but I realized that college English is completely different from high school English. In college I feel as if you have more freedom to express yourself as a writer, which I really do enjoy. As I have said in other essays, I find writing to be an escape. Sometimes I enjoy writing about people that I know, and other times I write about reality and life itself.
Whatever the topic, I usually try to keep myself entertained. I find myself sometimes blatantly writing about a topic that I find either unappealing, or something that I cannot connect to, and more often than not those essays aren’t the best things that I have written.
To keep it interesting, I usually go places to write. Those places are usually a small corner at Emporium Pies that is perfect because I work there, so I get all the free coffee and pie my body can hold (which is usually a lot of coffee, but not so much pie).
At Emporium Pies I often find myself distracted by the people I work with. Everyone there is so friendly and supportive of you. That place is hands down the best place I have ever worked. The managers are always respectable of your other prior commitments, so it’s never been an issue with scheduling. And you are working with pie and coffee all day, talk about ‘LIVIN’ THE LIFE’am I right? Emporium Pies is definitely one of those cool part-time jobs I will miss in 10 years when I have a regular 9-5 job.
Another place I find myself writing at is, of course, Starbucks Coffee. As much as I hate the brand, not to mention the fact that the coffee they sell is so commercialized. I always find myself going there to write. Maybe it’s the suave atmosphere, or the fact that everyone there is also on their computers typing away, writing proposals, finishing documents, or taking summer classes online just like me. Whatever it is, I will go there to work on anything for school too.
Wherever I decide to write, it definitely sets the tone for the essay. (Right now I am at the pie shop, watching my friend Gabe do some silly dance to the song that’s playing right now- Salad Days by Mac Demarco). The atmosphere will determine the quality of your essay.
If you are in a busy atmosphere, chances are your essay will not flow; it may not sound that eloquent and planned out. Which is the most important part of writing, planning that bad boy out (well that’s what I have found to be most helpful). I can’t just jump into the essay, I need to think about what I want to say and figure out the way to portray it. Which is why I found the peer evaluations to be super helpful. Mainly because they allow others to read your essay and catch the things that you may have not noticed when writing it out.
The peer evaluation was my favorite part of this course. The feedback helped me out in ways I didn’t even think was possible. The comments that people would leave about your essay helped out so much. Even the most simplistic comments, such as sentence structure and the revision of paragraphs to make your essay flow. Whatever the comment, they were usually more helpful than not.
Not only was the peer evaluation helpful, but the final comments that you left on the essay helped me out a bunch too. I would go back and read them before writing my essay for that week. I guess I just find constructive criticism to be helpful, mainly because I know that no one is saying anything to hurt your feelings, it’s all said because the students are also trying to help you become a better, more proficient writer.
When drafting, I usually write in this composition notebook that I found in my parents office. I look at the prompt that was posted online, and then I begin brainstorming. This process takes place about 2 days before we have to post the essay on peer mark. I would just write down anything that comes to mind for that specific topic. Then, I would begin to gather those thoughts into paragraphs. I figure out the common, underlying idea in those specific thoughts or ideas, and from there I decide where the thoughts go, and which paragraph they belong in.
The next step that I take when writing an essay is the fun part. Writing. Since I have already put my ideas into desired paragraphs, I begin to write the paragraphs. This usually takes place either the day before the essay is due, or the day that the essay is due on peer mark. While writing the paragraphs I think of what I want the audience to think while reading the essay. Do I want them to question a topic? Do I want to lead them into the next paragraph? Am I trying to bore them to death? It just depends.
Once I have the paragraphs written, I begin to drag them together, I think “hmmmmm.
This would sound good here” or something like that. Once I am done putting the paragraphs together, I begin to think about my introduction and conclusion. From writing in high school, I have realized that this process is all wrong. In high school you were told to write things in a certain order, and that order usually consisted of: 1. Write your thesis statement 2. Write your first sentence to your first paragraph 3. Write your first sentence to your second paragraph 4. Write the rest of the essay However, what I have found to work better is the order that I do things in. I have found that the way I write is just fine. Writing shouldn’t be structured, because that completely defeats the whole purpose of writing. If someone is telling you to write a things in specific order, then they might as well write the essay while they’re at it. Not everyone’s mind thinks of things in that way, so what may work completely fine for 90% of students doesn’t work for the other 10%.
Whatever the method to writing, I have found in the course of 5 weeks that getting others opinions on your writing will always be beneficial, writing in college is completely different from writing in high school, and I actually really do enjoy writing.