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Andrew Lopp Ms. Ingram English 1102 28 November 2012 A Semester Reflection From the beginning of the semester, my writing knowledge and skill have increase substantially. I feel that each draft and revision that I have written has enhanced my writing ability, and all of the comments I have received regarding my work have been extremely beneficial in aiding my improvement. This being said, there is still much room for improvement. In this essay, I will address how each individual piece of work assisted in my progress as a writer and is a reflection not only of my writing ability, but of myself as well. To organize my portfolio, I felt that it was necessary to organize it chronologically. Since my writing has progressed as the semester has past, it is only appropriate to arrange my work in an order to showcase how my work has improved. What Its Like to be You Essay The first section of work that was significant in my learning was the What Its Like to be You essay. This essay was a very personal essay for me which, I believe, was the intention of the assignment. Since it was a personal essay, I felt that free writing was the best way to describe myself. My intention was to write emotionally and convey

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my experiences and feelings to my readers. This allowed my group to learn about me while also analyzing my writing style. Coming into the course, I would usually write one draft of a paper and, without proofreading, turn it in. Now, I have been enlightened to the importance of writing multiple drafts and proofreading in order to double check that my work meets all requirements for the assignment. Throughout the course of the semester, I have worked on perfecting these techniques, and I feel that I have shown significant improvement. The second draft of my What Its Like to be You essay was helpful in heading me in the correct direction for the semester. This draft was informal and was more unstructured than most other pieces I wrote this semester. As I read this paper out loud to my group, I was able to see how spacy my writing was. In turn, I was able to correct this and more effectively manipulate my readers. Because this draft changed how I write, there is a significant difference between my first draft of this essay and the final copy. As I revised my final copy for the last time, I realized that a good portion was missing from the first draft. My final copy was well-constructed and had more of a flow than the original copy. My final copy still contains the same emotional content as the original, but it has more concrete and related ideas. I also added an additional paragraph at the end after considering the feedback of my peers on the second draft of this essay. When looking at the essay myself, I found myself agreeing with their comments. Subsequently, I added this paragraph to conclude the essay with my

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definition of success. These differences in the two drafts represent exactly what I have taken away from this course. Annotated Bibliography The Annotated Bibliography assignment played a large role in helping me evaluate my sources. The first draft of my annotated bibliography was not very effective. First, I realized that my sources were not of high quality. Also, I did not know quite what was asked of me in the assignment. After looking over my first draft of this assignment, I had a better grasp on the concept of the assignment. From here, I feel that I improved greatly. Before committing to a source, I would mentally ask myself what I would put about the source in my annotated bibliography. Previously, I would never have thought about this. This shows my improved engagement as a writer. Over the course of the semester, I became more involved in my writing because of this assignment. "About Holistic Medicine." American Holistic Medicine Association. American Holistic Medicine Association. Web. 30 Oct 2012. <http://www.holisticmedicine.org/content.asp?pl=2&sl=43&contentid=43>. The final draft of my annotated bibliography contains all of the sources used in my research paper. These sources are of much higher quality because they are more specific to my topic than the ones previously in use thanks to the use of the annotated bibliography. This is much different from draft two in that not a single one of the sources are the same. I chose to include both draft two and the final copy of this assignment in the portfolio. The extreme difference in the two shows the evolution of my argument through my engagement within the course.

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3-Sided Argument Going into writing this piece, I had the three sides I wanted to address already in mind. I presented each side from the viewpoint of a person that would be on this side. I felt that this approach was appropriate to not only offer up a different writing style, but it helped me become more in touch with the sides that I was trying to present. This choice of writing style was partly because of the improvements that I had made in the semester up to this point. At this point, I was thinking more outside of the box thanks to the exercises, mainly the blog posts, and feedback I had received on other assignments. This is one way that I have improved as a writer. Viewing the three sides really helped me develop what I wanted to present in my argument. After completing draft two of this assignment, I knew what research I needed to find and how I wanted to incorporate it into my argumentative research essay. This draft was probably the most helpful in contributing to my research essay. This work was very important in the development of my argumentative research essay. One thing I will take from this class because of this assignment is that writing an essay is more extensive than just writing it. In this case, it involves blending research with ideas developed through engagement in other thought-provoking activities. Because of this class, I have become more involved in my writing by participating in such activities. Argumentative Research Essay As it should be, this assignment was the most complex of the semester seeing as it was a combination of all the works that I had done throughout the semester. This was

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an opportunity to showcase the effort and time I had put into forming my argument. Also, it was an opportunity to show my improvement as a writer over the course of the semester. Draft two of this assignment was a significant milestone for my semester. After presenting it to my group and Ms. Ingram, I was pleased with the feedback that it received. This was a relief because it confirmed that my hard work was worth it. The effort I had put into the paper had paid off. Not only did the feedback confirm this, it also gave me information on how to make the paper even better. Draft two feedback was very helpful in the completion of the final formulation of my research paper. My final draft is something that I am proud of. I have worked diligently over the past 4 months to hone my writing skills, research my topic, and combine the two into this paper. I feel that this paper shows how much I have improved over the course of the semester. Also, it shows that I have learned how to use the skills that I acquired through the assignments of this course. It is a completed work that combines everything I have learned over the course of the semester. Many of the revisions I made were introductions to quotes here and there to cause the paper to flow better and, in some cases, add information to the paper. For example, I added People who approach medicine with this view believe that holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses care of the whole person mind, body, and spirit in paragraph six. Also, I added the simple phrase Holistic practitioners believe to the second sentence in paragraph seven. Not only does this add information to the paragraph by explaining who holds this viewpoint, it also adds to

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the flow of the paper. Before the semester, these revisions would not have been made. But, after seeing my work differently thanks to the course, I was able to improve my paper in this manner. Not only were phrases added because of proofreading and feedback, the feedback I received also helped me find a misplaced paragraph. When I was rereading my paper, the placement made sense because I understood what I was trying to say. My peers thought otherwise. They suggested moving the paragraph to its current spot in my final draft, and I did. Now that I look at the placement, it is much better than the original version. For this reason, peer feedback was important to my writing over the semester. I feel that my research paper is very well written. It supports my argument that society is doomed if we do not reform our medical practices while also combine all of the skills and techniques we have learned about in this course. Since this is the effect I was trying to achieve, I feel my paper was a success because it accomplishes my intended goal. Process Work In my portfolio, I included my What Its Like to be You draft one, 3-sided Argument draft two, and my Argumentative Research Essay draft two as process work. These were discussed earlier in this reflection. In addition to these works, the blog posts played a large role in the improvement of my writing and the organization of my ideas throughout the semester.

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The blog posts played a significant role in my writing improvement throughout the semester. Often times, when I was stumped while writing, the blog posts would ask me to address a question that would spark an idea in me that would provide ample topics to write on. Also, they allowed me to address exactly what the point of my writing was. This allowed me to actually figure out exactly what message I wanted to convey. They were thought-provoking and caused me to reflect on my writing during the actual writing process. This leads me to conclude that they were very beneficial. I got a multitude of help from all of the process work throughout the semester whether it was receiving new ideas or aiding me in looking introspectively at my work. What I received from these assignments is due in part to the work that I put into them. This effort is reflected in the quality of all of my assignments. Daily Entries The first daily entry that I chose to include was my entry on the topic of inquiry. In this entry, I was asked to provide my own definition of inquiry. Although it is simple to come up with a definition of inquiry, the assignment made me ponder the depth to which I was supposed to go in each of the major assignments of this course. This inspired me to go to new depths in my work and question my own concept of inquiry. The definition I created and the subsequent pondering caused by this definition are partially responsible to the level of work I did in this course. The second daily entry I chose to include was my drawing of a fish. We were supposed to draw a fish as a warm up in class and somehow mine ended up turning into a Clint Eastwood fish. I feel like this really represents my creativity and the amount

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of work I am willing to put into even the smallest of assignments. It also is a reflection of my personality in that I try to make everything I do enjoyable. Although completing the course work may not have been fun this semester, I tried to enjoy it as much as possible, although it was difficult at times. The effort I put into creating this fish is not even close to the effort I put into each assignment of this course. Responses Throughout the semester, feedback from my peers was a key tool in helping me revise my papers. My portfolio includes responses from my 3-sided essay draft two and What Its Like to be You essay draft one. As I was looking through all of my responses, I felt that these two were the most beneficial because they provide the most raw, uncensored content from my peers. They helped me look at my work from a different view and revise accordingly while also offering suggestions on how to revise certain issues. The use of responses was key in my growth as a writer and in successfully completing my assignments. Other Artifacts I decided to include the article, Shitty First Drafts, into my paper. I felt that this was an encouraging article. It helped me understand that all first drafts will not be perfect. This was good for me because mine were nowhere near perfect. In addition to helping me understand this, I was also able to associate with some of the stories in the article. I, too, feel that I sometimes work better when I have a crappy first draft and I can return to it and revise it. After reading this article, I understood that the process that I

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used to write was normal and acceptable and will lead to good work. This piece was important in developing my confidence as a writer. Overall Assessment In this course, I feel that my work has been exemplary and A worthy. I have completed all assignments and I feel they have been completed with a high quality of work. Also, I have effectively participated in reviewing my peers work as well as in other activities in class. I have turned all assignments in on time and have completed the work asked of me with vigor. I came to class prepared to workshop or learn through lecture so that I may do well in the class. When it comes to showing growth as a writer, I feel that I have most definitely done that over the course of the semester. I have tried to learn from the assignments, develop my skills as a writer, and apply those skills effectively. Not only do I think that my work in this class is exemplary, I feel that I have shown tremendous growth which is equally as important. The area that I showed the most growth in is becoming more involved in reviewing and revising my work. Because of this combined with my preparedness, attendance, and high quality work, I feel that I have proven myself worthy of an A in this course.