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Rhiannon Wilson ENC1102.

31 Megan Keaton 28 April 2014 Reflection Letter All my life, I have been good at writing one thingresearch papers. Ever since elementary school when we were given a choice between expository essays or narrative, I have always chosen expository. I have never been able to write a good paper in any other style except formal. That being said, becoming a student in ENC1102: Freshman Writing, Reading, and Research, I definitely got a wake-up call. Because most of the papers and activities we did in class were not research papers, I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and try new styles. Because of all these activities, my writing style and abilities certainly underwent a change. In this class, Ive mostly changed as a writer. Finishing with ENC1102, I now know how to use block quotes, write dialogue, and how to write in flashbacks. Like aforementioned, Ive been writing in the same fashion as a research paper for a very long time. This being said, the biggest thing that I learned this semester was how to write more informally. I also learned more about research papers, and that you can put yourself into your research paper instead of being strictly third person. All of this was taught to me through the first two papers we completed The Educational Exploration essay and Joining the conversation Part 1class activities, Curious Research readings and demonstrations. My writing style began to change with the Educational Exploration paper. Before this semester, I hadnt written an informal paper in a very long time, let alone one written in flashbacks. It was so different writing in short segments, not organizing them in a particular way.

The flashbacks didnt even have to flow, not like normal formal papers. This assignment definitely had me stepping outside my comfort zone. I didnt put my flashbacks in chronological order, and I didnt make each one connect to the next. To me, it felt like the whole paper was just mashed together. Sure, it had a central theme, but there werent transition words, and there didnt seem to be a strong sense of organization in the paper. In addition, each flashback had to be in a different style. I was required to write a poem, in another persons point of view, and more. It was pretty uncomfortable not being able to write in my normal fashion. I started this class with one style of writing, and I slowly began adding more to my personal repertoire. The next big paper we had to write was Joining the Conversation: Part 1. When I first read the assignment description for this, I nearly ran in fear. Already, I had to step out of my comfort zone. Now, however, I was going to have to run from it. Writing this dialogue helped me gain experience with another style of writing. It helped me become less formal, and allowed me to branch out. The Writing Into the Day certainly helped tone down the formality of my writing. One daybook entry, written on February 28th, allowed me to write down my thoughts on the potential setting of my Joining the Conversation Part 1 on. It was not a formal entry at all, and helped me get into the right mindset for JTC. While I learned much about the informal way of writing, my formal writing abilities were expanded as well. The Semi-Formal Reflection 4 response reflects a lot on what Ive learned in this class. One of the things I learned was that multiple drafts are important when it comes to writing papers, either formal or informal. Rough drafts are for you to pour your thoughts down, and get out your main point. The next drafts are for editing and polishing your work. In addition, if you have a topic that you are going to write about, its important that you are interested in it.

This is because your enthusiasm, or boredom, reflects in your writing and can reach out to the reader. A writers interest in their work can make the difference between a good read and a bad one. I learned a lot about formal and research writing through the Curious Researcher readings. They taught me about block quotes, paraphrasing, summarizing, and more. One of the readings that helped me the most was one about introduction paragraphs, and how to approach them. Introduction paragraphs are in most types of papers and I was always confused on the best way to go about writing one. This particular reading had at least six different ideas. One suggested beginning the paper with a question, another said try and connect with your audience, and so on. I never knew there were so many ways to start a paper. Id always stuck with the generic, elementary school introduction paragraph. This reading helped me tremendously with my writing skills, both formal and informal. The Curious Researcher Demonstrations were helpful, too. Sometimes I find that I get more out of a presentation than I would if I were to just read a book. I believe one group even found a video on paraphrasing, and summarizing. That video was extremely helpful. It blatantly pointed out the difference between the two, a line that was always murky to me, and when best to use them. To conclude, these new skills that I have gathered through ENC1102 has already helped me presently, and will most definitely help me in the future. I had to talk in the voice of a prosecutor in my mythology paper. I used the skills that I learned in my Educational Exploration paper to pretend I was an attorney prosecuting a figure named Medea. I had to talk to a jury and convince them of her guilt. It was an interesting experience trying to sound like a lawyer, and ENC1102 definitely prepared me for it. If I had to have written that paper with just my formal-

research writing abilities, I wouldve had a very hard time because it was more of a narrative than anything else. I could potentially use the skills from JTC Part 1 next semester in Russian Folklore and Fairy Tales. In Mythology, we had the option of writing another paper from the one I chose. That topic required the student to write his or her own myth, which wouldve included dialogue. Perhaps I might have to write my own fairytale instead of a myth in my RUT3514 class next year.