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Kelli Gentile
Mrs. Oliveira
College Writing 104
24 January 17
Reflections
Over this past semester motivation has been something I struggled with, especially with
the devil on my left shoulder named Senioritis. Due to this fact I picked the quote Of course
motivation is not permanent. But neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a
regular basis. (Ziglar). The quote exemplifies the fact that to write you need motivation,
although not permanent it is necessary. In order to produce well written papers for this class, I
needed to stay focused and not procrastinate when working.
To begin my research paper I decided what route I wanted to take with my topic of
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). I brainstormed different subtopics I could explore under the
umbrella of AAT and came up with three. I started my paper with the testing required to become
certified, then I identified the most desired breeds and finally the positive outcomes of this form
of therapy. I saved coming up with my thesis until after I wrote my body paragraphs and I settled
with Certified AAT dogs possess the power to influence a persons health in a positive way.
To produce a well written argumentative paper instruction on how to find credible sources was
given to us. Our instructor informed us of the CRAAP test to use when deciding if a source could
be used for our paper. The acronym, CRAAP, stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority,
Accuracy and Purpose. When finding my sources I did this test to decide if they were useful for
my paper. Another great resource to find sources was visiting the URI library and learning about

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researching from a professor there. When first finding sources we were instructed to do an
annotated bibliography with them which aided in discarding irrelevant sources. Once I found my
necessary references I began forming my outline. For me, the outline greatly helped, when I
began writing my paper it was much easier to plug in information when I already had it
organized. I used the time given in class to the best of my ability and asked Mrs. Oliveira for
assistance when needed. Unfortunately, I did struggle with a lack of motivation when it came to
writing at home. When I returned home after school I would just mess around instead of doing
my work and then it would be time to go to practice. But upon finishing my paper and handing it
in, I was satisfied with the product that was to be graded. I received a grade of 90/100 on my
final paper. One of the problems I needed to fix was varying my sources. Throughout first
subtopic paragraphs I used the same source, in my revision I added another source there. I also
needed to rewrite my conclusion to have it synthesize the presented claims more clearly. My
original conclusion only briefly touched on what could be done stating More research in this
field could always benefit the cause and in the future AAT could be prescribed to help treat
patients in conjunction with their medications. In my revised paper I wrote Ample studies on
the benefits of AAT will help decide if this form of therapy can be used more often, and instead
of say talk therapy, to help people cope more productively and embellished on who AAT could
help (3. c). In my revisions I also needed to fix a few sentences my instructor commented on that
were awkward. My original sentence read When meeting new people, showing affection
towards them remains crucial because often times during visits, the dogs will encounter new
people. After reading it again I realized the usage of certain words interrupted the flow of the
sentence (3. a). I changed the sentence to Often times during a visit, dogs meet new people so it

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is crucial for them to willingly show affection towards those people. As well as these revisions I
needed to make varies edits on grammar and punctuation problems (2. a). Throughout writing
this paper I felt confident in my writing and my research information.
For my profile paper I interviewed, and wrote, about a women named Gilda Restelli, who
resides in Westerly with her husband and two kids. I came up with a list of questions for the
interview using some of the template questions given to us by our teacher. I traveled to Gildas
home with my questions written up and my phone for recording our discussion. After the
interview, I listened to the recording and wrote up the answers on a document to refer to when
writing my paper. In class, prior to beginning the paper, we did a mock interview with someone
in class. After the interview we needed to write a metaphoric poem about the person, having an
angle that threaded throughout. This helped in creating an angle in our profiles. We also read
through and marked up multiple profiles, including the Soup Nazi and Larry Hagman. To
begin my paper I needed to decide on the angle I wanted to take on Gilda. Throughout our
conversation she referred to her love for New York and her bond with her mother. I decided to
focus on that aspect of her life for my profile paper. On my original draft I struggled a bit with
the idea of not incorporating the interview into my paper. In my original I first wrote When
asked about moving back to New York she didnt hesitate answering with Oh in a heartbeat, I
love it, even when I see that sign Im like, Ah Im home. Since I put myself in the sentence it
needed to be changed to Moving back to New York at some point would not be a question, I
love it, even when I see that New York sign Im like Ah Im home (Restelli). I recognized in
the revision that the rhetorical situation needed for a sentence change (1. a.). Another part of my
paper that I needed to change was that it was very much like a biography, going from birth to

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present. To resolve this I removed a couple sentences that were just rambling about Gilda's time
in college and her job. To make up for the word count I cut out I needed to add more to the
ending of my paper, as Mrs. Olivera also commented that it was an abrupt ending. In the revision
I added An open book Gilda Restelli speaks honestly about her past self and who she is now.
This highly family oriented woman, talks fondly and frequently of her mother, but also of how
she never lets her New York roots disintegrate. She also does not let her Turkish heritage perish,
often visiting Turkey when she was young and again later in her late 20s. She may live in
Westerly now, but to see Gilda perched upon the steps of a Brooklyn apartment in the future,
would be no shock. New York, New York, her home away from home. This conclusion was
more suitable for the paper at hand, as I previously barely had a conclusion. From this paper I
learned ways to write about an interview, but not include myself in the paper. I was also able to
stay pretty motivated and on task with writing this paper.
For my groups collaborative paper we investigated the topic of health and learning and
how they go hand in hand. After establishing the idea, we formulated a survey and sent it out to
our fellow classmates. The questions revolved around sleep, diet and exercise habits of the
person in questioning. Some of the questions included How many hours do you usually sleep on
school nights? and How many days a week do you eat breakfast?. After compiling the
information from the survey and finding more research online we began writing the paper. I
wrote the first subtopic on the sleep habits of teenagers and how their sleep deprivation is
affecting their learning ability and motivation. I utilized our survey answers about sleep, and
studies from the National Sleep Foundation, to base my writing off of. The rhetorical audience of
my profile paper called for a different writing style than the audience of my investigative report

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did(1. b). In my investigative paper I needed to use a more professional writing style than the
profile demanded, due to the more analytical rhetorical situation at hand (1. c). After each of my
fellow classmates wrote their paragraphs we organized them and made necessary changes for the
paper to flow nicely. We also needed to compile our research links to create our works cited
page. Previous papers works cited pages helped us in knowing how to assemble and organize
each source. Another class activity that helped in our writing was peer reviews, which we have
done with every paper (2. b). The peer review was really good to do to have a new set of eyes
read your paper (2. c.) In our original paper we failed to insert one of the authors we used in the
paper. On our revision we ensured correctness by double checking each citation was present in
the paper and on the works cited page. On the original paper we received a score of an eightytwo. One aspect we needed to work on was our transitions into topic sentences. When
transitioning from a paragraph about sleep deprivation to one about diet we originally wrote
Disturbances in sleep can be caused by a variety of reasons, but eating immediately before
going to bed is one contributing factor in many people. In our revision we changed it to While
sleep deprivation can cause poor dietary choices, disturbances in sleep can likewise be caused by
a variety of reasons, but eating immediately before going to bed is one contributing factor in
many students. Another aspect that needed to be edited was our conclusion. Our instructor
informed us it was awkwardly organized and a bit repetitive. Our original topic sentence read
Overall, the relevance of this topic chimes upon the fact that if more hours of rest were
acquired, life would universally benefit and was changed to Overall, if the typical WHS
student slept more, his entire life would benefit. This sentence is more concise and gets our
main idea across. Our original closing sentence read as With the lack of healthful routines at

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WHS, students should consider these tips for a more superior rest and a healthier lifestyle which
was changed to A more superior rest and healthier lifestyle could prevail throughout WHS if
students focused on their bodys needs, enabling successful learning. This concluding sentence
more clearly finalizes the idea of the conclusion paragraph. From this collaborative paper I
learned that I am not very fond of writing collaboratively. I do not enjoy having to rely on other
people academically. Personally, I believe my portion of the paper was written to the best of my
ability and I did not have much of an issue with this report.
For my literacy memoir I struggled a bit with finding an interesting story to write about.
I didnt realize how many literary encounters Ive had in my life until I had to write this memoir.
I decided on focusing on the literary traditions that occur in my family. I settled on this idea by
doing a free-write brainstorming activity we did in class. I formulated a few possible stories but I
chose the one I could write the most about. In class, we also had a guest speaker come in, Ethan
Gilsdorf, who wrote his own memoir Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks. He spoke to us about
incorporating imagery and using dialogue to our advantage. We also actively read a few
memoirs, one called Amy Tan and a student written one from a few years ago. I decided to
title my memoir Traditions and I first started with traditions from when I was a baby, reading
with my mother. I then went on to Christmas reading traditions and summer literary traditions
with my dad, in middle school. I went on to talk about my elementary reading years and why this
all benefitted me. Mrs. Oliveira commented on the fact that it was a little hard to follow because
I went from middle school to elementary, I needed to adjust the logical flow in my revisions.
Throughout the papers Ive written this year Ive practiced a range of styles and conventions. For
example, for this paper it was a more personal style than say the investigative report was. As

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well as this, the conventions of the memoir called for more personal pronouns than other papers
(1.b.). The main issue of my original paper was the logical flow. As well as the school level part
of my paper, I refer to Thanksgiving and Christmas in my introduction, in reverse order. I needed
to change the order but I also needed to change Christmas because I refer to Christmas in one of
my traditions. In my original I wrote, Or, around Christmas, some may carol or have family
shopping trips with their relatives. Thanksgiving, families may head to the same relatives every
year for their turkey and stuffing. In my revision I changed it to On Easter heading to his
grandmothers for an Easter egg hunt. At Thanksgiving time, families may head to the same
relatives every year for their turkey and stuffing. This revision helped my paper flow better.
Throughout this school year I have had a huge problem with...passive voice. Although passive
voice was present in my literacy memoir, in my revision I eliminated some. I first wrote I can
still remember the nights, she would finish reading and I would be half dozing off, she would
cradle me in her arms and lay me down in my bed singing In my revision I wrote I can still
remember the nights, as she finished reading and I sat there half-dozing off. She cradled me in
her arms and lay me down in my bed singing.... Overall, this paper went pretty well because I
was able to use everything I have learned this semester and apply it to this paper. I was also able
to stay on task when writing.
Throughout the year I acquired ample new knowledge on how to effectively write in
multiple styles. I learned more on how to find credible sources for writing research papers and
how to use surveys to my advantage when writing an investigative report. Overall I learned how
to better eliminate passive voice from my writing and also that I forget commas an exceptional
amount of the time. I decided that when it comes time to a paper being assigned I need to

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motivate myself to get it done earlier rather than later. Coming back to my quote, although
motivation is not perpetual, like showering it is something that needs to be done.

Work Cited
Ziglar, Zig. See You at the Top. Gretna, LA, Pelican Pub. Co., 1977.