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Matthew Yahata

Professor Beadle

English 115

7 December 2017

When Will My Reflection Show?

For the past four months, I have been participating in Professor Beadles English 115

class in hopes of improving my writing skills throughout the multiple essays and assignments

that have been given to us. Looking forward to reach this personal goal of mine, I took the time

to focus on each essay individually and seek out the resources that would help me earn a good

grade. Over the semester, the course revolved around the topic of monsters which was used

throughout three projects: Project Space, Project Text, and Project Media. Each of these

assignments challenged my writing capabilities in different ways which ultimately lead to me to

better my grammar, analysis, and confidence for future essays.

With English being my first language, I have been exposed to the rules of grammar and

sentence structure since elementary school; however, still to this day, I make mistakes and learn

exceptions to certain rules taught to me prior. In my Project Space essay titled Instagram: A

Psychological Warfare, I compared the similarities between monsters and the popular social

media app Instagram. My rough draft had problems conveying my thoughts on paper. Luckily,

during my first Learning Resource Center tutoring session, my tutor, Sean, instantly recognized

that I needed to work on my word choice. He sat down with me and taught me the importance of

parallel sentence structure and how to better appeal to rhetorical appeals in order to increase my

credibility as a writer. After this session, I was able to correct my mistakes and turn in an essay
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that earned me a 92%. The comments my Professor noted still had some grammar-related

suggestions but he mostly rather focused on how I could develop my commentary to relate to the

prompt more effectively. Taking all his comments into consideration, I knew that the basics of

sentence structure and word choice was mastered but for the next essay I should focus on hitting

all aspects of the prompt in order to get a better grade.

In my mind, Project Text was the next step to fulfill my personal goal to improve as a

writer. The topic for this essay revolved around the idea of Godzilla, How has Godzilla as a

monster changed or not changed from the original Godzilla (1954) to the modern day Shin

Godzilla (2016)? Why is it significant? For this essay, I decided to argue against the popular

belief that Godzilla has changed. Although this decision was more challenging, it would stand

out from the rest of the arguments if written well. As a writer, taking risks and arguing for the

harder standpoint allowed me to use critical thinking skills while developing my argument. I had

a few ideas on how the monster stayed similar throughout the films but when I found evidence to

support my thesis, I was having trouble analyzing as opposed to summarizing. My LRC tutor

even pointed this out when she said I could tell you are a journalism major as I would only

state what already happened rather than going into analysis. This was an eye-opener as I did

consider myself proficient in writing before her comment. With the fear of failing growing in the

back of my mind, I started revising and thinking of new ways to improve my essay. Taking both

my tutors advice and the in-class exchange into consideration, I eventually turned in a paper that

successfully presented my argument in a clear and well thought out mannar. After preserving

through the challenges presented to me during this assignment, it paid off as I improved my

score by three percent from the previous essay. At this moment I felt like I accomplished my
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goal of improving my writing and analysis. Like famously written by Robert Frost, I took the

one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference (Frost 4).

The final project, Project Media, presented new challenges for me to face. Although I do

not know my grade for my essay nor presentation, I did feel confident with my submissions. The

prompt for this essay was to show how a monster of our choice related to a modern day issue.

Along with the essay, we had to present our argument in front of the class. I have not done an

in-class presentation since the end of senior year in high school so I was going to present with

cold feet. For this essay, I choose to talk about how zombies related to poverty in the United

States because of the similarities of preventability of both diseases and statistical population

growth. After learning from my past mistakes and facing previous road bumps, I was able to

enhance my grammar and analysis skills to make this essay top quality. I used credible sources

ranging from the book Monsters that we have been using frequently throughout the semester to

official surveys taken by the United States Census Bureau. Rather than summarizing what the

direct quote was saying, I effectively compared how zombies and poverty related. Not only did I

improve my writing proficiency over the course of three essays, I also gained more confidence

for future writing assignments I will face during my next few years in college. Self-confidence is

important to succeed because the mentality one has when facing a rough patch in life is one

factor that will determine the effort put into that said difficult scenario.

After reflecting on my writing experience in English 115, I can say that I have shown

multiple examples of proficient essays that have improved with each essay. Not only did I reach

my personal goal of developing a better sense of writing structure and breaking down evidence, I
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also grew confidence for future essays and writing exercises that will be assigned to me

throughout college.
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Works Cited

Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation.