Portfolio Reflection – Points 1 & 2

Portfolio Reflection Points 1 & 2

            As a writer I feel I have progressed a lot over the course of the semester. Although, I have learned a great about the technical aspect of writing, it is my voice as well as my passion in which I have gained the most insight about.  Before this course, I was not writing at all.  The only papers I had to write were a few technical papers for psychology that was basically reporting results.  The writing styles in most of the sciences are in the low style.  For this reason, creativity, passion, and voice basically do not play a role.  Because of time constraints and the bustle of the school semester, I did not always allow time to sit and reflect deeply about the work that I completed in this class.  Taking the time to not only reflect on, but also revise certain pieces, really gave me some deep insight into my own style and what my strengths and weakness are.

The revision process in particular gave me a good sense of both my voice and my passion—or maybe arrogance—, which shows pretty strongly in my writing.  When the assignment allowed, I always picked a topics that was of particular interest to me.  This made writing much easier and more enjoyable in the first place.  When I picked a topic that I was passionate about or had a lot of knowledge about, the words could just flow out of me.  Topics that are of particular interest to me are nutrition, cooking, environmental issues, and sustainability. I almost didn’t have to think about what I was writing in the first draft; I just talked. It’s as if someone asked me what he or she thought a healthy diet was why we were at a party.  I learned this from Lamont. To chose a topic that you know and is meaningful to you.  That kind of writing is where my true voice is expressed.  Furthermore, writing about meaningful topics made the process fun because I crank out a lot of words so I had a lot to work with in the second and third drafts.  I also realized that in comparison to papers I was not as passionate about, my passionate papers had a sense of arrogance about them. This is reflects how strongly I feel in my position.

My arrogant tone shows when I project a notion such as,  “the conclusion is so obvious it’s almost not worth discussing” or, “It’s silly that the general public would even consider such a notion”.  I believe this was one of the weaknesses of my writing because it weakened my argument.  I realize this tone puts the reader on defense and makes them feel like their being attacked or blamed.  This will make it less likely that they will hear my argument in a clear and non-bias way.  The revision process helped me curve my writing so the audience could see my passion without feeling attacked.  I also realized through the revision process that some of my information needed more facts to back it up.  I didn’t feel I needed to list all the facts because the points I was debating were “obvious.” I made sure during the revision to thoroughly explain to the audience why I made each statement and present the argument to them as if it was completely new to them.

Throughout the semester I gained a much better awareness of the stylistic features that we learned about in class.  After doing a number of stylistic exercises in class it almost became hard to not notice them in my own writing.  It was easiest for me to identifying tropes, schemes, imagery, and rhetorical traditions and so I used them the most in my writing. Voice and footing, conventions and deviations, and rituals of language took a lot more effort for me to implement in my writing.  I tried to balance these a little more in my revisions.  I found it easier to incorporate once the bulk of the paper was already written.

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