Learning Outcome 1: Demonstrate the ability to approach writing as a recursive process that requires substantial revisions of drafts for content, organization, and clarity (global revision), as well as editing and proofreading (local revision).

Learning to approach writing as a recursive process has proved challenging for me in this course thus far. In the past, rather than writing multiple drafts of a paper, I would write one draft of a paper very slowly. I would focus on one paragraph or idea at a time until I felt it conveyed what I wanted to say perfectly and only then would I move on to my next thought. In order to move away from this process towards one that includes creating multiple drafts and revising my work frequently, I am trying to grant myself permission to write unorganized, “shitty” first drafts.

For example, in the first draft of writing prompt one, I let my thoughts flow from my head onto the paper in a stream of consciousness format. I did not include many quotes or other evidence from the texts to support my ideas. Instead, I tried to let my own ideas and arguments develop first. In addition, my paragraphs in the first draft were overly lengthy as they included multiple ideas that strayed from each other and from the main claim of the paragraph. Rather than focusing on clarity and organization, I just tried to focus on getting all of my ideas down in one place. (See graphic below)

Overly lengthy paragraph from paper 1

By allowing myself to write this “shitty” down draft, I forced myself to have to go back and redraft my work globally using the following questions to guide my revision: What ideas should I elaborate on? What ideas should I cut altogether? How should I reorganize the progression of my thoughts to make my argument stronger? Where do I need to add evidence and what type of evidence should I include to best support my argument (quote, paraphrase, summary etc)?  

After considering these questions and revisiting my work, I was able to separate my sub-arguments into different and smaller paragraphs that followed a more logical procession in regards to the overarching argument of the paper. I also was able to go back into the texts and extract evidence to best support the sub-arguments that I had reworked and reorganized from my first draft.

Clearer and more concise paragraph from final draft paper 1

By approaching writing as a recursive process instead of “one and done” like I used to, I was able to strengthen my work and make my argument clearer for the reader. 


Learning Outcome 2: Be able to integrate their ideas with those of others using summary, paraphrase, quotation, analysis, and synthesis of relevant sources.

In general, I am very comfortable integrating quotations from external sources with my own ideas and analyzing said quotations in order to further my arguments; however, I experience much more difficulty using summary, paraphrase, and synthesis in my papers. A large part of my hesitation to incorporate these rhetorical moves is the fact that I don’t fully understand each of their definitions and purposes and therefore do not know how to properly utilize them without plagiarising.

In the first draft of paper one, I stuck to the rhetorical moves I knew: quotation and analysis. As I began redrafting, I worked hard to integrate summary and paraphrase to vary my evidence and thereby strengthen my argument.

For example,  in the fourth paragraph of my final draft of paper 1, I felt as though a quotation of King’s exact words were not necessary. Therefore, I instead included summary from King’s work to support my argument. (See bolded text below & accompanying link).

“The societal benefits of creating and following an alternative life path can be seen in the personal anecdotes that King shares throughout his Ted Talk. King describes to his audience the worldly and astonishing feats he has already accomplished as a nineteen year old, including but not limited to his extended service work in the Borneo Jungle as well as his high grossing charity work to relieve poverty(King 4). Were King to follow the traditional life narrative rather than blaze his own trail, society never would have gotten the chance to benefit from his ecological and social advocacy. In other words, by straying from the traditional life narrative and doing what makes him as an individual happy, King benefitted society at large”

https://docs.google.com/a/une.edu/document/d/1beOo2AsmD_sedW9c5IVAYsx7SYti6w6OZFbK1ljEkQo/edit?usp=sharing(pg 4)

Moving forward, I think the best way to further pursue this learning goal is to experiment with new and differing rhetorical moves in each paper. I would really like to master synthesis in one of my next papers, as I think that taking ideas from two or more sources and using them to create a new idea is one of the strongest ways to support an argument.  

** Text from another course **

In my intro to environmental course, my professor assigned our class to write a critical film review for the documentary Chasing Ice. When writing a critical film review, one not only has to summarize the plot of the film but also must make an argument about it. Therefore, when I began drafting my argument for the film, I employed many of the same techniques and rhetorical tools that I use when articulating an argument in my English 110 papers. More specifically, I integrated ideas and concepts from the documentary using summary and paraphrase to support my own claims and ideas. Because I only had hand written notes explaining the gist of the film, I chose to stay away from direct quotations in this paper.

See photo and link below.

Text from another course.
Using summary and paraphrase to support a claim.



Learning Outcome 3: Employ techniques of active reading, critical reading, and informal reading response for inquiry, learning and thinking. 

Before receiving any instruction on active reading, I used to read essays pretty passively. I would take minimal notes on a separate sheet of paper or would highlight a few sections of the essay that I would consider returning to.

After receiving instruction on active reading through English 110, I now read essays much more thoroughly and with more intent. To do this, I leave extensive notes and comments in the margins of the text. I also try to engage with the text by asking questions and expressing my uncertainties and opinions. As I continue to read the text, I often return back to these questions and comments with clarifying answers or additional evidence to clear up my confusion.  In addition, I research any concepts, ideas or words I do not understand and make note of them on the essay. By following these steps, I am able to obtain a deeper understanding of the text and therefore am able to make connections between separate texts more easily.

Example of Active Reading Strategies

Above is a photo of some of my annotations from Robin Marantz Henig’s essay titled, “What is it about 20-Somethings?” Although it is hard to see, in the right hand margin, I made a comment regarding the text highlighted in blue. The comment reads, “have yet to start their adulthood so they are very optimistic that it [their adulthood] will be good!!” As I was writing the final draft of paper 1, I came across this annotation and realized that it would support my argument that emerging adulthood provides psychological benefits to the young people that get to experience it. Therefore, my active reading strategies helped me choose quotes and evidence to support my claims more easily.


Learning Outcome 4: Be able to critique their own and others’ work by emphasizing global revision early in the writing process and local revision later in the process. 

After experiencing my first peer review, I have found that I tend to typically nit pick at small, local revisions rather than large, global revisions when editing my peers’ papers. In order to push myself to notice and comment on global changes in my peers’ papers first, I now try to focus only on their thesis statement and topic/claim sentences in each of their body paragraphs. I do this because I feel that if their thesis is not clear and/or their claim arguments do not relate back to their thesis in some way, the rest of the paper will not matter anyway.

First, I try to distinguish specifically what I think my peer’s overall argument is. Then, I identify what I believe their claim sentences are and decide, as the reader, if I can see the connection between these claims and the overall argument. If I can’t find this connection, I usually ask the writer what they were trying to argue in that paragraph and then help them rewrite their claim to better fit with their overall argument.

I have found that noticing and commenting on global revisions that my peers could or should make in their papers has helped me recognize similar global revisions I need to make in my own paper.  As I continue to peer review, I hope to be able to take the advice I give to my peers and use it when revising my own paper.

Now that I have completed my third and final round of peer review, it feels almost natural to focus on global revision in my own and my peers’ early drafts. Below is an image of my comments on one of my peers’ early drafts of paper two. In these marginal comments, I suggested that my peer edit both his intro and his thesis statement, two global revisions that are vital to the success of a final draft. Also see link to google doc with these comments below.

Global Edits – Peer Review



Learning Outcome 5: Document their work using appropriate conventions (MLA)

While documenting my sources for paper 1, I found Purdue OWL  – The Purdue University Online Writing Lab, to be an extremely useful resource. The website provides an MLA formatting and style guide containing the most recent update to the writing style (MLA 8) . The style guide is easy to navigate as it has multiple side tabs that redirect the user to helpful pages like,  “MLA In Text Citations: The Basics” and “MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format”. I also found our Little Seagull reference book to be helpful, especially after we had the chance to use it for an MLA in class activity. Although it is much more tedious to flip through the pages of Seagull than it is to browse OWL online, I know that all of the information within Seagull is correct and up to date so I like to use it to double check my citations.

When it comes to citations, I lack confidence in being able to identify the source I am working with. Before this course, I had never heard of an anthology and probably would have incorrectly cited our Emerging anthology as a book. I also lack confidence in creating a works cited page. I am not always sure where to put a period instead of a comma or where to indent certain lines of the citation.

In order to become more comfortable with these areas of the MLA style, I plan to familiarize myself more with the Little Seagull reference book. Although Purdue OWL is a great site, I believe taking the time to search through Seagull and create my works cited page step by step will best help me to become more comfortable with the overall citation process. In the event I still have questions on how to properly execute these documentations, I will reach out to either my professor or other academic resources on campus for help.

After much practice utilizing the Little Seagull reference book when writing papers two and three,  I am now very comfortable identifying the type of source I am working with and creating a properly formatted works cited page. See link below to paper three. Works cited located on page 6 in the document. 

Paper 3 – Works Cited Page



Learning Outcome 6: Control sentence-level error (grammar, punctuation, spelling). 

The most common pattern of error that I have noticed in my work is my misuse of commas. In my writing so far, I have noticed that I try to connect multiple ideas using commas and because of this, I often times sacrifice clarity in the process.

The main step in my strategy to improve my use of commas is to start varying my sentence structure. Many of my sentences include so many commas because they are long and drawn out. Therefore,  I plan to cut many of  these long sentences and instead incorporate some shorter sentences to make my arguments and ideas clearer and easier for the reader to understand.

When writing paper two, I focused on trying to implement shorter sentences to avoid  misusing commas. I used the Klinkenborg exercise we performed in class to do so. See link to Klinkenborg assignment on my ePortfolio as well as link to the final draft of paper two.  Many of these “after” sentences I wrote in the Klinkenborg exercise made it to the final draft of paper two.

Klinkenborg Short Sentences Exercise

e-Portfolio: https://bwalker11.uneportfolio.org/2017/10/16/before-and-after-klinkenborg-short-sentence-exercise/

Paper 2: https://docs.google.com/a/une.edu/document/d/1uSH2M0Mg93WEJZKH3KknO597wztMKHhkcF_ImuSnick/edit?usp=sharing

I feel very motivated to learn better grammar habits because I believe that they are essential in professional fields. As a hopeful future educator, I want my students, colleagues, and bosses to see me as a well educated professional who can compose clean and articulate writing in any format (email, academic text etc.)