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Berry 1 Allison Berry Mr.

Harrell English Composition I 6 December 2013

I Have Learned Learning is a very difficult thing in life; learning is a way of life as well. People learn every day, whether it be a little, or a tremendous amount. It helps us grow. To become an even better writer is something to work towards. For me, writing is pretty easy. I have no shortage of imagination but to ball that imagination up into formal writing is actually tricky to me. Proofreading and editing, no problem; editing in fact, takes awhile because I am difficult to please. But, to make myself clear is the real challenge. By going through the same process over and over, I learn. Thus, I have learned how to better articulate a coherent thesis, draw my own conclusions analytically and associate these ideas into materials outside what was read, and keep the audience in mind. Theses confused me in high school. I would write a thesis out of the blue, but questioned my own approach to the idea. I doubt I fully understood what the thesis was about. I wrote a thesis and then wrote the paper based on that thesis, due to the thesis usually required to be turned in before actual writing began. Often I would run out of solid ideas or facts for the papers subject so I built off of paragraphs I had already written, and rambled somewhat to reach the required length or amount of words. In English Composition 111, however, if a student so chooses, they can write the paper and then draw the thesis. This process seems to work better for me. With my writing style, I just write what comes to my head and then back track and make the

Berry 2 words sound as scholarly as possible, making the thesis more of a general idea of what the paper is about. I have always had a knack for critical thinking. I enjoy analyzing any conceivable possibility and look towards the outcomes. I have no shortage of trains of thinking once something or someone sets my mind whirling in thought. Analyzing The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose was a treat; it was most interesting to see how Roose reacted to the Christian lifestyle on Liberty Universitys campus and to see him draw his own conclusions; especially his view of the Liberty chancellor, Dr. Jerry Falwell, which Roose seem[ed] to be seeing Jerry Falwell in a new light, I wrote. His words allowed for new ways of thinking. The tricky part was using the analytical skills and ideas from the essay on The Unlikely Disciple and using those same ideas towards analyzing someone known to me on a personal level. I kept putting too much of me in the essay, trying to keep myself in the picture, that I did not have enough to work within the profile essay on my Spanish teacher. On a general basis of analysis, I find the best perspective is the objective point of view. I see clearer that way, and this is how it should have been in the profile essay but I was too used to creating formal, third-person-only analysis essays that I was too excited to put myself in an essay and use second and first person that I forgot my focus and my objectivity. I did not consider which questions were more important to draw information from my Spanish teacher for the profile essay. I went from writing about my experience in my elementary Spanish class, to describing Senora Halls background, such as [She] felt unsure about her major. Or even, that she had a strong foundation as a new Christian once salvation [was] truly made clear to her family. I began writing about what was more important, for the paper; that is, Senora Hall, not my experiences in her class. My experience did help provide a picture to my teacher, however.

Berry 3 Further back, a personal essay was required. Firstly, I do not have the greatest memory, so the fact that the essay required an impactful event three or more years back, I certainly was not excited. Secondly, I struggled, again, with the focus of the essay so much so that the essay was confusing on the first try. The first draft showed my confusion. I had the subject, the death of my paternal uncle while I was in the fourth grade, but I was not sure what exactly impacted me. Instead, I turned it somewhat into a story. I wrote, What really helped me somewhat was during recess one day. One of the first people I started to get to know at Chapel Hill Christian School offered me SalvationThen summer came. Perhaps it may have been better I chose something else, just a little bit closer to my present, so that I might have had a better idea of what impacted me. I still have much work to do on this part by keeping the audience in mind is something that I have grown in. I have no small vocabulary but to properly utilize it for the proper target age group is particularly tricky for me to learn. I know I try to be too technical with my words in order to make the paper scholarly and readable. Teenager writing is also seen with the repetitive got to or get to or too many being verbs, such as in the analytical essay about The Unlikely Disciple where I describe that Aunt Tina and Aunt Teresa, a lesbian pair, are very pushy with their views, or infinitives. Clarity is certainly still needing work because I feel as though I need to be technical and scholarly but those two are not necessarily the same thing, not to mention I explain and explain, trying to describe my intent in the correct wording for the chosen age group. Explaining is not a bad idea but I just never can find the right words to express myself, in any age group honestly. This is where peer reviews come in, as well as revisions, where others perspectives can provide a clearer view on the paper and its wording.

Berry 4 I also have a habit of looking at a subject in a very narrow-minded way. I am set on the subject of the paper but I am too set to notice a much easier, more general subject. Looking back at the analytical essay on The Unlikely Disciple in particular, I started out with trying to analyze Rooses various relationships and wrote about how they unintentionally controlled Rooses outward appearance while at Liberty, especially his aunts who repetitively expressed how they disliked the chancellor of Liberty, or how [Rooses] friends from Brown University seemed to dislike the idea of Roose going to Liberty. I even had an idea of the order of the essay I wanted it to be. It was brought to my attention that it might be easier to talk about Rooses vision of the world based on these relationships, instead of struggling to find the word or words I was looking for to describe how the distant aunts or the Brown friends were always making sure that Roose was still their version of sane, while Roose was busy conforming himself to a more Christianpleasing version of himself for his Liberty friends. Finally, I saw things a little more clear. I am finding new ways to write scholarly essays, but my wording still needs work. If I could, I would revise and revise until I felt happy; except, I do not have the time for that. I can use first and second person, within reason, as well as third person, and I can rearrange sentences to work out the being verbs as much as possible. All-in-all, I have grown as a writer and have been introduced to new ways of writing, perhaps for the better.