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Manoukian

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Nellie Manoukian
Professor Jon Beadle
English 115
5 December 2016
What Is Good Can Always Be Better
Writing to me has always come naturally, and I learned this fairly early on in
my life. I found writing enjoyable and loved to have my thoughts spill down on
paper. My elementary school teachers had noticed this, and their encouraging words
added fuel to the flame that burned for writing (which was probably why I tried
writing my own book). Going through middle school and high school, I learned to
structure my thoughts into proper formatting for an essay. I initially had a hard time
with this, because I felt restricted, but by the end of high school, I was much more
confident in my essays. Within this semester of English, I have continued to improve
my writing skills, specifically my thesis statement, quote selection and quote
analysis, due to the multiple different feedbacks that were given on my essays.
The thesis statement is one of the most, if not the most, important part of the
essay. Everything in the entire essay must tie back to the thesis. In this class, I
learned how to create a strong thesis statement that answers the prompt in its
entirety as well as conveys all the main points that will be mentioned in the essay.
For example, in my thesis statement from the Progression I Essay, I try to satisfy the
question why? as I write, in hopes of inducing modification in society.
Although at the time I thought that this addition to the thesis was working well in
answering the question why?, I now realize that this was a very vague response. I

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did not make myself clear enough, because I should have went on to specify what
modifications they hope to create in society. I improved upon this aspect of my
thesis in my Progression II Essay, making sure to thoroughly articulate the why?
as I explain, this creates an unequal dichotomy of men and women in society. I
further go on to show why the why? is important, stating, it can inflict major
problems in relationships, in addition to the accumulation of excess stress for
females. It is clear to see the improvement made in my thesis statement. I have
distinctly explained the why as well as explained its importance. This elaboration
creates a strong foundation for my essay to build upon. Comparing this essay to the
Progression I Essay, it is clear to see that I have improved upon my writing by
creating a stronger and well-elaborated thesis statement. I improved upon my thesis
with the helpful feedback from Professor Beadle as well as the help I received at the
LRC.
Another aspect that I have improved upon in my writing would be quote
selection. It is clear to tell that when picking quotes for my Progression I Essay, I did
not really take into consideration the length of my quotes. For example one of my
quotes took up six lines (page 3- 4) (with only three lines of analysis) and almost all
the other quotes used were about six lines as well. By having this much of the source
in my writing, it made my analysis seem weak, and insufficient. Furthermore, the
elongated quote also takes attention away from the overall topic of the essay, and
could get boring for the audience. In my Progression II Essay however, I took the
length of my quotes into consideration and if I chose to use a long quote, I would
back it up with a longer analysis, to make sure that I tie everything in the quote to

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the point I am trying to argue. For example, when I chose to use a quote that took up
six lines in my Progression II Essay, I wrote ten lines of analysis to back up the quote
(pages 2-3). In addition, I have improved on picking quotes that will induce deeper
analysis, instead of obvious, and shallow analysis. I was able to improve my
judgment of choosing quotes with the help of my peers, as well as the tutors at the
LRC.
In addition to improving my quote selection, I have also enhanced my quote
analysis. Much like the thesis statement, my analysis was lacking specificity and the
answer to the question: why is this important?. For example, on page 2 of my
Progression I Essay, I analyze a quote from Aaron Devors article (Becoming
Members of Society: The Social Meaning of Gender), writing, Because women were
seen as fragile beings made to prepare meals and birth children, the males were the
ones who took on the more physical jobs in the their own hands with the idea that
women could not do hands on, dirty work. I continue to go on and explain the
imbalance of women and men in society, but fail to acknowledge the importance of
this in my writing. Instead of mentioning why this is important and why it matters in
our society, I find multiple different ways to show this inequality, which creates a
sense of stagnation in my essay. With my Progression II Essay, however, it is clear to
see the deeper development of my analysis. On page 3 of my Progression II Essay, I
argue how women have more pressures/responsibilities due to the societal
expectation of work at home as well as added work from a job, stating, With this
addition, rather than change, women now have extra responsibilities that are
further encouraged by society. I continue to explain, This pressure can create

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anger towards the man of the house putting the family into jeopardy of becoming
broken. This analysis shows more focus and detail on the quote used, making my
essay both convincing and easy to follow. Unlike my analysis in my Progression I
Essay, my Progression II Essay has a lot more commentary on the quotes that were
chosen, making my argument stronger and more understandable. The power point
named Incorporating Quotes was one of the ways that I made this improvement
on my second essay, in addition to peer review feedback and, of course, the LRC.

It is clear to see that my writing has gone from good to great throughout this

course. Because of the multiple chances of gaining feedback on my essays from my


peers, my professor, and the LRC tutors, I have learned to better my thesis
statements, quote selection, and quote analysis. This is simply shown through the
grades that I received for my essays: from an 89% essay to 97% essay. And I still
have room for improving my writing skills, because what I have learned throughout
the years as an English student is that no matter how good you are, you can always
be better.