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Taylor Vella

Dr. Colombo


12 March 2017

Before starting this personal reflection, I would like to first thank Dr. Colombo for always

pushing all of our university writing(UWRT) section to think outside the box and for always

allowing us to explore new material and thinking patterns. To be completely honest when I found

out I had to take another writing class was worried because I have always found putting an idea

into words rather difficult. With the help of amazing peers and a very supportive professor, I

have grown to not only enjoy attending UWRT, but I feel I have substantially improved in my

writing and critical thinking abilities. Having had the opportunity to take UWRT has allowed me

to develop better writing skills, improve my researching abilities, and to learn how to work

successfully with my peers.

At the beginning of every class, every student subconsciously or consciously makes goals

for what they would like to achieve in that class. At the beginning of UWRT, I told myself I

would like to feel more comfortable with my writing capabilities and meet new people by the

end of this course. On the very first day of class, Dr.Colombo asked us all to make a list of our

possible fears for the semester. My list contained one phrase words are hard although this was

partly a joke the outcome was very helpful and gave me a boost of confidence for this course.

Dr.Colombo assured me that good writing comes with practice and we will be doing a lot of

writing this semester. So far this semester I have had many opportunities to get more comfortable

in my writing capabilities. Exploring the idea of free will though The Sanford Prison

Experiment, identify inquiry through analyzing Van Goghs mystery and Thank You for
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Smoking, discover the best ways to attack critical reading in textbooks, improve conducting

research abilities through on the university library database, how to adequately cite recourses,

and how to accurately analyze texts have all helped me grown in my wringing and critical

thinking abilities. Specifically, when we first started these weekly assignments, I took a long

time even to know where to start. Inquiry being our first assignment was the most difficult for

me. I found myself focusing more on the storyline than the womans injury process. I watched

the documentary on Van Goghs mystery about three times before finding the author's inquiry

process. With each assignment, the process of looking for specific details got substantially easier.

My growth during this semester is of particular importance to me because I am a systems

engineering major and one day I could be a process engineer or quality engineer. Having one of

those job titles would cause me to think through many different problems. I feel that these

assignments have not only helped me with my writing but also the way that I look at overall

problems, I am facing. Regarding my writing overall, I have been able to increase my writing

skills through practice. Though each assignment I find I may not know how to write about a

particular topic causing me to do my research and apply the knowledge I gain.

Furthermore, the primary assignment for this class thus far has been to find a research

topic each student finds interesting. After exploring many issues, I found my research topic to be

harmful chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products. With this one topic, I have had the

opportunity to conduct a research proposal, research journal, and a hyperlinked document.

Before completing these assignments, I never knew I had the capabilities to do such detailed

research on a topic and enjoy it. Although this task is still not complete, I have learned so much

about various ways to cite information and multiple forms of expressing research ideas for a

given audience. Because my topic I picked is science based I used APA 8 to cite my references
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throughout the research assignments. Because I knew I did not feel comfortable with my citation

abilities even after Dr.Colombos lecture I made an appointment with a librarian at the university

library. After sitting down with the librarian, I not only felt more comfortable with citing APA,

MLA, and Chicago Styles. Along with gaining technical knowledge, I felt I found a new source

of help for any of my future research assignments. My favorite activity our class did this

semester was the library workshop. After this workshop, I learned about our university library

web page and how to find many reliable recourses through it. Before learning about the library

web page, I used unreliable recourses, such as Google. I can use all of these recourses in future

courses and even in my future career.

Starting this course, I had never met anyone in the class before. From day one

Dr.Colombo made the class feel welcoming and encouraged us all to get to know each other.

This small thing that Dr.Colombo said made a substantial difference in having the confidence to

meet the individuals surrounding me. That first day of class I met five new friends making the

journey through UWRT even better. Mrs. Colombo assigns many group activities, peer reviews,

and discussions. Being allowed so see others opinions thought processes, and writing styles have

broadened the way I think about new ideas. The research assignment has been an excellent way

to work with my peers not only on evaluating each others work but to make us better. I get to

see many interesting topics that I would never have personally thought to explore. It has also

been very beneficial to have communication with my peers. For example, before an assignment

is due some of my peers will text in a group message and ask various questions they do not

understand regarding the assignment. Having multiple views has proven to help while working

on writing assignments because sometimes one person may notice one thing that many other

people didnt.
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As a result of already meeting my goals, it is imperative I set new goals to end the

semester. My goals for the rest of the semester are to dedicate more time to my studio hours,

work on broadening my vocabulary in my writing, and to become a better peer reviewer. I set the

goal of dedicating more time to my studios because I always wish at the end of them that I could

have more time to add more. I would like to broaden my vocabulary because I think it will

benefit me in the future to have more ethos in my writing. I would like to become a better peer

reviewer because I feel that my biggest struggle is with finding flaws in others work and I would

like to be a reliable source for peer review.

Although I may not have wanted to take this course, it has turned out to be fun and

helpful for future classes and possibly in my career one day. I have grown to find writing as a

vital skill to have but it is also applicable to every aspect of life. Through having the opportunity

to take UWRT I have so far developed better writing skills, improved my researching abilities,

and learned how to work successfully with my peers.

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