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Ref Essay

In: Other Topics

Submitted By ricktharp
Words 665
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ENGL 1312
26 November 2014
Reflective Essay The one skill that I can take away from this class and apply it to others is my newfound ability to prepare research for any subject or discipline. I can truly say that I have learned general research techniques and can apply these academic disciplines for my personal use as well as on the job. My ability to incorporate information from sources has been reinforced by concepts that were taught in Composition 1. For the “Majors Essay” I selected a topic of interest for myself and conducted research. My focus in the past for writing papers was generally gathering as much information as possible from the web. For this assignment I had to learn new techniques that were necessary for researching topics in a real library. I felt the assignment was presented with enough information to form an outline and begin writing. The difficulty for me was remembering the five-part essay format that was learned in freshman comp and structuring my introduction. Writing an annotated bibliography was a process that allowed me to explore the methods that scholars use to organize and record information that will be used in their projects. I learned better ways of note taking as well as summarizing. Learning how to understand and evaluate sources and identifying what is needed is a skill I can carry wherever I go. Improving on an assignment like this would be very hard for me to comment on since this was the first time I have ever done something like that. The difficulty level was the summarizing and the formatting of the paper, I had no idea how much time would be put into this assignment. The preparation needed to write my research paper had me at times thinking whether or not I should drop the course and repeat at another time. I was very confused and was uncertain that I was going about it correctly. I read many Toulmin Model essays far removed from my subject and in that process began to understand how to get started. I could write another paper on any other subject in far less time now as the outcome of what I have learned. Throughout this semester I acquired an abundance of notes from all of the previous projects and learned how to use sources to help me make a point. I feel as though I learned how to develop an argument. My writing is more convincing from what I have practiced. Once again I really cannot comment on how to improve this assignment. From my perspective I simply had to compile every bit of information presented from day one of the class and make the most of it. In conclusion all of the previous assignments prior to the research paper finally made sense to me as I sat down to get started in my preparation for that 8-10 page monster. The class exercises were my lifelines for everything. My notes that I kept and my ever so important bibliography were all references that helped me funnel down my information so I could get started with my writing. I have feared this course every since my return to college but am very proud of myself for sticking with it and giving it my full attention. I am returning to college since dropping out in 1991 and if I can pass this course being far removed from written composition for a period that long, anyone can get through it if they put in the effort. Students will simply have to take the computer lab times and library visits very seriously and ask as many questions as possible until they clarify things for themselves or at least this is how I try to get a handle on it. The last little bit and most important thing to do for this course is not to wait until the last minute to get writing because the assignments require more time than you think.

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