Madison Shaver

My Latest Posts

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  • Creative Project
    My First Journal The first time I felt a connection with writing was in the second grade. I was going back-to-school shopping with my mom and my sister gathering all…More
  • Blogs vs. Term Papers
    “Blogs vs. Term Papers” – The Modern Debate “Blogs vs. Term Papers” by Matt Richtel expresses how standard term papers may be a thing of the past, and how shorter,…More
  • Cheerleading
    When I was 4 years old my mother decided to sign my sister Abby up for all-star cheerleading. 2 nights a week I would sit and watch my sister practice…More

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Self Reflection

The most significant work that I completed in English 1103 was writing an analysis on Matt Richtell’s “Blogs vs. Term Papers” which required me to plan, draft, and revise an analysis essay.  Given the opportunity to compose an analysis essay, my development as both a writer and student were benefited. Ways in which I benefited include being given exposure to a type of essay in which I had never been asked to complete, as well as practice writing longhand and revising my own work as well as taking revisions from outside perspectives.  This assignment  challenged me as a writer because I had never previously written an analysis essay, so this was a first time experience for me. It required me to have a full understanding of the article and form a well composed essay analyzing Richtel’s work.  As a result, writing an analysis essay was significant in gaining writing experience that betters my writing abilities as a student all around. 

Before I began drafting my essay I read “Blogs vs. Term Papers”, the article of which I was analyzing. Because this was an analysis assignment, I wanted to be very familiar with the article, so I read it multiple times until I felt as if I had a full understanding. I always miss details when only reading a piece of writing once, so I try to carefully read over things multiple times. I have always had issues with reading comprehension, starting from the time I was very young. The first time my reading comprehension struggle presented itself was in the second grade. I was asked to read an article out loud, and then repeat the story to the best of my ability without the article in front of me. I confidently read the short story out loud, and when asked to repeat the story, I realized that I was unable to recall a single thing of what I had just read. In order to write a strong analysis essay it is crucial that you have a high understanding of the article in order to rephrase it in a way that readers will still follow as well make my own analysis all while making the essay fluent and easy to follow. Because of these circumstances, this assignment was the most challenging out of the activities I have completed, but also the most beneficial by getting me outside of my comfort zone in writing. 

I made neat and well organized handwritten notes each time I read it over; things that I could come back to later and read when I get stuck or need reminders of thoughts I was having while reading. I always stick to handwritten notes because I feel that they benefit me more, especially in this case. It is helpful for me to have something to turn to when I get off track and start to lose my thought process. After I felt that I had sufficient notes, I started planning my essay on a seperate sheet of looseleaf paper. I wrote down bullet points of how I wanted to organize my essay including things like what major topics I wanted each paragraph to cover, what specific points I wanted to make sure were included in each section, and a word count range for each. I do this as an outline for myself to refer to when I begin writing so that I am providing a reasonable amount of information and thoughts in each paragraph. “Paragraphing is a kindness to your reader because it divides your thinking into manageable bites.” (Rosenwater and Stephen 289). I also wrote down a few versions of my thesis as well as title ideas to later decide which ones would flow in  the essay best. Proper and extensive planning is key to making my writing process as smooth as possible. 

Once planning was complete, the next step in my writing process was to begin drafting and revising my essay. I started out by writing a rough draft. My rough draft was choppy and a bit unorganized, but I have to begin somewhere. Getting my thoughts and ideas down on paper is a start, even if it is indeed a rough one. I got helpful feedback on my rough draft and was able to make revisions in order to better my essay. Getting a second opinion on an essay is always key; there is almost always something caught that I would have missed. I received grammar, punctuation, and spelling corrections, as well as a few tips of advice that would make my essay stronger. I also read over my own writing again and again, making revisions each time until I could not find any more errors or places where I feel I could use stronger or different wording. Things like revising the wording of sentences to make them sound better, adding thoughts and points I feel like are relevant, or deleting things that I realized were unnecessary are all part of my revising process. Revising my own essays after I have written them is personally one of the most beneficial things I can do as a writer. Reading my own work so see what changes can be made gives me a good sense of what I can be stronger in when writing. 

Each time I am given the opportunity to compose an essay I benefit and develop as a writer and as a student all around. While every assignment I have completed thus far in English 1103 has benefited me in many ways, writing my analysis essay gave me a great chance to challenge myself as a writer while gaining writing experience that will be helpful in my future as a student, as well as in the real world.