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Reflective Writing - A Reflection Essay On My Writing

bonechills 6 / 3  
May 12, 2008   #1
I am supposed to write a reflective essay. Could you please give me some feedback on
1. Grammar
2. Did I use the right format for dialogue? I indented both times and I'm not sure if I was supposed to.

I was also supposed to ask someone about what he or she
*felt while reading it
*saw you learning about yourself as a writer
*learned about the emotional struggle of becoming a writer

I hope I am not asking to much, thank so much for your time. I hope that you get the feeling that I have finally learned how enjoyable writing can be. If you don't get that feeling I might need to keep working on the essay.

Thank you,

A Reflection On My Writing

I used to be terrified of writing. Whenever I was given a writing assignment I was lost at where to begin. After returning home from a communications seminar, I was given a project to write a persuasive essay on "should cell phones be used in cars?" This was my first real writing assignment that I had ever had and I remember spending days and nights on the project. I was unsure how to write an essay, and I felt frustrated because I was making little progress. My mom also knew that I was a poor writer and she began helping me. She stayed at my side throughout the whole process and at the end of the project I felt as if she wrote the whole essay and I had just watched.

"You are rewriting my whole essay," I remember telling her in a complaining voice.
"That is what you have to do," she said.
I felt very discouraged and my confidence sank like the titanic. The more my mom added to the essay the less it reflected my thoughts and opinions. I recall feeling deep down in me that I really wanted to write but was unsure were to begin.

As I finished high school I was given the chance to speak at my graduation. I did not have any experience in speaking yet alone how to write a speech. I remember agonizing over what to write down and how to organize the speech. As time passed by, my graduation neared and I had nothing to speak about. I remember feeling as if I might give up; until I finally realized that the speech did not have to be very fancy but just some thoughts from my heart. I decided to write down whatever came to mind. After giving the speech I remember feeling like I had accomplished a small piece of writing of my own. I had not written a book or essay but I had written a little speech and that had helped remove a part of my fear of writing.

About a year after my graduation I was given another chance to give a short speech to a group of elderly people. I was able to speak about anything I wanted to. So I chose patience as my topic. Gathering my study resources, I set about writing a very interesting speech. By this time I had a little more confidence because I had already written a speech. Also I was very excited about the opportunity and spent many hours preparing for it. It seemed is if my writing was still improving but I remember having doubts about my writing abilities.

As I began college I was worried that I would need to write. I remember thinking to myself; how could I avoid writing? I knew that if I got a job I would be required to write letters and reports. I remember beginning to prepare for a college exam and that same fear of writing came over me again. I remember thinking, how would I pass my English composition test if I could not write? Searching the Internet I found a preparatory course for the English composition test. As I started the course my goal was to just pass the English composition test, and try to avoid ever writing again. After sending in an essay to the teacher, he replied with horrible news.

"Your writing needs a lot of improvement." He replied.
The news was very discouraging, but I felt that I still had a passion for writing. I remember thinking to myself, I am going to overcome my fear and learn how to write.

Finally I signed up to take a college course from Penn Foster College in English composition. My goal was to conquer my fear and fully master writing. I was about a week into the course when I read a chapter in Donald M. Murray's book called "Unlearn to Write." After reading the chapter I started understanding why I was having so much trouble with writing. I thought that I should be able to draft an essay/paper in one sitting and be finished. I thought that every time I sat down at the computer I had to write. I am no longer terrified at the though of writing. I am able to write at my own pace, without any pressure. Getting my thoughts down on paper is still the hardest part for me, but once I have something down it is easier to add to it. Until now I did not realize writing could be this enjoyable. I look forward to writing now because my fear is gone.

EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
May 12, 2008   #2
Good evening Randy!

I'd like to give you my impressions before the mechanics. I don't believe I've ever edited an essay of your before; with that said, from reading this essay I cannot believe that you ever had the difficulty writing that you describe. Your essay flows naturally from one point to another, and while there are a handful of mechanical errors, they are not glaring nor are they large ones. (You did format the dialogue correctly-we always give each line of dialogue its own line on the page. This way our reader can keep track of who is speaking.) I felt like I was listening to a story of maturing and growth; not only did you realize how to become a better writer, you realized something about yourself. You learned that you have the inner strength to overcome something that frightens you, and that is a vital tool in life because you can apply it to any number of situations. I also saw someone who recognizes that they need help/improvement in something, and rather than ignoring it and hoping it goes away, you faced it head on and found the tools you needed to help you conquer your problem. I saw you learning how to use the resources around you to become a better writer; not only your mom but a formal class specifically for your weak area. Writers use anything at their disposal to help them write. Your essay displays that the most difficult struggle authors face is that of personal growth through rejection. You write that in the beginning when your mother corrected you, you whined. When your teacher delivered the "horrible news", you merely felt discouraged; and yet, you still post here. You have developed a thick skin and are able to not take criticism as a personal insult but rather as a constructive tool, again, using all tools available to you to improve your writing.

With that said, here are my mechanical suggestions:

"...like the titanic..." (The Titanic is a proper noun, therefore it needs to be capitalized.)

"...speaking yet alone how to write a speech..." (Add a comma after "speaking", change "yet" to "let" and add "the know-how" so the structure reads "...speaking, let alone the know-how to write a speech..."

"...I wanted to. So I chose patience..." (Change this period to a comma and join these two independent clauses. We really try not to start sentences with "so".)

"Also I was..." (Add a comma after "Also".)

"...the Internet I..." (Internet is not a proper noun, so it does not need to be capitalized.)

"Your writing needs a lot of improvement." He replied." (We only need one period here. The sentence structure should be, "Your writing needs a lot of improvement," he replied.)

"Unlearn to Write." (The period here goes after the quotation mark. "..."Unlearn to Write".)

That's it! Very nice work!

I hope this helps you, and that you continue writing. You seem to be a dedicated, hard worker, and you have the desire to write.

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