Friday, September 20, 2013


Hello blog!

                The reason I know how to write academic, college level essays is because it has been drilled into my head since middle school. I went to a tiny, private, parochial school in Wyoming. They put forth a classical education outlook and strongly emphasize that their students become proficient writers. The one-on-one and personal approach to writing makes the experience become easier over time.

                Middle school is when I first began to write in the academic style of the “three point, five paragraph essay.” In both grammar and literature classes, I was required to write essays in this style. In high school, I also was required to write many papers for my literature classes. Often, the more papers one is required to write, the better one gets at expressing thoughts and ideas. One also gets a better understanding of the formatting and structure.

                I think the class that I learned the most about the different types of essays and how to communicate effectively through those types of essays, was my “rhetoric” class. “Rhetoric” class was described to me by my teacher as “a mixture of AP English and a speech class.”  I took it for two years and I was required to write many different papers in many different forms. Basically, I learned how to express my ideas and argue effectively using rhetorical devices. One thing that I thought was especially incremental in helping me learn how to write was the use of peer review. My classmates and I would look over each other’s papers and correct them for any errors that we found. We were required to say one thing that we thought the other person did well and then give constructive feedback. That helped me to learn that my writing was actually too structured and I needed to loosen up a little bit.

                By the time I reached college, I was able to test out of English 1010 and go straight to English 2010. I felt like my whole schooling had been to prepare me to go to college and succeed. I definitely felt prepared to write different kinds of essays. However, I realize that most people do not come to college so well prepared for what it is going to be like. As I have seen in the Writing Center, many people have difficulty expressing their thoughts and ideas on the paper in a cohesive and well organized manner. I feel very privileged to have had the prior education and experience in writing papers before I ever set a foot on campus.

                In my learning to write a paper, there was definitely a learning curve, but it was less about “learning and experience” and more about “learning and experience over an extended period of time.” Once one gets to college, time has not altogether run out, but I believe that experience is a much bigger factor than time at that point. Time teaches through the use of experience. Experience goes hand in hand with learning. In college, time just gets sped up a little bit.



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