Monday, September 23, 2013

Writing: A (brief) Personal History

Matthew Kunes

When I was in ninth grade, I had a geography teacher who used to teach at the university level. His class was known to be inordinately difficult, given that geography wasn't really considered to be a core subject like Math, or English. Since I went to a small high school, his was the only geography class available, and the class was required for graduation.

He was one of my best teachers, and one of the smartest men I have ever known.

One of his “quirks” was that he expected us to write at a college level, and he taught us the format (what I recognize now as a simplified version of APA): always have a cover sheet, and used double space, 12 point font, and Times New Roman.

While I won't say that the content of my essays in his class would be considered college level, I will say that our teacher held us up to a higher standard than any other high school teacher I've ever had. The beginnings of my college writing began there.

I entered the early college program the following year, and began to write papers at a (more or less) college level since then. I attribute my success in college writing since then to liberal use of online citation generators, and the long suffering of my professors in dealing with my procrastination.

The next major turn in my writing career was when I started to get inundated with writing assignments as I advanced in college. While I couldn't point to a specific time or event, my academic writing style markedly improved over the course of the next few semesters at Weber.

While I wouldn't consider myself a master of the genre, I definitely have a lot of experience writing in the academic setting to know what a professor usually expects from a writing assignment.


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