The beginning of the semester, I was still getting used to the college lifestyle. Having to be in control of my own schedule and getting used to every individual professor teaching style. As the FIQWS course continued on, it started to become more and more challenging for me. Rather than easier. The first essay we had to write was the literacy narrative. I spent the most time on that assignment compared to the others because it was difficult for me to organize my essay. Since it was based on a free write that I had to write, however from the start of the free write I was already off topic. Which then led to me not having a well-organized literacy narrative. As time went by, my other classes had more and more work. Which soon led to me spending just a few hours on each essay. English was never my strongest subject in school since English was a second language for me. However, throughout the semester, we went over how to use the correct grammar and punctuation to better our writing. Which helped improve my writing a lot. From all the feedback I received in each of my essays. Really brought to light how much more improving my writing needs. I did not necessarily reach the writing mastery of the essays. However, I did come out knowing how far I have come, but also how much more I need to improve on in my writing.
Many things were given to us throughout the course to help us improve our writing. Such as peer-reviews, and the books They Say I Say, and The Norton Field Guide to Writing. All three were extremely helpful in improving my writing. Such as peer-review gave us other perspectives of our writings that we may not necessarily see. Also gaining the comments of our fellow peers helps us gain other ideas too by reading and commenting on their essays. Personally, I believe the book They Say I Say was far more helpful compared to The Norton Field Guide to Writing because the language from They Say I Say is easier for me to interpret compare to The Norton Field Guide.
However, things that were a wake-up call to me were things such as citing. Citing was never a big thing back in high school so it never really stuck with me. Seeing how strict it is in college for the need to cite everything really pushed me out of my own boundaries. Since I used to reading so many articles at once and then writing the essay with all the information I just gathered. So having to cite every idea I got from the internet really separated how I organized my essay. Since afterward, I decided to organize my essay by grouping together every websites idea since I went through one website at a time to keep track of each place I had to cite.
Almost every day we were given time to write a free write answering a prompt. Not caring about handwriting, grammar, and allowed to write whatever we wished. As long as it had some relation to the prompt. Personally, I thought did not help get my ideas out at all. It diverted my attention more than anything in my opinion. Once I let my mind run loose, it is hard for me to come back to focus. Personally, I think writing out a timeline or a to-do list for what am I going to do next is more helpful in allowing my ideas to flow.
However, in the end, I did not come out of this class empty-handed. From all the work I have done throughout the course, the biggest thing I took away was how much more my writing needs to improve. How serious my professor actually took the course and graded everything to even the grammar mistakes really showed me how much she cared. As all my high school teachers would have just let it slide and never really taught us how to properly cite anything either. Taking this course first semester is like a demo to how hard and challenging the rest of my college years would be, and how there is so much more room for improvements.