I have been In University for half of a semester already but looking back I realize that I have done very different types of writing among my classes. For example, in my Theories of Communication class, the writing has been both formal and casual.
It has been formal in the fact that flowery language has been extinct since the moment we stepped into the lecture hall. We state our academic argument and prove it through evidence that is carefully worded and explained. The causal aspect comes into play through the ability to use first person point of view. One assignment specifically was have is called an Exegesis and it is where we explain the theories on a communication theorists and how it fits in with our class and the study of communication that we explore. Comparing those theories to our class gives me the option to share my opinion and beliefs in the first person narrative. This is my favourite type of writing, the kind where I can share my opinions on a topic and speak with emotions and most times it allows me to add some flavour to my writing that is not present in any third person narrative writing that I have ever seen or written myself.
However, I tend to be very picky in this particular area since I love first person narrative and getting to put myself into my writing however I do not like personal reflections.
I enjoy sharing my opinion on a topic but I find it extremely difficult to write about myself in any aspect, so when I had to do assignments for three different classes that essentially asked me to do just that, I was ready to pull my hair out. I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to grasp this type of writing and how it seemed so far out of my reach. I did not understand why I was not able to do personal reflection pieces. For these assignments, I would just keep trying and trying until I found something that sort of worked. What I would do is take myself out of the equation and look at just the facts, not relation to myself. This way I could objectively try and come to a reason like I would for analyzing a quote from a novel or academic paper. This method had helped me to feel more comfortable with personal reflection pieces and allows for me to not feel as anxious when they are assigned in my classes. As well it gives me a point of attack to start assignments.
Some of the skills that I have learned from the assignments that I have had in university so far are how to limit wordiness, an increase in my writing speed as well as learning how to write when I am not in the zone.
Limiting my wordiness came from two experiences with the same assignment. The first was that I had written out my assignment and was extremely proud of all the work that I had accomplished when I happened to see the assignment sheet with the word count written on it and it was as if the world was crashing down around me. My assignment was over the word limit by a significant amount and if I am being honest I started to panic.
Immediately I read through my assignment and took out anything that I saw I had written several times and anything that was not absolutely necessary in order to get my point across. Once I had done this I realized that I still needed some help. I had gotten rid of a good chunk of my writing but when you are editing your own writing it is hard to notice the issues and what is not essential. I ended up going to a writing help drop-in centre where someone was able to go through a bit of my paper and help me to take out anything that needed to be taken out and a bit more about how to recognize it myself. Both of these tactics really helped me and I still use the advice I was given with new assignments that I have to work on.
In University you get assignment after assignment after assignment on top of weekly sometimes bi-weekly readings for all your five classes.
In short, you don’t have a lot of time to spend on every assignment, so you have to learn how to use your time to the fullest and how to crank out work. Due to this, I have had to adapt and create ways in which to get papers done in a timely fashion. My tactic is to limit all distraction, which includes friends and television or my cell phone, and then plunge right into the work and do as much as I can before I start to fade. When you allow yourself this opportunity you would be surprised at how much work you can do. As well I plan a reward for myself that motivates me to work and get the assignments I had planned done so I can move onto the reward, which is usually watching television.
This has also taught me how to write when I am not in the zone. If I was to only write when it felt right then I would never get any of my assignments done, so I have learned to just start it regardless of how I feel and eventually I find that I end up in a zone, regardless of where I started.
Some of the things that I am excited about doing in my classes, would have to be continuing to expand in my areas of difficulty that I have mentioned above (Wordiness, writing faster) as well as learning more in depth the topics that I am study. I truly enjoy all the classes that I am taking and enjoy learning about the topics that are being taught. It honestly interests me to see how communication changes how people live in society and all the research that goes on before a live show even begins rehearsals. Specifically in my two English classes however I am really looking forward to continuing the journey of seeing what is behind writing, the message or underlying tones of short stories and fiction that you really have to read closely to see, and no I do not mean bringing a book physically closer to your face, I mean looking at one sentence and seeing how it can describe a character without being obvious or how it goes along with the overall theme of the play.
I am also interested in being given the opportunity to try and write a strong persuasive piece that has more meat, substance and complex ideas in it than I ever had in high school.