Well, here it is folks: the final blog post of English 109. I make it sound as though I’ve anticipated this moment for the past three months, but in all honesty, I’m going to miss the formats of writing we’ve covered, and being able to leave each class with new knowledge. I’ve never been the biggest fan of English courses, as some of you have read in my past 2 blog posts, personal narrative, and have heard in my everyday conversation; it’s not my strongest subject. It’s very meticulous and detail-oriented, especially essay writing, and writers always have to recognize and be aware of every little aspect of their paper.
Perhaps that is why I used to dread it so much, yet this course has opened my eyes to many new approaches to writing. I was quite surprised at the variety of writing we’ve practiced and the skills we’ve learned in addition to writing. We’ve covered personal writing and essay writing, formal and informal writing; the whole lot. We’ve learned how to properly search for research articles and how to cite those exact articles, and I could go on forever. With all of this being said, I’d say overall, my journey throughout the term has gone pretty well. Like any other course, there were definite roadblocks and moments where I struggled to pull myself to finish assignments, but I believe that I’ve finished this course with my head held high. I haven’t done horrible and that’s all one can ask in university, right?
I was definitely surprised at how consistent my marks were. I didn’t find myself struggling to maintain a good grade, which is something I’ve often had to try to do. The course content requirements were very flexible and allowed a lot of room for improvement. It also provided many opportunities to fix your work and make it better. I had found that English in University, although it was different from high school in many ways, there were similarities, and luckily these similarities had benefited me. I had appreciated the fact that the “final-for-now” submissions and “shitty first drafts” still allowed students to fix aspects of their paper they didn’t like; this being one of the similarities I had previously mentioned.
To those entering their 1B term and pursuing English 109, there are three things I must suggest, and though my advice is not the greatest, these are things I wish I had done to better my academic writing. Firstly, brainstorm before you write your essays and papers; map out a boat-load of different ideas and perspectives and see which idea takes you the furthest. Nothing is worse than finishing half of your paper, then realizing you have no other points to support your argument. Think about what you want to address and plan out as much of your paper as you can.
Secondly, take time to edit your peers’ papers; yes, it’s tedious but it not only benefits your classmates. Editing others’ papers benefits you as well. It helps you to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and allows you to apply those strengths and weaknesses to pick out flaws in your own paper. Trust me, it is worth it in the end.
Lastly, try your best with all the work you do, no matter the worth or the weight of the assignment. You will feel a lot more optimistic and proud of yourself if you follow through with this suggestion. Those 5% assignments add up quickly; you can’t procrastinate all of them. Don’t take your opportunities for improvement for granted. English 109 teaches you many different skills that, believe me, whether you know it or not, will benefit you at some point down the road.