Writing isn’t just a one shot and submit process. There should be a number of layers that go into your writing process before the first draft is even started. We started out with reading stories, and then we were told to come up with a list of questions, this was mine:
1. What did the stories accomplish?
2. Why is the archive significant?
3. Besides reading/writing, what are common threads between the stories?
4. How should we look at this collection?
5. Where would potential bias come from?
6. Who are we being influenced by?
7. How do the stories compare?
8. How unbiased were the authors?
9. What does it mean to be made the villain/to be hated?
10. What did their stories reveal about who they are now?
We were given two outlines to use for our essay. From that I tailored it to my own question, just to get ideas and thoughts flowing in the order that I would want. This ended up what I typed out:
- Welcome to discourse/literacy
- What it is
- What it does
- What the f*** is my research question? (relationships play a role)
- Connect to alex
- Intro raising cairn
- What does studying them have to teach us?
- Research towards scholarly conversation about literacy
- Bring in all the other people and discuss.
- Answer the question
- Explain how research contributes
My rough draft followed my ideas pretty well but then on advice from my peers, the following drafts rearranged my outline to be more direct with my question which my paper would be based on and connect it more quickly with people like Alexander.
One of the most significant steps to writing in a recursive process is the global changes that are made. Without looking at the grammar and sentence structure, it’s important to look at the overall flow of the work. That’s why I redesigned my introduction to being more direct and not so wishy-washy.
Another thing I did in prep for my essay was create the 4 slide presentation that was asked of us. This was another moment of generating ideas and finding connections that I would use to build my essay. From there came my first draft.
There are simple universal concepts and actions that span all cultures and discourses. Things that all people do no matter where they are from. In groups, people socialize. There is communication between individuals. But society has advanced on the communication front. Social groups have formed their own discourses.
That was the opening for my essay originally. Afterwards, I’d set it up as:
Conflict is unavoidable because people are different throughout the world. They hold onto their own ideas and thoughts. These conflicting ideas and beliefs often lead to either the rejection or acceptance into a new social group. Kara Poe Alexander examined over seven hundred essays where students explained their story behind whether or not they were accepted into a new discourse.
Honestly, I’m not sure whether or not that I improved more in my writing this semester from last. But I feel like the writing styles from semester to semester were completely different. This semester we wrote a more serious piece, a research essay. Last semester we focused more on out personal narratives, a more creative style of writing. As always, writing will always help to improve yourself, but it still doesn’t feel like I’ve made any progress. There are several explanations that I can theorize as to why, the main two being that this semester I didn’t take a writing tutor. And While last semester’s didn’t help all that much, it at least made me look at my work more. This semester, my motivation to tear apart my work and completely rebuild or to dedicate serious amounts of hours towards a project just wasn’t there. And while I’m happy with the essay that I produced, I know that I could have done a lot more in an attempt to bring it forward.
If I was only looking at this semester’s work, I would say on a scale of 1-10 on novice to master (1 being novice and 10 being master) I’m a 7 or so.
Interestingly, I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve written about so far. I still struggle to remember or be motivated to add in multiple direct sources. I find that the newer an article is in my mind, the more challenge I’ll take in it. So the continuing use of several papers has sapped all interest in challenging ideas and finding just the right words that will give me the most impact.