Once you enter college, you quickly realize the increased significance of education. College classes provide a completely novel experience, and it takes considerable time to understand the requirements for excelling and achieving success. As a freshman in college, reaching the midpoint of the first semester has taught me that classes are significantly more demanding. In particular, the course Introduction to Analytical Writing has presented challenges unlike any I have encountered before. Initially placed in Analytical Writing, I had no idea what to anticipate from the class.
During my high school years, English class was always my strongest subject and came to me effortlessly. However, upon entering this particular class, I quickly realized that it would be the most challenging and demanding. While I didn’t usually mind writing a short essay for homework every night, I was perplexed as to why it became so difficult for me. In high school, analyzing texts typically involved poems and Shakespeare, two things that I strongly dislike. Analyzing was never an activity that I enjoyed nor excelled at. The realization that this class primarily consists of analyzing writings and reflecting on them made me apprehensive.
At first, I got two poor grades on my writing assignments and feared failing the class. Nevertheless, after consulting with my professor and comprehending the subject better, I recognized that by committing myself to the class and striving for improvement, I could succeed. Furthermore, I discovered that the class fostered a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where I could openly express my ideas verbally and in writing. Ultimately, this course has provided me with valuable knowledge about analysis as an art form and its genuine importance. Additionally, it has demonstrated that one can never engage in excessive analysis.
Through my experience in Analytical Writing, I have acquired the skill of reading and analyzing texts without making judgments. By carefully examining each sentence and even dissecting every word, I am able to attain a more profound comprehension of the piece. Additionally, this course has enlightened me on the significance of taking into account the purpose and intended audience when writing. In the past, I never truly contemplated why an author wrote something or who their target readers were. However, now it is one of my initial considerations when engaging with any text. This practice greatly facilitates my ability to understand and analyze written works.
The class analytical writing has required me to write ten essays up to this point. After turning in the first two essays, I received a low grade. This compelled me to examine my own writing, identify and correct any issues. Gradually, the grades I am receiving have been improving. Through this process, I have come to understand the significance of a thesis statement in my writing. A thesis statement presents my argument and serves as the focal point of my writing. A paper without a thesis statement is incomplete because it lacks a statement that explains the purpose of the entire paper.
I still need improvement in my thesis writing. However, my initial essay did not include a thesis statement. In one paper discussing The Argument Clinic, I presented this thesis: “An argument can be a disagreement or a misunderstanding leading to two different sides trying to prove their own points of view. (Meyer)” This thesis is lacking creativity, stating an obvious fact, and cannot be debated. In another essay on Demutualization, my thesis was: “Demutualization can cause severe pain and life-altering changes for individuals, leaving a lasting impact in history. (Meyer)” This improved thesis is intriguing, supported throughout the paper, and open to discussion.
Before enrolling in this class, reading assignments were merely completed out of obligation. Now, when assigned readings come up, I refrain from forming judgments prematurely and instead engage in thorough analysis while delving deeper into the author’s background and the historical context it was written in. These steps have greatly enhanced my skills as a reader, analyst, and writer. Throughout this course duration, I have identified both strengths and weaknesses within myself. Sometimes I struggle with suspending judgment when reading.
One weakness I have is my struggle with reading, understanding, and analyzing poems. Typically, I tend to give up without trying to comprehend them. However, this class has exposed me to some intriguing poems and has taught me effective techniques for poem analysis. Concurrently, my strengths have started to improve. My habit of avoiding procrastination enables me to consistently complete my assignments. Since I have always had a fondness for reading and writing, I enjoy and willingly complete all the given tasks. Within this class, participation in discussions has been a hurdle for me. Though I attentively grasp the information, I seldom contribute to the discussions. Therefore, my goal for the remaining part of this class is to actively participate in class discussions. Despite having ideas during the analysis of readings, I rarely share them. However, I have learned that the class is nonjudgmental, which eliminates any reasons for hesitating to express my thoughts. Additionally, the knowledge gained from this class has been actionable in my other courses. For instance, in my psychology elective class, I had to read a textbook chapter and write a paper on it.
Using the skills I have acquired in class, I achieved a perfect score of 100 on my paper! Additionally, I applied the knowledge from my art history class to write a paper analyzing a piece of artwork rather than a written piece. Despite the differences, I remembered to approach it without bias and thoroughly examined the subject. I strive to make connections between my various classes and utilize my knowledge to enhance my learning experience. College has the power to transform a person within a short span of two months, allowing them to discover new aspects about themselves.