When I entered the University of the West Indies, I thought I was at the summit of English Language, the summit of writing, the summit of analysis, but I was in for a rude awakening when I entered my first class for Writing in the Disciplines, FD14A. The foundation course Writing in the Disciplines on a yearly basis intends to shape the students of the West Indies into an ideal UWI graduate that is, being a critical and creative thinker, being a better analyst, a problem solver, team player etc.
This course is very organized, because initially it outlines and explains each week’s activities so prior preparation can be done, as well as giving the students an idea of what to expect. Although it came with challenges like any other courses, it has greatly improved my analytical and critical reading skills as well as my writing. FD14A has shone light upon many students and even though we students may gripe and cry that it is tedious and time consuming, I strongly believe that this course is needed in every way possible to not only improve us as better writers, but also for us not to think we have reached the top.
At my orientation for the University of the West Indies, I found out that I had to do Writing in the Disciplines as my first foundation course. Not knowing what to expect I decided to ask students, who have experience with the course, for an overview. The feedback was mostly negative and being a human the negative thoughts overwhelmed me. Fear and nervousness rattled every bone in my body, and all I could think was the worst was yet to come. The day came when I had to face this dreaded course that most if not all hated so much, but there was comfort in the voice of my lecturer, Mrs.
Ababio who said “Before you judge, experience the course for yourself. ” Then I realized that all I knew before was just a fragment of what I was about to learn. Writing is a skill that needs development and practice just like sports or anything for that matter. Like the famous quote “Practice makes perfect. ” The things I have learnt has changed me drastically and is preparing me for future papers, essays and even my Master’s research paper. Not only has Writing in the Disciplines improved my writing skills, but it has molded my entire life. The methods used in improving your writing skills were very effective.
While writing your research paper there was guidance along each step and this is what motivated me to push on. I must say there were times when it became really time consuming but I remembered that writing is a process. The seminars and lectures were really helpful in explaining in depth the work needed, but nothing could beat the consultation hours where you got direct attention and clarification relating to your work. Not to mention the online communication via email, frequent reminders and updates to your email. The interest that was shown stimulated me to put more work and effort into developing my essays.
One thing I admired about the course is that, when I was writing the first draft of my research paper they gave an outline called side shadowing which allowed you to critique your own work. After you have critiqued the work and written a better draft, it is then analyzed and critiqued by your peers. The feedback helps to perfect your final draft. This writing process allows you to see your writing flaws based on the comments received and this is what makes you a better writer. Each step of the process imprints on you and, therefore, allows you to be a more creative and critical thinker.
The course was indeed a handful but with hard work comes success. The experience was quite challenging but it has positively impacted my writing skills. I now feel more comfortable in critiquing and essay writing. One thing I admired about the course lecturers is the interest and time they put into their students. Being at university with a Grade One in Communication Studies I certainly thought that I was top of the line but Writing in the Disciplines has really shown me otherwise. I believe I can now safely say, with all I have learnt from this course that I am on my way to becoming an ideal UWI graduate.