Honors Reflection Essay

Ethan McFerren
Mr. Koch
English 9H
March 17, 2015
2014 Writing Checkpoint
            I have improved on structure, grammar, and diction in my pieces of writing this year. The six pieces of writing that I have improved on include a Reader Response called the Thrilling Book Review: Hatchet, a Creative Fiction on the beginning story of a captured African teenager entitled The Story of a Slave, Original Poetry where I describe the memories of pumpkin pie, also known as Oh Yum, Pumpkin Pie, a Personal Narrative named the Slide of Doom where I recall my experience with a horrendous water slide, a Business Letter entitled Nerf Business Letter in which I describe an issue with a Nerf Gun, and a Big Question Essay stating the advantages and disadvantages of robots called Should Robots be Allowed in Our World? I still have weaknesses and flaws that I need to address, including the use of more semicolons and a stronger, more mature vocabulary. In structure, I have improved with analysis, in grammar I have gotten better in quotation marks, and finally I have increased my skills in diction, especially in the use of strong verbs.
            The crucial part of writing I have gotten better at is structure. Specifically, I improved on analysis. I did not know that analysis was an important part of writing until a couple of years ago, but now I know how to consistently find the purpose of a piece of writing. For example in my Big Question Essay titled Should Robots be Allowed in Our World?, “According to these articles, I think robots are good for society to use only in the workplace.” Analysis is important in writing because it shows that you are trying to dig deeper and farther to really examine something further than other people would. I can improve my analyzing skills by constantly questioning and finding a purpose in every paper I read and write.
The second strength I have gained in writing is command of grammar, especially with quotation marks. In the past, I rarely used quotation marks when I was writing and had no idea how to properly use them. This sentence shows evidence of my improvement: A robotic voice soon announced, “Five, four, three, two, one.” I used this quotation in my Personal Narrative The Slide of Doom writing. Quotation marks are crucial, especially in stories. The reader needs to be able to follow the story easily and know who is saying what. I need to improve in this skill by making sure that I am using quotation marks correctly in personal accounts and book reviews.
            My final strength I achieved in writing this year is strong verbs. This can be tricky to find a perfect verb to describe somebody’s reaction or a memory, like mine, pumpkin pie. One instance of this strength as shown in my Free Verse Poem “Oh Yum, Pumpkin Pie” is: “Do you remember spraying and spurting whip cream, that wonderful whip cream, on to the back of your pie for five long seconds near the crispy crust …” Using strong verbs is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of writing. A reader needs to have a mental painting or image in their head to visualize what is going on so they can connect with the story from their own experiences. Using stronger verbs can be achieved by reading; which is something I need to keep up with. Of course, I have weaknesses in my writing that I need to fix to become a better reader, writer, and thinker. Some examples of my weakness include thesis statements, semicolons, and a mature vocabulary. I can fix these issues by using them more in my writing repeatedly and to read consistently.

            I improved in analyzing, quotation marks, and strong verbs throughout the school year. Overall, I am satisfied with my growth and development as a reader, writer, and thinker. I am also eager to expand my horizons even further than before with the help of my teachers, classmates, and practice. With these aids in writing, I know I can produce high quality papers and become a better writer. I will to continue using my skills, improve on weaknesses, and gain new strengths in writing that I have yet to master.

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