At first when coming into college reading and writing I really thought it was a pointless class. All throughout middle school and highschool I was in Honors and AP english classes and always had straight A+’s. Writing was my best and favorite subject so I did not understand why I was in this class. I came in with that attitude that I did not have anything to learn because I was already the best, but let me tell you I was wrong. I learned so much about revision and gain so many better writing skills from this year long class.
Nancy Sommers wrote an essay in 1980 about the revision strategies of student writers. She says that “students understand the revision process as a rewording activity”. She explains that students will reword and restate their ideas in different ways when the revise their papers but they are missing the larger picture. Before this class I was definitely missing that larger picture. Sommers believes that when you revise your papers, you come up with new ideas and those ideas are what make the revision worth while.
Sommers thoughts on how students typically revise papers describe me before taking this course. I would only look at local errors such as spelling and punctuations. I was not expanding my ideas and thinking of new ones to make my paper better. I believe it is so important to dig deeper when revising to make a paper the best it can be. Like in the discourse analysis paper, a writer should not only be affirming other author’s ideas, but also adding to them and challenging them. To be a better writer you have to challenge yourself to look for the deeper meaning and understand it.
Since reading Habits of The Creative Mind by Miller and Jurecic and working though many revision strategies I have theorized that revisions are a way to expand and explain your own ideas. Sometimes in a revision you will realize that you did not really follow the prompt or answer the question you had. You may also realize that you did not have a thesis, or that your paper does not really relate to your thesis. Revisions also consist of reorganizing your papers so that they flow and make sense to the reader. This course has made me a way better writer, and there was definately a lot of valuable information to learn. If I could go back to the first day of English 122, I would have taken the class way more serious and tried to apply myself a lot more. I definitely missed some things while I was being over confident and thinking I had nothing to learn. The skills I learned in College Reading and Writing have been so helpful not only for writing papers in this class, but in all my classes including my Quantitative Reasonings and Environmental classes. I will use these skills for the rest of my life because revisions are what makes an ok paper stand out from an amazing paper.