Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Overall Reflection of English 111

At the beginning of the semester, I wanted to learn how to express my ideas fully to my audience, have them understand my positions as well as reasons for them, and have my audience to find my overall essays engaging. I have learned how to better do each of these and more. An example I have given in the past of something new I have learned is how to effectively use source support. In addition to this, where sources are concerned, I have learned how to better cite them on a Works Cited page. And, though I still have problems at times citing sources, I do not have nearly as many problems as I had before taking English 111. With time, I think I will completely get the hang of citations.

Another thing that I will be taking away from this class that I feel is very important is confidence in my writing abilities. I have found that I now have more confidence in myself as a writer than I ever had before. Is my writing perfect? Of course not, but it is much improved. Along with the writing skills I have learned in this course, confidence, in my opinion, is also an essential key to better writing.

In my midterm evaluation of the class, I said that there was nothing that I could see that could be improved about the class in general. I still feel the same way. Everything about the class has been helpful to me, and so, there is nothing I would have changed for future classes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Week 14 Reflections

I did not see a blog prompt for this week, so I thought I would share my reflections thus far. It is hard to believe that we have already made it through 14 weeks in our English 111 class. By this time, I am happy to admit that I have come a long way as writer. Thanks to the feedback from both my instructor and classmates, I feel that I have gained a better knowledge of how to write more effectively. Even though I am sure that I still have a great deal to learn, I feel that my writing has been strengthened much by taking this course, and I look forward to taking English 112 next semester.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Evaluating criteria is a very important part of everyday life, and it is especially important when making major decisions. For example, if you wished to major in Psychology (as I do), you would need to evaluate different colleges to see which ones best suited that major. Criteria that you may consider would be: 1. Does the school offer the classes necessary to obtain a Psychology degree? 2. How far could you go with your degree? That is, could you obtain a doctorate, a Master's Degree, or only an Associate's or Bachelor's Degree? Depending on the level at which you wished to work this type of criteria could be very important. If the schools you were thinking about going to did not pass your criteria, you would know in advance and could choose an alternative route. Without evaluating the criteria, there would be no way for you to make an informed choice.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

From Trend To Television

Since my topic for essay 4 is rather on the serious side of things, I believe if I were to make a television show about it, it would have to be an educational sort of program - one that shows teens the effects of eating disorders and explains why it is crucial that they not get caught up in the trend. The main star of the show would have to be someone who has experienced an eating disorder or eating disorders (either as a teenager or as an adult) directly as I believe wisdom that can be given to others often comes through experience. And there may be any number of women who have first hand experience with this issue in Hollywood. The questions would be who is finding a positive way of dealing with the problem, and how willing would they be to help others by speaking about it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Importance of Speculation

Speculating causes can be a useful tool in solving problems in the real world. This is so because the more plausible causes a person is able to speculate for a particular issue, the more possible solutions there may be to the problem. Speculation may include causes that people have already thought of, but it may also include new possibilities. Therefore, speculation can lead to new and creative ways to confront an issue.

Speculation (like we are doing in essay 4) could also be a means of showing a different way of looking at something. For example, if one were to ask, "Why do so many people enjoy reality TV?", it may seem that the obvious answer is because it is entertaining. But, some other reasons could also be explored. Reasons may include that it is a temporary escape from the stressors of every day life . Or, perhaps people enjoy imagining what it would be like if they were on a particular reality show. In short, specualtions show that there is more than one way of looking at things, and for some questions, there could be endless answers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In today's society, there are many trends that are popular that could be questioned about why they are. Two that I would like to discuss are eating disorders among girls and young women and celebrity substance abuse being so popular in the media.

Today it seems that the mind set of "thin is in" is ever popular. Everywhere one looks, one sees thin models, actresses, and even reality TV contestants. And, more and more, girls and young women are taking their cues on what an "ideal woman" looks like from what they see in the media. To become the "ideal woman" - the one that men look at with awe - many young women are resorting to eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia). Whether they are already thin or not, they want to be what others will consider perfect. To do so, they put their health at risk, and many die each year as a result. It is hard for women to be content with their own self image when everywhere they look, they see women who are thought to have something they don't - especially in terms of size.

The second trend I want to discuss is celebrity substance abuse being made so popular by the media. I cannot say how many times I have seen celebrities all over the news for having substance abuse problems and wondered why the story continued to make the news day after day. Why not report on more serious issues? Is it that stories of celebrities with substance abuse problems are so much more exciting than more serious pieces? Do these stories boost the ratings more for the networks that continually broadcast them? I really do not know the answer to these questions, and that is why I question what makes celebrities with substance abuse problems so alluring to the public.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Big Picture: The Impact of Writing Solutions

As I have said before, there are many problems people face on a daily basis. While some can be solved quickly, others may take more time and effort. And, sometimes, even though efforts have been made to solve certain problems, little progress has taken place. Perhaps tried methods have failed, or maybe the methods being used have not brought the expected results. That is where fresh ideas can make a difference. After all, it seems to me that proposals for solutions to problmes are a fresh look at an issue - a new way to solve it. Writing proposals like the one we have been writing about in essay 3 is good practice for what we can do to make a difference in the real world. Without proposals for new solutions to old problems, things would simply stay the same, and no progress would be made, but with proposals come new ideas. And with new ideas often comes positive change.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Problems, Problems, Problems. . .

As we are all no doubt aware, life can be filled with problems that need solving. Here, I would like to discuss two in detail.

The first problem that I want to discuss is one that I am considering doing essay 3 about - parents who do not pay child support regularly and who refuse to work because they feel that not working releases them from their responsibility. This problem affects many children whose custodial parent is doing his or her best to provide for the child but could use extra finacial help from the noncustodial parent in order to do so more effectively. What can be done? To me, an ideal solution would be for judges who place court orders into effect to require the noncustodial parent (if he or she is physically capable of working) to seek employment. If the parent has not found employment within 30 days, I feel that it should be ordered by the court that the parent is required to go through a job placement agency to find suitable employment and that job placement agencies do their best to help the individual to do so. This type of order would give parents the opportunity to seek employment for themselves, and it would set a time limit so that children do not have to go without any needs met for a long period of time.

Another problem I would like to discuss is domestic violence. Even though restraining orders are given to domestic violence victims who ask for them, often, abusers do not heed these orders. The orders are not always strictly enforced either - that is, not until something truly devestating has happened (for example, an abuser defying an order severely injuring if not killing a victim). A solution could be that orders are more strictly enforced by police. Instead of giving a warning the first time an abuser violates an order, perhaps stricter measures should be taken (for example, incarceration). Will this problem ever be completely solved? Like so many, it is possible that it will not, but taking action can decrease the level of the problem.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Thoughts on English 111 Thus Far

Well, we are almost at the end of week 7 already. It is hard to believe that so much can be learned in such a short period of time. My response to the class so far is as follows. I feel that all of the assignments and lectures we have had are quite helpful to the writing process. Already, I have learned much about how to strengthen my writing - from hooking the audience to source introduction use. I believe that as the class progresses, so too will my knowledge of how to make my writing more successful. I look forward to this opportunity. At this time, I do not have suggestions on how to make the class better. Things already move in an orderly fashion and the instructor is very helpful if questions do arise (whether they be about class assignments or technology).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Differences in Writing Techniques: Essays 1 & 2

While my writing process for Essay 2 was similar to that of Essay 1, there were differences in writing styles when it came to my rough draft of Essay 2. Besides the fact that Essay 1 needed no sources but was based on my own experience, source introductions were introduced in our class as part of the writing process. Source introductions were an area new to me. That is, I had not used them in writing before. Also, I notice that each essay is more complex than the one before it. But this is not a bad thing; rather I feel that it enhances the learning experience and helps students to become better writers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sources for Essay 2

Both sources I will be using for Essay 2 are online articles from the following websites.



I believe that both are credible sources as they are both published by branches of the justice system (department of justice and county law) and both provide information from individuals who have adequate credentials. That is, they specialize completely or in part in domestic violence (which is my topic) and the effects it has on those abused.

Credible sources are important to academic writings because they back up the information the writer gives on a topic. This shows the audience that the writer has taken time to research his or her topic and find those sources that are credible. And, if the audience wishes to do so, they may look up the information presented themsleves to gain a better understanding of the topic.

An example of a source introduction and qoute is:

In his online article, "Long Term Effects of Domestic Violence", Steven D. Stewart, Clark County Prosecutor, states, "Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, more significant than auto accidents, rapes, or muggings."

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Writing Process for Essay 1

Well, my final draft of essay one is now turned in, and for the most part I feel pretty good about it. Due to advice from my instructor, I feel that the essay is much stronger than it was in its beginning stages.

My writing process included: brainstorming, outlining, freewriting (mostly done by hand), drafting, proofreading, and revision. I plan to use all of these in my writing process for essay 2. The one thing that I will change however, is thatI will expand my outline to include more examples rather than just generalizations. In doing so, I feel that my rough draft will be stronger for the next essay.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Drafting and Revision Process

My first step in my writing process was to think about which policy I wished to write about. Then I did some brain storming writing down everything I knew about the policy, what points I felt it was important to make, possible counter arguments, and rebuttals to them. My next step was to put my ideas in a more logical order (I had simply written them down as they came to me while brain storming). Once this was done, I began thinking about my thesis statement and opening paragraphs. I then wrote my opening paragraphs down by hand to get a more general idea of where to go with my essay. I later typed the opening paragraphs into a word document and used my outline to organize the rest of my essay.

Once the first rough draft was complete, I began to proofread it. I added ideas, and in some cases changed word positions and rewrote sentences. The object of course was to make my points as clear as possible to whomever may be reading the essay.

At this point, I am in the process of continuing to reread my essay and determine what changes may need to be made before turning in the final draft.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Feelings About Essay 1, Etc.

I think most students feel at least a little nervous when beginning the writing process for any essay, but particularly so when they do the first essay for a class. I am no exception to this. While I am excited about expressing my ideas, I am also a bit nervous. I want my audience to understand my position and to find my essay engaging as well. I hope to be able to express my ideas fully to my readers, and I want them to understand why I am taking the stand that I will be taking.

I believe the Writing Center could be a useful tool in the writing process. Though I am not close enough to the Bowling Green campus to go to the center, I do feel that I will likely be using any online services they make available in order to strengthen my writing. Not only will I use their services for this class; I am likely to use them for others in the future.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Expectations for English 111

I am taking English 111 in order to learn how to strengthen my writing not only for the college courses that I am taking now and will take in the future, but also for business purposes once I have my degree. Thus, my expectation for this course is to gain knowledge on how to write effectively for a majority of audiences. My expectation of the instructor of this course is to provide me with the knowledge I will need in order to write effectively both in school and in general. Feed back is always appreciated.

Strengths of my writing, in my opinion include gramatical structure and coherence. An area that I could use work in is (according to some of my instructors and in my own opinion) presenting ideas more fully instead of just generally. I am confident that taking this class will assist me in this area.