Growth: Self Assessment Essay

Self-Assessment Essay 

The first writing assignment of the semester was a Language and Literacy Narrative, where I described a significant part of my life relating to language. I spoke about my struggles in being an “introvert” and how it held me back from speaking up throughout my life. Writing about this part of me allowed me to reflect. I stated, “I often observed rather than speak my thoughts and opinions.” This sentence from my narrative shows an example of how I held myself back from sharing myself with others. Although this assignment helped me reflect more than ever before, it helped me achieve the third course learning outcome, “Develop strategies for reading, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing.” I achieved this through the multiple drafts I wrote and receiving feedback from my peers, as well as my professor. The constant practice I had through this writing assignment helped me learn what I can do to improve my writing for future assignments.  

Reflecting on my life experiences has also made me understand the first course learning outcome, “Examine how attitudes towards linguistic standards empower and oppress language users.” I described the frustration my “shyness” has caused with my mother. The frustration has turned into a sort of resentment. Not relating to my personal experience, I noticed the first course learning outcome relates to Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue,” where her mother experiences language oppression. I learned that people who are non-native English speakers receive different treatment due to their lack of knowledge of proper English. Non-native English speakers live in an unfair society that sees them differently than others. Society often assumes that they won’t understand a word of English, so they are brushed off. 

The second writing assignment, related to the Language and Literacy Narrative, was a Peer Profile. In this assignment, I read another classmate’s narrative and learned about something significant in their life. In my case, my peer’s narrative was based on rap music. Their narrative was mainly surrounded by how they grew up around it and how important learning the meaning behind rap lyrics is to them. Reading their narrative and writing their peer profile has helped me achieve the second course learning outcome, “Explore and analyze, in writing and reading, a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.” Rap music isn’t a new genre to me, but I did learn how much passion a person can have about it and how it can tie into their culture. A new perspective was brought onto me considering that there is meaning behind lyrics in music. Additionally, I achieved the fourth course learning outcome, “Recognize and practice rhetorical terms & strategies when engaged in writing situations.” Reading my classmate’s narrative helped me learn more about understanding ethos, pathos, and logos. I stated, “The use of Jordan’s dad being a prime example to how he grew so close with rap can invoke pathos.” I never had much of a big understanding of rhetorical terms and strategies, and I feel like this writing assignment has helped me understand it more. 

The third and most recent writing assignment was a research essay of my topic of choice. I chose to write about the historical effects of Agent Orange. This assignment was definitely extensive as I did have to write multiple synthesis summaries on sources as well as drafts before reaching the final. I achieved three course learning outcomes throughout this assignment. The sixth, “Locate research sources..,” the seventh, “Compose texts that integrate a stance with appropriate sources, using strategies such as summary, analysis, and argumentation,” and the eighth, “Practice systematic application of citation conventions.” Throughout the process of my research essay, I had to look for creditable sources. It was important that I looked for ones that didn’t repeat the same things for the most part and ones that gave valuable information. Adding onto the search of sources, I had to construct my sentences in a way my intended audience would understand my stance on the use of Agent Orange. It was tough trying to come up with a lot to say without seeming like I was repeating myself. But I used different parts of each source to support the stance that I chose to take. Using sources also meant properly citing the authors. Before taking this course, I never knew how to properly cite and give credit to a source. It was something I knew I had to take time to properly learn and adjust to. Now, I’m able to properly give credit to authors and prevent accidental plagiarism. 

Lastly, I achieved the fifth course learning outcome, “Understand and use print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences.” This course learning outcome was achieved throughout all assignments. There were chances to print a few pages of each writing assignment, while also having it accessible on a device. I did learn that not everyone has access to a device which made printing useful when peer feedback was taking place. It made it fair and easy for everyone, in my opinion. Since this was implemented, no complaints of being unable to access each other’s work have been heard of. 

Taking this English class this semester has been helpful in many ways. The course learning outcomes and trying to reach an audience made me feel like I had a purpose in writing. Writing assignments never felt pointless. It wasn’t just me trying to pass the class but more of me learning for future writing. 

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