Self Reflection: Writing Composition Essay

1711 words - 7 pages

I have always enjoyed writing, and I believed writing was a subject I was naturally good at. I turned in papers that were still rough drafts, I did not evaluate my sources, nor did I ever take the time to fully understand the prompt. It was not until my first semester of college, in my writing composition course, I realized that I had a lot of work ahead of me to be as good a writer as I thought I was. In the writing course, the students were required to compose several essays using different methods to help progress on the course objectives. The work in this portfolio demonstrates that I have used the methods of synthesis and evaluation of sources to advance my critical thinking skills and develop personal responsibility. Though I have made some progress in my ability to use correct punctuation and good transitions, I find myself struggling to express ideas effectively and make my paper flow smoothly.
Synthesis was one of the methods I used to help me advance my critical thinking skills. Since synthesis type of papers requires the author to make connections between the works that they are comparing and/or contrasting, I had to carefully observe the two works that I was writing about to find the correct criteria. In my Advertisement Synthesis, titled “Toyota: Past vs. Present”, I wrote “In terms of aesthetic sensations, the target audience, and the overall message, Toyota’s 2014 Corolla ad contrasts from Toyota’s 1990 Corolla ad” (Tharwani 1). I had to conclude these differences through my observations. As a result, writing the criteria for a synthesis essay helped me improve my critical thinking skills. Furthermore, synthesis allowed me to critically think about the topic that I was comparing and/or contrasting. For example, in my synthesis essay about Zimbardo and Milgram’s Experiments, called “Shocking Results“, I wrote “The two experiments had different types of impact on the subjects and one can point to ethics while determining the type of impact experienced” (Tharwani 2). I was able to interpret the different type of impact the subjects experienced and then I was able to give a potential reason to why the impact on the subjects was different. In a more recent synthesis essay, called “Ashputtle and the Rough-Faced Girl”, I wrote “Ashputtle is given clothes to heal her emotional wounds” (Tharwani 2). In the story, the author does not reveal the symbolic relationship between the clothes and Ashputtle’s emotional wounds; I had to critically think and recognize this symbolic relationship. I feel I have significantly improved my critical thinking skills to a point where I can confidently call it one of my b strengths in writing. However, I improved my critical thinking skills by not only writing synthesis essays, but also by evaluating sources to use in those essays.
Another method, evaluation of sources, further progress my critical thinking skills and helped me develop personal responsibility. When writing essays, quotes are a great...

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