Writing 10 with Professor Block introduced me to a whole new process of writing that almost seemed foreign to me at the beginning of the semester. The course mainly challenged my creativity and patience. Prior to the beginning of the semester I felt my writing was exceptional and I thought I was a good enough writer to do assignments at the last minute and still be able to produce quality work. Breaking my writing up into stages is something I’ve never done before, and if you look at the evidence presented throughout my portfolio you’ll surely notice how much my drafts have improved through my journey in this course, particularly if you compare my first draft of the causation stage and my final course paper. My creativity has improved as I’ve stepped out of the normal 5-paragraph format essay. My final paper is much more structured and interesting than any other paper I’ve ever written, solely because it’s full of detailed evidence.

Reading 30 pages a week from West Without Water, challenged me to spend time analyzing the work of others. However, the further I got into the book, the easier it was to understand the material. Being able to analyze material with ease is the most rewarding feeling and I appreciate the fact that as I acquired new skills, I also became knowledgeable about current climate issues. As a member of the Merced community I want to contribute towards the conservation of water and energy, I’ve already began participating by making climate conscious decisions such as turning off unnecessary lights and taking shorter showers.

Just as I have grown as an individual, my writing skills have also grown, I feel much more comfortable approaching a long paper with the guidance I’ve been given. For example, the first step of any paper should be to simply get words and ideas down onto a sheet of paper. The writing process always allows for improvement and also gives you the opportunity to incorporate news ideas as you go through the process. For the rest of my time at UC Merced I can effectively do research on any topic now that I’ve learned to access the school’s database. My work from here on out will be more organized and polished; I’ve realized that attending office hours is essential for success. By asking questions directly to your professor or TA you can gain insight into what is expected. Deadlines were critical for this course and it forced me to stay on top of deadlines for other classes. The main lesson I can take way from this class is to start my work early in order to develop the complexity of my ideas.

My peers encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone by allowing me to give them constructive criticism; this is something that I’ve never done properly before. Professor Block always reminded me that it was better to mention the weaknesses of any peer’s paper before it was turned into her. As the semester comes to an end, I can understand what needs to happen in order to benefit from any class. My portfolio includes specific areas where I have improved, and the evidence I’ve integrated reflects my journey in Writing 10.


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