When I came into the course I struggled with analyzing the work of others, mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t sure how to identify main ideas of a piece of writing. Every week our reading assignments became more difficult, this truly prepared me for analyzing the evidence I incorporated into my final course paper. Many times during class after analyzing two articles, the class would be spilt up into groups and each group focused on a specific idea. My group members collaborated on identifying important evidence on scientific articles regarding climate change and forest structure. Through similar exercises, I became familiar with the concept of a main idea and the kind of evidence that is required to effectively support a claim. Another class exercise that was useful to my writing was the MMs. During MMs, Professor Block clearly addressed common grammar mistakes found in Writing 10 papers; this helped me through my revision and editing process. The MM on semicolons significantly helped my course paper draft; in my final course paper you can observe that I have semicolons between two independent clauses.
Other major skills that were important in the course overall was properly paraphrasing and summarizing evidence. Handouts were made available to the class in order to clearly differentiate paraphrasing from summarizing. These two skills are found throughout my entire course paper. However, these two skills didn’t come easily to me, especially when it came to incorporating a paraphrase in a summary. My Focus Paragraphs Drafts 1 and 2 were specific paragraphs pulled from my causation stage in order to highlight the MEAL plan structure. In my Focus Paragraph #1 you’ll noticed I struggled with the structure of the paragraph. The professor also commented that it didn’t follow the MEAL plan, my paragraph wasn’t specific enough, making my evidence somewhat useless. Also, I noticed that I only had one line of analysis. It wasn’t until after this draft that I realized the importance of clearly stating your main idea in order to form a strong paragraph that directly gives evidence specific to the main point. I used the feedback from Professor Block and made the necessary changes that I had seen in draft 2. My paragraph was packed with evidence that built on each other and I ended the paragraph with adequate analysis and a link back to the main idea, this also added to the length of the paragraph. Revising the structure of this paragraph gave me a better insight as to how to entire paper should read.
After the Focus paragraph 1 assignment, I went back to my causation stage draft and revised the paragraphs as far as the structure of the step-by-step plan. I checked that my body paragraphs were in the proper order by rearranging them to ensure that the paper wasn’t as coherent. The structure of my paper changed more and more as more feedback was given to me.