This quarter, I learned many valuable lessons about writing. First, I learned the importance of the multi-paragraph structure over the five-paragraph standard that I was taught before this class. The multi-paragraph essay provides more depth, analysis, and clarity than the five-paragraph essay because the writer has to have a paragraph each with its own main idea that helps support the thesis rather than having a couple large paragraphs that seem all over the place with different points that lack in-depth analysis due to paragraph constraints. In addition, I learned the importance of having my peers review my essays. It is extremely helpful to have an outside point of view when writing. This way, my peers can help me catch mistakes that I may have missed if I reviewed my essay on my own and teach me different nuances of writing that they have under their belts from past experiences. As helpful as peer review is though, I also learned that it is important to remember that the peer reviews are only suggestions, not commands on how to improve my paper. As the writer, I can pick and choose which suggestions I feel would help advance my essay in the direction that I want it to go. The lessons that I learned in UWP 1Y will be very useful when I have to write essays and research papers for my classes in the future. Thanks to UWP 1Y, I feel more prepared than ever to tackle the 10-page papers that I will be expected to write for my future classes at UC Davis.
I feel that the beginning stages of my writing process are still analogous to my initial writing process at the beginning of the quarter. To begin, I first need to brainstorm my ideas. I gather my ideas and formulate a plan in my head as I envision what I want my essay to look like, how I want it to sound, and how I want others to feel as they read the paper. Then with all of that in mind, I start free-writing my first draft. Anything that comes to mind, I will write down in order to keep my ideas flowing through my head. Once I am done writing the first draft, I will take a break and then come back and start revising the paper into my second draft. I would review each sentence, keeping ideas that I liked and discarding those that did not seem to work. After finishing my second draft, I usually ask someone else to read my paper and tell me what they think about it (what they liked, did not like, and possible areas of improvement). I would listen to what my peer would have to say and then think about which pieces of advice I wanted to incorporate into my essay in order to enhance the quality of my writing. I would then begin my revising process when I finished applying the suggestions that I liked from my reviewer. During my revision process, I would go through each paragraph to make sure that each had its own main idea and that the flow between paragraphs transitioned smoothly. Finally, I check my grammar and spelling, and submit my final draft.
How I Feel About Writing
Writing is like an outlet to another world. Every word you write can take you farther and farther away to worlds of imagination and wonder. Writing allows me to express myself in a way that by far exceeds the limitations that come with other forms of communication. At the beginning of the quarter, I was apprehensive about writer's block and the intimidation that comes with staring at a blank screen during the first stages of the writing process.
However, from everything that I learned this quarter, the blank screen seems less scary. I now know that I just need to start writing away to get myself in the flow of things. Putting pen to paper is the most effective way to get out of writer's block. If I just keep writing, eventually, something will stand out from all of my ideas and sow me a path for my writing to take for that assignment. Once you get past that first wall of writer's block, writing can be really fun!
This week, I learned that the design to an article is equally important to the content in drawing in an audience. If the article is only one large block of words, not many people will want to read it because it looks unappealing to the eye. However, if you separate the chunk into paragraphs; add headings, bullet points, and numbered lists where needed; and incorporate other multimedia modes such as pictures and videos, the article looks more pleasing to the eye. Thus, more people will be interested in the article and want to read what you wrote. This lesson further adds on to the lesson of having one main idea per paragraph that we learned earlier on during the year. If there are too many points of focus in a single paragraph, the reader could get confused, worn out, and lose interest. Thus, it is better to split a piece of writing into many paragraphs. I will use the lesson that I learned this week in order to make my pieces and my e-portfolio more interesting to the readers and maximize the appeal to the audience.
For the revision of my Wikipedia article, I will need to go through my writing and check the main ideas of each paragraph. I will need to make sure that the transitions between each main idea is smooth. If not, I will need to add something in order to ensure a better transition between ideas to create a good flow for my article. I need to also make sure that the paragraphs are fitted to the proper audience and discourse community. In addition, I will need to check where I incorporated the names of articles and figure whether or not I will need them to appease this discourse community. Another point that I need to check is the use of citations. I have to double-check the places in my article where I may have missed citations with footnotes such as after quotations and add them to the end of the quote.
The podcast was a project that I had a little bit of difficulty with. I had never written a podcast before so the format, writing style, and consideration of the audience had a slightly different feel than the previous two projects that we worked on. Nevertheless, I approached this podcast as best as I could. What worked well for me was actually sitting down and writing my story from my observations. I can incorporate this by including everything I saw, felt, smelled, tasted, and heard in future projects in order to paint a clearer picture of the scene for my audience. On the other hand, I struggled with note-taking for my podcast. It was my first time conducting research so when I looked back at my notes, they seemed scattered and jumbled. In the future, I plan to make my notes more focused by focusing on a specific aspect of what I am researching rather than every single aspect surrounding it. Through my experiences with the podcast project, I was able to enhance my skills in research and processes.
First, I advanced my skills in research through the podcast project. This project was the first time that I conducted my own kind of research so I faced some struggles with collecting data. While I was making notes on my observations of my surroundings, I wrote down every little thing that I saw, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled. However, while taking my notes, I did not focus them on answering my research question. I took notes on everything that happened, but that made me lose time sorting through all of my notes and seeing which ones were relevant to answering my research question. Thus, I learned that for adequate research, I need to take notes that were not only detailed, but also relevant to the research that I was conducting.
In addition, this project helped me strengthen my processes. By writing the script for my podcast, I had to consider a totally different way of writing than I normally would. Usually, I would set up a scene if I was telling the story and make it as descriptive as possible to make the readers feel engaged – as if they were there in that very moment themselves. However, with the podcast, I also had to write as if I was having a discussion with the audience. I had to pretend that they were sitting in front of me and I was reading to them what I experienced. I had to explain carefully so the audience would not be confused or have any questions at the end of my story.
From the podcast project, I improved my ability in research and processes – both of which I can apply to my future classes and career. For my classes, I can use what I learned for researching and apply it to any labs that I will need to conduct in the future. Also, I will need to consider the audience and the way in which I will be delivering the my observations while writing them down – whether or not I will be turning in a research paper or presenting my findings to an audience. These abilities can furthermore be applied in my future career as a sports medicine doctor. With my strengthened note-taking skills, I will be able to write down excellent observations that will help me determine a suitable recovery plan for my patient. Once I have the diagnosis and plan from my research, I would then have to use the processes I learned in order to properly convey my findings to my patient and how we will move forward towards his or her full recovery from injury.
The Wikipedia Entry was a project that I had a lot of fun writing. It provided me with an opportunity to write about something that I am really passionate about that not many other people wrote about before on websites like Wikipedia for general audiences to read. Aspects of my writing process that worked well were finding reliable sources through my research to incorporate into my writing. I will look to further use the research skills I learned from the Wikipedia project to other projects I will have in the future as I research background information on my topics that I will be writing about. Aspects of my writing process that did not work as well initially was pulling information from the scholarly articles. In the future, I will look to understand the gist of the article rather than getting lost in all of its complicated technical terms and equations. From this project, I expanded my knowledge on researching tactics and writing processes.
First, I improved my researching skills through the Wikipedia Entry project. Initially, I struggled with finding scholarly articles and determining their reliability. I would find an article, but I did not know whether or not it was a reliable source. However, from doing the Wikipedia Entry project, I learned that a source can be deemed credible by the credentials of the author, the kind of study that was used in the article, how long ago the article was published, and what my audience considered as a reliable source. I also improved my research process by learning how to cite my secondary sources in different ways. Through the learning journals for this project, I used MLA citation; and for the Wikipedia article, I learned how to use and create footnotes.
In addition, I strengthened my writing processes with this project. For instance, I learned to sort through the suggestions from my peers carefully. Instead of incorporating every piece of advice to my paper, I weighed each and chose the ones that helped advance my paper in the direction that I wanted it to go. Moreover, I expanded my writing processes by learning how to write to a different community and genre. With the Wikipedia community, the tone I took in the article was more objective and less personal than that of the living picture narrative. Also, the audience was a little more formal so I had to consider different styles and conventions while writing my article.
I will transfer the new skills I learned to different classes through my enhanced research and writing process skills. I will use what I learned in order to find reliable sources for my paper and utilize those sources in order to compose a strong research paper. I will also use my writing processes in order to revise my paper in order to bring it forward in the direction that I want it to go in through the suggestions from outside perspectives. Furthermore, I will use these skills in my new career through research of different diseases, studies, and treatments. As a doctor, I would need to know the information found from studies of different diseases so I can properly diagnose and treat my patients. Also, as a doctor, I will be getting a lot of advice on how to treat my patients from my colleagues. I will need to use my writing processes skills and filter through their advice, choosing the ones that I feel will best fit the situation.
This week, I learned that it is good to have one paragraph focus on one topic so the reader is not too overwhelmed with all of the information. For example, one paragraph could talk about the reasons why something happened and another paragraph could talk about how I felt when that happened instead of having it all in one big paragraph. In addition, I learned that I need to use footnote citation for the Wikipedia article. This means that I need a superscript number enclosed in brackets as my citation and that my works cited should be numbered so my readers can easily find the sources being used. If one paragraph is using a source, I would just put the footnote citation at the end of the paragraph rather than at the end of every sentence and quote that was included in that paragraph. By doing so, the paragraph will look more organized and professional.
Personally, I like revision because it gives me the chance to improve my writing and enhance it so my words on paper can come as close as possible to matching the words in my head. From prior experience, I learned that during the revision process, it is imperative to get advice from other people in order to have outside perspectives. Thus, we should not take the suggestions and comments of others personally, and to hear out what they have to say. Nevertheless, the comments are suggestions, so we do not have to implement every revision that they give us – only the ones that we feel will advance the paper in the direction that we want it to go. From Donald Murray’s essay, “The Maker’s Eye,” I learned that when revising, it is a good idea to read the paper to yourself. This way, you can ask yourself if something sounds off as it comes off your tongue. Sometimes, when we are writing something, it might sound fine in our heads; but when we say it out loud, there is some kind of error in how it sounds. From Brock Dethier’s essay, “Revising Attitudes,” I learned that it is good to pat yourself on the back while revising and although it is good to be nitpicky, to not be too harsh on yourself.
Based on the feedback that I received for my living picture narrative, I will need to go through my essay again and make sure that all of my ideas flow properly. There may be some places where the picture does not match the ideas of the paragraph it is paired with or a certain paragraph may have too many points. Thus, I would have to split up the paragraph in order to create a main focus for each rather than having a single paragraph where my ideas are all over the place. With the feedback that I was given by others for my living picture narrative, I will need to have a descriptive revision plan where I will go through and summarize my paragraphs. This way, I can discern if one has too many points if it is too hard to create a short summary for the paragraph. I can also make sure the main points flow and connect by putting the summaries together.
This week, I learned that are different ways in which one can conduct primary research. A really good way to start is to have a table divided into two columns with one being observations and the other for thoughts. While writing down observations of what you are studying, it is important for the notes to be detailed so when you look back at them, you will remember what was happening at the time of observation. It is also important to take notes based on all of the senses, not just sight. Recording details about the smell, taste, touch, feel, and noises heard during your observation are also critical to the research towards your question. Finally, I learned that for the podcast, it is important to think about the kind of audience you will have. This way, you will be able to keep that audience engaged by keeping in mind the vocabulary, events, and descriptions that would best keep their interest in the topic high.
Steps 7 & 8
I had a lot of fun making observations for my research project. I felt that it was really enlightening to be sitting on the sidelines and watching how everyone interacted rather than being part of it. It certainly gave me a different perspective of what I was witnessing while I was recording my notes. Before I started, I wish I would have known the extent to which I wanted my notes to be in detail. When I first started, I was being really cautious and taking note of everything that happened. However, when I looked back at my notes, some of those events were negligible and could have been left out. Nevertheless, this experience will definitely help me plan out my process the next time I have to conduct primary research myself. Tips I would give to other people are to always keep your research question in mind. That way, you will be writing down notes that will be significant to answering your question, mapping out your answer instead of being all over the map. Know what you want to take note of, and to observe with all five of your senses, not just one.
In class this week, I learned that a discourse is a discussion or writing about a certain topic, and that a discourse community is a group of people who converse about a topic. In that discourse community, there can be experts in different fields of the topic, providing and expanding the knowledge of other people in the community. From this lesson, I will determine the discourse community and audience of my Wikipedia article. This way, I can pull research from experts of the discourse field of the article to build upon own knowledge of the field and the knowledge that I pass on to the audience. I also learned through researching different Wikipedia articles, there is organization, an introductory overview, subtopics and subtopics for the subtopics, a table of content, relevant images, and footnote citations for outside sources. Thus, these are some elements that I need to incorporate into my own Wikipedia article to make it successful, informational, and organized.
Fleming, David. "Sports' Perfect 0.4 Seconds." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 01 Apr. 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/10703246/golden-state-warriors-stephen-curry-reinventing-shooting-espn-magazine>.
Haefner, Jeff. "Site Search." Proper Basketball Shooting Technique, Fundamentals, Form, Mechanics. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/fundamentals/shooting-technique.html>.
"Is Having a Textbook Shooting Form Overrated?" RealGM - Index Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=1443287>.
Knudson, Duane. "Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance." Biomechanics of the Basketball Jump Shot-Six Key Teaching Points: Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance: Vol 64, No 2. N.p., 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/07303084.1993.10606710>.
Oudejans, Raôul R.D, Rolf W. Van De Langenberg, and R.I (Vana) Hutter. "Aiming at a Far Target under Different Viewing Conditions: Visual Control in Basketball Jump Shooting." Aiming at a Far Target under Different Viewing Conditions: Visual Control in Basketball Jump Shooting. N.p., Oct. 2002. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167945702001161>.
Previous, Next, Kobe Bryant, Kirk Goldsberry on December 6, 2012, 2015 October 28, 2015 October 21, 2015 October 13, 2015 September 30, 2015 September 3, 2015 October 29, 2015 September 4, 2015 July 2, 2015 May 21, 2015 October 27, 2015 October 20, Bill Barnwell, Ben Lindbergh, and Brian Phillips. "The Kobe Assist." Grantland. N.p., 06 Dec. 2012. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://grantland.com/features/how-kobe-bryant-missed-shots-translate-new-nba-statistic-kobe-assist/>.
Satern, Miriam. "Strategies." Performance EXCELLENCE: Basketball: Shooting the Jump Shot: Strategies: Vol 1, No 4. N.p., 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08924562.1988.10591612>.
ShotMechanics. "How to Shoot a Basketball Better for Beginners." YouTube. YouTube, 10 Oct. 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBxmToMe_Po>.
ShotMechanics. "One Motion Shot Vs Two Motion Shot: How to Shoot a Basketball." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMKl4zR5GlE>.
When writing, I have sometimes encountered some struggles with citations. I may not know how to write the citation, what is required, and what is too excessive. I have fixed these problems usually by going onto online sources such as OWL Purdue to discover the proper citations for the different circumstances of my writing (whether it was for an essay, a project, an image, etc.). In the past, I have faced some of the problems that Kyle D. Stedman discussed in his essay, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources.” For example, I faced the problems of “I Can’t Find the Stupid Link” and “I Swear I Did Some Research” that Stedman emphasized as annoying in his essay. For “I Can’t Find the Stupid Link,” it was usually a problem that occurred with different instructions and expectations from my teachers in the past. For instance, one teacher wanted only page number citations while the other wanted both the page number and the author’s last name. I also encountered this problem when one of the sources I used did not name the author, so I had to use the first part of the citation. For “I Swear I Did Some Research,” I was still learning citations and just started using parenthetical citations without quotations when summarizing my source. However, I did not properly separate my thoughts and those of the source until my teacher pointed it out to me. I intend to work on these problems while working on the Wikipedia entry by keeping my audience in mind and the writing style that they would prefer. I would also need to consider how I lead the readers into the quote and how I explain the significance of the quote to my Wikipedia entry.
Coming into the Living Picture Narrative, I was really excited. I really liked having the opportunity of writing about something that I was passionate about and familiar with. Even with the familiarity I had with my topic, it was still a bit difficult to plan out the essay and figure out how I wanted it to sound. The thoughts in my head felt jumbled at the beginning; and during my revision process, I felt like I was being pulled in every direction. Nevertheless, with the help of the resources we were provided and the advice from peer revision, I was able to overcome these obstacles. From my experiences writing the Living Picture Narrative, my writing and revision processes grew and developed.
First, writing this paper advanced my writing process. Before taking this class, I usually just tried to brainstorm and map out my essay in my head before writing the first draft. However, this was inefficient because I would sometimes become overwhelmed by the numerous ideas that popped up in my mind. In class, we were introduced to Anne Lamott's article, "Shitty First Drafts." From Lamott, I learned that a good method to start an essay is to free-write a poor first draft. This way, I can get all of the ideas in my head onto paper and actually have them solidified. After putting all of my thoughts to paper, I read the draft and looked for any ideas that I liked. If one idea worked, I would expound on it to form my next draft that was more focused. For future projects, I plan to incorporate free-writing as my way to brainstorm ideas and see which ideas appease the prompt instead of staring at my computer and mentally formulating a plan for my essay. By free-writing, I save more time, efficiency, and brain power.
In addition, the Living Picture Narrative strengthened my rhetorical knowledge processes in revision. While writing the paper, I had to revise my drafts many times and take into consideration the reviews I received from my peers on how I could potentially improve my essay, and what parts were confusing and needed more context. Having the perspectives from my peers really helped me edit my essay. By bringing in an outside point of view, the quality of my revisions grew. Moreover, I improved my skills in revision by taking more time in-between each draft to myself. I discovered that by giving myself more time between each draft, my head was more clear, effective, and aware while I was reading over the draft.
With my improved skills in the revision and writing processes, I plan to incorporate them with my other classes if I ever have to write a research paper for them. I will also be able to use these skills to help me with writing my own thesis if I go to graduate school. This way, I can hopefully have a better time coming up with a topic to write about for my other classes. Finally, I will use these skills in my future career to help perfect my resume, write email notifications to communicate with my team, and coordinate and plan company presentations.
This week, I learned about paragraph structure. In a paragraph, it is important to have a main idea with some topics branching off of it to support the thesis of your paper. By having main ideas within the main ideas of your paper, the message you are trying to get across is stronger and more persuasive. That way, you have more evidence to back up your thesis.
In addition, from the peer review, my knowledge of writing grew and my feedback improved. I discovered different tactics and nuances to writing that I had never thought of beforehand. Also, I found out that there are multiple angles and strategies to attacking the assigned prompt. This peer review was definitely beneficial to expanding my repertoire of writing techniques. From this experience, I improved my skills as a peer reviewer as well. Beforehand, my comments on others’ papers were usually about grammatical errors. After having the lesson on peer review in class, practicing with short excerpts, and setting ground rules with my group, my ability in peer reviewing grew to examining the draft and thinking on what could strengthen the context and the clarify the ideas that the author is trying to convey.
From the Wikipedia Introduction article, I learned that the topic I choose should not be about people close to me (such as family and friends), a company I am connected to, or advertisement. I also learned that it is important to have reliable references for my article so I should avoid sources analogous to magazines. The article also clarified that editing another page by fixing minor errors like typos counted towards the ten edits needed to include pictures in my article.
For my article, I chose to write about the different aspects to the form of a jump shot. I chose this topic because the jump shot is the part of basketball that most intrigues me. Not everyone has the same shooting motion so it is interesting to see how different everyone's shot is. Five subtopics for my article could be One Motion vs Two Motion Shooting, Elevation, Shot Angle, Release, and the Angle of the Feet.
From Randall McClure's "Googlepedia: Turning Information Behaviors into Research Skills," I learned that it is important to check the credibility of the sources we find online. A good indication of the source credibility is through domain names such as .edu, .gov, etc. Also, I learned that putting quotation marks around the terms that you search on a search engine can help specify what you are searching for and narrow down your results. While finding resources for my Wikipedia article, I plan to follow McClure’s advice and add quotation marks around the search terms that I use. In addition, I will search on Google Scholar to look for any articles that I can use as research for my article.
This week, I learned the importance of captions for a picture. The captions can determine the way the reader interprets a picture that is in your writing. For example, if someone was looking at a picture of a nondescript building and the caption said, “Baskin Robins,” the reader would think it was an ice cream shop. On the other hand, if the caption said, “McDonald’s,” the reader would think that it was a fast food restaurant. Thus, it is important that the captions you use for your pictures are clear so the message you are trying to get across to the reader comes through.
In addition, I learned about the weaknesses and limitations of the five-paragraph essays that we learned all-throughout our lives from elementary school to high school. The five-paragraph essay limits the ideas that the writer could express, does not always leave enough flexibility for smooth transitions from one idea to another, and can make analysis of main ideas shallow. I hope that I can incorporate the multi-paragraph format in UWP 1Y to better articulate my ideas, opinions, emotions, experiences, and main points in my writing.
When I have my essay peer reviewed, I hope to get an outside perspective on what my paper sounds like. I want to know what is working and what isn’t so I know what I need to fix. In addition, it would be helpful if the reader could point out any parts that worked so I can use those for future writings and what parts could be confusing to others if they did not have the same knowledge of the topic as I did. I would also want to know what parts I am rambling in and parts where I could elaborate with more detail.
In order to be a good peer reviewer, I will need to be specific with the points and suggestions that I give the writer. I will need to learn to focus more on the content – what I like about it, what I didn’t like, and what could be improved or needs a little tweaking – instead of focusing on mechanical and grammatical errors of the paper. I would also need to not come off as too harsh or soft in my review, but as supportive and helpful to the writer.