Unskilled: That is how I would describe myself as a writer before taking English 111. I have always felt like my writing is very repetitive and unorganized. But, this class has changed my perspective on my writing and allowed me to open up the depths of my mind in order to write well. Throughout the course of this semester, I have studied pieces of writing that have definitely impacted my own papers in some way, shape, or form.
One feature that has impacted me as a writer is the practice of writing drafts away from the screen. I believe this has impacted me so greatly because it allows me to peel back the layers of my own thoughts without being tempted to Google inspiration. It allows me to create my own ideas and not base them on someone else’s. I believe that this technique will be something that I continue to do as I keep writing. Even though it gets fairly difficult sometimes, I think it has allowed me to grow in my writing abilities.
Another feature that has helped me throughout this class would be studying different pieces of literature. One piece of writing in particular stood out to me. “The Fashion Industry: Free to Be an Individual” by Hannah Berry allowed me to use vivid detail in my writing pieces and also helped me think outside of the box. In the textbook, Berry’s analysis of two magazine advertisements is laird out so the reader can easily see her thought process and transitions. While reading her essay, I was able to grasp what Berry was trying to say and her use of great detail made it even easier to do so. One example of her use of detail would be when she is describing the first advertisement. She writes “The downturn of her nose points to the short gray-black dress that stops several inches above her knees but covers her chest and shoulders modestly, with a collar situated at the base of her neck and sleeves that reach for her elbows.” (95) After reading this small portion of Berry’s essay, I was able to picture what the advertisement looked like without seeing it. This ultimately allowed me to begin writing with a similar style to hers and allowed me to develop my writing further.
Finally, the last feature that drastically helped my writing was mailing letters to people. Throughout this semester, I have written multiple letters to close friends who are near and dear to me. After mailing these letters, they reached out to me and told me how much it meant to them. I was glad that I could make someone’s day by simply writing a letter. Since it is somewhat old fashioned, I think that it was even more special. I believe that I will continue writing letters to those who are special to me, just so I can show them how greatly they impact my life.
To conclude, this course has drastically impacted my writing and allowed me to grow as a writer. I have also been able to increase my vocabulary through these measures. Before entering this course, I had never done anything like these two specific measures in order to improve my writing. I feel like without these new steps and readings, I definitely would not have the same writing skills that I do now. I hope that my writing skills continue to improve, since I will without a doubt continue to use these amazing features.
Berry, Hannah. “The Fashion Industry: Free to Be an Individual.” The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook. 4th ed., by Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg, 2016, pp. 94-99.