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In becoming a successful writer, it is important to reflect upon yourself and look back to all the pieces of writing that has been done. Which is why in this reflective essay, I will be documenting my growth as a writer, and all the things I’ve learned while taking this course. I will be referring to times during this quarter when I have learned something when I was composing either one of my compositions and also the processes I used in constructing these pieces of writing. Four main points that contribute in becoming a successful writer include the composing process, use of rhetoric, multi-modal and argumentation communication, the revision process and lastly being able to transfer these skills into other future courses.Composition ProcessThe first aspect of writing that I will be reflecting upon is my composition process. In this writing process I learned how to incorporate the element of research into my writing pieces. When writing research-based composition, it’s important to be really familiar with the topic. Not only the hard-cold facts but even just the smallest details and knowing the general idea of the topic will really help in strengthening the paper. For example, when I was writing the first composition, my topic was on how Confucian beliefs contributed in the oppression of women in China and I had no prior knowledge whatsoever on the topic so I had to really submerge myself into research. The first thing I did was just look up ‘Confucius’ and ‘oppression of women in China’ after getting a general idea of the topic, I then got more specific and narrowed down my research. This process really helped me because it helped me familiarize myself with my topic and made me perspective change, which led to me change my thesis several of times. Also, during this course I learned how to carefully and correctly integrate the evidence into my paper. In the past, I felt as though I used to just plug in quotations and evidence because I thought it made my paper sound credible, but in this class I learned a different way of integrating evidence. While integrating evidence is important and it does add a very strong academic voice, but it is important to be conscious about how you place them because you still want your own voice as a writer in your paper. So in my first composition, I tried to be as academic as possible by adding evidence into my paper but I made sure that it was not overloaded with quotes. So if I were to add a quote, I made sure to add even more analysis. I learned that analysis is more important to focus on because it helps keep your paper focused and all the more strengthens the paper. The most effective tool in the composition process is having an outline! When I completed my essay outline, it made my drafting process go so smoothly. It’s good to do a little pre-writing and brainstorming before sitting down and writing that first draft, so that when it’s time to put all the words on the paper your ideas and information is all organized and ready to be implemented. I remember this one moment when I was putting together my first research composition and I was cramming (never again!) my outline came in handy, and the all-nighter that I pulled was not as painful. When I pulled that all-nighter, I kept changing my thesis multiple times because as I was putting the words together, I was filling in gaps. I guess you can say a “light bulb illuminated” over my head multiple times that night. For example, my original thesis for my first composition was very broad talking about oppression of women in general, but after I constructed my body paragraphs I realized that my paper was only focusing on the issues in China. In realizing this, it gave me more ideas on what to discuss which inspired me to write about the one-child policy and how it activated male-favoritism in their country.Rhetoric, Multi-modal, and Argumentation Communication Another aspect I have found myself grow in terms of a writer is my use of rhetoric, multi-modal and argumentation communication in my pieces of writing. In writing these past two compositions for this class, I have learned a couple things in the argumentation and persuasion department. One thing I learned that really stuck out to me was that rhetoric and persuasion can come in so many different forms, and that if you are a strong writer, you can almost hide them completely. For example during my research, I came across an article about the American Dream. In this article, the author was making various claims and backed them up with what seemed to be logical reasons, but when I took the time to dissect and analyze the article I found that his whole article consisted of fallacies! It was then that I realized that a skillful writer can persuade their readers to believe their claims, just by how they say it. Which is by their use of rhetoric, be it use of their credentials or their appeal to emotions. After seeing this, it inspired me to be more strong academic writer. So in my papers, whenever I would use a quote I would always add credentials about the author. In doing this, it not only supports the quote I’m integrating, but also me as a writer. It shows my audience that I only use valuable and credible information. All of this contributes to my appeal of ethos, which is another rhetoric strategy I have successfully understood and learned how to use. Another thing, I’ve learned how to use in writing in compositions this quarter is the use of various types of multi modal sources. At first, I only saw incorporating images in my paper to help make my paper longer, but I realized it was more than that. That saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” really became relevant. Because sometimes, pictures do a better job at conveying messages. So for certain audiences that are more visually inclined rather than textually, it strengthens the argument or claim even more further. For example, in my second composition I originally had two pictures an info graphic and an image of a child in the desert. While these two pictures were helpful, I added two more. Since my second composition was about the issue of over fishing and its economical and eco-systematical consequences it has on places like Somalia, West Africa, adding pictures of the actual picture of the commercial fishing boats and how much they fish out allowed my readers to really understand how these boats work without me having to write about it. These images also can be characterized as rhetorical strategies, for example the info graphic I used in my second composition appealed to their logos. The graph gave them credible statistics and information in an easy to understand way.Revision ProcessIn this class, I have also learned different ways of revising and also just how important this process is in writing. My process of revision consists of three main points. The first part is reading my paper myself, out loud. In doing this, I tend to find little mistakes that I made since I was up so late pulling an all-nighter putting it together (lol). The second step I take in my revision process is having my friends and classmates edit my paper. Having other people read your paper can be helpful because there is no bias perspective. They go in and read your paper, having a fresh mind which often allows them to see even more mistakes that you have not caught yet. For example, I had my friends go over my first draft of my first composition and he marked up my paper, like really marked it up. He found many missing words, grammatical mistakes and also he helped me make sure my paper stayed glued and focused to what my thesis claimed. The last step of my revision process includes me going over my paper one last time, but this time I dissect my paper paragraph by paragraph. I try to look at each paragraph individually to see if it would be strong enough to stand alone, and still make sense. One of my breakthroughs in the revision process randomly came to me out of nowhere, and although this “breakthrough” is not necessarily pertaining to actual writing because it pertains to revising my work ethic. This breakthrough came to me when I decided to take a break from school work, my friend Pauline and I decided to just leave our school responsibilities for one day and just do something spontaneous. We got on the bus to Newport Beach and spent the whole entire day at the beach, leaving all our worries about midterms and studying all in our dorm rooms. While this may appear only as an extreme episode of procrastination (it kinda was), I gained a perspective on my work ethic. Because as soon as we returned from our day-cation, I got right to work and I worked more effectively than usual. In the past, I used to force myself to do my work, making it unbearably boring resulting in discouraging me completely in getting anything done at all. From this experience, I revised my work ethic. I saw the error in my way, tried something out of the ordinary to solve it and it turned out to reap a positive outcome. I believe that writing processes don’t necessarily have to stay confined within the lines of just writing itself, but that it can be transferred in to real world situations and most importantly academically, in other courses.TransferNow that I’m looking back to where I first started the lower division writing sequence here at UCI, I can see such a drastic change in the way I see things. I can honestly say without a doubt that I have changed and grown since the beginning of this quarter. In applying what I have learned in this course, I feel as though it’s almost natural. For example in my film class, we have to write paper after paper analyzing various types of films. One thing I find myself always doing is constructing an outline, I find myself doing this almost automatically without even thinking about it! Outlines are going to stick with me forever, they are so helpful and I’ve learned that first hand when we were putting together or compositions here in this course. Another strategy I believe I learned in taking this course is to always allow yourself to be consumed by whatever your working on. When you allow yourself to be curious and involved in your work, it allows you to produce the best results possible in the most enjoyable way. In becoming more interested in learning how to become a better writer and rhetoric communicator within this writing sequence, I continue to find myself looking at things more differently. I have the tendency now to really focus on how others say things, rather focusing on what they are actually speaking about. Something that really stuck with me since the beginning of this quarter was a quote that Dana recited from Marshall McLuhan, “the medium is the message.” In a nutshell, this meant that how something is being presented has everything to do with what it’s about. In transferring what I’ve learned, I find myself more intrigued by who the speaker is, what are their credentials, how they carry themselves as they talk and I also find myself asking more questions about the speaker rather than the subject. 

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