ChantelleHuntMorrellEngineering10429January 2018Individual Writing Process ReflectionCurrentProcessAs far as writing goes, I have a processthat I usually follow. When I am first given the assignment, I consider whatthe due date is. If the due date is soon, I get started right away. If I havequite a bit of time, I tend to put it off until the first weekend after it isassigned. Then I like to get started and get as much done as possible duringthat first weekend. Once I am a majority of the way through the assignment, Itend to procrastinate finishing until at least a week before the due date.Usually, I finish writing the paper, then read through it once or twice, makinga few changes, to make sure the paper is quality and makes sense. In general, Itend to start early, rather than at the last minute.
I enjoy getting thingsdone early because I do not like the stress of an assignment hanging over myhead. I revise my writing once or twice.When I revise it, I consider how the writing sounds and if the grammar is allperfect, or as perfect as I can make it. Grammar is something that I tend tofocus on because simple grammar mistakes drive me crazy. For revising, I do notfocus on content as much as I know I should. The reason for that is most likelybecause I am determined to get things done and that would consume more time.
The strengths of my process are thatI can complete writing assignments quickly and effectively. I express my ideas fast,and I am able to write papers that make sense. My writing process is one whereit is not all saved for the last minute. I do not have the last-minute stressthat results in a poorly written paper, which is a huge benefit. The main weakness of my writingprocess is that I focus on writing to get it done. I tend to care more aboutgetting the grade I want in the least amount of time. I do not enjoy focusingon revising, changing ideas, and adding more ideas, so I do not do that as muchas I know I should.
Also, I do not spend as much time making the writing asperfect as it should be. The main problem with my writing process is that themain goal is to finish and get a high grade. I do not care about the assignmentitself very often. Overall, however, my writing processworks well. I am obtaining the grades that I desire and am comfortable with myability to write. In general, I feel as though I am submitting quality work. Imay not spend time meticulously working on every single sentence, but I put ina lot of work up front and I make sure everything I write is written to mystandards.
I have high standards for grades and the work I put in, hence, I putin a ton of work on my first draft of an essay. I always make sure my papersare written to a high standard before I turn them in. Improvements In the book The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger andMichael Starbird, they describe and elaborate upon different ways to improvethe writing process and to improve critical thinking. The first three chaptersdiscuss “Grounding Your Thinking,” “Igniting Insights through Mistakes,” and”Creating Questions out of Thin Air.” Within these chapters, there is importantmaterial that can be applied to improve writing.
The first chapter describes thebasics of writing. In order to have success, this chapter talks about”grounding your thinking” (Burger and Starbird, 2012, p.13). It describes thatto have a deeper understanding, we need to become experts at the basic material.Some things it suggests doing as far as writing are to make sure spelling andgrammar are correct, to find less difficult problems than the ones presented,and to make an outline. Specifically, Burger and Starbird state, “consider asubject you wish to understand, and clear the clutter until you have isolatedone essential ingredient” (2014, p.30).
To apply these strategies, I can focusmore on making sure that there is a main idea that comes through on my paper.Another thing I can attempt is to go through and check all the spelling andgrammar. Chapter one is about the basics, hence, this chapter gives ideas as tohow the basic parts of writing can be strengthened.
From this chapter, onelearns to go back and make sure they understand something, grammar for example,before they take it and apply it to the work. In the second chapter, failure isdiscussed. The authors argue that in order to eventually have success, a personmust fail several times. For example, they state that failing, “frees you and allowsyou to think creatively without fear of failure, because you understand thatlearning from failure is a forward step to success” (Burger and Starbird, 2012,49). As far as writing goes, this chapter suggests writing down all your ideas,editing them afterwards, and eliminating the bad or incorrect ones.
It alsosuggests posing counter arguments that would lead you to developing your ideasmore thoroughly. This chapter is easily applied to writing techniques.Initially, when starting a paper, it is helpful to “brain dump.” From chaptertwo, we learn that effective thinking and writing start out by first puttingdown all the ideas and thinking of everything you can. Following that, it isimportant to refine the ideas and make them better and correct. Finally, the third chapter istitled, “Creating Questions out of Thin Air.” Essentially, this chapterdiscusses asking questions about everything.
Within this chapter, it is taughtthat good questions lead to you becoming “more open to ideas, because you areconstantly discovering places where your assumptions are exposed” (Burger andStarbird, 2012, 94). By asking questions, one can further understand what theydo and do not know. From there they can clarify and become a more effectivethinker. To apply this, one can ask questions as they read and edit theirpaper. The writer can also have other people read their paper and askquestions, then go back and address the questions within the paper. This allowsfor all confusion to be clarified and for the difficult parts of the essay tobecome clearer and better understood. Practice In an effort to improve this paper,I applied the techniques found in chapter three. While editing my paper, Iasked myself questions to make sure everything was clear.
From there, Ianswered my questions and changed wording or added new material to improve theoverall writing and understanding. I found that a lot of my questions arose frombad wording within the paper. Thankfully, I was able to change that wording andthen the paper became much easier to understand. Overall, asking questions whilerevising my paper helped me to take an outside perspective. I thought about mypaper from other points of view. This made me think more about how I phrasedthings and if others would be able to understand it. It was difficult to comeup with questions at first, but as I worked on revising my paper, it started tocome more easily.
In all, I think that asking questions is a helpful techniquein the revising part of writing a paper. This creates an effective method toanalyze what is written and to make it clearer. In conclusion, there are manyways in which effective thinking can be applied to writing. Asking questionsabout what is written proves to be a helpful tool.