Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,
       84 days. 120,960 minutes. 7,257,600 seconds. In this period of time I have strengthened friendships, had a lot of laughs, and got to know a teacher I'd never had before, but most importantly, i learned about myself as a writer and began to do the things I never thought I was capable of. College Composition has taught me a lot of different things, it what can only be seen as a short amount of time. For example, I never thought I'd be able to write a two page paper in 20 minutes. Turns out, I was wrong, and I got pretty good at it. Of course, that was just my rough draft, don't judge me for turning in a rushed, disorganized piece, for that was what I learned to do. Writer's block and i have always had a tumultuous relationship, but now I like to consider us as friends.
       One of the most major areas that I have improved on is my introductions. For the character description we wrote a few months ago I started the paragraph out like this, "My mom is tall." Really? Yes, it's a fact, and yes, the paper gets more interesting from there but the fact that I thought that was okay astounds me a bit. In this course I learned a lot about how different introductions can interest different types of readers, and how you should always show someone a thing you're trying to describe, never tell them directly. For example, this blog starts in a way that I've never tried before. The aspect of time can be a remarkable thing when you stop and think about it. My introduction to this entry makes the reader think about a class as more than just a place you go everyday, but it seems as though you can truly understand just how much work and time was put into learning by the first sentence.
       Another area I improved in was my use of writing techniques. I realized that humor can bring life to any subject, no matter what it may be, that dialogue can not only help your paper get to its two page requirement, but can also tell a reader more about a character than with just description, and that comparisons can bring whole new perspectives on a topic that you had never thought about before. For example, in my description paper, I compared the color of my mom's coat to a forest. Now, I had never even thought of the dark green in such a way before, but it certainly helped me to get the point across in which I was trying to make. My paper on Red, White, and Beer highlighted the clever use of humor that all advertising agencies yern for. The responses to funny commercials are far more profound than any other tactic. But most drastically I have improved on the level of description on which I can now write. The description paper about my mom is so detailed and explanitory, it made me realize new things about her. For example her finger nails. "Her nails are always the same length, as if they don't have the ability to grow, just over the edge of her finger tips. The smooth surface is never painted, always slightly dulled with work."
        College Composition has helped me in practicing my writing techniques that I know I'll be able to perfect in college. Thankfully, this class also gave me a chance to realize that a two page paper isn't as bad as it used to be. Grinding out sentence after sentence the past three years had been a hard task up until now. I am thankful that I got so much out of this class, and was able to see myself improve in ways that I had never thought I would before. Who knew that a descriptive sentence could turn a boring topic into the most dramatic, interesting, meaningful thing you've ever read? The power of words is much stronger than I had realized. Thankfully, I realized that now and not in 5 years at my college graduation. Thanks for reading, Dear Reader, I hoped you learned as much as I did.
                                                      Megan Malloy

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blog #5

     The revision session made me revisit ways of writing that I haven't been using as much lately like  using more figurative language and comparisons.
      Yes, and I also found it really helpful to hear the thoughts of my peers and get a different perspective on my writing style and choice of wording.
     1. What area did I need the most improvement on?
     2. Does the beginning/ending work well with my paper?
     3. Do I need more/less details on certain topics or areas?
1. Be more descriptive on things like what her Nike sneakers looked like or the what the moisturizer bottle looked like.
2. The beginning needs to be broken into actual paragraphs, the whole first page is one big paragraph.
3. More detail needs to be given on paragraphs that need it.
     I didn't notice how I didn't really have an introductory paragraph, the first page is one big paragraph- it eventually ended up being the whole first page with no real sense of flow or organization.
     My future goals are to use more figurative language and to make sure that each paragraph is given as much attention as the other ones.
     I would give myself a 50 because we all worked well together and I provided constructive feedback for each of the other members of my group.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blog #4

     My initial thoughts about my paper are that it's well written to a point, but definitely needs some revision. Not only are there some oddly worded sentences, but there's also a a few misplaced words, thoughts, and opinions. Like the repition in the sentence "the delicious 9 grams of fat and deliciousness". I really like the first two paragraphs of the paper but I'm disappointed with the last three. I think I need to spend some more time developing the last couple paragraphs with more in depth opinions and thoughts.
     One thing that I need learned from my peer feedback is that I could use some more figurative language developing my paper. I also learned that I will have one really strong paragraph and then follow with weaker ones, when I know that the ending of the paper should be the strongest.
From my partner's feedback I know that I should have added more facts about the Keebler cookies and Chips Ahoy cookies, rather than just fluff up my WhoNu paragraph. I can use polls, people's reviews, and other facts to help enhance my piece.
      In this piece I was told I did a good job at describing how the cookies looked, tasted and felt, especially for the WhoNu ones. She said she felt like she could imagine exactly what I had been describing as if it was sitting in front of her. Also, there was good evidence brought in so that people didn't just read my opinion but facts too.
     From doing this draft, I learned the importance of expanding all thoughts, not just the really good ones, to make my paragraphs more complete and even. I think that is definitely something I will continue to have to work on as I keep writing more and more drafts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blog #3

In this original introduction, I tried to match up what I was doing to what was happening at the same time with the 9/11 attacks. Of course I had no idea what was going on, so I was trying to portray how oblivious I, and everyone else around me, was to the whole situation.

8:20: American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 with 58 passengers and six crew members, departs from Washington Dulles International Airport in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, Virginia, for Los Angeles. Five hijackers are aboard.
 It was 8:20 am and I was about to enter my first full week of second grade. I walked downstairs after I got dressed, ate my cereal, and watched SpongeBob on TV, just like every other morning. My mom helped pick out my clothes; I was still nervous to leave her every day and go to school.

New Introductions-
Asking Questions: Did you ever try to look back and think of the exact thing you were doing when those planes hit the twin towers? Have you ever tried to imagine what it was like on the streets of New York City at that time? Imagine the terror you felt while watching the flaming buildings on the news; now imagine you were standing 100 feet away; now imagine you were inside. Can you feel the burnt ash on your face? the dust in your eyes? The sweat and debris falling all around you? It's nearly impossible to even begin to feel that close to it. It's impossible to put yourself in that position; if you weren't there, you'll never truly know or understand, as hard as we may try to.
Open with a quotation: "Good Morning America, it's a beautiful day in New York with that summer weather still upon us. Let's hope we can hold on to it a bit longer!" the news anchor smiled at the cameras and fiddled with the papers on his desk. It was one of those perfect days when school had begun, summer had ended and people were happy just to be able to hold on to that bit of warmth that August had been kind enough to leave behind. Nothing bad ever happens on days like this.
Open with a striking fact: 2,996 people were about to die in my state, my home state where I had grown up and loved and never left. 2,996 were about to die and I had no idea; just like the rest of the world. Just like my mom who was rushing to get me to school on time, or my teacher who was sitting at her desk planning the day, or my sister, 14, who was only worried about the history test Mrs. Wilson had them planning for all quarter. My dad went to work, my mom cleaned the house, my sister went to school, and I was attempting  to learn cursive; it was a normal day. And yet it wasn't, because 2,996 people were about to die and no one could stop it. Abnormal doesn't even begin to describe that epic day.
My favorite introduction is probably either the striking fact techinque or the or the quotation piece. I think they both bring something interesting to the paper but that striking fact really grabs your attention as you try to perceive how many people that really is.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blog #2

Introductions: It is important to keep in mind the tricks and strategies that can help to create good, efficient writing and introductions. This piece gave helpful, easy ways that people can create distinctively creative and hooking introduction paragraphs. What I enjoyed from this piece was that the author told the audience that his purpose in writing the guide was help the students who cringe at the thought of writing and starting drafts. The fact that the author gave his/her audience clear and defined final points at the end made this piece very strong in my eyes, as I tend to become overwhelmed with long informative pieces. The points to keep in mind were concise, informative, and creative ways to help the audience become more competent introduction writers.
Beginnings and Endings: For this piece, I found it very helpful that the author gave more than a dozen suggestions on how to start your essay. He or she did not just talk at the audience, but instead gave ways that may help in the process of essay lead-ins. For me, I can relate to being stuck on a certain sentence or thought, not being able to completely get across what I'm trying to say. These tricks are great tools in selecting the right introduction for a piece. I also suffer from being a poor thesis writer, so for me, these tips seem like good ways to help clarify ideas and in turn make an effective thesis statement.

Blog #1

Welcome to my blog! My name is Megan, I'm a senior at Penfield High school and I'm 17 years old. I'm taking College Comp. in order to prepare myself for college style writing and assignments and to learn how to become a stronger, more competent writer. So far, I have learned about description, dialogue, introductions, conclusions, and the different styles of writing. Taking this class has already helped me to prepare for college because of the tricks I have learned and in turn used in my college essay. I am confident that by the time I am finished with this class, I will be more knowledgable than others on how to be a successful writer for my future assignments and classes.