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Hale 1

Preston Hale

Composition 1

Professor Moore

3 December 2019

Reflective Essay

English used to be one of my least favorite subjects taught in school. I have had plenty of bad

English experiences, teachers, essays, and grades throughout junior high and high school.

Especially when the curriculum started to become somewhat challenging for me. Thinking about

the upcoming essays I would have to write in college became a nightmare because of my fears of

not being able to meet the requirements, not turning it in on time, doing poorly and making a bad

grade on it. I knew that writing essays were a major part of college, and I was nervous because I

wanted to succeed. In high school, I would always need help from peers and tutors around me to

write my essays because my mind would go blank and I would not be able to translate my words

onto paper. It felt like I needed someone to guide me and walk me through the writing process.

Although English has been one of my worst, and least favorite subjects, I have developed quality

writing skills over the course of this semester and now I am able to organize my thoughts clearly

and in paragraph form, avoiding the use of words like "I", "my", "you", and "your", and only use

them at the appropriate times.

During this semester, I have strengthened my essay writing skills and have gained a little bit

more confidence in my ability to compose an organized essay. I have had a lot of difficulty in

previous years with not being able to organize my thoughts and ideas well, but with practice, I

have significantly improved. Although I do not consider myself to be an outstanding writer, now

I have made a drastic change in my essay writing abilities and my grade in English is evidence of
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that statement. In my essay about photographers, where we had to write about a chosen career,

one can see that in my thesis statement I clearly stated my main points and thoroughly explained

each point in my body paragraphs. For example, "Being a photographer is a fulfilling career

based on education requirements, working conditions, and also allowing someone to express and

use their creativity while working". This has shown that I have strengthened my thesis statements

from past essays because in previous years I did not state my main points, which made it more

difficult to write essays.

It was a challenge having to avoid using words such as "I", "my", "you", or "your" in my

essays. I have gotten so used to it that every time I have typed those words in this essay, I have

cringed. I had a problem with accidentally typing such words that when I went to my conference

to discuss my essay over a controversial topic, I left the conference with red ink all over my

paper. With English being my worst subject in past years, the sight of those red scribbles all over

my paper was nothing I was not used to. I have improved my writing skills and now I can think

before translating my thoughts onto paper without feeling the need to use such words. In my

controversial topic essay, which was about whether or not education should be free, one can see

that throughout the paper, I avoided using the words "I", "my", "you", and "your", and started

using sentences in third person instead of first and second person.

Another major struggle I had with writing essays was my constant need to use

conjunctions. I am used to incorporating them into my everyday life, for example, when I am

talking or texting someone. Conjunctions make communicating much easier, but they are not as

practical for writing essays. I had to adapt to avoid using them, and it took some time getting

used to, but with essay writing practice, I am now conscious of every time I feel the need to use a

conjunction, and I correct myself. Now, if you look at the writing I have done this semester, one
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can see that there are no conjunctions to be found. In my formal analysis essay titled, “Battle

Cry”, there are no conjunctions in the essay which shows that I have improved my writing, and I

no longer make those careless mistakes that cost me points off my grade.

This semester has taught me a lot of things, one of which is how to improve my writing

skills and overall communication. In my life, I have never been confident enough to sit down and

type an essay that was good enough and knew I would make a good grade until now. When I am

writing my essays, I am now conscious of a lot of things, like how well my essay is structured

and organized, if I accidentally started using first or second person, or if I used any conjunctions.

Before this semester, I was not aware of such details when writing an essay. I can now put my

abilities to practice and write well-written essays as well as perform better in school overall, not

just in English class.