Reflectionof Core Objectives
Atfirst, when I joined Odessa College, I did not intend to be in anEnglish class considering how I hated the subject back in highschool. The thought that I was going to analyze certain books that Inever enjoyed reading because there was going to be an exam latermade me feel uncomfortable. The whole process of analyzing andinterpreting forms of literature, such as poems was not as fun aspracticals done in Science laboratories where physical thingsactually happen. So yes, I was quite apprehensive about taking acomposition course because I would probably have to go through thevigorous reading in high school and much more. Regardless of the factthat English classes in high school were not my favorite, I mustagree that they did help me in developing skills such as comparingand contrasting as well as identifying themes and relating them tocurrent situations in society.
However,we did not do much of essay and paper writing in high school ascompared to college. Doing less number of essays in High school hasproved detrimental because writing excellent papers requires a lot ofprecision and practice as I have learnt in this course.
Pooressay and research papers garner fewer marks, and this contributeshighly to failing in one’s overall examinations thus leading to apoor grade. This paper, therefore, seeks to show the impact thiscourse has had on my writing skills regarding the four coreobjectives in this course namely, communication, critical thinking,teamwork and personal responsibility.
Onecore skill that is basic to any writing process and has been veryhelpful throughout college is communication. Communication isbasically transferring information from one place to another. It canbe verbal or written but in this case, my focus is on the writtenkind. In written communication, a number of issues are considered.One is the structure of your paper or essay. I have learnt that it isimportant to look at how I lay out my content while writing. A goodflow of thoughts and ideas needs to be maintained to ensure thereader is captivated and encouraged to read through. Expressing andinterpreting my views as per the situation or question at hand isalso fundamental to showing my understanding of the subject matter.
Stylealso matter in writing. For instance, if the audience I purpose totarget is from the medical faculty, I need to consider the use ofmedical terms relevant to what I am writing. Language is an importantelement to consider in communication as it varies depending on one’starget audience as well as the nature of the paper. For example, thisparticular paper is a reflective essay on what I have learnt duringthis course. Therefore, it requires the writer to use the pronoun Isince the voice in the paper should be that of first person.
Communicationskills in writing have also helped me in understanding formal andinformal English when it comes to writing. There are certain wordsthat are appropriate to use while speaking to someone but appearinformal in writing contexts. An understanding of this has helped meformalize items such as application letters in comparison to how Iwould write a letter to a friend or a relative or write a proposal orschool project paper. It is now easier for me to draft thesedifferent writings at ease as I have the practical experience andunderstand needed.
Theother core skill I have been able to acquire and sharpen is criticalthinking. While I began developing this skill back in high schoolreading novels and books as well as other forms of literature, it isin college that it was put to a greater test as one was expected tolook at things beyond the face value. This course has increased myability to gather information in terms of research helping me narrowdown on relevant information from a whole sea of available data. Ican then analyze the information by either agreeing or critiquingwhat is said, giving evidence for my position, and evaluating theinformation gathered. Through critical thinking, I have learnt toapply my school of thought based on the understanding of the subjectmatter and come up with solutions to problems identified. Mycreativity has been enhanced, and my view broadened.
Ihave experienced a challenge with regard to teamwork. However, Iconcur that it is very difficult to go through college withoutteamwork especially when the course requires undertaking a groupproject. It is imperative to remember that other people’s viewsalso matter if you are working as a team. In college, students dividethemselves into groups to undertake assignments given to them bytheir instructors who expect a single paper from each of the groups.These papers are then graded according to the group’s performance.If the teamwork was poor, the results would reflect it. At times itis not easy working with other individuals because of the disparityin opinion and cultural values among others. However, I have learntthat it is possible to critique a person`s views constructively in ascholarly way. Teamwork has also helped me understand certainconcepts that had previously proven difficult.
Finallyyet importantly is personal responsibility. This to me somewhat sumsup all the other core objectives because it narrows down to anindividual’s ability to make an ethical decision. For instance, ifI have the responsibility to research on a particular area of anassignment given to my group it is my sole responsibility to ensurethat I deliver as expected and in time not to let my teammates downas our success depends on concerted effort. I am also responsible formy academic performance and ensuring that I understand what wasdelivered in class. If I have any problem, I should consult myinstructor for clearer directions. I would say that every day Iprogress in terms of personal responsibility as I make differentchoices. I have learnt that every choice has a consequence and oneneeds to be careful about what road he/she takes.
Atfirst, I never saw the relevance of this course or the coreobjectives. However, as time elapses, I have been able to understandthe importance of grasping these skills. If I did not go through thiscourse, my grades would have been poorer, and I would experience morechallenges than I am with regard to writing quality papers for myschoolwork. I have identified certain strengths that I previously didnot know such as problem-solving and attention to detail. I have alsolearnt that critiquing does not always have to be a negative thing ifdone constructively. I can confidently say that I am a better writerthan I would have ever been because of this course.
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