Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blog #9

I was able to re-write my evaluative summary and get a better grade than the previous one. That was my biggest goal. I was able to voice my own opinion on the subject better than before. The evaluative summary gave me the willies. I had never written one before. I did seek help from two different tutors and ended up with a paper that was not appropriate for the assignment. The re-write was difficult because I was not sure I truly understood what was required for the paper.
I am now able to go to the Sugar Grove library and find a book I am looking for. I had never used the Library of Congress Classification system before and had no idea how to find the book I needed for my research paper. That was something important to me and something I was glad I learned. If I had not asked for help I would have wandered around the library forever and never found the book I was looking for. I also learned to use different search engines that I had never thought to use before. I had been to the Todd Library site, but I had only ever used the general search.
As for the research paper, I asked a friend of mine who is going to school in Mississippi to edit my paper and she told me things I did not know about how to format the paper and long quotes. For instance, I did not realize that there were extra spaces at the end of each page and that I had to go into the paragraph tab and check the box for it not to add spaces after paragraphs of the same kind. I also did not know that for a quote that is longer than four lines you should make it a block quote. I never knew these things, and when I asked my tutor who is supposed to know more about these things than me she told me “Yes, that is correct.” This after reading my paper two to three times before and never mentioning it before. My friend’s teacher is the head of their English department, so I am glad I asked her to review my paper.
I hope my grammar improved, and I think it did. I cannot say that I had a huge problem with grammar before, but I know it was not perfect. I have often been told that I write like I am talking to a friend and that my papers should sound and be more formal. I think I worked on this in this class and that I improved on it. I was told that the way I write would be okay if I was writing a book, but not if I was writing a formal English paper, or a paper of any kind. Whereas before, when I wrote on my own and did not ask for help I would not really revise or make drafts of my paper. I would edit and that was it.

Blog #8

               I am having a lot of issues with my research paper. The biggest issue is simply motivation.  Not having an actual due date for the paper is making me keep putting it off.  I have about three pages of stuff but it’s not very well put together yet and having to write a total of three papers (two for this class and one for another) is really making me not want to do it at all. Or more to the point, not do any of them at all. I will find the motivation; it’s just taking a while.
                I’m pretty sure what I want to go into the paper. I want to talk about how literacy levels are dropping because of the drop in literary reading. I know I want to talk about the difference between literary reading and just plain reading. I know for sure I want to talk about the benefits of reading and how a book can make you feel, and of how it affects people as adults if they have poor reading and writing skills.
                I really like my topic for my research paper, but my biggest concern is not being able to do it justice. There are so many different opinions on the subject, and I know what I think about reading. How will I be able to convince someone that they should read when people’s lives are so busy nowadays? I hope that my muse will talk to me and help me out soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blog # 7

               If I had to define “funny” I would say that funny is someone or something that makes me laugh. I don’t necessarily have to laugh out loud when I see or hear something funny. I often grin like a fool when something is funny, but laughing out loud is a sure sign that I found something funny. The article we read about the cocaine dealer was funny, but the roll my eyes and chuckle kind.
                When I think of style I don’t usually think of a person I think of clothing or hair. If I was to think of a person who is stylish or has style I think of someone like Avril Lavigne, not that it is my style, but it is interesting.
                As it pertains to putting my style into my papers, I know I mentioned this before.  I write like I talk, for the most part. I don’t like to read things that throw big words at me just so that someone can show that they can use them. I want to read something that is understandable and makes sense, not something that has no life or personality, even if it is a scholarly paper or a textbook.
                I have this textbook that I use in my ICD 9 coding class. I, personally, like this textbook very much. While coding is somewhat technical, the author made it understandable, approachable, AND interesting. She takes you through the steps in finding a code and when you have found the code it will say something like “Did you find the code to be 042? Good job!” I like that. Whereas in my Introduction to Health Information Technology book it is very, very technical and the writing doesn’t invite you to read. It has no personality and doesn’t make me want to read. I’m sure if it was written differently I wouldn’t find it as difficult and many of my fellow students would be doing better in this class. We all struggle in this class and I know it has nothing to do with the instructor; it is the subject matter and the way it is presented in the book.

Blog #6

           What I liked about writing my critical analysis is that I was somewhat familiar with so I kind of knew how to go about it and the fact that the paper was on a movie.  While I didn’t enjoy the movie all that much it is something I felt more comfortable with analyzing than I would have if I would have had to analyze another piece of writing or a book.
The only thing I didn’t like doubt writing this paper was the writing part. Writing is not something I am very comfortable with no matter what I am writing; whether it is an essay question or a research paper or even a reflection paper. I really don’t like to put my words and thoughts out there for someone to judge and have them tell me how poorly I wrote. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but when I was younger I wanted to be a writer. As I got older I realized I couldn’t do it. I have had teachers tell me that I write like I am talking to one of my friends (if I was there would be a lot more poor grammar and some cuss words) and that it wasn’t proper for a paper. I have tried to work on that but I know it still comes out that way sometimes.
One thing I would do differently, and I try to do all the time, is to not stress myself out about it as much. I can only do my best and hope that my best is good enough.

Blog #5

The evaluative summary was and still is very difficult for me.

 I don't think my grammar is that bad. There are certainly some things I don't know how to properly put into words, but I still think I make sense when I write them.

I think my summary was okay. I had no idea how long the summary should be. One page? Half a page? It was only supposed to be a two page paper so how much should be given to the actual summary? Having never written a summary before I had no idea what to do and my grade reflected that and because of this I am having a hard time even trying to begin to rewrite it. How can I write something when I don’t know what it is supposed to look like? I can read about it, but just reading about something isn’t enough for me, not when I am trying to learn.

I think my opinion is definitely in the paper; it just wasn’t the opinion that was required for this paper, so because of this the paper I wrote wasn’t appropriate for the assignment. Basically, I didn’t do the assignment and, again, my grade reflected that.

Another issue I think I have is the order of the paper. Where does my thesis go if the first thing I am supposed to do is summarize? I don’t even think I know what my thesis is, and the thought of having to rewrite the whole paper is making me put it off. All the work I put into the first one and it was all wrong—how do I motivate myself to write another when all I am thinking is that it will be all wrong all over again?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Research paper free write

What interests me outside of school? Well, I am not in any sports, but I do enjoy watching baseball. I am not in any clubs, but I am a member of Phi Theta Kappa and was just invited to join Alpha Beta Gamma and the National Technical Honor Society. As a high school dropout and former poor student I am proud of how well I have been doing so far in school.
What upsets me about the evening news? A lot. The biggest thing lately is Arizona’s SB1070. I am against it. The news is too depressing so I very rarely watch it anyway. I haven’t read the paper in so long and the only thing I would look for in it was the crossword puzzle and the weekly ads.
I am not into world affairs so much. I'm taking five classes this semester and the work is kicking my butt so that is what occupies my mind a lot. I did hear that those Chilean miners were going to be coming up soon. It’s only been what, two months or so.
I do love to read. Absolutely love it! I love being transported to a different place and I love the way a good book makes me feel. Whether it is sad, mad, happy or anything in between.  And I do love to watch movies and television, but I do not really enjoy reality TV. Dancing with the Stars is about as real as I will go. As for movies I like all kinds. I like movies with a lot of action and explosions, I like romances and comedies. I sometimes even watch foreign films. Yes, I sometimes like to go to a movie and not have to do too much thinking about what the movie really means.
What I think about every day is the fact that I am unemployed and how hard it is to be without any income. Having to basically mooch off of my nearly retired mother is something that really bothers me. I am afraid I won’t be able to find a job even with my newly acquired education. That keeps me up at night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blog number three

Hmm, what I learned from doing the informal essay. I don’t really know if I learned anything because I don’t know what grade we got on it. I have never had to write a summary before so I was unsure of how to even begin. My partner said he was familiar with writing summaries so I gave him my ideas for what I thought might need to be in it. No, I was not prepared for that assignment and no I do not like to work in groups in general unless it can all be done in the classroom. It was more difficult to write as a group when you don’t have the other person there to give feedback right away. At least I think so. I still don’t know if I am any better at writing summaries than I was before. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but this is the learning process for me. I was not a very good student from the moment we had to do homework and it got worse as I got older and into high school. I dropped out of high school, so I didn’t do a whole lot of actual learning there. I’m doing my best to learn now, though. I hope I can learn what I need to and improve upon what little writing skills I do have.