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Almary 1

Tiffany Almary
Vana DerOhanessian
English 114A
December 3, 2014
The transition that is faced by a high school student in becoming a college student is one
that is full of obstacles. The workload is doubled, the essays get tougher and longer, and the
culture shock of being exposed to higher expectations is indescribable. Walking into the English
114A class, I strongly disliked English because of how it was taught to me in high school. In
high school, students were forced to write about novels they do not necessarily relate to or do not
find an interest in. In the beginning of this semester, I came in with the notion in my head that we
were going to be assigned readings and essays that I was, once again, not going to find an
interest in. However, once my professor walked in and greeted us, and as she began to discuss
the direction of the course, I knew that this class was not going to be anything like my high
school English classes. I thought to myself, I might actually enjoy English. From the first day of
school until today, this class was designed in a way to keep us engrossed in the material while
subsequently teaching us the fundamentals of writing, and has proved that writing is an art. The
ability to write properly is a necessity in almost any career, and our professor taught us to enjoy
During our first couple weeks of class, we read Amy Tans Mother Tongue. I was
introduced to Amy Tan in high school when we read her novel, The Joy Luck Club, which
happened to be my favorite novel. I related to her novel and article from the moment we began to
read it, and from there on I knew that this English class was going to not only motivating, but it

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was also going to be very relatable. Our first progression essay was focused on our personal
experiences with literacy. This was an important essay through which our professor could not
only evaluate our writing, but also to become familiar with how we developed our writing skills.
It was difficult writing about my own experiences because I was so accustomed to writing about
novels or arguing about a certain topic. Personally, I had never written an essay about myself, so
I was very skeptical about how I was expressing myself. For the second progression, we
discussed and analyzed society views and their implications. I was very drawn to this portion of
the class because I find that the analysis of society provides insight into how individuals think
and how individuals function together as a whole. At the time of writing the second progression
essay, when given the prompt, I was very confused on which path to take. The topic was
extremely broad and allowed room for interpretation, but I was not used to picking a specific
path, rather I was accustomed to being told which path to take on a given topic. Regardless,
having done research, I focused my attention on celebrities in modern society, arguing what I
believed was their impact on society. Being interested in a topic on which you are writing about
makes the ideas flow through ones mind more naturally. The progression two essay I wrote, I
believe, is the best essay I had ever written and I was very confident about it. At that point, I
finally experienced what it was like to have ideas flow naturally rather than forcefully. Once
progression three begun, all I could think about was the essay and what I was going to write,
even though we were not given the topic yet. The last reading we were assigned was titled
Brainology. It explained how students passion and dedication could help them succeed in
school and life. I knew I wanted to relate the next essay to Brainology. Having to visit the
Learning Resource Center, my tutor helped me come up with an idea to talk about society and
celebrities and tie it together with students, and considering the prevalence of attention on

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celebrities in our world today, I saw it as a great idea. I decided to argue that celebrities
dedication, hard work, time, and effort have proven to bring them success, which is a positive
influence to students who look up to them. I took a position on something I was passionate
about. After completing my progression three essay, I did not want to stop writing.
After turning in the last essay, I realized that I had almost completed my favorite English
class, and was surprised that I wanted to continue writing. Typically I would have been jumping
with joy at the thought of ridding myself of an English course. My professor has taught us one of
many things, to use factors in our essay, which prove our argument with facts, but also to capture
the audiences attention by using rhetorical analysis. Not only does using rhetorical analysis
apply to English papers and assignments, it is a necessity for one to use in any essay written for
any class. I learned to think beyond what I believe, but also address what others might think of
the topic to establish a counterargument. My professor taught me to love writing and to enjoy it,
to make it interesting for myself, which is the greatest lesson for a college student because of the
number of essays we are going to have to write throughout undergraduate and professional
Continuing on to the second section of this course in the spring semester, I need to focus
on gathering more information, more facts from secondary sources, in order to prove my
argument. I need to gain more practice in looking for credible sources to convince the audience
of my argument. Another extra step I am going to take is to read more books on my free time. I
do not doubt that this is an extremely effective way in expanding ones vocabulary, while at the
same time exposing the reader to creativity they might not have thought about before. Being
more creative and increasing our vocabulary is vital in the path to becoming a better writer.