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Marleny Osorio
Professor Lewis
English 115
12 December 2014
Personal Growth
As a freshman at CSUN, I took an English class the fall semester. The class time was
Mondays and Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm. For my semester reflection I decided to
review my writing skills.
At the beginning of the semester I noticed I summarized a lot when I would write my
essays. One thing this class taught me was to include an analysis in my essays as well. It is okay
to summarize, but it is my paper, so I should include some of my opinion in it as well. With my
analysis included, the readers and my professor get an insight into my thoughts. I could have
interpreted in a new way they never thought of, and make them think in a whole new direction.
Adding an analysis also helps prove to my professor that I understand the concept and Im doing
more than just doing the minimum to get by. It can help me get a better grade.
I have also learned MLA formatting. MLA format is essential in college because all my
future essays will involve this format, so it is good that I was able to learn it as a freshman. MLA
format consists of double space, 1-inch margins all around, Times New Roman, 12-size font, and
more. I also learned how to format citations. This is also important because if I dont cite a quote
I used, or any other source, then I could be plagiarizing, and this could affect my academic
Along with formatting I also learned how to write an annotated bibliography. An
annotated bibliography is kind of like a works cited page, except there is an additional

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explanation of what my source contains and how it was helpful in my essay. Annotated
bibliographies are good to use because they help my professors see the relevance of my sources
and that I am using the correct sources. I have included an example of an annotated bibliography
I wrote. It is located in the assignments page.
The reasons why I decided to include my personal narrative, and my ethnography essays
is because I did well on one essay, and then poorly on another. I did well on my personal
narrative because I was basically summarizing a situation I was in. As I had mentioned before I
had no problem with summarizing in my essays, it was the analyzing part that always got me in
trouble, which is where my ethnography comes in. An ethnography is a study of a culture or
specific people. The ethnography required me to include a lot of analyzing. I was supposed to
analyze why people thought the way they did, or chose certain things. I struggled when writing
this essay, because I did not know how to analyze it correctly. As a result, I got a bad grade, but
one can only learn from their mistakes. After getting back my essay, I realized where I made
mistakes, and what I could do better. I learned from this experience and got a better grade on my
next essay.
Not only did I have problems with analyzing but I also had a problem with organizing my
essays. I would scatter my paragraphs everywhere, when I could move up some of my essays and
have them closer to another paragraph that would make the essay flow more. This is another
reason why I noticed why my ethnography essay got a bad grade. I was able to pay more
attention to my paragraphs and located them where it made my essay sound better for my last
essay. I didnt struggle so much with the order in my first essay, the personal narrative, due to
the fact that it was a summarization of an event in my life, I knew to write it from beginning to
the end.

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Analyzing is still not my strongest point in writing, but I have definitely improved, along
with my organization skills. This class taught me how to correctly use MLA format, which will
help my education career immensely. I have this class to thank in my future success.