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Maldonado 1

Charlie Maldonado
Professor Collins
ENGL 1302
10 May 2016
Reflective Essay
I decided to take part in this class to improve my communicating and writing abilities
which were well under average at this beginning of this year. Not having a good comprehension
of well-organized and professional writing, I have seen my skills in communication improve
sharply not only in the class essays, but also in personal speaking and writing. Before this class,
writing essays, especially long word count essays, would cause me to be brain dead by the
second paragraph. Through both essay one and essay three, I have gained knowledge and
experience in organization, grammar, documentation and creative thinking.
The rhetorical analysis essay one taught me to think critically and find the deeper
meaning in Ronald Reagans address to the nation after the Challenger disaster. Analyzing a
speech was at first easy to pick up on Reagans definitive meaning to his address, but then having
to look at each word of his speech and finding the deeper effect of his diction was a process that I
was completely new to. This essay gave me the open ability to choose my own speech, which
made the word count nothing to worry about since it is a topic I am very passionate about. This
essay also allowed me to have my own opinion as to what I thought Reagan might be hinting in
each word of his speech. Overall, this essay was a great start to learning new abilities in critical
thinking and word choice analyzing which was a significant foundation to the rest of the
assignments in the course of the semester.

Maldonado 2

Essay three, being my favorite essay, allowed me to think outside of the outline by
coming up with a personal solution to the problem at hand. This essay strengthened my already
known knowledge of organization, grammar and documentation. Since this was the final essay
to the semester, I was already well aware of grammar issues which hurt a grade in the end more
than a structural problem, but this essay especially gave me signals to go back and fix grammar
mistakes and fragment sentences. Since the proposal must have included documentation from
multiple outside sources, my ability to find quality sources and avoid the ones that were false
advertisement grew sharply while writing this essay. Not only finding correct documentation,
but also the best sources out of those appropriate. Essay three gave me the ability to strengthen
my skills in research for a particular essay and also pointed out how influential each source can
be any piece of writing. The proposal assignment is by far my favorite out of the three major
essays because I felt it gave me the biggest challenges to overcome any and all problems to be
My communication skills have improved incredibly throughout this semester, the most
influential being to always recognize who the audience is and if you are speaking to them in the
correct tone and attitude. If I could make go back and take this class again, I would twice as
much time editing as I did writing, because major mistakes can be caught quickly and fixed to
avoid the consequence, but little mistakes are everywhere and can be overlooked easily.