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English 458, Advanced Writing Workshop, provided a classroom experience in which students were able to take fresh approaches

to tired assignments, and discover innovative ways to complete those assignments. In doing so, revision opportunities were provided consistently to allow the work of students to grow and mature into something much greater, and more advanced, than they were when originally submitted. Our instructor, Dr. Kevin Brooks, noted that the courses main purpose was to help students enhance their writing skills, and also to help them integrate obtained knowledge of writing across experiences and courses. Im very confident in claiming that the course proved successful in fulfilling its purpose in guiding my experience and skills. Coinciding with this claim, I firmly believe my efforts have met the course goals as well. For instance, one of the goals was to gain competence in reading and critiquing the work of others; during our workshop hours, I saw firsthand as my suggestions helped transform a peers piece from draft-to-draft. Another goal was that of realizing that writing is a continuous process, and that process will evolve between different audiences and purposes; our projects were forever changing, never fully complete, and, with my documentary, I had to change certain aspects between showing close friends and class members. These examples are just a couple of instances through which I met course aims, and I think they demonstrate it effectively. The first major project we were assigned was the literacy narrative. We were allotted a good chunk of class time to work on that assignment, and my piece changed in accordance with what peers and Dr. Brooks suggested. When my pencil-grade draft was submitted, it had evolved through, in a sense, collaboration with others in the class. Dr. Brooks returned that final draft, and had noted there was much room for improvement, to convert my piece into a true literacy narrative as opposed to a strong essay. However, he liked the crisp style of the piece and the overall story, so I addressed his advice as far as I could without losing sight of the strong points. Much of this was possible through mere tweaks of sentences, massaging them into different meanings, but a few points required large injections, and I attempted those as best I could mostly through extending paragraphs and slipping in layering details. Our second major project, deemed Building a Mystery, allowed for an unorthodox approach to the standard research paper. Essentially, we were asked to use an innovative, technological method to complete the task. I chose to build my mystery product around the concept of artistic inspiration, and this choice resulted in a 24-minute documentary. Once again, we were making revisions, but this was mainly due to new concepts covered in class, rather than peer-based workshops. I speak for a handful of peers, in addition to myself, in stating that these introduced concepts induced the mystery products to evolve, and Dr. Brooks teaching style and encouragement is to be credited for this. He allowed us again to submit a pencil-graded draft, but, unfortunately, I wasnt able to make any revisions based on his direct advice. My project, Inspiration: A Documented Look, underwent several setbacks, and wasnt ready for submission until late in the semester. Also attributing to this inability to make revisions was that all the editing the project had undergone was done on a campus Mac; one which is routinely scrubbed of saved

files upon logout. Even so, my projects aims had been revised and re-directed through the different concepts Dr. Brooks introduced throughout the last half of the semester. Aside from these projects, another major part of our assignment catalogue was journal entries. We had three batches of journals due throughout the semester, each requiring fifteen entries a piece. Through writing and revising these journals, my literacy narrative, and a handful of other written assignments, I noticed my writing strengths were still prevalent across the different genres. I have always had an intriguing writing style when applied to subjective writing assignments. I usually keep it quickly paced, and always try to maintain a retainable level of description for readers while their eyes are flowing smoothly with the pace. This is evident in the specific comment of Dr. Brooks I noted above, nice crisp style. Another consistent strength of mine is producing nifty, snappy lines that engross my audience. Again, this is also evident in my literacy narrative. A line, describing the way I delivered a steak sales hook to customers, impregnated with consecutive adverbs, received good praise from every critic of that piece four students and Dr. Brooks. Strengths are always accompanied with weaknesses. The most prominent weakness in my writing is a glaring lack of enthusiasm in academic writing. Im an English major, and I love to write, but not when it suppresses creativity. The only piece of writing which did this in English 458 was the annotated bibliography which accompanied my documentary. This particular weakness was very clear to me, and I think to Dr. Brooks, when compared with other pieces I have submitted over the course of the semester. Another weakness that always seems to be prevalent is my inability to research effectively. Again, this was evident in my annotated bibliography, and resulted in my first draft acquiring a failing pencil-grade. However, I referenced course materials, received tips from a classmate, and powered out an A-grade resubmission for the annotative bibliography. I learned some useful things in relation to research, and I need to build on the success of my revised annotative bibliography. As for the lack enthusiasm in academic writing, I need to find ways to be creatively objective. On my annotated bib revision, I looked at the assignment as if a screenplay; screenplays do not allow for much creative expansion on a scene, and often come off as quite cold, but, if talented enough, a screenwriter can find subtle and near-manipulative ways to garner creative influence I attempted this with my annotations, and found it seemed to work, to an extent. This is another aspect I will try building on in the future. As the semester wraps up, Im finding myself very content with satisfaction over a productive semester even when considering English 458 alone. I churned out some respectable pieces, and believe I met the course aims and fulfilled its purpose. I was also able to get a good look at my most prominent strengths and weakness, and am considering ways on sustaining and improving them, respectively. I hope the upcoming courses on my path to graduation keep me as engaged as Dr. Brooks did with Advanced Writing Workshop.