In this self-assessment, I will be talking about the three different essays that I had to write for my freshman composition class and what I learned and how I improved as I moved from one essay to the next. The three essays are a literacy narrative, an exploratory essay, and a critical analysis essay.
In my literacy narrative, I decided to talk about my love for reading as I grew up and how that shaped me as a person. I talked about the different books I had read as I was growing up and how they spawned my love for literacy and reading. There was nothing very significant in my childhood that dealt with literacy that had affected me so I had limited options as to what to write about so I decided to talk about what books I had read, such as Harry Potter, by process of elimination. Although I felt that I explained thoroughly what effect that these books had had on my love for literacy and how they helped me to become more articulate, I still feel as though it was rushed and I could’ve done better by taking my time and explaining more as to how I was affected by what I read as a child. I focused mostly on purpose in this essay since it was something personal and didn’t really take into account the other rhetorical items we discussed in class and the other course learning outcomes.
My exploratory essay dealt with methods of communication and the barriers that exist that keep people from properly expressing their feelings and emotions to one another, particularly how we as human beings fail to listen to one another and try to understand where another person’s views are coming from. I am honestly not that happy with this essay and feel I could’ve done a lot better in explaining my thoughts in it. I focused mostly on stance in this essay since it was about a topic that interested me and that I had to defend using research. Although listening was my main focus in this essay, I feel as though I spent too much time talking about that instead of other barriers that hinder communication, which is the main focus of the essay.
The final essay that I had to write was the critical analysis essay, and I feel that I had improved a lot on this compared to my exploratory essay. My first draft for this essay wasn’t that great, however after meeting with my professor, I was able to see the flaws in it and how I could improve it. My essay was about which method of communication was more effective, phone calls or text messages. I incorporated more evidence from scholarly sources into this essay and instead of talking mostly about the cons of text messaging, I focused more on the pros of which phone calls. In this essay, I had to use more exigence in addition to purpose and stance since I’m comparing one thing to another and explaining why my position is correct. I used a lot more digital sources in this essay and incorporated better MLA citations in this essay, however, I neglected to use in text citations which I completely forgot about.