Reflective self-analysis essay
Review your portfolio for evidence of strengths and weaknesses in writing. Identify at least three examples of strengths and weaknesses.
Write a three to five page self-analysis about your writing. Cite specific pages and passages for examples, using MLA format, including a works cited page. Proofread carefully for grammar and spelling.
Reflective Self-Analysis: Developing My Writing Skills
Writing is one of those skills that require extensive practice, correction of mistakes, and engagement in lessons before one can begin noticing an improvement in content and style quality. It includes an investment of a lot of time and energy into the creation of a single piece of writing in which one can critique or seek a second opinion. Through such efforts, one can identify the most conspicuous strengths and weaknesses of a text.
Over time, I have moved from a place of unplanned, unfocussed writing to a point of strategic planning and allocation of time, energy and resources in an attempt to improve the quality of my writing. At the beginning of the course, I viewed writing as an unnecessary undertaking and as one that I could engage in effectively without practice. This view arose due to the simple forms of writing I was used to in lower levels of education, which I thought were sufficiently effective for project writing.
As the course proceeded, writing began to reveal itself as a complex process that relied heavily on creativity, focus, continuous practice, and efforts to follow through on different structures until a perfect essay emerges. As students, we steadily began to notice some differences in our skill levels during the course. Some of us wrote brilliant narratives every time they asked to while the rest of us struggled to write coherent essays. Falling in the category of an average student, I quickly focused on knowing what creates the difference in order to apply it and improve my writing skills. That is when I realized that focusing consciously on the process of writing increases the level of alertness to one’s strengths and weaknesses. Even though a person’s strengths and weaknesses are idiosyncratic, people who are at the same level in terms of writing skills tend to have similar characteristics in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
One of my mainstrengths lies in the realm of vocabulary. I have always been a reader ever since my early years when I started engaging in school reading. Focusing on different genres during these reading activities has provided me with a vast pool of vocabulary to use in many topics and settings. This practice has also molded me into an effective communicator and in this way, I have gained even more vocabulary through active participation in communication with many people. Therefore, I rarely experience situations where I have to pause to find the perfect vocabulary to use in different sentences. I also consider sentence structure and continuity an erstwhile problematic area that I am proud to have mastered. Similarly, I attribute this strength directly to my reading patterns which exposed me to many transitioning procedures that ensure a good flow of ideas.
Finally, I take pride in having an average level of creativity that I am able to tap into. While my creativity is not at its best, I am able to find new ways to put ideas across. However, I should particularly dedicate more time into this area in order to achieve perfection. Additionally, my grammar and spelling capabilities are exemplary. Having averagely masteredthese areas, I am able to write projects and pieces without too much mental and physical strain.
Often, I experience the challenge of having too many ideas that especially begin to develop after the initial writing plan is in place. This development then leads to a situation of extreme deviation from the main topic in the body of the text. At other times, I engage in an over-analysis or over-explanation of the topic in such a way that it begins to become irrelevant. For this reason, my writing is normally characterized by long explanations that greatly exceed the required word count and leads to the creation of writing that becomes extremely exhausting to read and understand. It is important to learn to be directed and concise while still maintaining one’s opinion.
Secondly, I am not creative in terms of the way I introduce and conclude my written work, and this greatly affects its quality and by extension, readers’ enthusiasm.By reading books and other written materials, I have gained more awareness into how important the introduction and conclusion are to the effectiveness of writing. I have personally encountered situations where I gave up reading books based solely on their introduction. I have equally experienced extreme emotional responses based on the way books begin and how they end. In most texts, my opening parts are often very dull and un-captivating even though I always endeavor to be creative while still avoiding clichés. A conclusion can either be very defined or suspenseful depending on the topic (Flesch 27). Matching an appropriate beginning and ending to various writing topics has been one of my biggest challenges.
Lastly, my inability to adopt different styles of writing depending on context has been a major setback in my writing process. This problem arises from either a lacking enough knowledge on styles and an inability to correctly integrate those styles into the concepts I seek to address.Brilliant writers demonstrate an ability to use few, simple literary styles that go a long way in exquisitely revealing other aspects of the writing such as the mood, tone and theme.
I am pleased with the progress I have made in my literary journey. My goal is to perfect my writing by maintaining and boosting my strengths while working hard to deal with my weaknesses. Most importantly, I have adopted a writing schedule to ensure that I practice daily for maximum results. In combination with proper consultation, research and self-evaluation, this practice will guarantee me great progress in the future as it already has thus far.
Flesch, Rudolf. The Classic Guide to Better Writing: Steo-by-Step Techniques and Exercises to Write Simply, Clearly and Correctly. New York: Collins Reference, 1996. Print.