The ability to write clearly is a necessity in the modern world. After completing this English writing course, I am positive about my progress towards acquiring the said skill. An array of reasonably challenging tasks have pushed my limits as well as exposed a few insecurities about my writing competencies. However, with weaknesses came strengths, and now I am glad to say that this course has not only given me practical knowledge but also contributed to my personal development. In this reflective essay, I outline how the course proved to be revelatory in a variety of ways.
The course changed my idea about what it takes to be a good writer. To me, it seemed that to write well, one had to expand vocabulary continuously and learn grammar rules. Thus, I hoped that the contents of the course would be stressing precisely these elements, and I was not disappointed as they appeared to be part of the curriculum. However, as much as they are essential in the writing process, what is paramount to putting together a text is to be creative and “to utilize critical thinking and organize your thoughts” as the course overview outlined (Portage Learning). Creativity had always appeared to be an innate trait that some people luckily possess and thus, can create captivating pieces. Nevertheless, the course helped me understand that creative and logical thinking is a valuable asset and a skill that everyone can develop.
Furthermore, I discovered that good writing starts with posing the right questions. It appears that the course employs an inquiry-based teaching strategy that encourages students to solve problems instead of using teacher-centered practices, e.g., merely providing facts and information. There is substantial evidence that such a method of teaching is especially useful. For instance, Abdi concluded that “the students who have been educated by inquiry-based instruction learning cycle method have become more successful than the students who have been educated by the traditional teaching methods” (40). Thus, it is fair to assume that I owe the progress I made in the course to the teaching strategies that brought us to ask questions and seek solutions.
As for posing questions, I found that before starting to write an assignment, I should ask how and why. The first question would refer to the process and the necessary steps whereas the latter to its purpose and audience. In teaching writing, this strategy, which I so often employed, corresponds to the process/genre-based approach that seeks to combine the process- and the goal-oriented approaches (Rusinovci 702). Therefore, the course offered strategies based on modern teaching methods that I found useful in overcoming the writer’s block that used to be my main issue.
To sum up my experience in this English writing course, I would like to say that I am satisfied with my progress as of now. I had already had a good command of English, and the course changed my way of thinking and proved that creativity is attainable when a person exerts a conscious effort. I discovered what role critical thinking plays in developing writing skills and how constant inquiring help facilitate the thought process. The course also showed that the process of writing itself and the purpose of a written piece are equally valuable. All in all, learning is a journey that never ends, and for me, this course appears to be a step I successfully made.
Abdi, Ali. “The Effect of Inquiry-Based Learning Method on Students’ Academic Achievement in Science Course.” Universal Journal of Educational Research, vol. 2, no. 1, 2014, pp. 37-41.
Portage Learning: Accredited Online Nursing-School Pre-Reqs. Portage Learning, 2018, Web.
Rusinovci, Xhevdet. “Teaching Writing Through Process-Genre Based Approach.” US-China Education Review A, vol. 5, no. 10, 2015, pp. 699-705