Personally, I love workshops and think they are a wonderful component of writing courses. Sometimes writers get trapped in their own head and need someone to tell them what can be clarified or what they can add to enhance the piece. In my gateway class, everyone was very helpful and contributed meaningfully to the conversation. I noticed that for the first two projects the timing worked well with ten minutes of saying what could be done to further enhance the piece and ten minutes for the writer to ask questions. However, I do not think it is necessary to spend ten minutes stating what is working well with the piece because the writer is looking to improve, not to get praise. More time could be spent giving suggestions rather than complementing. I think a little bit of time dedicated to stating what the writer does well is necessary for the writer to know what not to change but I feel that most of the time should be spent with the writer addressing questions and the classmates providing suggestions.
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Everyone in the class was very polite and respectful when critiquing pieces. Having that respectful tone is key to maintaining a successful workshop session. In the past, I was reluctant to share my suggestions since I am not a professional who has received multiple degrees in a writing area. However, with this class I felt that my opinion was valued despite the fact that I was not a professional. I believe this is because the class was very close and comfortable with each other due to the small size and ice breaker events given in the beginning in the semester.
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My work was looked at for the first time in a workshop all semester today. I found it extremely helpful. Instead of people coming off as rude, they were excited to provide me new ideas and excited to see where my project is going to go. The enthusiasm was contagious and also made me excited to see where my project will go after I incorporate the feedback I received. I have so many new ideas on how to expand my remediation after workshop, such as by including more people on the Instagram page. A suggestion I have for future MiW students is to not listen to every piece of feedback given. Sometimes students have different ideas on what works and what doesn’t. One of my classmates and I did not agree with a suggestion another classmate provided. I am very happy another classmate did not agree with it either because I feel as though my project would be stronger by focusing on another aspect instead of the one suggested. I love hearing everybody’s ideas but it is important to remember to evaluate feedback critically. Overall, the workshop benefitted me tremendously and I look forward to continuing with my project based on the feedback I received.