I have come to a crossroads with my evolution essay. I want to talk about how I feel like I have more freedom with my writing than I have ever before, yet I still wrote my entire essay in a traditional essay format. After talking to Shelley, we brainstormed a few ideas for some structural edits I could make to my essay, but she suggested I try this exercise to further develop some ideas to make my essay even better. I am supposed to write down the names of four real people and do the following:
Read your work aloud and try to imagine each person’s response. How welcome into your work is each person? How much would they understand? To what extent would they buy in to your work? You may or may not want to write in a way that each of them could understand, but it should help you make some decisions about what is working in the current draft and what needs work. Once you’ve done this, write a paragraph or two discussing the most important insights you gained from this exercise and a plan for what you’ll need to revise (and how) in the next draft.
<- Thanks brainyquote.com
Here goes nothing!
Mini Assignment: Who are you writing to?
A top expert in your field (someone whom you would really like to impress)
Fritz Swanson. He was my English 325 professor and gave me the most honest feedback of any professor I have had in college. He knew what I wanted to convey in my essays, even if I was unsure of it as I was writing.
His reaction: This is a good start, but think about how your message and structure connect. If you are arguing that you have become more creative with your writing and no longer feel constrained by the traditional essay format, why is it that you use it here? The argument is clear in the words, but not in the structure. Think of how you could mess this piece up so its not exactly what the reader expects.
A close peer in the minor in writing (someone who would give you a fair and honest critique of your work)
Melody, currently in my capstone course, was also in my gateway, and is conveniently my roommate 🙂
Her reaction: Dude (yes, I’m pretty sure she would start with this exactly), I like it, but I thought you wanted a more creative theme to tie it all together. What happened to that? Go with your gut!
A peer from outside the minor in writing
Rachael, another roommate of mine who is conveniently a writing tutor at Sweetland.
Her reaction: I like it! It is clear what you are trying to get across. Be careful with repetition of words and sentence structure, though.
Someone who isn’t an expert in writing or in your field
Danielle, my final roommate (see a trend here?).
Her reaction: You might want to add specific examples, rather than just summarizing things. This would help with your argument.
That was kind of fun, actually! It was good that I picked four people who would look at my project very differently. I am bummed I didn’t stick with my original theme for my essay (I was going to use a jail cell as a metaphor), but I think its for the best. The most important thing I need to change about my essay is its structure so it can match the argument of my essay. I think instead of going in chronological order (something evolution implies), I will use flashbacks to go back in time between discussions of my most recent writing. This will allow me to compare and contrast certain types of writing, for example comparing my first science writing piece to my most recent one.