In taking a closer look at the first paper I ever wrote for college (English 125), and the paper I ended up revising and also submitting for the Minor in Writing application, I learned a lot about my writing in terms of style, sentence shape and diction. Throughout my entire paper, I used mostly compound and complex sentences to drag my readers in. I also used a few compound-complex sentences when necessary to get a long-winded point across. The paper in particular was about the origins of salsa, and how it expanded into a popularized food loved by all across the nation. Here is an excerpt from the middle of my paper:
“The more popular and globally well-known salsa had become, the more physical and cultural changes it underwent, proving its adaptability. In 1991, it took ketchup for a ride, and became the most accepted condiment in all of the United States. Even so, salsa still sought out ways to prolong its success in the food industry. It tested the waters in a variety of geographic regions around the world, taking in seasonings and spices from India, Asia and even the Mediterranean.”
Interestingly enough, I rarely used the simple sentence shape. In reflecting upon my work, I noticed simple sentences did not fit well in this paper. The points I relayed to my reader were multipart; on the one hand, I spoke about the history and origins of salsa, and on the other I spoke about how it expanded and became so popular. Simple sentences, in my opinion, would not have had as strong of an effect as the compound, complex and compound-complex sentences I chose to use.
In terms of diction, I would like to highlight the first two sentences to the introduction to my paper:
Salsa is perfectly paired with a salty, brittle Tortilla chip. It fits nicely inside a spongy, warm burrito, until it quickly seeps through onto the tips of your fingers. It mixes effortlessly with the meat or chicken inside a hard-shell taco, one that serves as a dip for the freshly picked vegetable platter in the middle of the dining room table.”
In reflecting upon my work, I noticed that I chose words that made the food come alive. Phrases like “perfectly paired,” “fits nicely,” and “mixes effortlessly” give salsa on the whole a sense of belonging, as well as a sense of power. It’s almost as if other food yearns to be paired with salsa because it such an amazing addition to meals, and vice versa, in the way that salsa is versatile enough to be served with anything and everything.