When I began college I was an extremely confident writer. My freshman year of college I took English 125 and English 225 and I received 2 grades I was extremely pleased with. Considering the fact that I didn’t have to consult much outside help with my writing in those courses, other than the professors, my confidence in myself as a writer continued to grow. In addition, when I edited papers my peers wrote freshman year, I didn’t see that they had a better command of the English language than I did. After freshman year, before I officially declared my History concentration and Minor in writing, I was confident that I could articulate myself in a sophisticated manner quite easily through the written word.
When I began the fall semester of my sophomore year everything changed. Once I began fulfilling requirements for my major, History, my confidence in my writing began to dwindle. One class in particular, History 318, really made me realize that my writing wasn’t as advanced as I thought it was. I had a 500-word blog post to complete between Thursday and Sunday every week for that class worth 50% of my grade. It took me about 5 hours to write and revise that assignment every week. However, despite my best efforts, my GSI ripped my blog posts apart quite regularly. She cited a plethora of mistakes I made throughout the posts every time I turned in the assignment.
My pride was hurt in History 318 because I was no longer receiving the grades that I wanted for my writing assignments. My subpar performance in the class was due to the fact that I didn’t really take advantage of the feedback my GSI gave me. In addition, I didn’t take advantage of my peers’ writing that was readily available to me in the class either. In History 318 we the course blog was readily available to me throughout the semester. When I began Writing 200 in the winter semester of my sophomore year, I decided to make a change.
I had to blog every week in Writing 200, as did in History 318, but this time I paid more attention to the writing style and the word choice of my peers. In addition, I decided to critically analyze the feedback my instructor gave me. As a result, I began to see how much I could improve as a writer. My peers in my cohort for the minor in writing also contributed to my growth as a writer as well. In Writing 200 I saw that some of my peers wrote more coherently than I did and that they used more advanced diction than I used.
Writing 200 was the class that helped me begin to restore my confidence in myself as a writer. Writing 200 forced me to analyze the comments my instructor gave me and analyze the writing of my peers. Those actions contributed significantly to my growth and development as a writer. Experience begets knowledge and I am confident that my experience in Writing 200 will bode well for me in any and all of my writing endeavors my 3rd year at U-M.