Reading and answering prompt’s question was one of the things that I struggled during this class. I did not notice this problem until Prof. Zimmerman graded my first writing assignment and his comments on most of my paragraphs were “what’s the main idea in this paragraph and how does it relate to the title?” Unfortunately, I did not work on this problem until later this semester. To fix this problem, I had to follow a certain strategy that I learned over the time. For example, to revise my day one writing, I had to hold my pencil and read the prompt twice. Then, I underlined the important words, such as “more energized”, “less energized”, “known result”, and “happen next.” After that, I came up with ideas and relate them to the keywords that I underlined. For example, I related the idea of immigrating to the United States to the key word, “less energized.” Then, I supported my idea by explaining how applying to asylum and the fear of receiving the rejection letter made me feel less energized to work hard at my school.
This strategy did not only work with this essay but it also worked with my profile essay. For example, the way I revised my profile essay was to go over each paragraph and then ask myself “what’s the main idea behind this paragraph and how does it relate to the thesis or the whole idea behind the essay?” The way I started was that I wrote in one sentence what the point of my essay was and underlined the key words. Then, I went through each paragraph and started relating them to the keywords. My fifth paragraph in this essay talked about how EMTs at Boston College receive various kind of emergency calls. To relate this idea to my title, “How to Help EMTs”, I decided to talk about how BC students can help BC-EMS by informing them what kind of emergency call they’re going to have. EMTs can be more prepared to treat their patients when the person who calls 911 gives details about the patient. In addition, to make my paragraph more thoughtful, I thought about the reasons why people would not give some details and I tried to develop a solution and an argument. I recently noticed how this strategy changed my writing style and made it more critical and focused on the main idea behind each essay.
In the beginning of the semester, I thought that the point of class workshop was to show how critical and well written our essays were. In other words, I thought that we do it to show our muscles of strong writing. Later on, I noticed how students who do well in the class are the ones who ask during the class for any suggestions or ideas to improve their essays. Therefore, I decided to start asking my friends to read my work to improve any unclear idea. This strategy improved my writing and developed some new thoughts to my essays. For example, for my profile essay, one of my friends saw that I needed to work on the order of my ideas in the paragraph that I talk about EMTs in Massachusetts and Boston College. He recommended me to highlight each sentence based on it’s main idea. Then, I would connect all the sentences that have the same color together so I keep related ideas together. This was a great trick to bring all of my related ideas together. Also, my friend saw that my conclusion was restating the main ideas instead of building up on what I wrote. In other words, he told me to ask myself “So what?” to be able to come up with a thoughtful conclusion. This helped me a lot by ending my essay inviting students at Boston College to call BC-EMS if their friends are not feeling well from doing illegal actions even if this will put them in trouble. I talked about how the idea of saving a friend’s life is the most important thing during emergency situations. Class workshop and peer feedback taught me how asking from people to look at my essay is a good idea before I submit any paper. People who read it for the first time might be able to see unclear things that I don’t see and come up with some solutions.
By the end of this course, I learned that to be able to write a critical and strong essay, I need to always build up on the ideas that I gain from articles, interviews, peer feedback, and my personal experience. This reminds me of the word Ohana. In the Hawaiian culture, Ohana means family who bound together and support each other. For writing, it’s very important to make sure that my sentences together make one main thoughtful paragraph and all of my thoughtful paragraphs are related together to support the main idea behind the whole essay. To be able to connect my sentences and paragraphs together, I need to make sure that they clearly answer the prompt. To do so, I need to enjoy writing, give it some time, and ask from other people to read my work. Although this can be long and boring, writing is not supposed to be easy.