My Reflective Essay And Hemingway

Improved Essays
Reflection of Writing
Having to revise an essay is never easy, especially if one thinks their essay is “perfect” already, but that is exactly what Professor Michael Martin made his English 366 class do for their final portfolio. The task of picking the essays was one of the most challenging parts of creating the final portfolio, because I was unsure how to tackle an essay rewrite, and I was afraid that the improvements I would make would bring down my essays instead of enhancing them. After taking into consideration on which two essays would be easiest to critique, I decided to revise the “Place-Based Writing Essay” for the long essay and the “Hemingway Place-Based Essay” for the short essay, which were my two best papers I wrote for the course.
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I was advised not to choose the “Place-Based Writing Essay”, because it had been awhile since the class went to Laurel Valley Plantation, but since I had photographs, it made adding more descriptions to the essay a breeze. Another reason why I chose this particular essay over the “Evaluative Essay” was because the “Evaluative Essay” was too complex to break down/ revise with quotes. Looking at both of the essays together, I quickly realized that the “Place-Based Writing Essay” would be easier to make corrections to, and the essay provided clearer sentences, which I could easily add more details to. Like the short essay that I revised first, I tackled the long essay the same way. I looked at the corrections/suggestions that Professor Martin made on my essay, and I made my revisions according to his notes. At certain times, it was difficult to read his handwriting, but I made the revisions to the best of my ability. First, I made simple grammatical corrections such as adding commas, changing some tenses, and fixing easily mistaken words such as changing the word “site” to “sight”. Then, I tackled adding more detailed paragraphs, such as describing Ms. Kitty, a net, the cabins, the sugar cane field, the animals, and the signs. Next, some sentences had a repetitive sentence structure. For an example, the “Before heading back” paragraph contained about five sentences that started with the word “I”, so that …show more content…
Lastly, I fixed minor grammatical errors that I did not previously catch proofreading the essay the first time. All in all, the “Place-Based Writing Essay” was not too intensive to revise, but the revisions did take approximately a full day of work, since I added a full page and strategically made corrections throughout the essay in order to enhance it.
To be honest, I have never revised an essay this intensely before, so this assignment was something new for me. There was a consistent struggle in my mind saying, “Am I improving this essay, or am I taking away the elements that made this paper great in the first place”? This last assignment truly pushed me out of my writing comfort zone, and in the long run, doing more of these type of writing revisions will make me a better writer. I can honestly say all the assignments I have done for this course improved my writing ability. Writing in the first person was another first for me, and with Professor Martin’s help, he showed me how write in the first person without using “I” in every sentence by giving me examples of essays in the course textbook. Another writing technique that pushed me out of the box was the long essay assignments. The goal was to connect a topic with famous American essay writers, such as Didion, Dillard, Walker, Muir, and Baldwin. For example, I had to connect Laurel Valley Plantation, which is a southern, sugar cane plantation, to Muir’s essay, which is

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