Reflective- Kailee Whiting

Composition Boot Camp

Just like any other second semester freshman I wearily accepted the reality that I would have to suffer and take another Composition class. But that reality was soon obliterated when I found myself sitting in an organized thought driven environment that encouraged us to speak and discuss topics at hand. There was absolutely no comparison between my second and first semester Composition classes. Applying myself in the classroom and outside to work on my essays, I believe that I have improved my abilities to revise efficiently and correctly, analyze my sources, and make ethical decisions

Revisions might just be what the doctor ordered when it comes to creating a masterpiece in Comp II. My first draft is unfortunately never proofread due to the fact that it is completed mere minutes before it is due. So revision is an absolutely necessary skill I had to learn in Composition II. With an incredibly skillful professor lending his hand every step of the way, revision became less threatening. He deconstructed my papers; every sentence was put under a microscope. I would follow his instructions and put my own twist on things, sometimes even rewriting the entire essay for the better. Even after submitting multiple drafts he would have ideas for revision. Teaching me that even the best papers need revision.

Without outside information a person virtually knows nothing. We learn from outside sources. In an essay, especially a research essay, sources are the backbone of your argument. They provide the support to your ideas. In Composition II, each week I was presented with an argument that had to be supported or refuted that came from an online source. By refuting or supporting arguments each week I became proficient in analyzing and sources and constructing my essays around them.

Everyone has heard Uncle Ben’s famous one-liner, “With great power comes great responsibility,” from the Spiderman comic series. And while Uncle Ben was talking to his nephew about the responsibility that comes with being an adult, the responsibility to remain ethical when a class is on a blog can sometimes be hard to keep. Every essay submitted to our professor would show up on the blog, easily allowing people to borrow ideas from one another. This ability to view everyone’s essays all at once, particularly during revision, posed ethical questions of whether it was ok to borrow from one another and how much is too much. I read one girl’s essay and fell in love her approach on a subject and found myself copying her structure of the essay. Rewriting my essay over again, I felt that I might be on the verge of plagiarism, but was not sure. No matter how I wrote the essay I seemed to mimic her style. The moral dilemma that was presented in my Composition II class was different from any class I have had before.

Composition II influenced my writing in an incredibly positive way. I was floored on how fast my skills were honed and how I became a much more confident writer. But most importantly I became a better thinker because of Composition II. I have begun to question the world around me in different ways and found that the counterintuitive can be just as correct as the intuitive.


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One Response to Reflective- Kailee Whiting

  1. davidbdale says:

    You just might have borrowed that last idea unconsciously from Brent, Kailee. 🙂

    Thank you for the credit you’re offering me for your rapid advancement, but I think the work you’ve been willing to put in has made all the difference.

    I do like your observation that the blog was both a blessing and a temptation. Influence is always hard to avoid; even more so when someone in your class is writing well on the very topic you’re supposed to address. It’s good evidence of your maturity and integrity that you are able to avoid those influences, or rather to learn from them without leaning on them.

    As for Uncle Ben, he stole that quote directly from Voltaire, who either stole it from the Bible (Luke 12:48: “from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”) or simply made memorable a maxim that was already a cliche in his time.

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