As I worked thoroughly on my I-search paper, I was able to see areas that were in need of improvement. Last week, we were split up into groups and were assigned an I-search paper to read and discuss with our fellow groups. This day was most influential for me because I was able to see what an “above acceptable” paper were to sound like. Also, I felt like I was a big participant in this discussion. I went through points on the rubric and described to my group why I felt that David’s writing was considered excellent in each category. The way David displayed his passion for his topic really got me thinking of how I can do the same for my readers to effectively show my own passion to the search I had undergone. His paper not only helped me work on choosing the right kind of vocabulary to draw my readers attention, but it also was a great model when it came to transitions. I rearranged sentences and added transitions where I thought were needed.
When it came to the discussion with Mrs. Jankens, she helped me in the overall structure of my paper. She added her input on what she thought needed to go. For example, there were areas where she thought I was stating the same idea just in different words. There was also a paragraph where she thought needed to be split and included in perhaps other paragraphs like the introduction to enhance the overall flow of my paper. Meeting with her was very helpful as she helped me get closer to a final draft!
Peer response has always been a major influence for my projects. My peers would point out any grammar issues or help me find other ways to write particular sentences as one complete sentence. Peer response also helps when it comes to sentences that could be deleted or incorporated. Reading their papers, it helps me to build up on my ideas that I could incorporate into my own paragraphs to add more feeling to them. Also, reading the sample I-Search papers in class helped me in terms of finding what level of writing I am at with the rubric. It really helped me to stay on-track with my paper and show me areas in need of improvement. One area that I greatly improved on was setting the scene for my audience and describing my search more in detail. I have arranged and added better descriptions and eye grasping material into this paper that I hope is evident for the reader.
Reading the assigned texts on how to develop effective interview questions greatly assisted me in interviewing. Merriam’s text on observation and interviewing had useful information of how to work through my I-Search paper. It provided me with many ideas and strategies on how to successfully and efficiently conduct my interviews; what kind of people I need to be interviewing, what kind of questions are appropriate to ask, and how the overall interaction between the interviewer and respondent should be like. This was an important source for me since my I-search paper consisted of all primary sources. I chose to interview my mother, my aunt, my friend’s mother, and an immigrant I randomly met a couple of days ago while waiting for class to begin.
As a learner in this class, I feel like I have come a long way. I came into English 1020 with less of a backbone than I had originally anticipated but through posts and papers, I was able to grow in my writing. I’m so used to just writing research papers and essays with little to no area of adding emotion but Mrs. Jankens really requires and expects you to think and reflect on the material you are given. Her posts benefited me extremely in voicing my mind. She was the great push I needed to advance in my writing. Coming to America and enrolling in school, I was struggling to learn the English language while everyone in class was learning about the basics of writing. That really put me about 5 steps behind everyone else and since being like a normal kid, I didn’t realize the importance of catching up on those things until I grew up and matured. Things like writing do not come easy to me and I struggle to put my feelings on paper. However, Mrs. Jankens allowed me to activate that part of me to step out of my box and progress in English. Reflection would have to be my favorite out of the objectives because reflection helps in growth. It provides great understanding for what areas need to have changes. Once these areas are understood and modified, it allows me to achieve full satisfaction towards my paper. It helps in my writing to understand where my strong and weak points are.
I feel I have come near to fully accomplishing all the learning objectives for this class. Beginning with research, the I-Search paper has given me the opportunity to find answers to my questions. Through interviews and findings, I was able to effectively write an I-Search paper. There is so much more room for advancing in research as project 3 comes up and I work with my group members proposing changes in our familiar discourse community. For reading and writing, I have considered elements such as genre, discourse communities (related to Gee’s text), organizations, and style to incorporate in my writing. I am able to make complex connections with other readings now and draw pieces of information to include in my own literature.