Self Assessing for Writing

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When do we self-assess? It happens more often than you think. When we second guess ourselves is self assessing. When we rethink about things in different ways is self assessing. But how does it connect with writing. Me and my fellow scholars spent a good two hours trying to find that out.

It is good to self-assess because you get to build your learning and thinking. Just thinking of one subject and giving your opinion is one thing. But to rethink or keep thinking about it more will eventually turn the conversation into a bigger one. Or spark new ideas. Making it grow. It feels good to come up with new ideas and let it out. Instead of thinking of it and never letting it out to others. It may possibly be what they were thinking of too. Or even just a new idea that will spark another idea in their mind.

Self-assessing is what makes part of the new ideas and knowledge making grow. Growing these ideas will soon to spark new ones that have not yet been explored yet.

What I Gathered from COMP 150

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I believed summer classes were easier than semester classes. Boy, was I wrong!! I was pushed to my limits. I was forced to do things outside my box or comfort zone. I explored more of the “stretch zone” as a scholar, Eric Shaw, put it.

I was pushed to take notes constantly and at the same time listen to what others are saying around me. I was good at doing this in the beginning. Now I am great at it. It really helps to write everything down because it is easier to recall when I need it for reference. My note taking kinda slacked a little bit near the end, but then I kicked my self back into gear to start taking more notes again. I forget how simple it is for me to take notes and listen, but sometimes I become lazy. I would say that is my WORST weakness.

I had troubles with reading. When I was a little girl, I loved to sit in the hallway of my first home in Shiprock, New Mexico, and read with my little brother. Then I went to school. And reading was never the same for me. I can’t remember what had actually happened. I just remember not ever liking to pick up a book and read anymore. And since then I have been a slow reader. I finally realized this past April 2014, that I tend to trip over the smaller words that have four or less letters in them. So when I get assigned a reading, I panic! I not only panic about the reading, I panic about what the teacher will do when they find out that I did not do the reading assignments. They are almost always disappointed in me. Then I become depressed and don’t feel like trying. And it’s a never ending cycle. I had this struggle in this first summer session of COMP 150.

One thing I did enjoy and did pretty good on was speaking in class. I never ever comment and give my opinions in class. It is always hard for to say what I want to say. I never knew fun it can be to produce so much knowledge within two hours with other scholars. When we get started the white board is white. Then when we hit the two hour mark, the board is covered with many colors of markers and letters. All having to do with what we said as a whole. I enjoyed giving my thoughts because most of the time my fellow scholars can relate. It was fun making knowledge!

Blogging for Our Audience

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In class we talked about what we owe our audience as a blogger. What is our responsibility? A bunch of things came to mind.

We owe them accuracy. To have the sources we add to be accurate. It can be frustrating to have a link take you to a blank page or the captions of pictures mixed up. Then you’re completely lost. I know we all make mistakes, but one thing that can help bloggers is revision. Have the art and practice of revision avoids those mistakes that can confuse people. Just as my scholar Dyllon Mills added to our conversation yesterday, he said that he constantly revises and looks over material from the past and wonders if he was understood by his audience.

We owe them clarity. Not only do they need to easily flow through the site, the need to understand what we are saying. Being clear can be tough with some topics. Knowing your audience and using the right lexis will make things flow easier.

There are much more things that we owe to our audience: Entertainment, keep updating, keep it interesting, provide useful information, add more personality, and be user friendly.

Public Writing

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As a sit here, where I am MOST comfortable, in Jones Hall at Fort Lewis College, I write to you through technology. Why is this so important? I can only answer a what I know. This how I can communicate with other people that is not only my scholars here at Fort Lewis. You can easily start a private conversation with yourself or another person. But to put that conversation on a public thing such as a blogging page is a lot different. It also seems like it has to take some courage to talk about things in a public way that is not just in private with others.

This multi-model writing is important because it takes the conversation to another level. It great to have more than one opinion about something but even more great to have a lot more opinions. Well, I guess it depends on the subject. It is possible that you are not the only one with the same conversation going. Maybe how you see it is unique but the topic itself could be common.

Researching Effectively

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Yesterday morning, a librarian staff gave a presentation on how to research material effectively. I learned a lot. They important thing I would say that I learned was how to limit my searching online when I default and choose Google as a search engine. You can use quotation marks around your words and it will find the phrase within the text. Another thing is to put “site:edu, org, or gov, etc.” This help to limit the kind of website it takes you to.

Another helpful thing that I learned about was the school library website. They have a special search engine there to help find your materials and subject. The librarian showed us how to look up certain topics. She also showed how to limit the search there. And I learned how to get a text that I want if it is not available to me. There is a link that takes you to another link to request a text that you may need or want. Then the library will help get you that piece of text. I really like that idea.

The librarian showed how to use other kinds of search engines online that won’t track you and your searches. For example, if you like to search scenic images, and you are trying to do research on the tectonic plates, the computer will try to connect those searches together. And you will never find what you are specifically looking for. So, she showed other search engines that DO NOT track you and your searches. Here are two examples of non-tracking search engines she showed the class:

http://www.dogpile.com/

https://duckduckgo.com/

Organized Note Taking

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The Easy Writer text mentioned how to take efficient notes. It gave some things you should think about while taking your notes.

The first thing is to write down main points that would help you to understand the information. The second thing is to put the notes in your own words. Maybe even the way you would fit it into your writing. The third is to make sure you keep record of the source and where you got it from. Make a little note on the side that could help you to cite the source.

There are three different types of note taking mentioned. The first is simply quoting. See the older post “Using Quotes for Nothing”. The second way is paraphrasing and how it should be properly done. Having the right ideas, using the right words, and how to use the author’s sentence structure. The third is summarizing. Making sure you have to main points. And the last is annotating notes and try not writing down word for word, or as Bill says, underlining. Respond to what you are reading and record your thoughts.

Using Quotes for Nothing

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In the book, Easy Writer, I read a section on using a quote as a source and then keep on writing without making a connection to what your writing about. I am sure many of us have done this at least once in our lives. I know I have many times. Knowing what to quote means as one piece and also knowing how it can support your argument is very important.

Using a quote just to fill up space is a common mistake that some writers make. I have pulled a quote from a random source that had my subject in the title. And I put the quote in my writing and when I received my paper, I was questioned about how does this help my argument. It’s simple to make this mistake, but to correct it may take some researching.

Researching the quote and knowing what the author means by those words is important to know AND understand. Understanding what it means makes it easier to work with the quote and using it in your writing. Reading it carefully through can minimize the chance of making the mistake in the first place.

New Experience & Friends

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This is the first time I have ever created a blogging website. It is a new experience for me. It is going to be hard to keep up, but I feel comfortable writing through technology. The interesting thing about this is that I can see my fellow scholars’ writings. I can see how ever one writes in their own unique way. I can almost feel myself reading previous papers that they have written. And hearing the resemblance to the way they talk and the way they write. I love getting to know people a lot more and becoming friends.