How my Discourse Community Essay Helped me Improve my Literary Analysis and Writing Skills

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Updated: May 15, 2023
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Although I have only taken one semester of English, my writing skills have improved greatly. Going through the English program has taught me so much about essay writing. I have learned here how to write and express myself, how to properly revise and edit an essay, and how to apply skills I learn from one class to another. The process of developing and achieving learning goals has expanded my literary analysis and writing skills.

To help develop these skills, I began to understand the ways that readers and writers write in and beyond the university.

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Throughout the semester, we would watch and read TED Talks which appealed to many different people like teenagers or adults. The main TED talk that helped me understand how to tailor my writings to my audience was “The Fringe Benefits of Failure” by J.K. Rowling. I also began to take risks by participating in group reports and having my ideas conveyed to others. Whenever one of us had to share our essays, we were taking a risk by asking someone to critique our essays. The discourse community essay helped me make sense of myself and the world around me by requiring me to analyze my communities around me. The readings from Everyday Writers helped me take what I learned and apply it to my essays. I also began to value academic integrity, and I had to become responsible if I wanted to succeed. Going to the writing center to fix my essays showed how I not only took a risk but how I took responsibility to get something done.

The second goal I had to meet was to understand the processes of reading, writing, and research. I know my ability to write and express my ideas has grown over the semester because before I would never plan out an essay before I wrote it. I developed the strategy of clustering, and this helped me generate ideas which I could use on my essay. As I began to understand the process of writing and reading over time, I was able to give and receive constructive criticism on peer drafts which benefited the members in my group. Parts of the writing process required me to organize my essay to support my point of views, and I began to stop using the basic 5-paragraph style.

Writing essays was the main factor which contributed to me understanding textual conventions. All the essays I wrote helped me learn how to write various styles of papers in different forms and different fields. The readings from Everyday Writers helped me learn how to evaluate and cite sources appropriately by explaining how to cite sources from books or online. Syntactic maturity and sentence clarity came over time, but the editing workshop helped correct my sentences by having someone else read your paper out loud to you. Editing my work for appropriate grammar and mechanics came with the revision process and the peer response drafts.

Participating and engaging in the group activities within class helped me understand that there is a communal process to writing. Working with a group provided feedback and several points of views that provided me with feedback on my writing. The peer and editing workshops helped our group to share our reading and writing with each other. Having someone else read our essays helped tremendously because they helped us generate and critique our ideas in reading and writing. Participating in groups also helped because we were able to integrate our ideas with others and assist them in improving their essays. The discourse community essay aided us in using our reading and writing to engage the discourse communities within the university.

As my writing began to improve, I was required to be attentive of what I was doing and attentive with the process of writing. I began to generate my own questions from texts, not only from English but from my other classes as well. I adjusted my processes of reading and writing by annotating articles for psychology and philosophy. The skills I learned helped me understand how to properly analyze articles and learn the most I can from them. The quickwrites we would write before turning in an essay engaged us in self-reflection by requiring us to assess our reading and writing in relation to our learning goals and values. All of these skills were adopted and used in my other classes to help my reading, writing, and thinking processes progress.

John McWhorter’s “Txting is killing language. JK” helped me understand the relationship between language and identity by describing how texting has affected how we communicate with each other. The quickwrites we were assigned to do in class helped me reflect on the discourse communities I am a part of and helped me understand how they are formed. They also helped me to practice linguistic and cultural pluralism.

The skills that I have learned from this semester have greatly increased my writing ability. As time progresses, I hope to learn more and be able to apply these skills within and outside of school. This course has taught me many learning goals that I can apply to my other classes to become successful.

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How my discourse community essay helped me improve my literary analysis and writing skills. (2022, Nov 18). Retrieved from