When I write on other forums such as social media or personal emails to friends, I rarely go through the planning phase. In addition, I also rarely take the time to think about the audience and am mostly focused on my needs only as to what is most convenient for me. For example, I may write the first words that come to mind and often used abbreviations instead of the whole words to save time. If I am not sure whether the reader may be familiar with the abbreviations I use, I assume he/she may find it from someone or simply search on the internet. In other words, I expect the intended audience to have the same knowledge and characteristics as me.
As I started taking a more scholarly approach to my writing, it was a little frustrating in the beginning due to the additional time investment I had to make because I always thought of writing as something that comes natural to you. Similarly, I would make many spelling mistakes in the beginning because spelling shortcuts and abbreviations would often find way in the writing out of habit. Plagiarism has also given me a tough time because I would often write something from personal knowledge which I had acquired either through reading a book or watching electronic media but the claims would be termed as plagiarism. I heard about plagiarism again and again in the class but it was challenging understanding what it exactly means because even when I didn’t consult an outside source, I would still run afoul of plagiarism.
I am confident I have mastered most of the learning outcomes for this course but it would be a very bold claim to argue that I have mastered every single objective. One of the things I have learnt in this course is that the best way to improve writing is through practice. The class has helped me become better familiar with rules and strategies but it is difficult to keep track of all of them and moreover, it takes time to change old habits. But I am confident I will continue to become better writer and in the near future, scholarly writing will come natural to me as a result of practice.
As far as clichés are concerned, the cliché that best describes the evolution of my writing process over the semester is all’s well that ends well. I will not say I particularly enjoy the scholarly writing process in the beginning because it required considerable time investment and it was also challenging keeping track of all rules. I had to change the way I had been writing for years, thus, I made frequent mistakes. In addition, some writing rules such as plagiarism were tricky to understand. Even when I thought I followed every process, I would later find out I missed many, thus, the disappointing feedback also negatively impact my morale. But like any skill, becoming a good writer takes persistence and hard work and now I actually feel I am much better writer. My confidence has increased and I believe the efforts were worth it because I will need scholarly writing skills in all college courses as well as in the real world. As I compare the costs to the potential benefits in the present and the future, it has been a profitable investment. Now that I am getting used to the rules, I have not only become better at writing but also more efficient. In addition, I have started discovering the benefits of different steps in the writing process such as writing an outline. When you understand the benefits, you are more inspired to stay on course.