When I was first confronted with the task of interviewing a complete stranger and writing an entire 1000 word article about her, I will admit I was quite overwhelmed. After I finished the interview, I listened to my recording of the conversation and jotted down a summary of the most important points. Additionally, I read several interview articles from The New York Times and The Guardian to get an idea of how I could format my piece. With my planning phase complete, I then went on to actually writing the article, which consumed the majority of my time. Of course, I made sure to use the parts of the interview that would best support my thesis.
Once I finished writing my first draft of the article, I went back to revise my work. I made sure to include quotes, to provide evidence for my claims. Also, after hearing that we should reference our sources, I ensured to mention an article I read that fit in really well with one of my paragraphs. I finally just checked over my grammar and mechanics of my essay, which were for the most part fine. Upon completion, I felt a sense of relief, but also content that I wrote about a topic that I had almost no knowledge about a few months ago. My interviewee, Rita, spoke of a perspective that I had never considered, and it made me become more aware of others’ backgrounds. Most importantly, this assignment helped me understand a point a view that was foreign to me.
Whenever I write, I follow certain steps in order to ensure that my work is the best it can be. Surprisingly, I was using many of the terms we discussed in class without even knowing. For example, I always start my writing process by reading my prompt and determining what the rhetorical situation is. This helps me plan what I will say in an essay because it gives me an initial idea of what details I will include. My next step is usually to think about as much information about the topic as I can and formulate a main idea to guide my writing. When writing the main idea, or thesis, I make sure that it is worded very specifically to address all parts of the prompt. Additionally, my essays tend to have similar structures, with a introduction, body, and conclusion. Within the body, I try to include a lot of pertinent evidence to support my claim. However, evidence alone isn’t enough. Right after presenting a new piece of evidence, I analyze it and explain how it relates back to my thesis. To conclude my process, I look over my completed work and revise it to rid it of any errors.
Although I use most of the keywords when writing, there are a few others that I haven’t. It didn’t occur to me to think about the audience that reads my writing. That may just be due to the fact that the only one that sees my essay is usually just my teacher or professor. Also, I don’t tend to reflect on my writing once I finish. Instead, I usually read it over to make sure it is acceptable and submit it. If I keep these keywords in mind next time I write, they will definitely help me write at a higher quality than in the past.
Sometimes the most important part of my writing isn’t the final product, but the steps it took me to get there. When I begin to compose an essay or any other type of writing assignment, I first think about what I am being asked to do. Obviously my approach to writing a comparative essay about two books would be much different than my approach to writing a movie review. Once I know my objective, I then brainstorm ideas about the topic I am writing about. For example, in the movie review, I might think about what happened, how I felt about different scenes, or analyze each character and his/her importance. My next step is to think about who my audience is. The formality of my writing greatly depends on who I believe will read it. I am definitely more formal in essays that I have to hand in for a class than in text messages to my friends. After that, I plan out how I want my work to be organized. If I’m writing something short, then I can skip this step; but if I have an essay, I figure out the structure (introduction, body, conclusion), and what information I want to put in each part.
After I have thoroughly planned, I begin to write down my ideas in a cohesive manner. I make sure that everything flows properly and transitions are smooth. I keep close attention to my grammar and punctuation and that I am staying on task. If I believe that my work is well-written, I may continue until I am completely finished. Otherwise, I will edit while I am still in the process of writing to make sure the final product is acceptable. Finally, once I have a draft completed, I fix any outstanding errors, re-read my writing, and submit it.