The course objectives are to develop students’ academic writing skills via getting them acquainted with the core terms and notions of the writing process. The program involves various assignments aimed at enriching students’ knowledge base and enhancing their writing style. During the course, students learn to complete different parts of writing activities and perfect the skills they have already got. The things I have learned during 001 are outlining and summarizing, writing three types of essays, and generating a thesis statement. Each of these competencies is vital for my further study and profession, and I am glad I obtained a chance to develop them through this course.
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Outlining and summarizing are significant parts of mastering academic writing. Writing an outline for an essay is almost half the work done. That is why I appreciate the ability to create a plan for my future essay. To write an outline one needs to analyze what the work will be about and divide it into segments. Thus, before creating a plan, one needs to consider the main idea of writing, plan the number of paragraphs and think of subheadings if necessary, and determine the length of each part depending on their significance. When an outline is ready, it is clear what the paper structure will be, and it is easier to complete the task. Even if some things may change in the course of writing, an outline is rather helpful for the process. Summarizing is another vital skill as it helps identify the core elements of the paper. Writing a summary gives an opportunity to reevaluate the message of writing and consider its correspondence to the task. Summarizing teaches us the skill of concentrating on the most important things and disregarding insignificant information. Most of all, it instructs how to differentiate between these two types of data. The ability to summarize allows discerning the essential things in a suggested piece of reading.
Another valuable skill I obtained from the course is the ability to write various types of essays, namely persuasive, descriptive, and compare/contrast essays. This technique is frequently needed, and I am glad that I had a chance to be trained about it. A persuasive essay develops the skill of convincing the readers of the consistency and validity of one idea over another. To write a persuasive essay, it is necessary to get well aware of both concepts and concentrate on the one you want to defend. To do this, it is required to find reliable sources and be able to analyze them. A descriptive essay does not demand so much critical assessment as a persuasive one does, but this assignment type develops creative abilities. To write a descriptive essay, a student needs to generate his/her imaginative skills and characterize some episode or image from the personal background. A compare/contrast essay has something in common with a persuasive one as it also presupposes the investigation of two subjects. However, while in a persuasive essay it is required to prove the value of one thing over the other, in a compare/contrast essay it is necessary to describe the common and divergent features of two notions without judgment. A compare/contrast essay presupposes good analytical skills. During the course, my essay writing skills have evolved greatly. I used to have difficulties composing persuasive and compare/contrast essays, but I can write them quite well now.
Writing a thesis statement is one more crucial skill that I obtained during the course. It is the thing that used to present the biggest difficulty for me. Generating a thesis statement is problematic because it is not merely restating a theme of an essay. It incorporates the essay topic with the author’s point of view on it. Moreover, it is not enough just to express a viewpoint; it is necessary to confirm it with some evidence. As a thesis statement goes at the beginning of an essay and influences the audience’s willingness to continue reading, it should be created with thorough consideration. Before generating a thesis statement, it is necessary to find out as much as possible about the subject and then to restrict the knowledge to the part to which one wants to draw attention. If a thesis statement is too broad, the paper will need to be very long. It is a good idea to include some supporting concepts in a thesis statement. For one thing, such inclusion will enable the reader to see what to expect of the paper. For another thing, it will help the author not to distract from the main points.
The basics of academic writing are vital for any student who wants to succeed. The 001 courses have provided me with the possibility to enhance my writing skills and obtain some new knowledge. During the course, I learned how to write various essay types, how to summarize and outline a paper, and how to create a powerful thesis statement. My skills are not perfect yet, but I am much more confident about them and feel encouraged to proceed with my study.