English 101 seemed a daunting task a few month ago as I nervously entered the classroom for the first time. Essays were never something I enjoyed doing in high school back in the late 1970's. Opening up my mind to the concept of writing with purpose, to me, has been the most valuable part of the experience. Not to mention I am eager to move on to English 102 in order to further my development. English 101 has given me the ability and taught me the value of being able to write well using acceptable cited research and properly vetting those research sources to insure reliability.
First, I learned that writing is a learned skill and not necessarily something one is born with. In addition, I came to the realization that writing is not something I am too old to learn to do well. For instance, I have been able to achieve better than average scores on my class assignment, quizzes, and essay's. Most of my life I have avoided writing thinking of it as a chore that should be avoided if possible. My limited education has been one reason for my not considering writing as one of my more reliable skills. But my main reasons for not writing have been my poor penmanship and spelling skills. Today, with spell check features I am able to write legibly and spelling help is immediately available. English 101 has emboldened me to write and to write well. .
Secondly, the art of locating and citing research is a valuable part of what I have learned in English 101. No longer do I just grab an article from Wiki and think I have what is needed to present a convincing presentation. In fact, many times I have disregarded articles that differed from my preconceived conclusion when attempting to find support for my position. I now understand that sources of information need to be of a higher quality and that using opposing views can help me frame my argument better by showing evidence against their claims. For instance, in my essay four assignment, I included an opposing view to my conclusion on the debate over addiction being a disease or the result of bad behavior.