Dear Future English110 students and CCNY English Department, 

English has never been my strong suit. I have struggled with the English language since I started learning how to write sentences. As a first year architecture student, this English class did not seem to be my first priority with the major models that I had to build. But with my time management skills, I somehow managed to complete my assignments on time and thrived in the class (for the first time in an English class!)

In this class, we focused on aspects of writing that none of my English teachers have ever done. Elements like reflection papers, peer reviews, the rhetorical situation and Course Learning Outcomes. At the beginning of the course, we learned about the rhetorical situation through the book: Norton’s Field Guide to Writing. Learning the rhetorical situation helped me understand that each element greatly impacts the way that the paper is written. For example, if one of the elements changes like the audience, the paper would become more formal or informal depending on who would be reading the paper. 

The reflection papers at first seemed very tedious and annoying to write. We had to consider each element of the rhetorical situation and Course Learning Outcome and describe how and why we wrote what we wrote and what we learned from the writing process. I only gained an appreciation for the reflection papers because they explain our thought process. 

Peer reviewing seemed to take up a large bulk of our time in the class. I did not understand why we had to spend so much time helping our peers in the drafting process. We utilized our surroundings and used the Smart Boards to edit our peer’s essays. We projected the essay on the board and analyzed the essay as a group to help the writer. I now understand why it was so important to spend time and help out peers in the editing and drafting process. 

I was really not expecting to gain as much as I did from this class, while really enjoying it. This class requires a lot of work through drafting, peer review, collaborative efforts and genre analysis but in order to understand the process of writing, these techniques were necessary.