Project 2 was a good turning point this semester. It brought all the concepts I learned thus far in ENG1020 together and let me implement them all in one paper. I enjoyed this project and learned a bunch: personal narrative writing, interviewing processes, learning conciseness, being ruthless when it comes to revisions (I revised my paper at least six times) and finally learning how to put my true feelings out in the open.
There were many factors that influenced my writing. The articles on interviewing were very helpful for Project 2 as all my information was solely based on personal interviews. Merriam’s article on conducting effective interviews was very helpful when it came to coming up with questions for interview. I also read articles using Wayne State’s library database for inspiration on interview questions. All the interviews I conducted went surprisingly well –I would call them conversations opposed to interviews. I chose to interview three different types of students: students living at Wayne State, students living on campuses aside from Wayne State, and students who once lived at Wayne State and now commute. I got different answers from each type of student which helped formulate different ideas and ways to approach my “meaty” paragraphs in Project 2.
Reading the example I-Search papers in class also helped immensely while writing my I-Search paper. It helped me know I was on the right track and it did not have to be as formal as I thought it di—it just needed to be honest, relevant, and concise. It also gave me a good standing on how I should organize my paper and which details to include and exclude.
Another important factor that influenced my writing (and thinking) process in Project 2 was the peer response in class. After reading my draft for Project 2, a student pointed out that I really was not answering my question and suggested thinking of a new question. I cannot express my gratitude towards this student enough. After class she and Mrs. Jankens helped me come up with a new question that made my I-Search go much smoother and made it much more enjoyable to write.
After changing my question, I changed my I-Search and revised the way I went about writing my paper. I had a meeting with Mrs. Jankens which I found especially helpful and encouraging as I was still struggling with putting my feelings on paper. After my meeting with Mrs. Jankens I was able to get a better grip on my motivation for my I-Search topic and pushed through the rest. A lot of anxiety I was having about others reading my paper was reduced and I finally was able to be honest on paper, which I thought made it a much more enjoyable read.
I also appreciated how my ENG1020 class suggested sentence and structure revision when reviewing my paper on the projector. It helped me get a good bearing on where I was in my paper and what structural changes I needed to make. They were supportive and constructive critiques and made my first paragraph sound a lot less wordy and redundant. I used the same tactics on my own for the rest of my paper. I genuinely hope whatever feedback I gave to the students who asked for it were as satisfied with my criticism and their projects as I was. This paper really was about both the journey and destination—I hope my classmates enjoyed writing this paper as much as I did.