At the beginning of the semester, right after my first paper, It occurred to me that I didn’t have a clear cut process with which I approached my papers. After the first two, I took the time to outline my ideal process for essays. This involves developing a problem early on in the unit, and building it around what I see in the material as a whole, not just finding an unfocused idea to explore. One of my biggest stumbling blocks it attempting to skip the problem frame for the claim itself. This problem wasn’t exactly resolved in this class, but I now know how to avoid this issue. Next, I build the scaffolding of my argument, which includes headers reminding me what I’m trying to prove, points to address, and quotes that support my argument, with particularly helpful parts bolded for the time being. In my writing a paper outline, I note that without an outline, the paper tends to lose it’s train of thought and become more jumbled and less coherent. Finally, I add the rest, which includes close reading, more developed arguments, and writing my conclusion. This document was repeatedly consulted throughout the process of each of my papers, though I’ll admit that it wasn’t a fool-proof way to avoid my various stumbling block. Instead, it served as more of a guide.
As for revision, I realize in hindsight that I should have revised as I went, instead of saving it all for the weekend before finals. While my skills as a peer reviewer have seen vast improvements, my skills as a reviser have not seen as many improvements as I’d like them to have. The essays I selected were chosen for two reasons, the first being that they were the ones I found most interesting, which compelled me to want to explore them further. The second reason is that I think I have the most to gain from addressing the particular problems with these essays. The links to each of the four revised essays can be found in the drop down menu labelled “Presentation Portfolio”.