This course has helped to me to improve my reading, writing and research skills. Before learning this course, it was very hard for me to write a good essay. After the course, I was conversant with all the parts of speech and I could use them correctly. I have learnt how to develop a quality research paper. The most important lesson in writing is a strong mode of communication. Since it is expressed in words, they should pass on the intended message or information (Gibaldi, 2009). Choosing the right words is the most important thing in essay writing (Behren & Rosen). I learnt how to choose appropriate words and write correct sentences.
My best topic was learning how to write research essays. They involve having a problem that requires investigation (Both et al, 1995). Therefore, I need to collect information from relevant sources and present it in one of the research processes. I discovered I am good in developing research strategies. “A search strategy is a systematic plan for tracking down sources (Hacker, Bernhardt, & Sommers).” The most interesting part of research is carrying out field research. Interacting with people is exciting and helps a writer to get accurate data. This is what enables me to write a good paper. Research is important especially when it is documented. Other people learn a lot from research work, which has been documented. For example, when I did my research essay, I used research work documented by other scholars. Most of them are books in the library and can be searched through a catalog.
The most problematic area is documentation styles. I have not yet understood all the styles. My instructor told me sometimes I use two styles instead of just one. “Three commonly used styles are MLA, APA and CMS (Hacker, Bernhardt & Sommers).” Chicago manual of style (CMS) is a combination of MLA and APA (Turabian, 2007). This style has challenged me a lot because I find it confusing. However, I am making improvements by studying keenly each one of them. I decided to write many essays and format them in the various styles. This practice will assist me to distinguish their difference. My classmates have tried to show me an easy way of learning the styles. I will soon comprehend them fully. Generally, has improved my writing skills as well as my English. I am confident because I can communicate efficiently in writing. I intend to carry out my studies and document my work in the libraries. These lessons have not only helped me in this course but also in others. Learning how to write English is fundamental for all students (Wardle & Downs, 2011).
This course has helped me to become a good communicator in English. I can comfortably speak and write correct English. This is what has enabled me to become good at research papers. I plan to enhance my areas of weaknesses and capitalize on my strengths. I can improve my weaknesses by using my classmates help. They have suggested several ideas I could use.
Behrens, L., & Rosen, L. J. (2008). Writing and reading across the curriculum. New York: Pearson Longman.
Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (1995). The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gibaldi, J., & Modern Language Association of America. (2009). MLA handbook for writers of research papers. New York: Modern Language Association of
Hacker, D., Bernhardt, S. A., & Sommers, N. Writers help. A Bedford/St. Martin’s online handbook . 2010. 1st March, 2012
Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2004). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Turabian, K. L. (2007). A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wardle, E., & Downs, D. (2011). Writing about writing: A college reader. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.