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Critical reading and writing skills

ENG 101R End of Term Portfolio Self-Assessment ENG 101 has been an interesting course that has enabled me develop critical reading and writing skills. While making summaries, evaluations, arguments and responding to other students’ works, I was able to perfect these skills of critical reading and writing. Critical reading and writing are crucial skills for students in understanding others’ writings and writing own works that communicate to the audience in an incredible way. At the start of the course I had four goals to meet. One was to gain an understanding on processes of composing and analyzing a variety of visual, print and digital media as well as rhetorical strategies. The second goal involved gaining awareness of my development into a successful writer. A third goal was to be able to use writing as a way to think via topics and ideas. Finally, I wanted to gain the ability to analyze conventions and to write efficiently in the college discourse community. During the semester I had several comments on my works by peer reviewers. I had to dwell mostly on thesis development, making comparison and contrasts as well as development of arguments. I completely lacked these abilities at the beginning of the course, but I have been able to gain tremendously in using these skills in my writings. The course had a number of objectives including enabling students to develop critical skills in reading and writing; to compare and contrast issues in journal articles, books and other pieces of writings; to develop themes and be able to articulate them throughout the essays; to tailor essays to meet the expectations of the audience as well as capture their attention; and to develop creativity in writing own works as well as revising and editing them to omit errors. To this far, I have done excellently in these objectives. I can write captivating essays for a variety of audience. I can read and write critically; and I can develop interesting arguments from others’ writings. These writing strategies have made me improve in my quest to become a successful writer. My reading and writing have also improved immensely. Before, I could not involve the use of critical thinking, comparison and contrasting in my reading and writing which I can now include in my works. I have gained confidence in my writing, which completely lacked at the beginning of the course. I have learned that critical reading is an extremely crucial attribute of an accomplished writer. One cannot just read to accept views of other writers. A writer can read and differ with the author. At times, a writer accepts the position of another writer. In all these cases, the writer gives supporting arguments for the position he or she takes. I have gained immensely in these attributes. This is what critical reading and writing entails.  The essay assignments have been of great help to my improvement of writing skills. I benefitted a lot from class discussions, group work and the eight class embedded consultant (CEC) sessions. These helped to sharpen my writing skills by critiquing my works, writing comments and making their views on the works, which my writings were based. However, I still need to improve on the use of causal analysis and process analysis in my reading and writing. Another area that I need to put more efforts is the use of captivating language for various audience. Despite all this, I think that the efforts I have input in my assignments are enough to enable me score an A in this course. In conclusion, for one to succeed in critical writing he or she undergoes a process. Working with others, seeking others’ comments such as peer reviewers and CEC sessions are interesting helpers towards an accomplished writer.