Semester 1: Personal Writing Goals
After conferencing with Ashley Caruth, 11th grade Humanities teacher, on my literary analysis essay I have developed a few writing goals to work on this semester.
My first goal is to be able to write a clear and concise thesis statement. In the literary analysis essay the thesis was sloppy and too wordy and long. Tell me if you understand this quote from my literary analysis essay on “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail". "Henry David Thoreau was transcendental, he always tried to 'be' instead of just 'live', and spoke out but he didn’t live up to his beliefs that when there is an unjust law you need to not abide by it and that you need to take action to stop unjust laws instead." To be honest it doesn't really flow well at all and if you haven't read my rough draft of my literary analysis essay you would have no idea what it means. A better way to rephrase that, if I was going to keep it, would be "Henry David Thoreau was a transcendentalist. He spoke out but he didn't take any real action in the beginning, it is not until near the end of the play he learns he cannot run away from what the laws but he must stand and fight for what he believes in. In this way, Thoreau has much to teach us about the best way to fight injustice and live with integrity."
My second goal is to write clearer and more descriptively. Along with that is to not just say something and not touch base on it again or not give any more information about it. An example of how I do fail to clearly and descriptively write is in my literary analysis paper. More specifically in this quote in the second paragraph, "Everyone and everything that ever was and ever will be are all part of the Universal Mind... We are all part of this, everything transcends." In this paragraph I do not give a definition at all about the Universal Mind and what I do give makes no sense. A way I can improve this is by giving a definition and not just skipping over it without further information available to the reader. Instead of just adding what information I had I could dive deeper to really try to find a good/better definition. For example, "the Universal Mind is the idea that everything in existence or ever was or will be is all connected. Everything is made up of particles, what makes them different from us? The idea that, in a way, we must become one with the universe." What I can also do is add a quote that I believe references the Universal Mind idea and gives more information on it. If I start doing this I believe my work will surely improve.
My third goal is to create pieces of writing that is not just written from one point of view and perhaps changes throughout the writing in a clear and persuasive way. Instead of just sticking to one point of view exploring many different points of view to be able to create interesting pieces of writing. An example of how I don't do this is in my literary analysis paper in my conclusion especially. "What we can learn from Henry David Thoreau is that to transcend is to, in a way, experience new things and to be able to let go of things that worry us, to transcend our worries and pains." In my conclusion I represent Henry David Thoreau as though he did not live up to beliefs the whole play, when, he actually started living up to his beliefs in the end of the play. A way I could refine this is by writing an literary analysis that is more diverse and does not just stay with one argument and better representing it in the conclusion. Instead of the old conclusion I could say, as long as it corresponds with the rest of my paper, "Henry David Thoreau started learning in the end of the play that he did not have to live in the woods to not conform but could be among the people in the town and still be an individual. What we can learn from him is that we don't have to conform to everyone else to be a part of the 'town', but we can still be an individual. Henry encourages people to not 'go along'..."