Journey Reflection: Essay I Draft 2
For my first draft of this essay, I spent quite a bit of time brainstorming and thinking about the prompt. After reading the poem and discussing it in class, I knew what I wanted to say; however, I was having a hard time of getting it into words, much like with my second essay during last quarter. So I let the ideas mull inside my head and then, in a moment of clarity, I made a bullet-pointed list of my “clouds” of evidence (broad generalizations like “paradoxical language” or “stanza 7”) accompanied by shortened summaries of how my argument would connect. I then sat myself down and wrote my first draft straight through, trying not to obsess over specific phrasing, just to see where it would take me.
I then shared this draft in a Google document with my dad (something I do regularly) and had him read over it and leave comments. After having the first draft read over in peer review, I sat down with both my peer’s comments and my dad’s in front of me and went through my paper, paragraph by paragraph. I started working on the small sentence-level problems, phrasing and the like. Some of my sentences were just awkward, and having these pointed out to me made it clear where I was having trouble expressing my ideas. With these cleaner, clearer sentences now in front of me, I began to have a better understanding of what point I was getting at. From here, I started to work on larger, inter-paragraph concerns such as making connections and building continuity.
As I was pondering one particularly vague, question-begging sentence, a light bulb went off in my head. In trying to find a better example for a point I wanted to make, I unexpectedly discovered an entirely new perspective with which to write my essay. Now this isn’t to say that it’s changed the nature of my thesis, but I feel like I finally found the proper words and phrasing for what it was I wanted to express this whole time. Granted, it’s now a little late to be making such drastic changes for this second draft; however, I feel like I know where and how to work on my essay for the final draft.
Because I wrote the first draft so quickly, my thoughts ran free and evolved on their own. This is great, because my writing doesn’t feel forced; however, I need to make sure that I’m expressing my thoughts in an easily understood manner with consistent, recognizable phrasing. I plan on going through my paper (with my light bulb idea in mind) and streamlining my phrasing and explanations. Before I turn in my final draft, I’ll also probably have another peer look at my paper. I’ll likely share it with my mom as well. She likes to read my work and it’s helpful to have at least one person completely unrelated to the assignment read through it to make sure it all makes sense. While my essay is far from finished, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made as well as where I see it going. I feel that I’m grasping the concept of the assignment because it’s starting to feel like an essay with a message that I can believe in outside of the context of our class or this single poem.