Unit 1: Reflection

The first unit was an informative introduction to technical writing. Many basics and important areas were covered from professional emails to resumes and letters. There were many opportunities to apply what was learned and was very grateful for the feedback.

The guidance from the instructions on what to read and do helped a lot for the assignment of writing definitions. In particular, it was interesting to read about “Audience and Purpose.” This was because I was used to writing for a particular audience and through this assignment, earned to be more mindful of writing for other audiences. It encouraged open mindedness as well as exploration of perspectives. From this I learned how to more clearly communicate with multiple audiences by considering who the writing is for as well as why. By practicing doing so, it really highlighted the main points of what I needed to focus on writing about. In turn, doing so hopefully was better reflected in the clarity of the assignment.

When choosing which methods of expansion to use, it was a bit difficult. This was partly because of how many options there were but also, the methods brought to light how some words could be discussed at length as a separate concept. It challenged me to think critically about which methods would be most effective in conveying a meaning depending on the situation. For this definition I wanted to provide as much context necessary to give substance to the word “catharsis” but did not want to overwhelm an audience with text.

When peer reviewing, the peer review form provided by Dr. Paterson was guidance in learning how to review as well as which areas to focus on. It brought more attention to how work is reviewed and aspects that can be missed but are important. My partner had written on a financial term and I appreciated her clarity as well as organization. I found my teammate’s writing to be concise and to the point. It taught a different style of writing that communicated effectively.

It was thanks to my partner’s peer review I was able to make some changes to better communicate the definition. Though I kept in mind audience and purpose, many areas still needed clarification. For example, some of the words used in the method of expansion “History” could have caused more questions in an audience of “non-technical readers.”  The suggestions also prompted me to revise the structure of the piece. To break up heavy text, bullet points were used as well as applying the feedback to separate “Visual/Example” into their two respective methods of expansion. Doing so allowed more room in between and for information as well as ideas to not become tangled. I learned, editing a piece requires more focus. I needed to ensure that when writing, enough information is covered and conveyed in a clear manner so a reader may have an easier time digesting the piece. This can apply to any form of writing as well as in any situation. I am thankful for my peer review partner’s straightforward, honest and detailed insight.

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