Unit 1: Reflection

Unit 1: Reflection

Links to my edited definition: Blog / Word doc

Link to Diane’s review of my definition: Review

Original Writing Process

Writing an apt definition is a vital yet underrated component of technical writing. It is something I overlook as I write research papers; I tend to dive right into the actual analysis, without establishing a solid foundation upon which an in-depth analysis can be built on. This week’s assignment forced me to take a step back and put myself in someone else’s shoes – someone who is unfamiliar with my discipline or area of study – by focusing on the basics of defining key terms. A good definition sets the tone of the rest of the writing and develops a common understanding across all readers. To write a definition that satisfies these two criteria, I made a series of choices during the defining process.

I began by choosing a term that was little-known but relevant to most people; this way, even if the reader was unfamiliar with the term, he or she would still be motivated to continue reading. The next challenge was to decide on the expansion strategies that were most applicable and useful in explaining the term just transition. In making that decision, I asked myself, if I were a reader, what would I want to know about a just transition? How did just transition relate to something I already know? Would I be interested to know more or fewer details? Thinking from the perspective of the readers allowed me to predict their expectations and choose the strategies accordingly. I also learned to be being mindful of the language I used to explain the term. Since the readers were supposedly non-experts, I had to constantly remind myself to refrain from using jargons and overly technical explanations.


Peer-review Process

Reviewing someone else’s writing was both a rewarding experience. It is because I could observe how my peers approached the same assignment different and learned from their writing styles, elaboration techniques, and language usage. Diane’s writing was particularly on point and effective, which contrasted with my wordy definitions. The way she explained her term, transformative learning, was clear and easy to follow, especially with her use of lists to demonstrate the operating principles. These are some of the things I have noted down to apply in my next assignments.


Editing Process

Diane paid great attention to detail when she reviewed my definition. She pointed out a range of grammatic, punctuation, and formatting mistakes I missed and suggested ways to avoid them. Her comments serve as a great reminder that these details are as important as the content itself. I also appreciated her suggestions to shorten some of the sentences, which is something I struggled with the most. I would certainly utilize Diane’s editing skills to review my writings in the future, and I hope to be a more careful writer as encouraged by Diane throughout the semester.

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