Some people may be shocked by my openness with making my reflection a blog post but..YOLO
1. I think my biggest improvement this term has been meshing my own unique voice and a more analytically and academic style of writing. If you look at my first essay (Plato/Genesis/Kant), you would notice that it was a lot of opinion and had a thesis that was more difficult to prove contextually. I started this year with the idea that creative thought would get me good grades. This was soon disproved. I think I have improved in making my voice less prominent (although still there). If you look at my Marlowe/Bulgakov essay, my voice is still there and yet I use much more contextual evidence and intellectual language. I am still not at the point where I can just loose my personality, but I am getting there.
2. Although only Megan has commented on the wiki page (and only for two of my essays) I have a pretty good Idea of what have been frequent comments on my essays.
A. My first comment that I feel like i got multiple times was my syntax. I come from a much more “englishy” and creative writing background, so I enjoy using similes, hyperboles etc and I have noticed that in a few of my essays this has caused confusions. This was most prominent in my Antigone essay and my Rousseau one. Both times I was criticized for choosing the wrong word, making my point unclear. I thoroughly disagree with this criticism because this is a very subjective opinion. The english language is involving and therefore we shouldn’t be judged on the definition of words. Awesome by definition means excellent and impressive. I know that in today’s society, it has an argo slang to it, but it is just a great word to use.
B. I have also been told on numerous occasions (i.e every single essay) that i don’t fully explain my points, thus making them interesting and invalid. This was prominent in my Rousseau essay when I did not explain thoroughly all of my points (i.e the first two points). I think that I addressed this in my Carpentier essay and am definitely trying to improve on this in my upcoming Walcott/Cesaire essay. I think my main issue in this is that I think I have explained my points enough and believe that the reader will understand my thinking and make the connections, but they don’t.
C. I have awesome unique titles and introductions that really attract and grab the reader. This was particularily strong for Antigone and Rousseau. I think that the intro and the title is the most important part of the essay because it is what sets up the rest of the essay.
3. Next term I want to work on two things:
I) I want to continue working on the clarity of my arguments. Not moving on to a new point until the first point is clearly laid out and unpenetrable by counter arguments.
II) This is kind of stupid, but i want to work on my use of semi colons, colons, dashes and commas. I think the use of diction is so powerful and the choice of a comma, a colon or dash can totally change the readers perception of the text.
III) Not hating Philosophy
So there you are, This is my reflection!
You can go on hating philosophy! I don’t mind!
But in all seriousness (though I do really mean that I don’t mind if you hate philosophy), great reflection here. You’ve picked up on many strengths and weaknesses that I have seen and heard from others in tutorial as well. I do wish you had gotten more comments on the wiki from your tutorial group; maybe that will change next term.
I also want to say that I disagree with the idea that creative thought is not rewarded. What is rewarded is creative thought PLUS good arguments and explanation to support the creative conclusions one is coming to. Maybe we disagree on terms, but I think that still counts as creative thought. People who write very safe, fairly obvious things with strong arguments will do okay, but not as well as those who write more original arguments, who try to come up with interesting ways of approaching the texts and interpretations that go deeper than the surface, *so long as these are also supported well with evidence and argumentation.*
And I don’t want you to lose your personality! That’s not the idea here. Personality comes through in writing in many different ways, and I find it much more interesting to read writing with personality than things that are more dry (even if it’s very common in philosophy to be dry, so I’m used to that). Again, what matters is not whether there’s personality there or not, but whether there are good arguments there or not. And you’re definitely moving along that path towards providing good arguments for your claims.