A City Tech OpenLab Course Site

Author: Cindy (Page 1 of 10)

Last (fun) Assignment

“Instead of reading for content or to better understand the ideas in the writing (which you will automatically do to some degree anyway), you are trying to understand how the piece of writing was put together by the author and what you can learn about writing by reading a particular text.”

-Mike Bunn

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something – anything – down on paper.”

-Anne Lamott


  1. Consider audience
  2. Consider what purpose I have for writing
  3. Consider the impact my writing might have on my reader
  4. Consider sentence structure – grammar and word selection
  5. Consider why the added details are important

First and foremost, when writing any piece, I will consider who my intended audience is. Through the reading assignments, it’s become more apparent to me that writing styles change depending on who the intended audience is for. It’s important to have a target audience because it helps you narrow down the structure of the piece, from the words used to the composition of the writing. I want my reader to understand why I wrote a sentence the way I did, with the grammar and words chosen.

While reading week 6’s assignment, “Research Starts with a Thesis Statement” from Bad Ideas about Writing (p.231), I came to realize that my writing style is very generic, typical of what you would find from a student. The style commonly taught in school for standardized testing assessments which is simply info on top of info.

Stedman’s Annoying Ways People Use Resources pinpointed many common mistakes made when writing with quotations. After reading, I found that my first draft contained many of the mistakes, probably even all the annoying ways he stated. I tried implementing the solutions into my writing and though I think the final draft improved, it still contained many mistakes. One prominent mistake I felt that still needed to be fixed was the inclusion of multiple quotations, where it felt like part of bibliography relied on the quotes. Some quotes were also not explained well, I wasn’t able to “prepare, quote, analyze” in my writing which would help prove the point I’m trying to make and help my reader understand my writing better.

My third source entry heavily relied on the inclusion of quotes. Part of it felt as if I copied and pasted the writer’s sentences and included a few of mine to help make my paper more cohesive.

Philadelphia city spokesperson Kelly Confrancisco mentions, “Really, the bigger issue is why people are sleeping in parks in the first place and what we as a community are doing to address that. Here in Philadelphia, we’re proud to say that there isn’t an ‘us versus them’ mentality. Instead, we work together to ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive access to services as well as dignity and respect and that residents, workers, businesspeople and visitors can enjoy Philadelphia as one of the best, most welcoming cities in the nation.”

Instead of quoting Confrancisco, I could have reworded her quotes to better explain her point for the reader-

“Philadelphia city spokesperson Kelly Confrancisco mentions that the larger issue at hand is what a community is doing to help combat homelessness. “It isn’t an ‘us versus them mentality,” where people fight with the homeless who sleep outdoors. Confrancisco emphasizes that community members should come together to help the homeless. Homeless people should be treated with dignity and respect. They should be able to have access to the same services as other community residents, businesspeople and even city tourists.


Time Capsule

This semester has helped me achieve my goal of improving my writing skills. From learning new techniques on how to captivate my reader, I’ve also learned new words to use in my writing. Throughout the semester, I’ve gotten to learn how to notice my mistakes when writing with the help of the readings given. Such mistakes as throwing in empty quotes and not explaining them properly are more apparent to me, and I’ve realized that sometimes more is less. Rereading sentences to double check my writing will always continue but I think my goals were appropriate and fulfilled.

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