My reflection on drafting and revising Essay 1

The drafting process of this essay has been really hard for me. This is because my ideas about the topic of happiness are complex. Therefore, what I needed most help with is how to structure and combine those ideas into one argument that will be discussed in my essay. After revising my peer’s essays I feel like I now have an idea of how to go back to my essay and check for my main argument. I have noticed what is it that I am writing most about in my essay, however I still need to look for a way to write it and make it clear to the readers.

When my peers gave me feedback about my essay they suggested to explain what is the paradox that I am referring to in my introduction. Also, to not get off track from the point I am trying to make in each paragraph. I understand what they mean because I noticed that I was getting to my point of the paragraph until the last sentence. However, I need to change that because the topic sentence is the one that needs to point out what the main idea of the paragraph is. My peers also gave me feedback on some minor grammatical errors and format details. Details such as quoting the articles and not changing the font, have a one-inch margin, and my last name and page number at the top of each page of my essay. The group feedback was very helpful because I had the chance to see others essay’s and have an outside view of how the assignment should and should not be done.

The meeting I had with Professor Belli has also helped me to think what are the changes that I need in my essay. I am going to re-read my essay, identify my main ideas in each paragraph and re- do my thesis. Also, I am going to take out a paragraph that may not be of good use for my argument. I am also going to try to re-phrase my last sentence of each paragraph and place it as topic sentences. Moreover, I need to stop summarizing an article and put more of my analysis. For the other use of an article in my essay, I need to include more evidence from the article in order to make my point in the paragraph.

Once I finish revising my essay and fixing the things I just mentioned, I am going to give my essay to a college friend of mine so he could tell me what he thinks and if he knows what my argument is in the whole essay. Hopefully he will also point out any other error I may have. I will also check if my essay follows the required format that has been assigned to this and further essays. Last but not least, I am going to make a bibliography because I didn’t do one due to a misunderstanding I had previously. Hopefully, my final essay meets all the requirements of the assignment.

Reflection on First Draft

Since I have never written an argumentative essay this process was hard for me. It was difficult trying to think of a good way to begin my introduction and make a thesis. While I read the other two essays of my peers one I knew right away what she was talking about and how she backed up what she argued. I saw the way she did this by giving examples and giving her opinion on it. The other essay I read was a little more difficult to understand because it didn’t pick a side really so I got to see how the things he said made him seem like he was picking both sides of whether buying happiness or suffering really makes you happy. So these essays both gave me and different view of how you can tell more of the side you pick.

The feedback I got on my essay so far was some commas I need to add also to add more opinion to my essay and experience. Even if it’s not my own experience but like that I can show how I’m arguing more for one side. While I read the other people’s essay I had to look for if they spoke in first, second or third person and whether it was in present tense or past tense. When I was in class I noticed I was making those mistakes as well and was speaking in second person. I feel that the way my paragraphs were organized that the next paragraph build on the one before. I do need to fix my topic sentences to be able to give the main idea but as well the significance. I feel that my topic sentences were to straightforward or didn’t really sum up anything from the paragraph. In class I would like to look at my introduction and conclusion.

My introduction “Is happiness a factor of how we really should be or how society thinks people should be and act? Happiness is not only brought through your experiences but the experience of other people as well. When you give to other people you share experiences with them and yourself. But also with happiness comes suffering as was stated in the article “What Suffering Does” by David Brook he states that “Often, physical or social suffering can give people an outsider’s perspective, an attuned awareness of what other outsiders are enduring”. Through suffering you get to reveal more and more stuff about yourself. Happiness is really brought by sharing with others in your experiences and relating to others to share that happiness and well-being and doing this through suffering.”

My conclusion “Suffering can bring more than just pain with suffering comes happiness and relief. You become relieved to know that you have done something better that you learn more about yourself. That your well-being is going to be good because although through the suffering there was a lot to deal with you still manage to try and make things better for yourself. You start to become more aware of how you should go about things. Suffering brings you to get more involved in your surroundings. Without suffering there wouldn’t be stability in life because everyone would just follow what they think should be right. They would follow how society thinks people should be.”

I feel I made my point clear that through suffering you can get happiness. I feel you can get my point of what I’m trying to say. You can get my argument that i’m trying to make. To revise for my final essay I will be rereading my topic sentences to see if it makes sense and makes my point for each paragraph. I will reread my essay out loud to see if anything sounds weird. And I will get someone to read my essay over.

Improving Essay 1

Writing the first draft was the most difficult. It was hard to pick an argument and then to find claims to support the argument. After I was done with my first draft I knew that I needed help revising it and feedback on it. The peer review that we were assigned to do were every helpful. The peer review worksheet was very helpful. It helped me look at each part of the essay and analyze if it was correct or could be better. All the questions in the worksheet went step by step asking specific questions that I would have probably not asked myself. As I was editing my two classmate’s essays and giving them back feedback I will also realize that I had done the same mistakes.

In class we got into groups and discus what we had found in each other’s essay and how it could be better. My peers mentioned what I could do to make my essay better and my argument stronger. In my essay I only achieved one transitional sentence from one paragraph to the next. I have to go back and add transitional sentences to the rest of my paragraphs for it could flow smoothly. I also have to work on achieving topic sentences for my body paragraph. I finally understand what a topic sentence is and what it consist of. At first I just thought it was the main idea. Therefore, I always just stated the claim which was incorrect because it should be a very detailed main idea plus an explanation of how it supports the thesis. I also had sentences that were general and made my peers ask “so what?” I thought I had explained it clearly but I was wrong. I have to go back and either take that sentence out or explain it more and connect it to my argument better.

My essay doesn’t have noticeable opposing viewpoints. I have to counter claim my argument in order to make it stronger. It is hard to include counter claims because they have to be mentioned but cannot be stronger then my argument.

As my example I used famous people to explain and show how sometimes having excessive amount of money can be negative. I was told that for my example I have to be more specific and more detailed on how money can be negative. To make it more specific I am going to use a certain celebrity and explain how it affected them.

I also had a bit of trouble in my conclusion. I was a little difficult to sum up the whole essay in one small paragraph without being repetitive. I have to work on how to restate my thesis and claims in different words.

After I reread my own essay I realized that I could be more specific and analyze more on how it affects an individual’s happiness. I also noticed some grammar mistakes and typos that I have done. Rereading my essay after a week gap really made me see it differently and notice a lot of things that could be changed. Just like the handout on editing and proofreading mention to get some distance between the text because if you read it right after you wrote it the text will be too familiar. Making it hard to identify mistakes.

Reflections of essay 1 peer review

After revising my peers essays over the weekend and discussing them in class I’ve realized I have a lot of revising to do on my own. While I was reading them I gathered a lot of new ideas to use  on my own essay and the understanding of what I need to improve in my own essay. I had many structure issues I have to correct as well as including personal and real life experiences. My introduction needs major tweaking. It is longer than I intended it to be and has good examples I should use throughout the actual body rather than in the intro.  It’s also somewhat vague and my thesis isn’t quite clear. I was told my thesis wasn’t clear till the end of the essay. I’m going to attempt revising the body and conclusion before writing the introduction itself. I’ve also noticed how difficult it is to use the 3rd person. Throughout my whole essay I switch from 2nd to 1st person without even realizing my errors.

When it comes to my personal/ real life experience I’m not exactly sure on what to use. I don’t want to use anything that doesn’t support my claims/ points. The essays my peers wrote we filled with good experiences that connected well to their claims. While writing  my first draft I made an outline that I didn’t end up following. This time around I’m going to make my outline more specific and actually follow it. I’ve realized that if my outline is well thought out and specific enough all I have to really do is input words to fill up my essay. I think that is also the reason I had structure issues. I was missing a lot of the requirements like properly citing my work. When I was using the texts we’ve used in class I was trying to use them to prove my claims rather than to prove the points the author used. So throughout that process I ended up not paying too much attention to the structure of my work.

Now that I’ve taken a look at what my peers thought of my work and discussed it I have a better understanding of what my essay needs to be better. Some techniques I’ll attempt to use this time around will be writing the introduction last and developing a clear and well thought out thesis with three main clams. While trying to support my claims my citations will be properly stated and will refer to my work rather than the author’s. I’ll also write multiple drafts before handing the final draft in next Thursday and do my best to stop by the writing center. The comments my peers made on my work were extremely helpful and I will take everything they suggested into account while writing my next draft. I’ve realized that peer review not only helps identify issues you’ve had while writing but also to realize that other people might have the same problems as you and that you can relate and help them better their work with the comments you’ve made.


Essay 1 Revision

After going over my peer’s work at home and fully understanding the concept of the paper I knew I had some work to do once i received mine. I had too much of the text and not enough of me or my argument. I believed that by using pieces of the texts I agreed with, I was going in the right direction. But the text was supposed to support me not me support the text. I had to make my argument bolder and incorporate some experiences to bring my idea out in the open. I read my paper over and over to see if I catch any mistakes my partner may not have noticed and made side notes for myself to look back at. My thesis statement was kind of general and I made changes there as well. I found a way to make it less vague and more specific. I also spoke in second person throughout the paper instead of third so I had to adjust that. Thinking that by saying “you” I was engaging the readers or making them feel involved I was actually making it general and not engaging at all.

When thinking of an experience to add in it took me a while because I wasn’t thinking of my personal life, I was just planning on using the texts. I didn’t even think about how my life could relate but I found one that fit perfectly into my idea about how experiences hold a stronger place than material things. After making those revisions I feel more secure with my paper, not saying that it’s ready or i’m completely confident about it but I think it’s more focused than the first draft. I learned that by just making my argument stronger I wouldn’t need to support my claim so much. I plan on making my paper stronger all around, by making sure my points are clear and the paper flows. I want to make my point without coming across as biased or too opinionated because the paper is supposed to be approachable and argumentative. The readers are supposed to see your point without feeling forced to believe the same which is complicated to do. I hope that through the different revision sessions my paper improves and that my changes are successful. Now that I know how my peer feels about my paper I’m also interested in how the professor views it.

Although the process of it was tedious going through each paper paragraph by paragraph, it was very helpful for both me and my peers. Upon hearing the assignment I was thinking, how can I help someone when I’m not fully aware myself? But it helped me understand more actually, I saw different views and experiences. It made me see things in a different light because no two papers are exactly the same. It was also helpful because I got helpful feedback that made me want to really alter my paper. I hope I did the same for my partner.