Writing has always been a way to express my feelings. Whenever Im feeling down or fustrated I write because I can never speak the words Im feeling. English 1100 has opened my eyes to many new writing sources.Using google documents, word documents, wordle and windows media player, are just a few of the many different computer programs that I have explored and almost mastered. The online databases and Joyner library website have not only help me improve my writing, but they have taught me how to site my sources and organize my papers. The First Year Writing Studio was another great source of help when writing papers and essays. The staff there was extremely helpful and helped me grasp a better understanding of how to organize and find the words I need to complete my assignments. The biggest help of all would have to be my peers in the classroom and in Jarvis. Having a blog where my classmates can respond with helpful, supportive ideas and feedback is comforting. The way my peers respond to me, is normally a positive and encouraging choice of words. There is not much negativity because we all want to be successfull, confident writers.
Not only do my peers respond to my work, but I am also a peer response writer. I enjoy reading about the different stories and experiences my peers have gone through. I also enjoy comparing and contrasting the different writing styles that we obtain. Every responder has their own theme of delivering feedback. Writing in a blog everyday, I have noticed a theme in my responses. I tend to give positive feedback, words of encouragement, and I like to personally relate to the writer. I steer away from negative feedback, constructive criticism, and extreme detail.
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will(Zig Ziglar).” This is a quote I choose to live by, and it seems to do me justice. When responding to my peers I always pull out the positive aspects before anything else. An example of positive feedback is, “Lily, I wasnt expecting politics as your topic, but i think youd be the best candidate to do so.” Stating my opinion then my positive words, shows Lily that I believe she can create a strong paper. Another example is, “Peek,what a great idea to do your project on something that doesnt want to be talked about, but it is definately a problem!” Here again, positivity seems to be the first thing I nail.
Next, I like to inspire my writers with wonderful words of encouragement. Encouraging others to do well or strive for success, helps them to find the confidence to encourage themselves. When I responded to my JHR student, I told her to “Let me know if you need any help or suggestions and keep up the good work!” Encouraging her has helped her to become more comfortable with sharing her writing with me, and has even helped her improve on her time management. She emailed me saying that she really appreciated the “words of encouragement” and that it really helped her to keep striving to do better. “Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.” A quote I have heard growing up is one that I have kept close to heart.
With the two of these response styles under my belt, lastly, I like to relate to my writers on a personal level. It never seems to hard to think of a story in my life that doesnt relate to my peers. A crazy example I have is, “My oldest sister had a mole removed from her back and I wanted to see how they did it, so i watched them scrape it out and it looked horrifying!” Shannon told us about her skin cancers and I related skin removal with my sister’s experience. Anther great example was in a response to Aaron, “I have had my fair share of nursing home visits, but it was a little different for me. My mom happened to work at one called Britthaven and although some of the residents were rude, mean, and senial, I really enjoyed keeping them company.” He did his senior project at a nursing home and I have spent many afternoons with elderly folks in several nursing homes.
My job as a peer response writer is to help guide my peers in the right direction to a great piece of writing. I try no to stress the grammar, punctuation, and mispelled words, because those are the simple mistakes that can easily be fixed. Instead I try to focus my attention to the content of the piece. This will help the writers to gather their full ideas and thoughts which are the main topics instead of the little mistakes.”If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” This quote by John Wooden, backs up my theory of simple mistakes. He is implying that everyone makes little mistakes but it’s ok because they can be fixed.