The process of writing my research paper was a stressful one, filled yet with bounding interest and curiosity. My research topic was that of the American education system’s flaws and because I have family members who worked in this system, the process of research was not especially hard. Composing the essay was a little hard. I wrote around ten pages in one night in preparation for the zero draft and this proved to be stressful but I got it done. When it came to revising I would just print out my essay and read it, marker in hand, ready to annotate. In regards to peer review, I didn’t get much help from one of my group members but my two other group members helped me a lot with developing my arguments and in return I did my best to help them.

I selected my topic by considering what I am passionate about. One of my biggest passions is that of mental health and one of the biggest things that impacts my mental health is school. I decided then to do my topic on the American education system, incorporating its other topics and conversations into the paper as I went.

The main problem I encountered in the process of writing was that of procrastination and distractions. It was difficult to force myself to work on the paper when my mind kept getting off track, thinking about what dinner would be and when the next time I would see my friend would be. The way I got through this was by having my friend stay on the phone with my while I wrote and revised because then he could encourage me to keep working and he could help me to not get off topic. I’m very grateful that he helped me with writing and revising my paper. It wasn’t even that he helped me to come up with arguments and develop them, it was more that he just made sure I stayed focused. It was also hard to address the issues of racial segregation in my paper because I didn’t want to say anything that would come off as offensive. However, I learned a lot about racial segregation in the school system because before having written this paper, I didn’t even know that it still existed.

The easier part of writing was my sentence structure and getting myself to continue writing once I had started. I tend to enjoy sentence structure and I believe I’m getting better at utilising syntax.

I do not enjoy research too much considering I am more of a creative writer but I did enjoy researching a topic that I am interested in. I also feel that my writing is decently good but my process could have been better. I think I should have focused more on a couple of specific things instead of researching so broadly because I ended up reading many papers on topics that I didn’t even include in my essay. This is a little bit troublesome to me because I could have gone even deeper into researching what I did write about if I hadn’t focused so much on topics that didn’t end up to be relevant. I do, however, feel that the stress and mental health aspects are fairly strong because I know a lot about it and am very passionate about it so I was more confident in my writing. It did also surprise me as I wrote how confident I felt because I don’t tend to be a very confident person.

I’m not quite sure what makes a piece of writing good besides that of whether or not the author is passionate about his or her topic. I think this because if the writer isn’t passionate about their topic it makes me unexcited to read their piece. I have absolutely no idea how people will respond to my piece in terms of what questions they will ask but I do think that almost all students will agree with my arguments because all students experience the school system firsthand.

The thing that was most impactful to me about Reading Rhetorically was the concept of writing in the disciplines. I didn’t know that this was even a thing and I had been going through school by writing every piece very flowery with a lot of prose. I see now that this isn’t appropriate for a piece in, for example, hard science or even soft science. I now see that I have to think about who my audience is and what sorts of diction are appropriate for the field in which I’m writing.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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