Yesterday we just had our first class of EDLP 715. We were introduced to some basic principles of professional writing. The professors pointed out a few items in the latest version of the APA style manual. The professors had us write about a generic topic (challenges we will face in the coming days and months) for a bit, then we had time to proof the writing. This activity proved to be somewhat helpful as I was able to get the majority of my paper written in the time that we were given. However, the paper is not truly a scholarly writing that I believe that the professors what us to be able to produce by the time that this journey is finished. I also think to myself, that I have no desire at this time of being published or writing one of those horribly boring books that scholars write and that students complain about having to read. You all know the type, if you can’t sleep, you read one of these and you don’t have to worry about getting hooked on prescription sleep aids! I’ve promised myself that I will NEVER be one of those “Scholarly” writers.
Digressing back to the class, we saw some clear examples of informative writing, but I don’t feel that I have been given anything truly scholarly to look at and therefore I still have many questions regarding it. The anchor paper we received did point out glaring errors that I know I am almost always guilty of making. I did not ever really realize that I was making them so this will help me as a baseline for some basics.
I did, however, learn a bit about my own writing process. The 30 min. free write was good for me. sometimes that is all I get at home as my 3-year-old demands attention ALL the time. I have been able to set my mind to writing and write a lot in a short period of time. We were given a graphic organizer to help us to organize out thoughts and the one that we were given is the first one that I have ever seen that I think I will be able to use on a regular basis. We were asked to think about what we had learned during this process. I learned that I still cannot proof another person’s paper on the computer. I really need a hard copy, I guess I’m stuck in the “dark” ages in this and I feel myself totally resisting doing them on the computer.
I also think about the class and then ponder what does quality writing look like? That is very hard to describe in writing, for me. It’s kind of like describing a great leader in words – you just know one when you see one. With quality writing at this point, I just know it when I see it. So then how to I produce quality writing? That is the million dollar question, I will just write what I write and then use the proof reading guide that we were given to help me make sure that I have connected all of the dots, fix up the mechanical errors, make sure I take out all of my crazy sayings that I love to put into items. These crazy sayings would definitely not be quality scholarly writing! In some ways I have learned that I need to check my outgoing personality at the door and then write.
I am also left with some confusion about the writing process. Nothing that I can’t over come, but during high school and undergraduate studies every paper had to be done using the MLA style, and changing to the APA if somewhat difficult, kind of like teaching an old dog new tricks!