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Last words …

Retrieved June 16, 2013 from here

Retrieved June 16, 2013 from here

Throughout the past five weeks, I don’t know how to tell you how much I learned, gained, shared, discussed, responded, created, and reviewed. Crafting an Effective Writer is not a course for teaching grammar only, but it also draws learners’ attention and raises their awareness of these structures to make use of them effectively in their paragraphs. In the first four weeks, we spent a lot of time analyzing and practicing all the parts of speech, clauses and phrases. In the last week, we used all what we learned earlier to compose a complete paragraph putting in mind some criteria, e.g., topic sentence, details, organization, transitions, variety of sentences, concluding sentence, punctuation, spelling, … etc. Working on my final paragraph, I found that it was not enough to study and try out the writing process stages in just a week. Expanding the course to another week or more would be great to cover all the skills needed before composing. The good news is that this course will be offered again in mid September. I hope they put all our suggestions into account.

By drawing its curtains, I would like to thank all my instructors, MSJC staff, and community TAs for their great efforts and valuable time.  Crafting an Effective Writer was one of the most well-organized courses I took on Coursera. Its well-designed format helped me a lot to save more time when doing the required tasks and assignments. Furthermore, their helping hand and scaffolding was another great feature and human touch we all felt. They were all the time in the discussion forums reading our questions, responding, and encouraging us to move forward. They succeeded in creating a very engaging atmosphere through which we learned in a more secure environment trying and correcting mistakes. To say hello to my instructors and MSJC staff, please watch the following video:

My deep and sincere gratitude also goes to all my peers who reviewed my assignments and left some feedback to correct my mistakes, and help to improve my writing skills. To all my colleagues in the course, thanks so much for sharing all this amount of information, knowledge, values, perspectives and cultures. I will never forget all the moments we spent together learning, sharing and creating new ideas. I wish you the best!

Farewell!

Retrieved June 14, 2013 from here

Retrieved June 14, 2013 from here

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Week 5 Final Piece: It is Process NOT Just Product

Process not ProductThe last week of CEW course was a little bit different and challenging. We were introduced to how to create a piece of writing. The first section was about the elements of good paragraph: topic sentence, details, and concluding sentence. The second section was about the writing process stages which the writer should go through when composing: inventing, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing. To be frank, these materials needed more than 5 days to digest and practice before writing a complete paragraph. However, my peers in the discussion forums helped me a lot to make many points more clearer. In this week, we were asked to compose a direct paragraph, one that had:

  • a title;
  • a clear topic sentence;
  • a fully developed body, which includes sufficient details and examples;
  • necessary and appropriate transitions;
  • a logical conclusion; and
  • a minimum of fifteen (15) sentences.

Topics to choose from:

  1. Topic #1 : Discuss at least four (4) short term and/or long term effects that finishing Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade will have upon you personally, academically, and/or professionally.
  2. Topic #2 : Identify and describe a favorite activity or interest and provide at least four reasons why this activity or interest holds your attention and/or is enjoyable to you.
  3. Topic #3 : Identify and describe at least three (3) ways a person, male and/or female, is recognized as an adult in your culture.
  4. Topic #4: Identify and describe a traditional ethnic food from your culture. Provide at least four reasons why this food has remained an essential, primary food in your culture. While you may include the recipe, this topic asks you to discuss the importance of the food in your culture.

Final Paragraph Rubric:

My Final Paragraph:

Why I should …

BlogBlogging, a kind of e-writing, is a powerful activity that empowers and unleashes one’s full potential to become more engaged, active, and vigorous by providing a digital space to express, create, publish, connect, collaborate, and communicate. Writing is not my strong suit; however, I enjoy posting my thoughts, ideas, and feelings on my blog. Blogging is my favorite activity by which I express myself in different channels using words, images, sounds, or videos. It provides me with a special language for my inner self when it comes out to freely communicate desires, hopes, motivations, fears, or worries. It is not only a unique way for self-expression, but it also becomes a journey of self-discovery to dig in depth. When I blog about all situations and moments around, my brain comes up with creative ways to solve problems thinking out of the box. Furthermore, it frees up my straight thinking to become more creative and critical. Once I press the publish button, my posts spread everywhere on the Internet to happily announce the birth of a promising published author. Sharing what I blog with others, I feel that I have a voice in this world which may affect some people in the other corner of the globe. To build bridges between those readers’ countries and cultures, I create some sort of interaction by responding to their comments and discussing their opinions from different perspectives. Thus, blogging is considered as a two-way communication through which I can give and receive an immediate feedback to correct my own mistakes. Having another eye to read my posts also helps me draw connections between ideas and thoughts to develop them further. On the other hand, blogging for authentic audience makes me more responsible and accurate caring about both content and grammar. Although this requires more time and efforts, I feel so proud because my followers continuously increase and eagerly ask for more. In addition to all the reasons above, it enables me to connect with other bloggers to share information, collaborate with each other constructing new knowledge, and build a connected community to globally communicate making the world closer. In conclusion, keeping a blog is definitely one of the best ways that can provide a variety of opportunities and means to bring out the best in me.

Reflections:

Regarding the final paragraph, I took a lot of time practicing all the writing process stages and applying all what I learned throughout the past 5 weeks. I noticed that focusing more on rubrics impedes my ability to write a more creative piece. I really put more efforts on how to match all the required criteria neglecting my writing fluency. The main reason behind this problem was definitely my worries and fears of my peers’ assessments. There is a big difference when writing on my blog; I feel like a butterfly expressing my ideas and thoughts so freely and smoothly. Writing creatively needs more freedom, I think!

References:

  1. The first image is retrieved June 16, 2013 from here.
  2. The second image is retrieved June 16, 2013 from here.