A Reflective Essay

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As an English major, I've learned to enjoy the peaceful, but energizing, the moment when I interact with an author's ideas and thoughts on every page. Toni Morrison explains reading in The Dancing Mind as the feeling of watching one's mind dance with another's. I used to want to know an author's "actual" meaning or what s/he meant when I was an undergrad, but I've since realized that doing so would allow literature to neglect its most important nuances. Different interpretations and understandings have different perspectives on work. Also, it is intriguing to call attention to messages that the author might not have recognized that s/he incorporated into the piece.

Before I was always a thinker, yet all through my coursework, my critical analysis skills have become considerably sharpened. Rather than focusing on biographical backgrounds or intended meanings, I have come to consistently ask "why" on a wide range of levels. I have begun to challenge myself to delve into a text as profoundly as would be prudent and unwrap every aspect to develop a close read that is satisfying. Additionally, by perusing numerous books by a similar writer, I have figured out how to recognize diverse writing styles and make associations that bring texts together; doing this helped me to develop a more profound comprehension of the books. Looking at my freshman novels and seeing clean pages makes me realize that I failed to read these books actively. One might say that I figured out how to use a pen to read, which has radically upgraded my writing to another level since the markings that I make on a page allow me to connect back to my initial thoughts.

Writing has always been one of, if not my best quality, yet making that first stride past high school's, five-paragraph essay structure that confined my ideas for too long was quite challenging. However, moving past this essay form opened my mind extraordinarily. By learning how to maintain a coherent argument in an organized way, I have developed more complex thoughts. My written work has turned out to be progressively concise, and now I do not have any room for "padding" or "fluff." Another positive change is my capacity to bring up numerous complexities in a text rather than adhering to one-sided contentions in my papers. Moreover, figuring out how to locate order books and peer-reviewed journal articles through interlibrary credit has altogether enlarged the extent of my research, thus prompting more scholarly papers with references that are credible. My writing has become a great deal more interesting and exciting compared to how it was in the past.

It is hard to recognize gaps in my insight as an English major, simply because I think that I have become enlightened about so much. I believe that I have to a great extent, expanded my writing skills and literary analysis. However, I should be ready to teach the required literature to high school students. I think identifying and studying our high school's commonly taught novels would be helpful. If I study the required literature and contemplate methods of teaching it, then I will have a solid basis to work from when I get to the classroom.

November 03, 2022

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