My Progress in Writing As a non-native speaker who immigrated to the U. S. two years ago, English is a big obstacle for me in communication. I have had many difficult times speaking and understanding English when talking to others. Writing an essay was almost impossible for me to think of. Realizing how difficult it was to experience these linguistic difficulties, I then decided to go back to school to improve my English skills. Therefore, English became especially essential for me to succeed in my educational goals. I was determined to earn an Associate’s degree then transfer to a university for a Bachelor’s degree.

I started going to ESL classes and studied English very hard to make progress in my speaking, reading and writing skills. After spending one year in ESL classes, I qualified for English 43. I learned lots of grammar and how to write paragraphs efficiently during these classes. I noticed that writing an essay was more challenging when I got into English 49. However, since then I’ve learned how to write a five-paragraph argumentative essay which was one of my weaknesses in academic writings. I have made a lot of progress in writing skills since I started studying English 49.

I now think that I’m ready to go on to English 101 due to the fact that I have learned useful strategies to follow a writing process and develop coherent paragraphs effectively. A writing process is the most important step that I learned in this class. First of all, before writing a complete essay, I need to come up with the pre-writing which consists of free writing and brainstorming. I found this step essential because free writing helps me find as many supports and examples as possible and brainstorming allows me to organize and strengthen the structure of the essay.

Moreover, writing everything related to the topic during prewriting steps helps me find more supporting details to put into the next step. I then use the step of brainstorming to map main ideas for an essay’s body and help myself avoid skipping and putting my ideas disorderly in each paragraph. The next important step of a writing process is an essay outline which is a most valuable way to form and develop the structure of my essays. This step allows me to list all the required information I plan to include in my essay. In fact, preparing an outline essay is very important to organize all of my thoughts in terms of major and inor details to support the central points of my thesis. I also noticed that a strong outline essay makes a solid essay because it helps me build the structure of my paper and its logical flow. A writing process is completely new to me because I had never learned this skill in my country. Nevertheless, I found this step to be helpful for me all the time before I start writing thorough essays. My scores were also significantly improved after I learned those steps in a writing process. Throughout this class I’ve learned useful strategies such as how to structure a five-paragraph essay and develop coherent paragraphs effectively.

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At first, I had no idea what a thesis statement was because the introduction is like a hook and there is no thesis as I learned in my country. Since I got into English 49, I’ve learned how to make a strong and clear thesis statement at the end of introduction paragraphs, that is, to inform the readers of three main points that need to be addressed to write the entire essay. Because English 49 requires me to create specific argumentative essays, the readers must expect to see clear major points of thesis statement from my position.

Consequently, I did a really good job on coming up with a clear thesis as I made in my revised argumentative essay and writer’s choice in the portfolio. In addition to organizing and developing effective paragraphs, I learned that introduction and conclusion paragraphs play a special role in my essay, and they usually demand much of my attention as a writer. A good introduction has to identify the topic and provide essential context, and needs to engage the readers’ interest while a strong conclusion helps me reflect and restate the significance of what I’ve written by using my critical thinking.

The second and third essays I included in my portfolio, for example, can demonstrate the huge progress I’ve made. In these two essays, I came up with interesting statistics and my background information in introductions to illustrate the seriousness of the issue I discussed. Additionally, at the conclusions, I broadened my central ideas and tried to convey my closing thoughts about the larger implications of my whole argument. Another strategy that I learned to develop body paragraphs effectively was to use topic sentences at the beginning of paragraphs.

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By using a topic sentence, I can state my central points in each paragraph explicitly as a map for my ideas to guide readers through my reasoning. This was a most useful skill I learned in this class because I noticed that topic sentences serve as a mini-thesis for paragraphs and help readers follow along my logical ideas easily. Back to the time when I first came to the U. S. , I had so many problems with essay writing. I now feel much better since I have made a huge improvement of organizing and developing essays in a structured way.

Finally, the wonderful strategy I enjoy studying in English 49 is learning how to use sources to support my ideas and strengthen effective discussion of my points in each paragraph. The main goal of my essays is always to make sure readers clearly follow the topic and my major points throughout essays. Knowing how to use various sources, such as examples, researched evidence, statistics and quotes is the most powerful tool that helps me greatly enhance my academic writing skills. Reading through my third essay, “Are Human Activities Contributing to Climate Change ? , you could see that I’ve shown proof by integrating facts, concrete supports, statistics and factual details into each body paragraph to support my argument. However, being aware of how not to plagiarize is highly important for me when using sources. In this essay, there are a variety of ways I’ve learned how to introduce my sources to avoid plagiarism when I integrate quotations into my essay. I finally learned how to let readers know exactly where I found the sources for the quotations.

As a non-native speaker who has been through ESL classes to English 49, I found that learning English is more interesting. English 49, in my opinion, has not only helped me build up and enhance my academic writing skills, but also gave me more opportunities to broaden my knowledge by researching, reading and writing on a variety of different topics . Despite the fact that English 101 will be much more challenging for me than this course, the obstacles of academic writing skills will inspire me to work harder to achieve success.