Creating Passion and Confidence in my Writing Skills

The most impactful class I took happened to be the Spring semester of freshman year. The class I took was Writing 111, a class specifically created for freshmen to help build their writing and presentation skills. One reason why Writing 111 was so impactful for me was because when I was taking this course, it was still in the heat of the pandemic. This class was the only class in my schedule that had a hybrid online and in-person schedule. As a freshman, having this hybrid class allowed me to feel more comfortable in a college classroom setting, something that was uncommon for me at the time. The second reason Writing 111 was such an important class for me to take was because of all the skills and knowledge I gained regarding writing styles and formatting. During the semester, we went back to the basics of writing: learning how to write a thesis statement, the proper order for body paragraphs, and how to write different types of papers like an annotated bibliography and a research paper. For me, I originally felt like I learned all these skills in high school. However, I soon realized that I needed to be refreshed on the information and I also needed a class dedicated to how to properly write for college-level classes. From this class, I was able to develop my writing skills ranging from what I am writing about, how to schedule when I need to be writing, how to find resources, and how to specifically write the paper. 

Writing 111 is a class where when you put the effort in, you can really see the results. Throughout the semester each student had to pick a topic that we wanted to write about, rather than it being given to us. That gave us a lot of creative control, which seemed annoying and difficult at first, but soon I realized how important it was to be able to write about something I wanted to write about. It made me feel passionate about the topic and more interested and invested in writing about it. When it came to presenting my research topic, I was excited because it was my topic, not the professor’s. 

This class has been extremely helpful for me because as an English major, most of the work I am graded on is writing. Writing 111 specifically taught me how to plan out my writing schedule so that when it came to the due date, I was not scrambling to put something together. Rather, I felt confident and comfortable in my writing because I had spent an ample amount of time working on it. In addition, before Writing 111, I had no idea how to write an annotated bibliography. However, because I took the course, when my other professors would later on assign annotated bibliographies, I felt extremely capable when it came to writing it. Lastly, at the end of the semester we had to present our research topic. When I was a freshman, public speaking was not a fantastic skill of mine. However, because Writing 111 taught me the skills needed to create a well done presentation, I now feel more confident with public speaking. I think if I had not taken this class my freshman year, I would be significantly less confident in my writing and presenting skills. 

By Eliana Gorfinkel
Eliana Gorfinkel Senior Peer Consultant