Triumph & Goals for English
Jamaal, Age 15, Oak Park, IL

The more you work at something the more it should improve and come to you easy, but only if you are doing that something correctly. I say this because practice makes permanent, not perfect, if you were to think of it in a more literal meaning. This year I definitely improved on my writing, Ive gradually been having an easier time in writing, and in turn my grades on my English assignments have gradually been getting better and better. Ive also gotten more confident/comfortable with my writing, and even though I disliked having more papers for the price of not have quizzes, I actually prefer it now.

Ive learned that in writing a good essay introduction, you need to state what you are going to do. In introductory paragraph, you briefly introduce the topic, state your position or thesis statement, and present three or four reasons to discuss further. The MEAL plan was also a lot of help in the area of creating paragraphs with an actual order. I also learned that the less words you use to make a point, the better, because quality is better that quantity.

I was not entirely sure what to expect this year for honors English. I thought about the papers wed have to write this year and all that I could really think about was how ridiculously hard the papers and prompts would be. For a while it was a bit difficult and stressful because of how many papers we were going to be writing this year, but as the year progressed I started understanding, and now I even think that honors English is not as much of a challenge as my freshman English teacher made it out to be. However, I feel I should have taken honors English more seriously. My teachers graded rather leniently, which covered my lack of effort (sometimes).

I learned that it is much easier to produce a good piece of writing if I am kept interested. Even though I might still not actually want to do that specific assignment, it's best for me to try and stay involved. I still have not fully succeeded in writing papers at a much higher level like Id like to, but I'm going to improve on it. The process of using multiple drafts has helped me correct my mistakes. Before I would never go back and have someone else revise my papers. The most valuable lesson I have learned about the writing process this semester is mostly editing and revising drafts to lead to a perfect final paper.

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