Over fourteen years ago, I took English Composition-I for the first time. I attended every class, wrote descent papers, and completed all of my homework. I managed to get a high grade in the class. However, since those days, I have lost touch with the fundamentals of English Composition. I am retaking a full academic year of English Composition for mainly two reasons: First, I need the courses as prerequisites for admission into a foreign medical school, which prefer higher grades. Secondly, I need to improve my writing skills for the Medical College Aptitude Testing (MCAT) writing sample.
Taking English Composition-I for the second time has been a rejuvenating experience. Relearning the precious essentials of English Composition-I have caused me to be a better writer. There have been several highlights in the class that have made the experience better: The insight and enthusiasm of the instructor; the hand-chosen homework assignments; the concepts of the standard composition textbook; the illustrative stories of The Longman Reader; the detailed look into process analysis; the peer review practice; and, the revising, editing and reflections have been priceless. I believe these elements of English Composition-I have adequately prepared me for English Composition-II. The insight and enthusiasm of the instructor has been of utmost importance. As far as insight, the instructor was very knowledgeable in the subject of English Composition. Also, he was able to correct mistakes made by the students, as well as encourage the students to excel. As far as enthusiasm, he had a good personality, a positive attitude, a smile on his face, and was able to effectively communicate to the level of his audience. I was captivated by these teaching characteristics. The experience I gained as a result of the instructor is that he influenced me to take composition by the heart and be meticulous with the writing process.
The hand-chosen homework assignments were given with directions to read particular illustrative stories taken from “The Longman Reader.” This manual gave detailed portrayals of specific types of writing such as metaphors, narration, process analysis, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and argumentation and persuasion. The Longman Reader was designed to give short stories with many examples of each type of free writing. I was impressed by the organization of the manual. Taken as a whole, I was fascinated by the short stories; specifically the detailed breakdown and analysis of each short story. The homework seemed to always request the selection thesis for each narrative. The experience I gained from reading the short stories and answering the questions is that I formulated a methodical mindset to locate the selection thesis in every narrative. This has been an asset to my experiences gained through English Composition-I.
The concepts of the English Composition textbook called “A Writer’s Reference” have been a major influence to the writing process. The book covered subjects such as: composing and revising, academic writing, sentence style, word choices, grammatical sentences, ESL challenges, punctuation, basic mechanics, researching, MLA papers, and basic grammar. This book has saved me a lot of...