Throughout the year, I have learned many new writing styles, and improved on old ones. I have always done well on essays that allowed me to choose topics I was passionate about. However, I rarely wrote about something I was interested in at school. This year, I was able to write with passion and heat. The zine project, the college project, and the narrative essay were my favorite assignments in AP Language and Composition. I especially enjoyed the zine project because I was able to learn about real-world issues, and dive into problems that not many people talk about. I learned about the persecution of Christians, and created a whole section on what I learned while researching this matter. The college project gave me the opportunity to research colleges I was interested in, and did not have the chance to learn about. I learned about the requirements and goals that I need to fulfill in order to reach my ultimate career goal. I also learned more about campus life and the estimated costs of living outside of home. It has cleared a lot of confusion for me, and allowed me to set clear year-long goals for myself. I also liked typing the narrative essay in the beginning of the year because I was able to write a story about anything in the world. I wrote about something I am most passionate about: Egypt. It was a time of reflection of the people and the country itself for me. I was able to write down my feelings towards this subject, and how it affected it me.
Words are single most used form of communication, whether it is in direct speech or writing. Words allow thoughts and feelings to be expressed for others to comprehend or for our own selves. Our words and actions determine who we are, and how we contemplate thoughts. Holden from Catcher in the Rye complains throughout the book about his life, and the people in it. Because he is immature, he uses words like “phony” and “moron” as insults. This has made me realize that while one person could perceive the words one way, another could understand them a completely different way. For example, these two words could be really intense insults in his mind, but someone else may not see it as that bad of an insult. Holden judges people based on the conversations he’s had with them, even if it was just once. He especially likes Phoebe because she thinks about at the same level as Holden, so their conversations could get quite interesting.
All writers have strengths that they are proud of, and weaknesses that they improve. My strength as a writer is including concrete details, and being very descriptive. However, sometimes I fail to send my message across to the audience, and they don’t see the image that I wanted them to. I still need to direct my purpose, and stay on topic because I usually drift off into another topic and come back to the main point. This causes confusion in the reader’s mind, and does not state the purpose clearly. The articles that we read also helped me state my purpose and main topics first , then explain my details later, so my writing is more structured and direct. Because of the readings that we read in class, I learned that narratives did not have to have a certain structure. Narratives can be in the form of a rant, or just thoughts scribbled down on a piece of paper to connect in an overall message or story. I learned this from the House on Mango Street and Catcher in the Rye. For example, the Catcher in the Rye uses an episodic strategy, which a long string of individual stories, rather than focusing on one plot: “Ed Banky was the basketball coach at Pencey. Old Stradlater was one of his pets, because he was the center on the team, and Ed Banky always let him borrow his car when he wanted it. It wasn’t allowed for students to borrow faculty guys’ cars, but all the athletic bastards stuck together. In every school I’ve gone to, all the athletic bastards stick together.
Stradlater kept taking these shadow punches down at my shoulder. He had his toothbrush in his hand, and he put it in his mouth. “What’d you do?” I said. “Give her the time in Ed Banky’s goddam car?” My voice was shaking something awful.
“What a thing to say.
Want me to wash your mouth out with soap?”
“That’s a professional secret, buddy.”
This next part I don’t remember so hot. All I know is I got up from the bed, like I was going down to the can or something, and then I tried to sock him, with all my might, right smack in the toothbrush, so it would split his goddam throat open. Only, I missed. I didn’t connect. All I did was sort of get him on the side of the head or something. It probably hurt him a little bit, but not as much as I wanted. It probably would’ve hurt him alot, but I did it with my right hand, and I can’t make a good fist with that hand. On account of that injury I told you about.” Episodic can be used when there a few different stories that serve the same purpose, or have to do with the same idea. It can also be used when talking about someone’s life.
Words are very powerful. They can either cause pain or joy. People use their words to communicate through various means now: social media, texting, phone calls, etc. A writer is more powerful than a soldier at war. For the saying, “the pen is mightier than the sword” is true. Because a sword can cause a scar, which will heal, but the words can cause a deeper scare, emotionally that may never heal. A writer has the power to play with people’s emotions, but should take this duty very seriously.