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Improvements to My Writing through ESL Courses - Essay Example

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Improvements to My Writing through ESL Courses
My experience in the English grammar classes I have taken has drastically improved my ability to write essays which are coherent, precise, and grammatically correct. …
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Hiu Wai Yip, Jennifer August 4, Reflective essay Improvements to My Writing through ESL s My experience in the English grammar es I have taken has drastically improved my ability to write essays which are coherent, precise, and grammatically correct. Before I began the courses, I had difficulty expressing myself in English, and as a result some of my essays and other written work did not entirely make sense sometimes. However, through learning different key points in ESL 263 and other courses, I feel like I have now reached a point where I understand several ways to make my writing clear and forceful. The main techniques I have learned to use are to make the grammar clear and correct; to write titles and introductions which grab the reader’s attention; and to make sure the paragraphs are well-organized on the page. One of the ways I make my writing strong is by paying attention to grammatical rules, like subject-verb agreement and tense. In the past I would sometimes not check to make sure that the sentence made sense in this way, and that would sometimes confuse my readers because my sentence might seem to say something other than what I had wanted it to. I also try to always use a verb tense which makes the most sense in the context of the writing, so that I might use the simple past in an essay when something happened to me as a child, or the simple future when I am letting a reader know what I will talk about later on in an essay. In fact, this very essay shows how I have correctly used the simple past to describe my experiences with essay writing before taking ESL courses. By correctly using the different aspects of grammar in writing sentences, I am able to effectively convey my message to the reader without causing confusion. One of my strengths is in writing titles which are interesting to the reader and get attention right away by describing what the essay is about in a concise way. My introductory sentences are also strong at hooking the reader. This can be seen in all of my essays, such as “Intercultural Communication Barriers and Ways to Minimize Them” which not only makes it clear that I am writing about problems in communication between cultures, but also that I will provide suggestions to the reader so he or she can more usefully talk to people from other cultures. “Consideration of an ideal job” is similar, in that it shows what the essay will be about without wasting words or confusing the reader. The opening sentences in both of these essays also let the reader know what will be going on, as they either define the concepts I am discussing or show why the essay relates to the reader. In both cases, though, they serve as a good way of getting the reader interested in reading the rest of the essay. One area where I have tried my best to improve but which is not necessarily grammatical is the way the entire essay is organized. For example, in some of my essays the paragraphs might not be organized in the way that makes the most sense of what I was writing about. That is, the body paragraphs might not be entirely related to one another, such as in the “Intercultural Communication” essay, where the transition to my last body paragraph does not make clear what non-verbal communication has to do with what I had already discussed. In most cases I have tried to go back and revise the essay to fix this problem, so that the finished essay looks like it flows logically and the points follow each other well. Although I recognize that I have not always been successful in properly organizing my essays, this is something I have been trying hard to change. When possible, I hope to be able to use outlines and other organization methods like specific headings to make my essays flow better. Although they may not be absolutely perfect, each of these essays shows some way my writing has improved. They also reflect what is probably the most important thing I have learned in ESL 263. This is that correct grammar alone does not make excellent essays. Instead, grammar must be used in combination with things that are harder to master, such as idiomatic expressions and a large vocabulary. Furthermore, the writer must examine the entire essay, not just looking at each sentence to make sure it is correct. My understanding of these principles, as well as my improvement as shown above, shows that I have learned that essay writing requires an analytical view of one’s own words, and putting them onto paper carefully for maximum effect. I believe this understanding also shows I am ready to advance to the next course, ESL 273. Read More
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