The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As a student attending Texas A&M University, you have plenty of English course options to choose from. The list is daunting, and there is no shortage of interesting topics to be selected. It had been a long time since I needed to write a proper paper or narrative essay.
I remember sitting in English class in the 7th grade and learning how to form a decent thesis statement, how to present arguments, and how to write an effective research paper. Little 12 year old me naively thought that would be the last time I needed to use proper writing skills for a while. High school was no different. Time and time again we needed to study literary devices, Shakespeare, and plenty of poetry from esteemed authors of the 20th century. When the time came to apply for college, I was certain this admissions essay would be the final push, but boy was I wrong.
Over the course of my academic career, I never needed to take a proper writing intensive course until the fall semester of my senior year. Before then, I thought college wouldn’t require further formal papers (unless I was a specific major like Journalism, English, or Psychology). Suddenly, I was sitting in my Communication Studies in Technology course when we were hit with a final research paper. It needed to be a minimum of 2500 words, or 10 pages double spaced with several academic sources, images, and videos.
“Don’t worry, you all have plenty of time to write, and we will discuss the requirements in more detail later on in the semester” my professor stated.
This announcement however, did not calm my nerves. I was intimidated by the daunting task and couldn’t remember the last time I was required to write a paper so extensive and detailed. Did my writing skills need some fine-tuning? How would I even begin? I pushed through the semester awaiting the day my first draft was due.
Fortunately, my professor was very understanding and helpful. This research paper taught me the importance of feedback and constructive critism. Personally, I value suggestions and room for improvement. My professor looked over my first draft and wanted me to attend her office hours to discuss further. I felt as if 7th grader Isabella was called to the principal’s office and given detention for my writing skills. However, I was pleasantly surprised to know that she only wanted to point out some discrepancies in my writing that needed clarifying.
Flash forward to this spring and one writing intensive course finished, I am currently taking an honors section of Literary Analysis, and it has opened my eyes to the hints that authors leave in their works. If it can be debated, it is considered a literary analysis. I had never considered writing to be more than what you read on the pages. Not only do you have to read the lines, but you also have to read between them to truly understand what the author is trying to convey.
Art is subjective. Writing is no different.
As a member in Her Campus, I have been exposed to so many different experiences and ideas through the writing of my peers and mentors on the TAMU team. I learned that English is the foundation of all effective interactions and that efficient writing skills are essential in the job market. Even though my time writing 10 pages over technology and social movements were not the most enjoyable, I learned a lot about myself and my own personal writing style.
My advice is this: take your writing intensive courses early on and gain the valuable skills to write effectively. Down the road you will absolutely need to write again, so putting your best foot forward will make you stand out from the rest. Utilize the Writing Center at TAMU when you can and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.