Persuasive Writing Components Report (Assessment)
After reading, “Good Boy, Beau. Stay,” what did you notice about the way Anna Quindlen uses description and the way she organizes her essay?
As an author, Quindlen (2013) coherently organizes her essays. In the essay “Culture: Good Boy, Beau”, she begins with a description of a simple outing to the veterinary officer. She then explains the reasons as to why she went to see the veterinary officer alone. This part is followed by a brief introduction to her dog and the relevance of her story. The use of descriptive language helps Quindlen vividly tell her story to the reader. Through her detailed description, the reader appears to be in her shoes, experiencing her feelings and emotions. For example, it is interesting to read about what dog Beau used to be when it was young and energetic, and how things have changed later.
One of the points the author makes is that although the dog was old and dying, there are a lot of good memories left behind. These memories have translated into life lessons to the author. Some of these lessons include taking things and situations as they come and evaluating herself in terms of the present (Quindlen, 2013).
Some of the outstanding sensory details used in the story involve sight and hearing. The author tries to create an image in the reader’s mind to show how active her dog was. For example, describing how it was running around, she mentions that it wagged its tail, lay down, and danced in circles. The hearing is also involved in description to support the image created in the reader’s mind with the auditory effects. The author describes that she could hear the doctor calling her name and dog Beau breathing heavily at the smell of bacon. The sense of smell is also used in the description where the author states that both the dog and the rug smelt (Quindlen, 2013).
Use examples from your own experiences, evidence from your essays, and good old-fashioned logic and reason to persuade people to avoid the pitfalls of the grammatical, mechanical, or stylistic error you have chosen
As a student, one is expected to write many academic papers and essays. A good paper may contain some slight mistakes. These errors should be corrected during revision or while proofreading the work after writing. Correcting these errors can be time-consuming and tiring, and therefore, it can be helpful if a writer learns to avoid them in the first round.
One of the grammatical errors, on which I was used to bogging down, was confusing similar words and interchanging their usage. Some of these words included ‘that’ and ‘which’, ‘me’ and ‘I’. These are words commonly mistaken by students both in the written and the spoken forms.
To deal with this problem, I have had to study the meaning and usage of these words. As the common saying goes, practice makes perfect. I have researched on them, learned how to use them, and continuously practiced using them in sentences. For example, I have realized that the word ‘that’ was used only in defining clauses. As an example, the sentence ‘we will use the photo frame that my mother picked’ may be used. In this case, it is specifically that frame that was picked would be used. On the other hand, the word ‘which’ is used in constructing the non-defining clauses, as in the sentence ‘We will use the photo frame, which has a reflective color’. In this case, it could be any frame as long as it has a reflective color (Sole, 2010).
The first step that helps in avoiding grammatical errors is realizing that there exists a problem. Second, take time to read about it and finally, practicing to avoid the problem. This ensures that your work is grammatically correct and communicates well.
Reflect on what you have learned about English composition from this course?
This course has greatly taught me how to write academic papers. I have learned that it entails how to choose a topic to narrow it down to something specific. The chapter that I enjoyed the most was chapter 4, “Developing a College Paper”. What I liked most about the chapter was that it gave clear steps on how one could develop their college paper and make sure that it was complete, coherent, clear, concise, and correct. There are five C’s that a student should ensure that their paper has, to write a first-rate piece. The steps are outlined (plan, generate ideas, create the first draft, revise, edit, proofread and check format) in a way that once a student understands them, they become the gateway to a good paper. These steps are very practical and explained well in the chapter (Sole, 2010).
The instructor took time to explain areas that we – the students – did not understand. This gave the course more clarity and helped us get a better understanding of it. The area that this course helped me improve the most was the coherence of a paper. For an academic paper to be coherent, there should be a good flow of thoughts from one paragraph to the next throughout the paper (Sole, 2010).
As I progress, I focus more on correcting the grammatical errors that I make while writing. Another area to be improved will be learning how to generate ideas before writing and ensuring that there are clarity and coherence throughout the paper. This course has equipped me with all the necessary tools for writing a good paper; starting with avoiding procrastination to significant steps before, during, and after writing a paper.
Quindlen, A. (2013). Culture: Good Boy, Beau. The Daily Beast. Web.
Sole, K. (2010). Essentials of college writing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.