I was very pleased that I could choose the topics I wanted to write about in English Composition 102. I learned a lot of information from researching the topics I chose, because I was genuinely interested in learning more about them.
The “birth of cool” assignment was very interesting to me. I am very fascinated about South Korea and this assignment gave me an opportunity to learn more about it. My topic was about boy bands. I could have written about boy bands in America, but I chose to write about South Korean boy bands in particular because I listen to a lot of Korean music and most of the songs are by boy and girl bands. I did not want to be someone who liked something without really understanding what it was. I did not want to be ignorant. I used this assignment to increase my knowledge of South Korea as well as help others learn more about a topic that is not widely known. Learning about how Korean pop music groups formed made me appreciate Korean pop music even more. I was surrounded by a lot of information and struggled to articulate it all correctly. There were many different aspects about Korean boy bands that I wanted to describe and I sometimes went off on a tangent. When I revised my essay I tried to think of myself as someone who had no knowledge of South Korea or boy bands. This helped me write my essay because my first draft sometimes made the assumption that the reader knew about the topic. Writing about a topic while keeping the reader in mind helped me develop a better essay.
The profile assignment was my favorite assignment this semester. I wrote about the private tutoring institutions in South Korea. I interviewed my South Korean pen pal for this assignment and I think it made us become closer as friends. I wanted to profile my pen pal because she would often write to me about studying for exams and being overwhelmed. I had a general knowledge of South Korea at the time and knew that education was important and studying was a priority. Being able to research the topic more thoroughly and getting a person’s point of view was enriching and helped me gain a better understanding about the topic. I wanted to write about South Korean education because I felt that I needed to share the knowledge with other people. I wanted others to become more aware of South Korean students and the pressures they endure in order to excel. I believe the worst type of pain would be mental stresses because it can break you down from the inside and your emotions become erratic. I felt empathy towards South Korean students and I wanted others to understand as well. My first step in writing about the topic was to find the source of the obsession of education and then work my way to the present. While researching about the topic I had many “Ah ha!” moments because everything became crystal clear once I knew the history of South Korean education.
The book review on Blindness was very new to me. I never wrote a review before and learning about the different components helped me become a better writer. I enjoyed reading the novel even though I would have liked it to be more inspiring. While writing the review I tried to summarize the parts of the book that were the most important and tried to convey the importance of the themes of the book. I did not want my personal feelings about the book to get in the way of the review. It was an excellent novel and I wanted to recommend it to others. The book’s message is really powerful although some people may miss the point. I tried to explain to the future readers that they would appreciate the book as long as they kept an open mind. Many people might want to find an answer to every problem, but sometimes there is no answer.
English Composition 102 helped me find my own style of writing. I also learned to better incorporate quotes and information from sources in my essay. I would often insert a quote into a paragraph and it would minimize the effectiveness of the information. Putting the information into my own words was a better technique and increased the overall quality of my essays.
The “birth of cool” assignment, the profile, and the book review were enjoyable projects to complete. I learned many new skills this semester and I will continue to improve my writing by practicing and utilizing what I have learned.