Collaborating with classmates in group essays, peer reviews and mini-conferences with my professor has helped improved my writing and reading comprehension skills. Group essays, such as the one my classmates and I did at the beginning of the semester, helped improved my writing skills. Our assignment was to define what a college paper was, and each member of the group was assigned to write a different paragraph. In the end, the paragraphs would be put together to form a single paper defining what a college paper is. Through group essays, I was given the opportunity to see my classmates’ ideas and their different styles of writing which helped me avoid mistakes they used. One example of a mistake I now avoid is the use of semicolons, instead now I use more periods and commas. Collaborating through group essays helped improve my writing skills, but peer reviewing helped improve my reading comprehension and writing skills as well.
Peer reviewing, such as editing classmates’ final research paper, helped improve my writing and reading comprehension skills. The class was assigned groups and were given the assignment to read three classmates’ final research paper, annotate them, and were assigned to evaluate a specific material of the paper, such as the introduction, organization or the use of evidence. Annotating my classmates’ papers helped me see the different styles of writing. One example is the length of the introduction. The length of the introduction could be more than one paragraph rather than the standard one paragraph introduction with a thesis. I did not know that this was possible until the class was assigned to peer review papers. My writing skills improved through peer reviewing because I was introduced to new concepts and styles of writing such as how long an introduction can and should be. The peer reviewing also improved my reading comprehension skills through the annotating process. I had trouble comprehending what a writer was trying to say in either a novel or an essay. However, after the peer reviewing process of the final research papers, I was able to analyze text especially that of classmates much better. My professor provided an assignment sheet for the peer reviewing process, which guided me to analyzing and looking for specific pieces of my classmates’ paper. Collaborating in the peer review process helped improve my reading comprehension and writing skills, but most of my improvements came from the mini-conferences I had with my professor.
The mini-conferences, office hours or mandatory conferences held by my professor, improved my writing skills. The classes’ first paper was to define what a social issue was. I had trouble defining what a social issue was, but I collaborated with my professor during his office hours to find a definition. However, I had trouble writing my paper rather than defining the term. After grading my first paper which I received a C- on, my professor and I collaborated on editing the paper and attempting to improve it and my writing skills. Through collaboration with my professor during his office hours and mini-conferences, my writing skills improved and so did my grade on my papers. My first paper received a C-, but I received an A- on my final research paper.