Reflective Memo

Most students find it difficult to write good essays, whether it’s deciding on a topic, formulating a strong thesis statement, or properly citing their sources (Redman, Peter & Wendy 94). The process of writing an essay is indeed tedious and time-consuming. Throughout my writing process, I ran into a number of roadblocks that prevented me from producing a sensible and precise paper.
Challenges
The first problem was deciding where to begin. The most difficult aspect of writing an essay is deciding where to begin, which requires determining the paper’s purpose. For instance, in my study of abortion, it was hard to censor my thoughts and to start writing down on any idea that appeared in my mind. I had to jot down all the uncensored points as they came in my mind. Copying down all these ideas first enabled me to pick up the most relevant concepts.

The organization of the work was another substantial challenge which I encountered. As stated by Aliakbari, Mohammad & Nabi, writing a paper requires an individual to take a specific stance on a given topic, to my case abortion, and attempt to reason out on what the problem entails (40). I experienced the challenge of strategizing on the organization of the essay, so as to convince the reader with a solid hard-to-refute the argument. The topic that I addressed is very debatable and sensitive, hence, arriving at any conclusion requires adequate support with facts and logical reasoning.

Another challenge was the language, where, there was the need to articulate thoughts. It was not easy to phrase ideas with the right words, and developing a logical argument backed up with reliable references. Nevertheless, it was tedious to identify subtle errors in my paper; hence, there was the need of finding someone to review the whole work. Apparently, a convincing argument backed up with stellar references may be easily overlooked, more so, when the writer is weak in selecting the appropriate words.

Finally, citing the sources. When an author wants to avoid plagiarism, it is significant for a strategic documentation of all the sources used to write the paper. For instance, in my paper, I had to put in-text citations, with the particular cited page. I encountered confusion, which could have resulted in plagiarism, not forgetting that every institution punishes plagiarism regardless of the intent. The content written in the section of a literature review is very substantial, whereby, failure to recognize the work of another author may result in severe punishments.

Strengths and Weaknesses

In my paper, I had various strengths and weaknesses, where, one of my strengths was adequate ideas. It happens that most of the writers lack adequate ideas on what to write. To my case, I had enough premises on the merits and demerits of abortion, which enabled me to make a definite conclusion. The ideas written in the paper are backed up with straight facts from human rights and legal proceedings.

Another strength is an appropriate paraphrasing. Most of the information in the study was attained through extensive research from different media such as books, journals, and libraries. Paraphrasing those ideas into my own words to avoid plagiarism and to write an essay that makes sense to the reader is a strength, which most of the students’ lack.

On the other hand, I had some weaknesses, identifiable in the paper. The main weakness was creating an appropriate essay structure. For instance, most of my paragraphs are ununiform, where, some are bigger than the others. My paragraphs have almost 200 words each, where, a standard one should have an average of 75 to 130 words. For instance, on the merits of abortion, the point of population control has more than 180 words, while on the section of legality, the paragraph has 215 words.

Concepts Learned

In writing my paper, I learned various skills, which are relevant and applicable in my educational lifetime. The first skill is the citation. There are different styles of referencing which include APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard and the like. In my case, I used MLA style; however, I had to understand other referencing styles. Acknowledging the work written by other authors is important, where, in the future, I might conduct research on a given topic, which will ensure that all direct quotes and paraphrases are cited.

Another concept learned when writing the paper is the proper use of language and the structures of different type of essays. Good structure entails appropriate linking of words, careful paragraphing, use of transition sentences, subheadings, and any other relevant structuring styles. Also, proper writing requires a good flow of words, with minimal or no grammatical errors. I attained this high skill on language and essay structure when writing my paper on abortion and can be relevant in writing any other term papers, or when I may decide to write a journal or a book.

Works Cited

Aliakbari, Mohammad, and Nabi Karimi Allvar. “Communication strategies in the written medium: The effect of language proficiency.” Linguistik online 40.4 (2013).

Redman, Peter, and Wendy Maples. Good essay writing: a social sciences guide. Sage, 2017.

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