Writing has never been easy for me. In school, I have always had good grades. Some subjects came naturally like biology, history, and even math. Over time I have learned, that writing is a process. It takes patience and skill. Ever since writing my first major paper in the eighth grade, I gained a better understanding and appreciation for writing. The defining moment of my writing career happened, April of my eighth grade year. My English teacher was Mrs. M. E. , she dislike her first name which was Mary Elizabeth, and so we called her M. E. My teacher was a tall, blonde haired woman, who I always remembered her having a red pencil behind her ear.
Mrs. M. E had a serious passion for English, and you could tell how much she loved it. Throughout our classroom, you would see famous quotes from famous writers like Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and Maya Angelou. In this class we wrote constantly, mostly essays on stories we read. One day, I remember sitting in my seat near the window, it was almost the end of the school year. Mrs. M. E walked around the class, and had everyone pull a piece of paper out of the basket.
We were instructed not to open the paper until later. Once everyone picked, she stood in front of the class and said, “For your final grades of this class, you will create a research paper. ” My classmates and I heard the term before, but did not really know what it was. She then told everyone to look at the piece of paper we pulled out of the basket. Mrs. M. E explained we had to do a biographical research paper on historical figures. It seem like everyone in the class became nervous at the same time. Many of my classmates did not even know anything about the subject.
The name I randomly selected was Shirley Temple. I was relieved. While growing up, my grandmother and I used to watch re-runs of Shirley Temple movies on the weekends. This paper was the first research paper I had ever done. Over a few days, I read books and articles about Shirley Temple. I remember sitting at my kitchen for hours with my notebook. My trash can overflowed with balled up paper balls, nothing made any sense when I tried writing. English was the subject that requires too much thinking. In my family I was always known as the over achiever.
Other school subjects came easy, but not English. For some strange reason, whenever I tried to write, I had no idea where to begin or when I did write something it did not make any sense. It is like I was stuck with permanent “writers block”. If someone asked me about my topic, I could tell someone out loud about Shirley Temple. A few days before first drafts were due, my grandmother saw me at the kitchen table, clearly stressed out with hands on my head. I explained to her my situation, and told her “I hate writing! ” My grandmother sat down next to me, and read the few sentences I had written.
She asked if told I asked my teacher for help. I replied “No… ” she then said “Well you need to ask her before it’s due, I would help you if I could. But we did not have to do research papers when I was in school. “, “But you need to take a deep breathe and calm down… it is impossible to do anything done right if your upset. ” The next day, in class we went over MLA format, how to do a bibliography, and transitional words. After lecture, I went to my teacher and explained what was going on with my research paper. Basically, she explained I was overthinking the entire project. Mrs. M.
E told me “I know you can write, you do it everyday in class. Even outside of class. You have been preparing for this all year, and did not realize it. ” She asked me to show her, the brainstorm worksheet we worked on in class a day ago. Look at the brainstorm sheet like a “map” to my research paper. That afternoon in class, she showed me how had already written everything I needed down already. Now all i had to do was put the ideas into complete sentences. She also explained how important a rubric is in writing. While reviewing your paper, use the rubric to make sure you have covered all the topics listed.
My teacher explained in writing you have to take your time, and by having a plan for your paper is a very useful skill in writing. After my conversation with my teacher, I went home that afternoon and finished the first draft of my paper without any problems. The grade I received on the first draft was a “B”, for grammatical errors. After editing several drafts of the assignment, the final grade on my research paper was an “A”. Ever since that assignment, I have always used what I learned in my writing career. If I had to take one lesson learned away from that assignment it would be to have patience.
After several drafts of that assignment, I definitely earned my grade. Writing is a very tedious process, it takes time to master. It still takes me a while write a paper, but by using what my teacher taught me, I am not completely lost. In the past, I was always amazed and almost envious of people who have the ability, to easily write anything. Growing up, I was one of those kids where if I am not good at something, I said “I don’t like it”. I am still growing as a writer, and I still have to brainstorm before doing any writing assignment.
By brainstorming I can start making sentences out of my ideas, and before I know it my assignment is complete. My eighth grader research paper had major effect on my writing career. As I have matured over the years, I have worked very hard on my writing. Even though, I still prefer to verbally express my ideas. In some circumstances, it not always possible to do so Here is where being a competent writer comes in handy. Writing is an important to our everyday lives, and it is a skill that everyone can do with patience and practice.