Journal # 2: The Learning Process of Writing

Curiosity, according to me, is a powerful concept. It triggers fundamental questions like when, what, how, etc., and is the basis for discoveries and inventions. Curiosity triggers learning in young children as well as adults with an open mind. In children, curiosity is the first and a crucial trigger for learning. However in adults, the first and the crucial trigger before curiosity is reflection. Assuming that adults already have some knowledge and understanding of certain subjects, reflection presumably highlights gaps and will drive curiosity and learning.

One of the most important aspects of reflection, curiosity, and learning is asking the right questions. I have written numerable papers for graduate school and many essays. But, upon reflecting on my own writing, I recognized the need for improvement and asked myself the question – How do I learn to write?

As I have never taken a course in English composition, I relied on many online articles to learn how to write, persuasively. As per their recommendations, I created a blog and started reflecting on my papers from graduate school and self-assessed them. But, I found that our biases and mistakes are reinforced or overlooked through self-assessments. So, I went on to seek other ideas of effective writing. One of the online recommendations asked me to read other passages and evaluate the content. Although this is a good idea to learn and critically analyze the topic in the passage, I realized that learning to write compelling and insightful essays comes from actually sitting down and writing. So, I looked for other “learn to write” resources, which led me to Edx’s English composition course. Through this course, I am now seeking to start afresh, unlearn some of my old habits, and learn how to write. I will perhaps devote another blog at a later date with clear ideas on how to learn to write. But now, as per my current understanding, learning to write comes from seeking the guidance of writing experts in developing an essay.

Many writing experts have reiterated that writing is a continuous learning process, and there is always a better way to write something. I must confess that when I reflected on my graduate school essays at a later date and revised them for my blog, I did end up with better flowing essays. So I do support that with the foundation of persuasive writing through English composition courses, the “learning process” of writing includes the practice of reading/researching passages, reflecting and contextualizing the ideas, writing essays on those ideas/ pieces of evidence, re-reflecting and re-writing the same compositions. But, it is important to remember that there is always a better way to write something, and so the writer must make deliberate attempts to limit the number of revisions.

My perspective of the writing process is heavily influenced by the process of my graduate school application and the graduate school itself. It is, however, essential to identify that a person’s experience with writing depends mainly on their background and their foundation in writing. For example, I come from an educational environment that was writing-heavy but with no foundation in English composition. I have friends who have never written essays during school but have gone on to present some excellent articles/writings after school. I also have friends who have completed their education in non-English systems, and so do not have the “knowledge of conventions” as much as a native English speaker might. So experiences with writing and perspectives on the “process of learning” to write will most likely have origins in an individual’s background, which might differ from one person to another.

In conclusion, perspectives of learning and learning process of writing are primarily driven by reflection and curiosity of one’s own essays and one’s foundation in English composition. But, an attitude to learn and openness to new ways of writing is vital to present better, comprehensive and persuasive articles.

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