For this assignment, I decided to interview Jeany, a classmate and close friend, who has known me throughout our high school careers.
Q: How would you describe my early writing style and skills?
A: Based on the first papers that I’ve read, your writing was not very concrete. Your ideas were good but you weren’t very good at supporting your ideas on paper. I knew what you were trying to say and where you wanted to go with your topic, but you had trouble delivering it in a clear way.
Q: How has my writing style or skills changed over the years?
A: I think as writer, you have developed your writing style. Your ideas and writing has definitely matured. Your writing flows better now and the transitions between each idea are much clearer. You’re getting better at stating your thoughts and then backing it up with quotes from the literature. I’ll say you flourished as a writer but you can still improve in certain areas.
Q: What do you think I have to work on in terms of my writing?
A: You still have trouble when it comes to shaping your thesis statement into something workable and arguable. Sometimes your thesis is not an argument but merely just a statement. You also tend to make minor grammatical errors here and there, so be more careful about that.
Q: What would you say about my critical thinking skills?
A: I think you are a fairly capable critical thinker. If you were given a piece of literature to read, you’ll be able to read it and analyze it. One of your strengths is you don’t confine yourself to merely the textual context but you like to think outside the box. You’re open-minded and you listen others’ opinions on the same context.
Q: How would you describe me as a reader?
A: I can’t be the judge of your reading abilities but I think you are a proficient reader. When reading works of literature, you understand and can interpret those pieces of work. You understand it and can answer questions regarding the text or the message the author tries to convey. You also look into the characters and are able to relate the literature to reality by finding similarities and differences.
Writing is one of the areas that I am the least confident in. Writing good essays is a personal challenge. Writing good, analytical essays is an even greater challenge. When Jeany said my writing has flourished, I was surprised. Although I think my writing has improved over time, I personally don’t agree that they have “flourished”. For me, writing critical essays can be a hard task. I still find that I have trouble conveying my ideas on paper. Personally, the biggest challenge in writing is using efficient and clear language. I get stuck when formulating an argumentative thesis statement and presenting textual evidence in a fluid manner. In addition, I agree with Jeany when she said that I make grammatical errors. Although I proofread my works and try to fix my grammar, there are always errors that I miss. Grammar is not my forte, hence there are times when I have problems regarding which tense to use. My views on my writing are vastly different from Jeany’s views. I believe I still need to work on connecting my ideas and shaping my thesis. I think my writing skills are only mediocre but I hope to develop a more mature and sophisticated writing style.
For me, reading and thinking critically come in tangent with one another. Although I cannot say I’m an excellent reader and thinker, I think I am at least capable. When reading a piece of literature, I try hard to understand the message the writer is trying to convey. Similar to what Jeany said about my critical thinking, I do try to think outside of the context of the literature. Sometimes, certain writings are harder than others and I’ll have no idea what was being said, making it difficult for me to interpret. Although I think I’m capable of reading and thinking on a critical level, I’m not confident in my skills as a critical reader and thinker.
Writing doesn’t come easy to me nor does reading or thinking critically. However, because I know that I lack in these areas, I have been working hard to acquire the skills that will help me develop as a more refined and confident writer, reader, and thinker.