September 6, 2010
My Autobiographical Essay on ELA
I’ve been writing essays since I was in 3rd grade. The topics have varied, the instructions
have changed but the process of both thinking and writing has stayed the same. My writing
process is one that would horrify any English teacher.
As much as I would like to I can’t change the way I think. My teachers have always
urged me to use outlines. While outlines are beneficial to some I’m not one of them. Every essay
written with the use of an outline has turned out to be a disaster. My thought process is that I
write something down as it comes to me. I don’t think or write down anything before hand. I’ve
lost count of the times I’ve clashed with various teachers over this matter.
If a topic doesn’t interest me then it will be reflected on my writing. My apathy comes
across in my writing in such a way that it leaves little doubt as to my enjoyment of involvement
in what I’m writing. If the topic is the destruction of the rain forest then you can be assured that
my zeal will transmit through my essay. But, on the other hand if the topic is: discuss literary
elements used in X book then my essay will reflect on my lack of enjoyment. It’s not that I won’t
make an effort it’s just that the reader will just know that the writer could have cared less.
My high school English teacher Mr. Edwards was always saying that to site sources you
need reliable sources. Obviously my usage of Wikipedia was not going to cut it. Well, Wikipedia
may not be reliable to you but it is to me. Every essay I’ve written since middle school was with
the help of Wikipedia. Just because it didn’t show up in my bibliography doesn’t mean I didn’t
use it. Wikipedia is a good website and has a variety of articles on many topics.
I scorn and abhor the way teachers tell their pupils to use writing to express themselves
but a comma has to go here and a colon there and if you have o site a source do it like this. How
is that in any way, shape, or form freedom of expression? Is this a conspiracy? Are all writes
supposed to write in one “correct” uniformed way? English is my least favorite subject for that
reason-the lack of experimentation and freedom not to include boredom.
My writing process on any essay is this: I think. I write. If I need any outside information
then I will use it and site if needed. I don’t think any instructor I’ve had had any influence in my
writing. The way I write is a reflection of the way I think and of my character. I don’t like being
told how to jut down words on a piece of paper. For all that why not become like Iran or Cuba
and control all aspects of my life?
At this point my feelings toward the academic essay are clear and in no way subtle. I find
chafing and confining all of the rules and regulations with writing the academic essay. I find it
uncomfortable but given that I have no choice I’ve learned to write such an essay. My biggest
struggle with the academic essay is that sometimes it’s hard to sound impersonal and different,
especially if you’re writing about something very emotional like human trafficking.
I don’t use “I” in an academic essay unless told so. I also don’t refer to the reader-well
maybe indirectly and very subtlety. I don’t refer to myself or the reader because that is what I
was taught by my past English teachers. If I do use “I” in my essay it’s only because I’m telling
an anecdote or something likewise that refers to my thesis.
I consider myself an okay writer. I much prefer and get pleasure from reading other
peoples work. I think that’s the real reason why I despise writing. For me, the real enjoyment is
in reading the words of a page not writing them. I will never be a writer but I will always be a