Dear potential future student,
Thinking of taking an online class? Unsure of what to expect? ENC1102 is a great course to experience the flexibility of a web based class. Because this was not my first online class, I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect before the semester started. I recommend this class for anyone who is self motivated and who enjoys the convenience of not having to go to class two to three times a week. The work load was not overwhelming and I felt as if the assignments were developed in our best interest. In the beginning we were put into groups depending on our interests. I thought that this was a great way to organize the class and to pick assignment topics that would interest us. I chose images and pop culture, because I am very interested in entertainment.
Our first paper topic was a paper on an article that we read in our book The Presence of Others. Different groups had different stories to read, and therefore different paper topics. I chose to write on an article by Ward Churchill titled "Crimes Against Humanity." In the article, Churchill challenged the idea that sports mascots were derogatory towards American Indian groups. Since our very own university was one of the schools affected being the FSU Seminoles, I felt as if this essay would be a great topic for me to write my first paper on. I argued with the fact that these Indian groups were going too far with their accusations and so on. A lot of the components in the essay really ticked me off, so I wrote this paper from a very opinionated and fired up point of view. I put a lot of effort into the paper and was rewarded fairly with an A, which I was extremely pleased with. In this course, as long as you take the time to plan out your assignments and put effort into them, you will be properly rewarded.
The second paper topic was a bit more challenging. However, because we were able to choose whatever topic we wanted for this research paper, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I thought that the fact that we were able to choose our own topic from any subject allowed us to use our creativity and interests to develop a paper that was not only informative, but passionate as well. The topic that I chose was "The Influence of Celebrities and Media on Adolescent Females." Since I was a part of the group that I was researching, I felt that I could add a little of something extra to the paper. I also learned a great deal from writing this. I think that if I were to do it over again I would chose a topic a little easier, because I did have difficulty finding legitimate resources. However, I put the time into making the best of my topic and once again received an A on my final draft. My advice to you, being a future student, would be to pick a topic that you are very interested in and one that will be easy to research and write.
Definitely my favorite, the third paper was a family history paper. For this report, we were given an opportunity to pick from a list of family stories that we had previously submitted to our Blog. I chose to write on the paranormal experiences in my grandparents house up in Baltimore, Maryland. The reason why I chose this topic is because it would be fun for my audience to read, and is one of those stories that really makes you question the fact of if there really is life after death. This paper will allow you to converse with family members and spend some quality time with them in order to find research for your paper. This paper is a good excuse to have a conversation with a family member you have not spoken with in a while, in my case, my great aunt Amelia. I believe that most people enjoy writing this paper, so just pick a story in your family's history that you really would like to know more about.
Last but not least, we were given the assignment of a radical revision. Now, right now you are probably wondering the same thing that I wondered while reading the assignment sheet: "What the heck is a radical revision?!" Well, I definitely thought this would be a challenge. What we did was we took a paper that we had written previously in this course and changed the format completely into something that doesn’t resemble our original paper but had the same story line. I really enjoyed writing the family history paper, so I decided I would revise it into something completely different. I chose to write a movie script, because the idea of my paper followed the traditional cliche of scary movies: a ghost inhabits a house, the family gets to the bottom of the mystery and then all is well. Although this was a non traditional writing assignment, I really thought that it was a great idea. It allowed us to take a paper in which we already had perfected, and completely change it into something extraordinary. If you enjoy being creative, then you will love the radical revision! I thought that this was the most fun out of the assignments, and I believe that mine turned out very well!
Another portion of this class, was our Blog, or online journal. Many times, we were instructed to post an open topic blog, which I really enjoyed. It was a good way to express our feelings or thoughts. We also would post our reading responses on it. This was a way in which we could get to know our classmates a little better. One of the blogs that we did was on our favorite things. In reading them, I learned a lot about the people who I shared a class with, however had never met. That was personally my favorite blog assignment. I thought that the blogs were a good way to get us to write more for our own benefit and let us write about the things we really cared about.
Just like in a regular class, group members would workshop each others papers. At times I felt this to be very helpful, but then there were some responses that didn’t help me at all. My advice for you as a work shopper would be to be honest and to give your group members constructive criticism. Although it may seem nicer to write "good job" on everyone's paper, this doesn't help them realize their mistakes and to see what they could improve on. That doesn't necessarily mean to rip their papers apart, but I feel as if I did my job when I explained what I felt needed work. Some people's responses really helped in revising my paper. It is always nice to have a second and third opinion on your work, because there are always things that need improvement!
This class allowed me to be expressive with my work and taught me that English really can be an enjoyable course. I felt that we were able to write on the things that we were most passionate about and that we had a lot of leniency in picking topics to write on. I believe that any paper will be better written if there is passion instilled by the writer. However, don't be fooled. Just because this course is online and doesn't require you to go to class in person, doesn’t mean that you can slack. We still had deadlines which were reasonable, and our teacher was very lenient on giving us extra time if needed, which I thought was awesome. I felt as if I put a lot of effort into this course and I feel as if I will do very well when final grades come out. I would definitely recommend any student to take ENC1102 online, as long as they are motivated and don't require the structure of attending a real class. Good luck to you future students!