English 100: Basic Writing
Email Assignment Reflection
September 24, 2019
I remember first learning to write paragraphs, I believe, around first grade. It’s crazy how my writing skills have progressed through the years. I started by writing simple paragraphs about my summer vacations. Now, I will talk about articles and write seven page research papers and recently learned how to look at my rough draft and reflect on my writing. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is reflect on my writing. I was used to looking at a peer’s work and giving them criticisms on their work. But now, it is almost like I am critiquing myself. Therefore, by doing this project, not only have I picked up valuable writing skills, but I also have learned how to communicate correctly with others through email.
During the process of writing to Farah, I found myself battling on how to write to her. During the different classes, I learned so many things that I didn’t know were or weren’t correct email etiquette. As Farah and I continued to converse, I attempted to put forth those skills I learned in class. I was trying to remember not to overuse exclamation points, because I definitely do. I used to see it as a way to express a strong emotion or excitement towards a certain topic. Never had I thought it could be seen as yelling. Another thing I tried to put forth in my email conversations was the use of a signature. Farah did not have a signature. I think that the use of a signature at the end gives your email more of a formal and more put together feel. But in the end, I believe both of our strategies are effective, since there has been no communication barrier or mishap. All communications were in a timely fashion. Normally when one would send an email the other would answer promptly and enthusiastically. 2
While writing these emails, I also saw myself using different vocabulary that I normally did not use. I do not know if it was a way to make myself seem more professional or perhaps just more intelligent. Though during our earlier communication, she was very sporadic with conversation. We went from asking about hobbies to majors to sports. However, these were the beginning conversations, a ‘get to know you’ time. As time progressed, our topics started to narrow, so now they are on the sole topic, the Petersen and Aakerberg reading.
When I first started talking to Farah, I will admit that I was worried about a possible language barrier or any cultural background that I did not know about. Not until later did I realize that maybe her growing up in another country could have affected English writing and reading skills, in the sense that it could have been taught differently than mine. Within the first few emails between each other, though, I realized that we are very similar. We even enjoy the same pastime, soccer. I even had assumed before starting the project that Lebanon was very different from the United States, but soon I found out that was far from the truth. That idea was further solidified during a conversation about the article in which we talked about the simple use of emojis and emoticons. Farah wrote, “Here in Lebanon we communicate a lot through texting as we also use abbreviations and icons as a form of expressing oneself and communicating.”
Below are examples of emails I sent to Farah, which demonstrate the concepts I discussed above: