Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Reflection on Synthesis Essay

I won't lie, I hated this project from the beginning and had no care for it until the last day or two. When we began writing the paper, I thought I understood what was expected in a synthesis essay. After spending three hours of straight writing (I prefer to finish an entire draft in one sitting) I was burnt-out but happy with my paper. The next class period we were to share our draft for a peer review. I have never been more frustrated and discouraged by another's words on my work after that peer review. I was frustrated because the feedback I got was almost useless. I was given very vague feed back both positive and negative. I wasn't sure what to change or how because of this. I figured I caught them on a bad day or they weren't invested into the assignment which I didn't blame them for, I wasn't either. Come the second peer review day when we should have prepared a second draft, I turned in my first draft hoping that I could get better feed back. I did and I was just as frustrated if not more so from that. The feed back they gave me was more descriptive telling me specifically that there was too much dialog and no thesis. I was also told that the meaning was completely lost. I knew they read it critically, I heard them when they talked about my paper. I thought it was okay if we had dialog in this memoir/research synthesis essay. I thought they were not supposed to have a thesis but a theme or a lesson. I had never not understood what each paper required. Sure, I sometimes did not reach these standards but I always understood them. I feared the worst when I asked for feed back from my professor. I sat with him and he said, "I don't think you had to much dialog. I think you just need to direct your audience in the right direction with comments or thoughts that you had when when this was said. I also think you did well synthesizing your sources in this paper but here, I would define what your purpose is for writing this paper." He went on with small changes I could make and what he liked from it. "Just watch ambiguity and redundancy but other than that your paper was good." This is how I learned a hard lesson: Never trust peer reviews.