Self Assessment: My Paintbrush, My Words

I paint pictures of my thoughts and allow my words to be the paintbrush.

Each phrase, each word, each punctuation, 

Indicating a different stroke,

That when put together,

Illustrates a masterpiece that expresses the inner thoughts of the soul.

So what is writing?

Writing is the tool one uses to escape their current reality.

It gives the mind the freedom to wander.

It detaches all limits,

And permits the revelation of one’s imagination.

So in summation,

Writing is the heart’s mouthpiece and the brains drawing board.


Prior to officially starting this semester, I set some goals for myself as a writer. I knew I would be taking a Writing for Social Science class, but it defied my expectations greatly. The writing tasks forced me to step outside of my comfort zone as a writer. It also forced me to rebuild my conceptions of what writing actually is and how to write. This semester, I was given the option to explore different genres of writing through the research topics assigned and from personal research. Gratefully, it has expanded my ideologies of not just writing and literature, but life outside of the classroom as well. 

The first writing piece challenged my preconceived notions of someone who I spent most of my adolescent years in companionship with. As I was learning how my friend viewed immigrants and their influence on the American society, I was also exposing subconscious notions about immigrants that were hidden within myself. In my reflection I stated, “Before constructing my interview questions, I came to terms with my own biases towards the matter, which is what led me to do some more research. In order to attack my prejudices, I structured the questions to entertain my biases.” This assignment taught me how to silence my subjectivity in my writing and to internalize other ideas on topics I thought I knew a lot about.

Just as I was taking a breath from the first assignment, essay two was presented to the class. This assignment was slightly more tedious than the previous paper. I have never done an observation paper on an online community much more a social media platform. The informality of this paper pushed me to step outside of the orthodox way of writing papers and to tap into my creative side. This was my pivot point as a writer this semester. My biggest issues with writing this paper was choosing a community that wasn’t too broad in content but had enough content that I could write four or five pages on. My original introduction is included below: 

My intended community is the “FRIENDS” community. This community is based off of the series “Friends” that aired on television during the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. The show depicts the life of six friends living in New York City. The main characters, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey, are all in their late twenties experiencing the ups and downs of adulthood. The series indulges in the love stories between Chandler and Monica and Rachel and Ross. The show is intended to be a comedy, which is a controversial topic amongst the social media fans. The community is spread across many social media which includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. 

After submitting my description of my topic, and being denied, I narrowed down my research content and focused on a particular hashtag. My final introduction was stated as:

Twenty-five years ago on September 22nd, the first episode of “FRIENDS” aired on television. The show depicts the life of six friends living in New York City. The main characters, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey, are all in their late twenties experiencing the waves of adulthood. Issues such as unemployment, relationship battles – both intimate and platonic- infertility, drug use, etc… were in some shape or another fashioned into the story line of each character on the show, making the show relatable to almost every age group. The series graced the entertainment industry with ten years of memories. Netflix has kept up the show’s legacy by streaming all ten seasons for fans, both old and new. 

In the revised introduction, I also included some information that foreshadows content in the latter parts of the essay and the conclusion.

The Literature Review was probably the hardest paper I’ve written this semester.  I started out with the research question, “What are the psychological effects of parent to child interactions on platonic and romantic relationships?” After considering the qualities of a good research question, I reconstructed my original question about two other times. While researching some key topics in the original question, I realized I was focused on too many things and limited my research question to just romantic relationships. I still wasn’t satisfied with the question I had and based on the articles I found while researching, and revisions from others, I refocused my question on how one’s upbringing affects young adult romantic relationships. Overall, I altered my research question about six times. 

I prolonged the research process because at one point I found that the information I had wasn’t relevant to my topic. Most of my research was done on the CCNY Libraries Database. When I couldn’t find information I thought was useful, I switched to Google Scholar and searched up some other key terms. Once I found a link for information I could use, I copied the link and pasted it in one of the databases for access to the complete journal. This process was extremely tedious and time consuming, but it wasn’t the worst part. Writing from an objective perspective and sounding as though I was simply summarizing the literature was what challenged me. I had writer’s block on almost every section and constantly had to re-organize the format of the paper.

During the planning stage of this assignment, I wrote an imaginary conversation with some that addressed the necessity in choosing an audience. I constantly questioned myself about how my information would appeal to any audience. Would it appeal to their emotions, would I be expressing facts that appeal to the logistical side of the audience, and even how could I present the information in a way that would gain the trust of the audience?

 Throughout the past four months, I started to appreciate writing in a different light. Previously, I dreaded the writing process. Any way I could, I avoided having to write any form of literature. As the semester progressed, I started writing as a form of therapy; a way to use my emotions and thoughts, both good and bad, in a productive way. I began to indulge myself in the creative writing realm and I noticed a shift in my writing style. Im rather grateful for the assignments that hindered my relationship with sleep many nights, but also fashioned me as a better writer. Overall, I’m satisfied with the growth I’ve achieved this semester and can’t wait to see the masterpieces I create in the assignments to come.