ENGL 165 is one of the new mandatory courses that Freshman must take at Longwood University as part of the new Civitae curriculum. I took an Honors section of the course called, “Writing and Rhetoric” with Professor Elise Green. The main difference between this Honors section and a non-Honors section was our daily class discussions and how we implemented those into our final paper. My favorite part of this class was how small it was. We only had 8 students! Having such a small class size is a common perk of being in the Cormier Honors College, and it is one of the reasons that I chose to come to Longwood as an Honors student. Smaller class sizes are very important to me because they promote a better learning environment as well as a stronger relationship with the professor.
Initially, I was not very keen on having to take this course because I felt that I already had a fairly excellent ability to write well. In high school, I always received some of the highest grades on essays, and many of my peers asked me to review and edit their writing for them. However, what I did not learn in high school was that there are different styles of writing that are preferred in different academic disciplines. For example, the APA format is recommended in most scientific disciplines, which is in contrast to the MLA format that is oftentimes used in humanity and social disciplines. Prior to taking ENGL 165, I did not know anything about the different structural, linguistic, or referencing preferences of different fields. Furthermore, I only knew how to write in MLA format, but not APA format.
By the end of the semester, the biggest lesson that I learned was how to write in APA format. I learned this by writing many, many papers in APA format and steadily building upon the complexity through length and content. Even though my in-person course meetings for ENGL 165 were cut short by two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Green continued to teach online through Canvas and Zoom. Luckily, the course translated very well to an online format, and I firmly believe that I received the same education that I would have in-person.
Attached below is a link to my final semester paper. This paper ties together the educational material that I learned about academic disciplines and their preferred styles of writing, as well as it exemplifies my ability to effectively write within one of those disciplines.