Writing and Research: ENGL 150

Writing and Research (ENGL 150) – Spring 2018

Writing and Research is one of the most basic gen ed classes at Longwood, but also one of the most important. Often referred to as a “freshman class”, as most students take it in their freshman year, English 150 is the basis for writing skills that will not only be used later in students’ college education but all throughout life. How else do people communicate in the professional world if not through writing, whether it’s emails, reports, or speeches? I came into Writing & Research knowing how important writing was, but I didn’t know how much I was going to gain from the class. After all, I have always been a strong writer, what more could I gain from taking this class? The answer was a lot.

As the name suggests, writing is only half of Writing and Research. Although we did talk about writing a little, and we wrote a lot, I found that most of the valuable instruction we received in the class was about the research process. Between a third and a half of the class was dedicated to our big research projects, and we started learning to research well before then.

An interesting aspect of the class was that our section has a focus on the topic of censorship. We got a few history lessons on censorship in various types of media, and then for our research project, each of us had to pick a topic related to censorship to thoroughly research.

For my research project, I decided to pick something that I already knew a little about but wanted to learn even more about in-depth. My topic was the censorship of LGBTQ+ content in media. My research poster containing a summary of all my research on this is below. This project was an engaging way for the students to put all of the skills that we had learned in the class to use, from the research and information refining process, to writing a summary and analysis of the information we found, to making an argument for the importance of our issue, to presenting our finished project to the rest of the class. This project really helped me understand the importance of the skills I learned in Writing and Research. Without what I had learned, I doubt I would have been able to complete, or perhaps even start this project — but instead, I dove confidently into this project and ended up creating something I am now very proud of.