This is crazy series continues where I write blog content as an assignment for my Introduction to Professional Communications class. I’m enjoying writing these and reflecting on the work I do for the class, while also doing some self learning to blog better (you’ll notice that I don’t have the banner image repeated anymore). If you’ve missed it, I’ve reflected on learning about plagiarism and reacted to work I’ve done on a error log for my first assignment.
For this week’s assignment, we’re asked to review our process for writing our midterm and the feedback we received for it. Our midterm was hosted asynchronously and it was made up of three parts. The first part was the CRAAP assignment we had done as our first assignment, but severely altered to reflect our previous feedback and the error log we did on it. The second part was a detailed outline of what changes we made to the CRAAP test and why. The third was our personal assessment of the revised CRAAP test and the mark we believed we deserved, as stated out of 15. We were not given a rubric for the midterm or any examples and had to instead rely on our own instincts and the basic instructions we were delivered.
Because we had been given an assignment package with the outline of our course assignments and what we could expect for the tests, I was able to look ahead and see that our error log and midterm were in the same vein of work, so I made the early decision to complete both at the same time. While I started with the error log and the blog post for it, the work I did on the error log directly informed how I worked on my midterm.
I took the time to carefully read through everything that was required of me for the midterm before starting on it and decided that the best way to do it was to work on multiple documents at once. Over my two screen set-up, I had 4 documents open and viewable at once.
- The original CRAAP test with the feedback from my instructor on it
- The PDF overview of what was expected for the CRAPP test and midterm
- The midterm packet document I created with a copied and pasted version of the original CRAAP test on it
- A blank document for me to record the changes that I made as I made them
Having all of these open at the same time made it very simple for me to work on whichever of the two working documents I needed to be on, and be able to reference the feedback and the assignment as I needed to. There was very minimal clicking back and forth. I also had my error log in front of me and I had a copy of the graded rubric from the original CRAAP test for me to refer to as I wrote.
Before I started the actual editing phase, I also wrote out the steps in editing and rewriting as we learned in the week of the error log, so that my memory was fresh and so that I would have something to refer to.
After going through all the rewriting steps and carefully documenting my changes (including citing the original text and indicating what was changed) I combined the change record document with the midterm and began working on the whole thing as one document.
When I felt I was finished with the re-write, I read the re-write out loud to my poor unsuspecting kid and asked for her notes. She was not helpful, but I did stumble over a few sentences which I rewrote.
I considered the first part of the midterm complete at this point and looked through my change document and formatted it, corrected errors where I saw them, and moved onto the final part of the assignment.
The self assessment. It’s hard to self assess, especially when your ego is well documented like mine. I carefully reviewed the original rubric for the CRAAP test, reflected on the marked rubric from my instructor, and reviewed the feedback of the original assignment. Did I mention I got 95% on the original document? The part for which I was docked marks was my citing, as I didn’t use proper APA citing for 1 of 2 references. Logically, as this error was corrected, my revised document should sit at 100%, but I also want to be a little humble and be like “I can do better” but I honestly didn’t think I could. So I said as much.
I edited this self assessment document a few times and let it sit for a few hours before coming back for an edit, but for the most part, the tone and the general sentiment stayed the same.
Once I felt all three parts were complete, I re-read everything once more, and submitted the midterm, just hours following my error log blog post assignment. I felt really good about being able to submit 9 days before the deadline.
I think I reflected a little about how I felt getting my assignment feedback (dumb. Come on, CHOSE? Really? I didn’t know about chose?!) in my error log blog post, and much of that sticks as I revisited my assignment and rewrote it. I felt a little pride because “citing was my only serious error?!” but as I was reflecting on my revision and writing my self assessment, I was further prideful. I wrote something technically correct in my revision, and how far I’ve come from that 15 year-old who cared minimally about grammar. At that point, I didn’t think I would ever do so well on a writing assignment as I did on this revision (except for that one piece in English 12 where I had to write a diary entry for the characters from Ethan Frome and I wrote as Ethan Frome who wasn’t a particularly well educated man, so I added in some additional spelling errors and aged the page, but really, that was more of an art assignment than an English one).
As I worked through the midterm, I think my biggest learning experience was how much work editing truly is. I cast it off to the side and dismiss it as an easy task because I just read through my work a few times, but when I was tracking every change (and I even skipped the mundane things like “I fixed the spelling for citing from siting”) and I had it all down, written in front of me, it was surprising; I had two pages of written notes of the edits I had made. That blew my mind.
With this in mind, I realize just how much energy I expel in ensuring my work is at a high enough quality for my own standards, but then how much more I have to input for it to be a high enough quality for someone who is reviewing my work. It’s a lot.
Honestly, I don’t know how this will all apply to what I do in the future; I think it will be more of a lesson learned kind of thing. I won’t take what I perceive to be easy work for granted. I spent as much, if not more, time rewriting and editing my CRAAP test assignment as I did writing it in the first place, which says a bit as the OG assignment involved research!
I will say, that as sweet as the 95% felt for the original CRAAP test, it felt so much better getting 100% on my midterm. I’ve told my husband like 6 times now that I got a perfect score. Pride may be a cardinal sin for religious people, but damn, it feels GOOD.