Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Family Backgrounds

I read my personal essay to my roommate Paige. This process, as well as the input of classmates, gave me many helpful ideas of how to revise my draft.
Listening to my essay, I noticed some tense errors, as well as some other grammatical mistakes and repetition. I also found myself adding words to emphasize the effect of certain phrases and even to preface one event. I wrote in many changes that will help my essay be less redundant and more interesting.
Paige’s response to my essay helped me figure out what I should expand upon and emphasize with more imagery and descriptive language. For example, she laughed at the description of my siblings at the airport, but seemed to be less engaged during my description of my family at home. Through this, I realized that I had included much more colorful, detailed characterizations in the former than the later. I was also able to get feedback that my transitions were not confusing and this helped clear up some of my concerns about my writing.
Also, I had to explain the Book of Mormon component of my essay to her because it was a quote that does not seem explicitly scriptural until you see the citation. This made me reconsider expanding this aspect of my essay and adding more analysis.

In the last part of my essay, where I talk about my baby sister, Paige responded with a big “aww.” This led to me sharing more about her and my family. Paige told me more about her family, which is also big. I was able to share my experiences of being a Mormon with a big family in Minnesota and Paige compared it to her experiences in a large family in Idaho. It was cool to hear the differences and similarities in our perceptions of this common background.


  1. It is really cool to make the connections that you didn't know you have with your roommate. Family life is one of those areas that I feel like I learn more about in each of my roommates perspectives all the time! I'm glad you had a good experience isolating the similarities and differences between families while getting good feedback on how to best represent yours.

  2. I think it is really important that you found so many things you wanted to change by reading it aloud to your roommate. The most interesting part to me is that you are now trying to adapt your personal writing to reach an audience. I did't think about that as much when I first wrote my essay. As I write, I now think about how it might sound to others either on a blog to the world, in a class, or read aloud. I can see how you found things you wanted to change after reading it to a roommate and seeing her reaction.