Karina Silva’s Reflection

Karina wrote this reflection to accompany her essay, “The Brain, the Block, and the Bummed Writer,” in her Composition I class in fall 2021.

The point that I wanted to focus on in this essay was to connect my sources to each other, or rather my theories, to the “understanding of the neuroscience behind writing.” I wanted to focus on connecting my theories together because the purpose of my essay was to assess the theories. I also wanted to show that writer’s block, the exigence of this paper, is complex as it has several “symptoms.” In order to emphasize the purpose and the exigence, I had to demonstrate how my sources overlapped and contrasted. Basically, connecting the “everything is in everything,” “flow,” and the “zone of proximal development” theories was the entirety of my paper.

Tyler Tran, the Undercurrents writer behind “It’s Your Voice, Why Not Use It?” connects two sources that both show how difficult it is for students to break out of writing habits:

Since students are taught to believe that there is only one correct way to write from the beginning as Kinloch mentioned, it is difficult for them to break this habit. When a criminal is released from jail, it takes a certain amount of time for them to adjust to living in the free world. […] Gemmell, who wrote about her students’ own experiences with this, observed that ‘many students resisted this new focus’ (Gemmell 65). It is surprising that these students were not openly joyous about being able to write with their own voice, but it is understandable. (Tran)

Tran connected Rebecca Gemmell’s experience with having their students change their writing with Valerie Felita Kinloch’s observations of student’s use of “standard English.” This connection was Tran’s way of emphasizing how students are conditioned to use “standard English” and how that type of language was preventing them from using their own voice in their writing.

Taking from Tran’s example, connecting two sources together gives one the ability to emphasize certain messages that contribute and lay beneath the purpose of the paper. By focusing on connecting sources, one can also concentrate on discussing the uses and limitations of each source. These uses and limits also help contribute to the purpose of the essay. For example, in my paper I found that the limits of each of my theories either revolved around effectiveness, like the flow and “everything is in everything” theory, or on brain activation, like the” zone of proximal development theory.” By examining the uses of my theories, I was able to elaborate on the purpose of my paper by emphasizing that writer’s block is a complex condition and that there are several aspects to it.