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My name is Kathleen Henslee. I’m from Columbus GA, where Coca Cola and Aflac were first made. It’s the 3rd biggest city in Georgia. Ever since I was little I loved solving mysteries or putting puzzles together. Scooby Doo was my favorite show as a kid. Majoring in Criminal Justice just makes sense.

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Blogs VS Term Papers

Matt Richtel interviews several professors and journalists about their opinions on blogs and term papers. They provide various viewpoints, beliefs, and ideals. Richtel writes for The New York Times. With this information, we can infer that he is a very skilled writer and journalist. He is skilled enough to work for a well known company, such as The New York Times. 

He is presenting other peoples opinions on the subject whether for or against blogs. He presents different arguments about blogs and term papers. He rarely if ever weighs in on the argument, if ever. He only does this once, when referencing professor Lunsford’s studies. Using words like, “impassioned, feel, and love.” When he references Lunsford’s study about writing blogs. He also goes on to say, “they feel as if they’re actually producing something personally rewarding and valuable, whereas when they write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.” As a student I can confirm that this ideology is how many students think. One could argue that he leans in favor of writing blogs.

In an argument against blogs, Mr. Fitzhugh says, “We don’t pay taxes so kids can talk about themselves and about their home lives.” This evokes emotion. Many might agree with this argument. Especially parents who send their kids to public schools, since public schools are funded by the government paid from taxes. As someone who does not pay taxes yet, I am not swayed by this opinion as much as someone who does pay taxes would be. Fitzhugh leans more toward term papers and not blogs. His argument is not based on logic but emotion. Unlike Douglas B. Reeves.

Douglas B. Reeves, a journalist, uses a more logical approach in his argument. In reference to term papers he says, “those who do write them have a dramatic leg up in terms of critical thinking, argumentation and the sort of expression required not only in college, but in the job market.” It is almost non negotiable that critical thinking is required in all lines of work. Argumentation is a skill needed to advocate for yourself and others. People need to be able to advocate for themselves in order to get a job. One must argue as to why they should be hired. It is a useful and necessary skill to have. Expressing oneself is a beautiful thing. Expression can come in many different forms. Expression leads to a happy heart and soul. Expression can even be someone’s job. Artists, cooks, bakers, dancers, photographers, and many more use expression in their line of work. 

As someone who was privileged enough to go to the best school in my hometown, a college preparatory school to be exact, I had to write essays often in MLA format about myself or what I read. I wrote so often that I could crank out an essay with ease. We never wrote blogs before, so the format for writing a blog is so new to me. I tend to enjoy writing. I even write in my spare time. I write poetry and I’m working on a novel as well. I have even had some of my work published. I wanted to be a writer for a while.but in the end I chose the career path that would bring me the most financial stability. With financial stability I can achieve my goals and follow my dreams. Maybe my novel will be a best seller and I could start a career as an author. Maybe I’ll be a famous poet. Writing is how I express myself. It’s a creative outlet for me. Others find the task grueling and unbearable. For me it all depends on what I’m writing about. If I find the topic interesting I don’t mind writing but if I find the topic boring then the writing is a painful process. I think that’s why I like free writing and not term papers. As for blogs, they could be interesting; well as long as I have creative liberty. The blog we are required to do for this class however is just as it says. It’s required, not for the fun of it. Writing should be fun, not mandatory. Who knows whether writing blogs is a necessary skill for later in life. One could major in Journalism for instance. Needless to say, my school never prepared me for what my college is asking of me.   

Richtel,Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012, 


How Can I Get Better at Writing?

How can this class help me become a better writer? There are three significant features of the course that have benefited my skills as a writer. The three features are limiting screen time, writing longhand, and wordplay day. These seem simple enough, but these have made a huge impact on my writing skills. Each aspect adds something special to my work. Each one helps me develop new skills too.

With regard to the benefits of wordplay, it helped my vocabulary increase. Wordplay day is every Friday, and we play Scrabble. Scrabble is a spelling/vocabulary game. Normally players do not have partners, but in class we are partnered up. This helps us with our teamwork and communication skills. Wordplay day has not only helped me with my vocabulary but has also helped me develop strategic skills. The first few times I played I did not really play strategically, and my vocabulary was lacking. Ever since I was little, I have had an extensive vocabulary for my age, so my failures in scrabble were upsetting. However, last Friday I did the best I have ever done. I went from getting a C+ to an A- in Scrabble. My teammate and I placed our words strategically on triple word score spaces and put letters worth more points on double letter score spaces. On top of that we played longer words altogether to add up points. 

The second thing that helped me be a better writer was writing longhand. It helps to get all of my thoughts out on paper. Then I can order them so the ideas flow more cohesively. As well as get rid of anything that does not fit the theme or just seem out of place. This practice is great for organization and editing. I can change the vocabulary that I use and see if it flows better. I look through it to try and find any grammatical/punctuation errors. One of the drawbacks is that I have to decipher my own handwriting, which can be difficult at times. The second drawback is my spelling. Typing is nice because it has spell check and as someone with spelling dyslexia, spell check is really nice. In the book Writing Analytically by David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen, when referring to writing on computers, they write, “It is easy to capture things quickly if you are writing on a computer. It is also easier to read what you have written, since too often a potentially great idea turns out to be indecipherable scribble (page 124)”. We practice writing longhand when we do check please assignments. Check Please #2 We wrote about the article “Blogs vs Term Papers” by Matt Richtel. This is where we do rough drafts about an article we read in class. Normally we talk about the author and then our opinions on the topic/our experience with the topic. Then we turn them in and get feedback which can help us turn our rough draft into our final draft.

The third practice that has helped me the most is limiting screen time. As someone who has ADHD I get distracted fairly easily, especially when it comes to my phone. I could talk to friends, watch videos, play games, or listen to music. All of which are much more appealing than sitting and writing a paper. On top of that there is the TV, and I get obsessed with shows easily. For example I’m hooked on Criminal Minds right now, and I am fighting the urge to close this laptop, and continue watching. This practice is a challenge for me but it truly does help with the writing process. To help me focus on work I take medication but that only helps so much. One needs strong willpower in order to focus and this practice helps strengthen my willpower. This is something that I have been working on for a long time and it is a necessary skill to have not only for college but for the workplace as well. Focus medicine used to work wonders for me but they recently have stopped working for me. I have tried every medicine on the market but none of them seem to work so I have to solely rely on my own ability to do so. Which has been an uphill battle for me but I refuse to give up.

Putting these skills into practice has helped me grow as not only a person but a writer. Wordplay day with its vocabulary, writing longhand with its organization, and limiting screen time with its challenge. They seem simple but forming good habits pay off in the long run and these exercises have shown their worth over time. Some may not see the difference but I can and it is truly astounding, the improvement that I have seen in myself and my work. I recommend that others do the same.

Works Cited

Richtel,Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012, 


Rosenwasser, D., & Stephen, J. (2011). Writing analytically. Wadsworth Publishing Co I.

Learn To Love

When you’re younger reading is fun.

Funny words,



And Colors.

Why can’t all reading be like this?

Big words,

No rhymes,

No pictures,

And no colors are boring.

Why can’t words be spelled like how they sound?

Why can’t words make sense?

What do you mean I have dyslexia?

What do you mean I have to go to a speech therapist?

Why is everything so hard!

When I was younger I had a hard time focusing while reading. I had a hard time sounding out  words I didn’t know. So I didn’t like reading anything that couldn’t keep my attention or had hard words in it. My mom took me to a doctor up in Atlanta where we found out that I was dyslexic and ADHD. My mom then took me to a speech therapist to help me learn how to read and spell. My homework was to read Junie B. Jones books. Which I ended up enjoying. I later discovered that once I knew how to read hard words and sound things out, reading wasn’t so bad. I didn’t need pictures when I had such a vivid imagination. I just needed to find a book that could keep me interested. The first big book I ever read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Me and my mom made a deal that she would read a page and I would read ten until we finished the book. When we finished we’d watch the movies together. The Harry Potter books sparked my love of reading at the age of eleven and I’ve loved reading ever since.

Cyber Bullyings Effects On Teens And How To Help

Bullying has existed long before technology but it has taken a new form over the years. Now the bullying follows you outside of school and into your pocket. Cyberbullying is a serious problem that has taken/ruined lives. In the hands of teens technology has become a new source of cruelty. 

Sam Dean writes about Carson Bride in the article “Woman Sues Tech Firms Over Son’s Suicide”. Carson was bullied on a specific app called Yolo. The bullying was a mix of sexual comments and taunts over embarrassing incidents. The app’s design itself made the bullying worse with the app’s mechanics. Sam Dean writes, “The messages had to be coming from people he knew, but the app’s design made it impossible for him to know who was behind it. If he replied to the taunts, Yolo would automatically make the original message public, revealing his humiliation to the world”. Carson then took his own life over the cyberbullying he received on the app. Sadly, Carson isn’t the only teenager who has taken their life because of the cyberbullying they received.

Sexting is a seemingly harmless act that teens seem to partake in. This of course has its consequences. Some cyberbullying happens when one person uses a photo from sexting as blackmail. In Sexting: Serious Problems for Youth, Nancy R. Ahern and Brandy Mechling offer a solution to cyberbullying saying that “ with tight parental controls, cyberbullying can be averted, yet continued support of parents, community, and the healthcare community are needed to minimize the effect of this serious problem”. Not only do parents need to keep a closer eye on their kids’ devices as well as their kids’ mental health. Schools seem to be trying to help solve  this problem as well.

Schools can help by disciplining students who participate in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying incidents that occur on campus or ones that occur off campus but ultimately end up disrupting school can be punished by the school. The school could also talk to the parents of the bullies in hopes of stopping the problem at the core. The consequences of cyberbullying are seemingly endless. In School-Based Efforts to Prevent Cyberbullying Patchin et al write, “ In addition, research has revealed a link between cyberbullying and low self-esteem, family problems, academic problems, school violence, and delinquent behavior among cyberbullies and their targets”. The consequences of cyberbullying can also lead to school related problems on both ends which makes the school even more involved than they were before.

The bottom line is that cyberbullying is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Not only do parents need to work hard to help prevent or avoid this problem but schools, students, teens, healthcare workers, teachers, and lawyers should as well. We need to make rules, boundaries and laws. We need to form support systems and make those at fault face just punishment. Cyberbullying has taken/ruined lives and needs to be taken seriously. 

Works Cited

Ahern, Nancy R., and Brandy Mechling. “Sexting: Serious Problems for Youth.” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 2013. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://libproxy.highpoint.edu/login?url=https://explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2266650528?accountid=11411.

Dean, Sam. “Woman Sues Tech Firms Over Son’s Suicide.” Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2021. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://libproxy.highpoint.edu/login?url=https://explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2528278999?accountid=11411.

Patchin, Ph D., W. Justin, and Sameer Hinduja. “School-Based Efforts to Prevent Cyberbullying.” Prevention Researcher, 2012. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://libproxy.highpoint.edu/login?url=https://explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2267929026?accountid=11411.

Paullet, K., & Pinchot, J. (2014). Behind the screen where today’s bully plays: Perceptions of college students on cyberbullying. Journal of Information Systems Education, 25(1), 63-69. Retrieved from https://libproxy.highpoint.edu/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/behind-screen-where-todays-bully-plays/docview/1616141677/se-2?accountid=11411

In Confidence

In the second half of English 1103 I feel like I have gained a better understanding of what my essays should look like and I feel I understand the assignments much better than I did in the first half of the semester. From Check Please! To Essays. I genuinely feel more confident.

In Check Please #5 We wrote about Mike Caufield’s Check, Please! Starter Course. Then we wrote about all of the other Check, Please! When the 5th Check Please came around I had finally understood the second undisclosed assignment in all of them. The first four assignments were really hard for me to comprehend and I failed them miserably. After going to see Dr. Lucas during her after hours I learned what she was truly looking for and I improved.

I genuinely enjoyed the creative project. Creative writing is my favorite type of writing. I love poetry the most. I even have some of my poetry published. I first fell in love with Poe and Shakespeare. From the horror trokie of Poe to the tragic iambic pentameter of Shakespeare. When I was little I loved Dr. Seuss’s colorful words and playful rhymes. I have loved poetry and creative writing ever since I can remember, so getting to do both was a real breath of fresh air. I was able to write about an important experience in my life. My experience with reading and writing was the topic and let me tell you reading and writing has really made me the person I am today. 

The research essay was rough to say the least. I thought it was going to be easy. I was overconfident like, “It can’t be that hard”. Boy, was I wrong. I have a class called Writing Lab and in the Writing Lab the teacher helps us with any writing assignments we have. So I went to the teacher for help on my sources for the research essay. Turns out two out of my three original sources were not scholarly sources and generally unreliable. The teacher kindly helped me find other sources though they seemed disorganized but all had one thing in common which was the topic of my research essay. I learned that day to one, always check your sources and to roll with the punches. 

Writing all kinds of essays I think has really helped me grow as a writer. Looking back at everything I’ve accomplished I feel as if I’ve grown as a writer. From breaking down the directions of Check, Please! To researching scholarly articles for my final essay. To free form poetry for my creative project. I feel as if reading through my work from oldest to newest you can see my improvement not only as a writer but as a student.