Reflecting on ENGL 119

It is hard to believe that this term has gone by so quickly. It is even harder to believe I am finishing my second last term here in the University of Waterloo. I have learned so much in ENGL 119, and am very grateful for this course because it has helped prepare me for the workplace. As the course description mentions, this course builds students’ oral and written communication skill sets which in my case is most definitely true!

Reflecting on our first assignment of submitting an email, I have to admit it had taken me much longer than I expected, which is humorous as I was explaining how my biggest weakness is the amount of time allocated to write out emails and documents.


As you had responded, my writing speed will improve because practice is really all that’s needed and throughout the course we had a lot of practice.

By going through the process of writing a “shitty” first draft and editing our own work, I have picked up how to write more clearly. By learning about the details and purpose behind writing any document, paragraph or email, I have incorporated a higher clarity to my work. By analyzing my audience and the purpose of my statements, I can explain my main points in a more effective fashion. By writing portions of assignments during class such as Blog Post 1 and our proposals, I reduced the amount of time needed to come up with my ideas and phrase them appropriately. By spending more time editing and reflecting on my thought process, I better understood my previous mistakes and began to notice I did make them as often! Most importantly, I learned how to be less wordy which in my opinion, is my biggest accomplishment for this class.


Among all the work that we have done throughout the course, the most enjoyable was the TED Talk. By researching a topic in which I was interested in, I enjoyed presenting and communicating with my group members and am currently enjoying writing my final report. I believe this also changed my perspective on writing, from previously dreading it to now enjoying writing. Now that I know more about English “theorems”, “corollaries” and “propositions”, I pay more attention to detail. This in fact is very similar to when I had first learned about mathematical proofs in first year. I dreaded them before but, now have become so familiar with them and actually enjoy doing them. Learning how to complete proofs gives me a different view and opinion on how I attack problems and assignments, much like learning more about English has made me enjoy writing more.

I have learned so much throughout the course which I am immensely grateful for, as I believe as this will make a large impact in my professional skillset. However, there is always space to improve! I believe I want to continue to improve my clarity by reducing my wordiness, and I believe I have many opportunities to do so through professional workshops offered by my co-op employer in the following term and meeting with the English Writing Center more frequently.

Thanks for an amazing class, which was not only interesting but useful! When I will look back at everything I learned in the University of Waterloo, I will most definitely reflect on this class!

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