The habits of the mind that I have found to be most important for college writers include curiosity, persistence and metacognition. Under curiosity I found out that one simply has the desire to increase his knowledge about the world in that the writer must be more than willing to utilize inquiry as a process that helps in formulation of questions that are deemed to be relevant for audiences consisting of multiple disciplines. It is also helpful in obtaining important authoritative information that can be used in writing as well as appreciating the significance of such information. Curiosity is also crucial in the carrying out of research to find out the answers to questions that pertain to particular disciplines.
I also found that persistence is important as it enables college students to maintain interest in accomplishing projects that they may have over the short or long run. Therefore, one can easily become committed in all that they do through an exploration of the ideas, writings or tasks that they want to achieve or complete. In addition, persistence allows a student to have a fruitful discourse about ideas, texts, projects or tasks with an aim at arriving at a conclusion. Persistence also allows college going students to improve on their general writing both inside and outside the class.
Finally, I have been able to appreciate the importance of metacognition as it allows individuals to reflect on their thoughts as well as the cultural systems and processes that help them in structuring knowledge. Therefore, they are usually encouraged to evaluate the process that other individuals use to think and write in multiple settings and contexts. Moreover, it helps students to reflect on these texts in the multiple contexts while at the same time allowing for debate on the choices that have been made in the text and the particular audiences they are intended towards. Notably, metacognition can be used to reflect on an individual’s own writings with the purpose of improving in future writings if the opportunity presents.
In this class, I realized that I am usually curious in all that I do as my aim is to expand my knowledge at all time. Therefore, I never fear consulting or asking questions whenever I encounter any problem even if I know very well that it does not concern me. For me, the only driving force is that I will seek an opinion from others on their line of reasoning and why they adopt such approaches. Over time, I have found that this strong urge to know things through question has always enhanced my knowledge as I am always challenged to carry out my own investigations. For example, when I found my desk mate wrote an essay about aerobics, I was keen to know what it entails. While I had initially known it as involving running to keep fit, my curiosity drove me to carry out research and found out that it involves other forms of exercises other than running alone.
In addition, persistence was helpful as it allowed me to follow a continuous line of thought to its conclusion. This helped me in ensuring that I was consistent in my writing while at the same time giving room for improvement whenever I failed in one aspect or another in writing. Through this, I was able to share ideas and texts with my fellow classmates whom I engaged in constant debates aimed at improving my grasp of the English language. With time, I realized that my fellow class mates could correct me whenever I was wrong while I would also do the same, which mutually benefited all of us.
In class work, I also came to the realization that metacognition of the lines of thought of a person depending on the cultural systems and processes used in organizing knowledge. For example, I realized that the diversity of religion within our class also played a role in the way through which we think and write. An instance that comes to mind is the fact that students of the Islamic faith tended to be more conservative, which means that there are certain topics that they would be unwilling to put down in writing with ease. Therefore, these students seemed to avoid those topics involving indecent dressing but were strict with their faith. From this, I learnt that metacognition determines the line of thought that my colleagues and I often embraced as we put our thoughts in writing.
A student joining the English as Second Language (ESL 201) next semester can utilize curiosity, persistence and metacognition to improve on his speech and writing skills. I found metacognition to be more helpful as it enables one to be alert and always learn to think on his feet in speaking and writing. Curiosity combined with persistence also helps in further investigations as well as expansion of knowledge and make the course easier in the long run.