Over this past semester, we have learned and reviewed many essential things. Some of those things included keeping a journal, and completing Check, Please! assignments, playing Scrabble and creating our own personal blog page. All of these assignments had many beneficial aspects to learning them. But I think that the word press blog and Scrabble had the largest impact on me. Also, even though I didn’t mention it, Writing Analytically played a huge part in helping me learn.
There were many reasons that the blog was so helpful, but one of the main reasons that it was so helpful was because of how much we had to write as well as how we wrote it. It also helped me become a much better writer because I learned many new vocabulary words which in turn helped to enhance my sentences and writing ability. The blog also played a huge role in bringing creativity to writing. Customizing the blog page was a fun part and made it much more enjoyable to use the page. Writing out my ideas and being able to transfer them to paper became much easier with all the repetition that was done.
Writing Analytically has very positive impact on me and my writing ability. I learned to “ Acknowledge sources in your text, not just in citations. When you incorporate material from a source, attribute it to the source explicitly in your text–not just in citation.” ( Writing Analytically 231) This taught me to write about the quotation that I am using to explain it and why its used. For instance I used this quote from Writing Analytically because I thought it gave a great overview of what to do while writing.
Scrabble also had a huge impact in my writing process and class work. This was because it helped me utilize my brain power and help to find new words and problem solve as well as work in a group. This transferred into my writing because I used many new words that I learned from scrabble as well as problem solving to figure out what to write as well as how to properly write it. The group work that we had in class was much easier due to scrabble as I was more confident in my ability to work with others on something. Overall scrabble was a huge help and had very many successful impacts on me and my writing.
Finally, “ Making an Interpretation: The Example of a New Yorker Cover.” was a great piece to view as well as read. First of all, when we took a look at the picture on the cover it really got us thinking and brain storming. We spoke about the appearances of the ladies on the cover as well as what they were wearing and where they were from. We eventually found out from the reading that “ at the time the cover was published, the long round of presdiantal primaries, with presidential hopefuls courting various key states for their votes, had ended, but the last month of campaigning by the presidential nominees–-Al Gore and Geroge W. Bush—was in full swing.” (Making an Interpreration: The example of a New Yorker Cover.) The cover had many meanings but we just had to think a little outside of the box as well as read a little bit in depth.
Overall, all of these sources played a major part in helping us grow in our writing and thinking process. From learning new writing techniques to new vocabulary and even to digging deeper in to a picture and the meaning behind it. All of these things had a major role in the writing that we produced and how we did it.
“ Making an Interpretation: The example of a New Yorker Cover. Writing Analytically, 8th edition.Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019. PP. 84–89.
“Integrating Quotations. “Writing Analytically, 8th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019.PP.231-33.
The Benefits of handwriting with paper and a pen or pencil.
Nick Lourenco ,Jackson Tuomey, Sam Kaylor, Nick Kernaghan
4 November 2022
Technology has a huge amount of positives and negatives to it. However in many studies, pen and paper may be the better option for you and your ability to comprehend what you are reading and what you are putting down on the paper. In this essay, you will read about multiple studies and one in particular being done with people, a group of people who were studied on blood flow in the brain. You will also be reading about how handwritten notes are more beneficial for you as well as the beneficial effects of listening to music while you write and how it is able to improve your writing and your overall ability to focus and understand. Overall, there are many reasons that writing on paper with a pen or pencil in hand has a much greater effect on you and your brain’s ability to retain the information that you wrote.
While many people like to write on a computer or tablet, are they really getting the most from it? It has been a problem for many people and many studies have been done to try and prove which one is better. A study done by the University of Tokyo stated that “writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later.” ( nuerosciencenews.com) “Actually, paper is more advanced and useful compared to electronic documents because paper contains more one-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall,” said Professor Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, a neuroscientist at the University of Tokyo and corresponding author of the research recently published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.” (nuerosciencenews.com) A Study was done in which there were 48 volunteers that had to complete the task of reading a page that started a conversation between characters. These two characters were talking about their plans for the next two months and the upcoming future. The logistics of the study was to have the 48 people who volunteered to be put into 14 different class times. They were also given different due dates as well as personal appointments “ Researchers performed pre-test analyses to ensure that the volunteers, all 18-29 years old and recruited from university campuses or NTT offices, were equally sorted into three groups based on memory skills, personal preference for digital or analog methods, gender, age and other aspects.” (nuerosciencenews.com) Volunteers were then recorded after the pre-tests and were told to finish the fictional schedule using a piece of paper, a datebook as well as a pen. Some volunteers from the other group were told to use a calendar app on a digital tablet as well as a stylus, or a calendar app on a large smartphone and a touch-screen keyboard. They were given no time limit, but the only thing that the volunteers were told they had to do was to record the events from the reading in the order that they would write them out in their own life. The only added thing they were told was that they could not spend any extra time trying to memorize the schedule once they completed writing it.
“After one hour, including a break and an interference task to distract them from thinking about the calendar, volunteers answered a range of simple (When is the assignment due?) and complex (Which is the earlier due date for the assignments?) multiple choice questions to test their memory of the schedule.” (nuerosciencenews.com) During the test the volunteers were placed into a MRI machine and while in there, they were tested to see how blood flow around the brain flowed while answering the questions.
“While they completed the test, volunteers were inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, which measures blood flow around the brain. This is a technique called functional MRI (fMRI), and increased blood flow observed in a specific region of the brain is a sign of increased neuronal activity in that area.
Participants who used a paper datebook filled in the calendar within about 11 minutes. Tablet users took 14 minutes and smartphone users took about 16 minutes. Volunteers who used analog methods in their personal life were just as slow at using the devices as volunteers who regularly use digital tools, so researchers are confident that the difference in speed was related to memorization or associated encoding in the brain, not just differences in the habitual use of the tools.” (nuerosciencenews.com)
There may be many upsides to typing out a paper such as you are able to write faster, form a neat layout, as well as be very organized. However is this really the best and most productive way to write it out? It has been proven over multiple studies that when you are handwriting notes you have a multitude of benefits that far surpass typing. For example,when handwriting notes you are being exposed to less distractions or at least being very limited to them. “The online world is meant to be distracting. In comparison, handwritten material limits all distractions and, in many ways, draws the mind’s attention to the subject; allowing the brain to remain focused on our initial tasks.” (minuteschool.com). Handwriting limits the distractions around using more brain power than typing to write out each word as you move your pencil across the paper. While writing by hand one is forced to focus on what they are writing instead of typing where you are very distracted by many other activities on the screen. Handwriting does much more than minimizes distractions, it can also spark creativity. “Authors such as Stephen King believe that because handwriting takes more time that the brain has a few more seconds to think creatively. Many believe that the links between sketching and drawing to writing allow the brain to visualize the work that has been created, causing a further understanding of the content and a more creative process.” (minuteschool.com). The slower process of writing by hand helps your brain to think and concentrate on what it is you are writing about. Writing by hand has been proven to be more useful for brainstorming than typing, allowing for more flexibility and indefinitely making your brain work harder. All of which will help pull out new ideas that can be applied to the subject at hand. This allows the brain to draw on deeper connections and allows information to be processed easier. The act of handwriting stimulates your brain and helps you implement the knowledge you are hearing and writing into your memory. Studies have shown that students that hand write their understanding of the material at a much deeper level and attain better test scores than students that type. As time goes on writing by hand is used less and less by students in the academic and educational fields. Writing by hand is being almost replaced entirely by typing on a computer or tablet. Justified in the name of convenience and accessibility. People are forgetting the benefits that come with handwriting. Soon we may not even use pencils and paper as a form of composition anymore.
The act of writing physically or otherwise described as “longhand writing”, has many positive effects on the human brain that in turn help you go further along in your writing rather than just what your writing looks like. In a study that was conducted in 2012 by Karnin James, a professor in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. Professor James who has studied handwriting and the effects it has on early literacy development and brain development for the past 15 years. Her research has been funded by multiple foundations including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Along with being broadcasted on numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street journal, Washington post, NPR and the BBC. This study involved testing multiple 5-year-old children who didn’t know how to read or write. They were asked to sketch a letter or shape in one of these three ways: traced over a dotted line, drawn onto a blank paper, or on a digital computer. They used an MRI scan during the test to record their brain waves while executing said tasks. “When the children were drawing freehand, an MRI scan during the test showed activation across areas of the brain associated in adults with reading and writing. The other two methods showed no such activation” (Chatfield). A great experiment to say the least. Shining light on the similarities of brain activity through a simple test in children that crosses over to the same activity found in an adult’s brain while completing the same demanding task. Though it may be a different task, it shows that writing on paper ultimately uses more of the brain. Similar effects have shown up in other tests as well. Tests that suggest that there’s a relatively close link between writing and reading. “but that the experience of reading itself differs between letters learned through handwriting and letters learned through typing”(Chatfield). This quote explains that writing on paper ultimately affects the way your brain absorbs certain and specific information. These types of motor-skill-activating actions tend to spark light into our brains more than the purposeless scrolling we may do when typing or reviewing something on a digital device. We tend to pay less attention to things that aren’t in an actual physical form, like words on a screen. Where graphite or ink on a piece of paper holds a stronger value of craftsmanship along with a mindful connection. Mindful connection being the more extensive use of our brains as intellectuals.
For the overall essay, we learned a ton of new things from these articles. Many of these things are very beneficial to us, as well as teaching us many new lessons. We learned about the brain and how the brain works in many different ways. One of the best ways that your brain works is when you are handwriting your work. Writing the words on paper helps your brain retain information much easier unlike if you were to write it out on a tablet and or a computer. Another great lesson that we learned from our research is that while you handwrite your information it gives you the ability to not be distracted. For instance, if you are writing on your computer, and you get a notification you’re going to dart your eyes and read it. However, writing on paper you will never get a notification that will pop up and distract you. Writing is also a great exercise to help improve memory and get information to stay with you. For example, people that hand write notes tend to score better on tests like the SAT, ACT, and PSAT rather then people who type up there notes on a computer or tablet.
Sakai, Kuniyoshi L. “Stronger Brain Activity After Writing on Paper Than on Tablet or Smartphone.” Neuroscience News, 19 March 2021,
https://neurosciencenews.com/hand-writing-brain-activity-18069/. Accessed 4 November 2022.
This source from Neuroscience News gives us a great overview on how pen and paper is much more beneficial to you if you were to write it on a tablet or computer. It was able to provide us facts and get into detail on how the study was conducted. There was funding from the Consortium for Applied Neuroscience at NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting, Inc. Saki, Kuniyshi who was the person who did the research on the “Stronger Brain Activity After Writing on Paper Than on Tablet or Smartphone ” performed this study at the University of Tokyo. He is an associate professor there and most of the research that he conducts is on neuroscience. “Writing by hand increases brain activity in recall tasks over taking notes on a tablet or smartphone. Additionally, those who write by hand on paper are 25% quicker at note-taking tasks than those who use digital technology.”
Nathan. “Benefits of Writing on Paper.” Minute School, 17 July 2017, https://www.minuteschool.com/2017/07/benefits-of-writing-on-paper/.
Nathan has written many articles related to relevant topics like “The Importance of Classical Music in the Modern Era.” He seems to write mostly on this source giving information to students. The site itself is mostly directed at students, for example, exams, arts, SAT, education, business, applications, etc. They have 151 articles in the student life category only, not to mention the other categories that branch off of that topic. This source is where many people go to get information about many everyday life problems and read credible writing that is based on fact and not fiction. The source does not only focus on students, it can focus on the environment, NCAA, and the effects of stress on the human mind.
Chatfield, Tom. “Why reading and writing on paper can be better for your brain”. London, Guardian News & Media, 2015, https://go.gale.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=News&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=MultiTab&hitCount=1&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm¤tPosition=1&docId=GALE%7CA402828170&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=ZXAM-MOD1&prodId=BIC&pageNu.
This source gives an in depth explanation of the different outcomes of experiments conducted among a variety of people in a comparative aspect. Providing those who need insight on the topic with valid information based on real experiments and recorded data pertaining to the effects on the different parts of the human brain while writing on paper vs computers. Tom Chatfield, the author, is a British tech philosopher. Basing his career around improving the economies experience and understanding of technology as a whole. In his career he’s had multiple instances of successful books. One in particular being his debut novel, This is Gomorrah, which was published in July 2019. This writing earned its spot as a Sunday Times thriller of the month, shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger for thriller of the year, and won France’s 2020 Prix Douglas Kennedy for the year’s best foreign thriller. Proving his success as an author I found his information to be a reliable source on my topic, “Why reading and writing on paper can be better for your brain” (Chatfield).
Curiosity, Point of View, and Conflict are the three wonders of a great story.
Many elements help stories, articles, and essays come together and shape them into what they are today, and author Tom Junod who wrote, “ The Falling Man ” used a handful of elements to describe to us as readers what was going on during the time the picture was taken. One of the biggest elements used in the story he wrote was curiosity. Everyone is curious, it is in human nature to be, and rightfully so. This story really gets you thinking and using your brain and it definitely enables you to take a look at how you view life and to think about how quickly something is able to change. I think after reading it for the first time I was left curious and wanting to know more about the image and the writing as I had so many questions that I couldn’t stray away from.
As a reader and a curious human being, I really wonder about the thought process that the man in the picture had before this photo was taken. Was he thinking about how this is the end or was he thinking about his family and how they will feel; What if he was thinking about what is going to happen to him in the next couple of seconds? I think that one quote that gets me thinking was when he said “ he appears relaxed, hurtling through the air.”(Junod) I think there is a deeper understanding of what he said and how we were meant to take it and it definitely plays into the theme and element of curiosity that the story uses all throughout. These are all just questions that come from seeing the picture for the first time, but If we really dig deep into the details of the picture and not even just that, what about the actual writing that follows the picture and explains what is happening, what could we find from it? How many more questions could we really come up with out of all of this? How many of them could we really get an answer to?
He “appears relaxed,” but I don’t think there was much else he could do, and honestly who knows what anyone would’ve done if they were in that situation. If you aren’t the one in the position that the man was in then can you truly determine what he was thinking or how he felt? Obviously not, but the fact that all these questions and curious standpoints all came up just because of this image and the quote then really shows how curiosity plays a huge role in this story.
Another element that adds to the story is the point of view. Now, we don’t have the man in the picture’s point of view, but we do have the point of view of the man who took the picture. This point of view is known as the third-person objective. This point of view is only able to describe the actions being committed as well as the details of the person in it. The photographer was able to describe the falling man with such great detail and was even able to describe how “ his left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually.” (Junod) He also went on to explain what the man was wearing. “ His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants.” (Junod) “His black high-tops are still on his feet.” (Junod) The detail that was able to be seen in this photo is mind-blowing. Now to see this image in a picture is one thing but the as the photographer saw this in person, I wonder if he must have been in shock. To see so many people trying to save themselves in any way they can, one of those ways being jumping must be scaring to anyone who was watching everything unfold.
I think this story also uses the element of conflict as it describes the things going on, whether good or bad. Most of the conflict in this story was unknown as well as internal. We aren’t able to know what the man was thinking which refers to the man vs. himself conflict. He had to decide for himself how he wanted to do things in a very quick time. I think that is what makes it such a man vs. himself conflict.
“ The Falling Man” by Tom Junod offered us a much greater perspective on life, from using the elements of curiosity, to point of view, and even being able to us the element of conflict to bring the story to a true understanding. If these elements weren’t used then would I the reader have the same view that I have about the story? I would say no and that the elements really did the job that they were supposed to.
Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Junod, Tom. “ The Falling Man.” Esquire, vol. 140, no. 3, Sept. 2003, pp. 176+. Gale Academic OneFile Select, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A106423422/EAIM?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-EAIM&xid=ce48797f
The First Time I Got High…
The first time I got high was indeed an experience. It started in December of 2018. My friends and I were all on the track and field team doing that day’s workout when a man came up to us. He was our track coach and he asked us if we wanted to try something. Now as my friends and I were freshmen, we obviously said yes to the question that we were asked. So, we all walked over to the pole vault pit, met the coach, and then grabbed a pole and learned something new. We learned how to pole vault! It was amazing, flying through the air with nothing but my momentum carrying me forward as I held on to the pole for dear life. It was the most exciting experience that I have ever had as it was filled with fear, adrenaline, and the other unknown factors that made it amazing. It felt like I belonged there.
Throughout the next four years of high school, I stuck with pole vaulting and had some of the best experiences of my life. I made so many great friends who are like brothers to me as well as meet some of the best coaches who I look up to as mentors and role models. Over those four years, amazing memories were made! Some of those memories included late nights at practice, road trips, track meets, 7-eleven stops, and even getting pulled over by the cops on a trip. But those were just some of the hundreds if not thousands of memories that were made. But the best experience of them all happened during my senior year.
It all started during the fall around mid-November of 2021. I was playing school soccer and went up in the air to head the ball away when some kid took my legs out and I landed straight on my back. After that my lower back didn’t feel right. Naturally, I thought I just strained a muscle so I kept playing and finished the rest of the season which was only about two weeks. Then track started up right away so I of course kept going and pushing myself at practices while my back was still strained or what I thought was strained. It started to affect my practice so after about six weeks of pushing through it I resentfully went to the doctors. I had an X-ray and an MRI scan and found out that I didn’t have a strained back but instead I fractured my L4 in my spine. I fractured both the left and right side with the left side being a little worse. So I had to stop everything right then and there once I found out. It felt like everything just got taken away from me in the blink of an eye.
I had nothing to do for the five weeks that I was out, I couldn’t work out or do any physical activity. It was terrible. I was home after school every day and was bored out of my mind. I put on a few pounds because I couldn’t do anything and I just felt like crap. After five weeks of being out, I was pumped to get started again only to realize that I was out of shape, and not in any condition to give one-hundred percent like I previously had been able to. I also only had about a month’s notice to get back into shape or somewhat close to it because the state championship was coming up. So I worked like I never had before, and I was ready to get back and try and win states. I got to the state meet and was the underdog there since I was not one hundred percent ready for it, but that wouldn’t stop me.
Warm-ups started at nine in the morning and I was pumped up. Now, my warm-ups were not anywhere near where they usually were but I was smiling throughout the whole thing and just happy to be there. I waited about two hours before I even took my first jump and while I waited those two hours I could only think of one thing and one thing only. All I was able to think about was how cool it was going to be when I clear all these bars and celebrate with my coach as a state champ. Now you may think this is a cocky thing to think about, but to me, I wanted it that bad and that was all I could think about. So I did what I had to do to win and I did! I ended up winning the state meet and becoming the state champion. I did not jump my highest but I jumped what I had to so that I could win it all. It was one of the best state meets that I competed in and then it was only about four months after that state meet when we had the outdoor state meet and I ended up winning that one as well as breaking an eleven-year-old state meet record there with a jump of sixteen feet seven and a half inches. I couldn’t have had a better senior year than that but it got even better. I ended my High School career with one last meet and jumped seventeen feet for the first time at a meet in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
To look back on everything that happened and to think that none of this would have ever happened if we curious freshmen said no to our coach who asked if we wanted to try it. But luckily I was dumb enough to say yes to running down a runway and holding onto a pole with all my strength because I was scared to death. However it isn’t the fear or adrenaline that keeps me going, it’s the unknown. Chasing that unknown barrier is what keeps me going and helps me get through all the good and bad moments.
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