How to Write an Article on What You Have Learned From a Class
Writing an article about what you learned from class helps you practice two things: your writing and your summarizing skills, two of the most important skills you will acquire in college. This assignment differs from a typical summary, because in addition to presenting the main points of the class in your own words, you will need to reflect on what lessons you learned and why you found them particularly useful.
Know the objective of the assignment. Before you begin writing, think about or ask the instructor what the purpose of the assignment is. If the purpose of the assignment is to determine how much you learned from the class, stick to presenting the teacher's ideas back to her in summarized form. If the goal is to see what aspects of the class were effective for you as an individual learner, you will need to provide as much summary as you do reflection.
Gather the relevant details. If you have taken the class already, you will need to work from memory. If you have yet to take the class, consider taking notes separately while the class is in session. Think about what important points the teacher seems to be trying to convey, and write them down as they come up. Restrict yourself to bullet points while you take notes so that you can work more quickly.
Figure out your thesis. Your thesis or main point will be one sentence describing the most important lesson you got from the class session. It might coincide with the teacher's main objective for the class, or it might be a minor point that you found particularly interesting. If it is a minor point, consider going into detail about why and how it was a significant point for you. Did you learn better because of the way the teacher made his point? Had you been previously confused and gotten more clarity? The more detail that you can provide as to why you learned during the class, the better your article will be.
Figure out supporting details. Your article will come together once you are able to provide a context for it. This context will most likely make up your introductory paragraph. It will come just before your thesis statement, and will determine the angle that you choose to pursue in the article. It could be about your learning curve since the beginning of the semester, the particular topic of discussion or lecture topic for the day, or the effective method that the teacher used on that day.
Create an outline. An outline will help you see how the thesis of the paper relates to supporting details. You must provide at least two details to support your thesis. Make sure that you include examples with each supporting detail to strengthen your article.
Write the article and revise. As a final step, write out the article and make sure you leave ample time for revisions. Your first draft may not be ideal, but it will help you begin to see how the article can come together. Give the article to other people to read and offer you suggestions for improvement.
- Be honest. Instead of making up what you learned, focus on a small point and explain why it was a significant learning experience for you.
- Whatever specific instructions you have on writing the paper should serve as your primary guide.
- What you learned from a class does not have to be a point that the teacher emphasized. Sometimes teachers like to know that students are learning more from the class than even the teacher had intended.