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  • Final Reflection

    Sam Kaylor


    English 1103-24


    Final Reflection

    Throughout this semester I have read and written many interesting pieces. I have learned much by taking this course. I have even learned a lot from our weekly scrabble games. This class also improved my grammar quite a bit. Even though the class was quite hard it taught me a lot in general. I think that the teaching style was well rounded and I could be flexible in how I would like to learn in my own way. Like how David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen said, “a notebook can come to feel like a verbal sketchpad, encouraging writers to take repeated stabs at capturing something they’ve been thinking about” (125). 

    The first thing I had to overcome was the “check, please!” assignments. I had a hard time keeping up with them daily and would lose or forget to do them. I went through roughly 2-3 weeks without turning them in. I eventually got my work on track and started to turn them in. I would still miss one from time to time but not like the beginning of the year. I did not mind the assignments if anything they kept my brain flowing with ideas on how to improve my writing throughout the semester. If I have another English class in the coming year I would hope they will have similar workloads.

    The second challenge I faced was analyzing “Blogs vs. Term Papers”. The class had to read this article and write about it. That was only the start. We got handed three more articles soon after. The papers were, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” “The day that language came into my life” and “The Falling Man.” We analyzed these three articles and by far “The Falling Man” was my favorite. “The Falling Man” was about 9-11 and a man jumping from a window. It goes into great detail about the image and what it symbolized. I have read The Falling Man multiple times and each time I would pick up on new details throughout the piece.  For example Tom Junod wrote in detail, “They jumped to escape the smoke and the fire; they jumped when the ceilings fell and the floors collapsed; they jumped just to breathe once more before they died. They jumped continually, from all four sides of the building, and from all floors above and around the building’s fatal wound, They jumped from the offices of Marsh & McLennan, the insurance company; from the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond-trading company; from Windows on the World, the restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors–the top.”

    I liked this class over all and thought that the curriculum was well rounded in its workload. I learned many things during this semester because of this class. I do not regret taking it and will look forward to any other classes I have that will be like this one. Class had many ups and downs for me with work and scheduling but overall I did not mind the work and made the most out of this class.

    Work Cited

    Richtel, Matt. “Blog vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2022, Rosenwasser, David and Jill Stephen. “Writing on Computers vs. Writing on Paper.” Writing Analytically, 8th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019. pp. 124-25.
    Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire, vol. 140, no. 3, Sept. 2003, pp. 176+. Gale Academic OneFile Select,

  • The Benefits of handwriting with paper and a pen or pencil. 

    Nick Lourenco 

    Jackson Tuomey 

    Sam Kaylor 

    Nick Kernaghan 

    Dr. Lucas 

    English 1103

    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.” ( “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.” ( 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.” ( 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.” ( 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.” (

    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.” ( 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.” ( 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. 

    Annotated Bibliography

    Sakai, Kuniyoshi L. “Stronger Brain Activity After Writing on Paper Than on Tablet or Smartphone.” Neuroscience News, 19 March 2021, 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, 

    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,

    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).

  • The Plummeting Man

    Sam Kaylor


    English 1103.24

    “Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instances of life, embraced it.” Tom Junod, who wrote this piece of work, had completely immersed us in this scene almost as though we could see the man who was falling. Before that quote in the book it says, “he departs from this earth like an arrow” The author had a great simile in this quick phrase. One can really imagine an arrow falling from the sky straight down towards the earth, just like his body falling down the town straight down, head facing the floor. 

    The Falling Man by Tom Junod is about 9/11 and a singular man that was caught in a picture. He was shown to be falling out of one of the windows of the building plummeting head first into the ground. With both towers surrounding this man and the ground fast approaching he had nothing left but to accept his fate. Time seemed to be at a standstill when this picture was taken as the crowd gasped and the air filled with smoke and fire. There were many other jumpers that day but the way this picture was taken and how the man looked, it could not be ignored. 

    “Everything to the left of him in this picture is the north tower; everything to the right, the south” Tom Junod really painted the picture here of the man straight in the middle of the twin towers falling down to the ground. The north and the south towers on either side of him looking as though they might fall with him. The author wrote this piece as if he was actually there watching the terror occur as the man was plummiting to the earth. The lasting image in this writing emphasizes the seriousness within the piece itself. 

    The imagine that Tom Junod was describing in this piece is famous without comparison. It is of an historically awful day that no one will forgot, making this piece all that more important to the readers. The author writes as though he knows what the man is feeling as he falls to the ground. “There is something almost rebellious in the man;s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it.” As though Tom Junod was the person falling, he describes every sensation that man was feeling as he fell to his death. Tom put himself in the place of this man while writing, making a connection as if he wanted to know what the falling man was feeling. 

    Tom describes the terror of the situation later on in his writing and how the photographer also felt a connection with the falling man. Even if that man had no feelings at all Tom Junod drew them out like a master artist. I felt a strong attachment to this writing and found myself reading it again and again despite class. Reading in depth the words that I could not understand the first time though gave me new realization to writing in general. I believe the work that went into that article was unmatched to everything else I have read for class. 

    “Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun.” Though Tom Junod was not literal with his words in this quote it is very descriptive. The man was between the falling debris and two towers, the bars shining from the sun beaming down on them. Even if it was not writing in a literal sense, it was still painting a picture everyone reading could imagine. A painting of a man falling between these bars as sun glared and towers filled with smoke. A descriptive mind like this was truly worthy of writing such a fine piece. 

    The Falling Man by Tom Junod was an amazing piece of writing. The detail and sentiment put into this work was above and beyond my expectations. I believe that there was no one better to describe the famous picture than Tom Junod. Reading this piece of writing has made me see writing in a whole new light, exceeding what the bar was. I truly enjoyed The Falling Man.

    Work Cited

    Junod, Tom “The Falling Man” esquire, vol 140, no 3, sept 2003. Pp. 176+ Gale Academic OneFileSelect,

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  • Finding My Way

    A student with dyslexia and ADHD put into school is bound to have a harder time learning material than those without them. I just happen to have those learning disabilities and have had to learn to coexist with them. These things and my lack of motivation for work make me end up procrastinating daily, usually resulting in bad grades. I was never the best student regardless but it was never easy even with accommodations. My freshman year of college is likely where these disabilities hindered me the most. 

    In the beginning of college, on move-in day, all I was thinking about was making friends. I had one person I knew that came with me from highschool so immediately I contacted them. He was busy at that time so I socialized on my dorm floor. I met two people named Dom and Tate, they were roommates who I just happened to bump into on the floor. Once moved in we went to the arcade where we ended up finding the person from high school. We decided to head to the dorm hall on the other side of the campus for the night. I remember sitting on the balcony on a rocking chair just watching cars coast by. All the sudden I hear a voice yell from below, “What are you guys doing?” A boy screamed from the street. I decided to respond, “Hanging out, why don’t you guys come up and join us?” And the boy with his two friends did just that. He introduced himself as Hunter with the two boys beside him as Evan and Charlie. This was the beginning of a year of terrible grades. 

    Throughout the first semester of this year I decided it would be a good idea to just focus on my social life instead of worrying about my grades. I thought it would all work out in the end. I did not pay much attention to my grades at all and would check them every other week to a month. I kept going to classes but I would often not pay attention and did not buy any textbooks or work sites. I casually started to worry about my grades and I worked diligently for about a month. I ended up getting easily distracted by the people I previously mentioned. They would always have fun things to do, for example going to a party or throwing a party at our house. I could not stay focused and would end up giving in easily to have fun. My first semester ended up being a complete waste of money and a waste of time.

    The second semester I knew I had to do something about my grades so I got to work. I buckled down and did not give in to temptations 90% of the time. I still had fun but much less than I did the last semester. I used all the study tactics I knew and pushed forward. I was still hanging out with the same group as the semester before so it was still hard to focus at times but I decided it would be better to leave the room than to stay and not do work. I ended up giving in a little bit toward the end of the semester so my grades were not perfect but they still kept me in school. 

    My experiences freshman year for college were definitely eye opening. I learned to work harder and balance my social and work life. I will not make the same mistake again and hope to be even better this year than last semester.