My First Year of Writing at Dartmouth

  1. What did you learn? What were your key takeaways over the year? What practices/habits/skills do you plan to take forward in Dartmouth?

This year, I learned a lot about myself as a writer, a student, and as someone who is considering a career in engineering and sport. To start with writing, I thought that I grew extraordinarily compared to my high school self. I learned how to properly write a variety of different types of papers, from a full blown research paper to a classic literature review. In addition to the variety of papers I’ve learned about, I have also learned how to properly format and about what specifically goes into an introduction and conclusion. Those were the two areas of my papers that I have previously overlooked, saying that the intro simply introduces what’s about to come, and the conclusion restates what was said. I now know that the introduction explains not only what’s about to come, but it also gives conceptual framework of the topic, explaining the topic deeper in best interest of the reader’s understanding. For the conclusion, I have learned that a good conclusion extends that argument into new ground, maybe introducing a new concept that is examined just enough to leave the reader itching for more, while being satisfied with the information given  on the topic throughout the article. Another area where I think I improved immensely was in the transitions. Before, I would be very choppy and no one really said anything so I thought that it was good. However, this past year has opened my eyes to the bad habits that I thought were good, and has helped me fix them. Adding transitions, and actually noticing when they are needed, is largely done in the revision of the paper, which is another thing that was really introduced to me this year. I’ve never paid so much attention to my papers after I have finished it, but I agree that it is very necessary.


  1. How is college writing different from High School Writing?

In high school, we mostly just focused on the creative side of writing, and doing book reports. Once we would finish reading a novel, we would have to write about all the themes and symbols that we found, explaining what they mean and how they apply to the novel entirely. You never really had to read what the assignment asked because it was always the same thing. However, in university, it was never the same thing. Even when I thought I understood what it was asking, I would read through the assignment again and I would find something different. But despite the complexity of the task, there was always so much to talk about the topic, based on the different sides of what you are talking about. In university you have to pour more of yourself into the writing, and by that I mean going into and examining each and every detail of all the sides of the topic you are writing about.


  1. What do you most/least like to write? What does this tell you?

I actually really like diving into a topic so deep because it makes my feel like I’ve gained so much knowledge on the one topic, which I guess I have. Research papers are fun but at the same time tedious just because you have a lot of work to do, but in the paper you can document all the work you’ve done so it’s really cool and satisfying to visually see everything that you did. I would like to go into science, so writing scientific research papers would be right up my alley.

Ethics of Sports Betting

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act is a contract that bans all betting on sports over the entire country of the United States, despite a few states. Murphy vs NCAA was a triumph by the state of New Jersey to legalize sports betting and gambling, making the argument that the legalization of it would increase the state revenue significantly. This case was successful for New Jersey, allowing gambling on sports in all leagues from the MLB to the NCAA.

This fight has been going on with New Jersey since November of 2011, and many other states want to do the same. Since the Supreme Court left it up to the state legislation to decide whether or not to legalize it, I think that we will see many of these other states legalizing it, as well, and I think it’ll be soon.

Personally, I agree with the ruling because I don’t think it really harms anyone other than the person spending their money. Similar to gambling at a casino, you have to make sure that your gambling doesn’t get out of control, but a positive side is that it can be fun. It adds competition and more meaning to the game for people, allowing people to bet on a game, order a pizza, watch the game and shake hands. This legalization will increase the TV ratings for sports games, increase attendance at the games themselves, increase revenue for restaurant businesses, and more.

Sports Diplomacy

Recently we have been talking about sports diplomacy, and more specifically the way the Olympics plays a role in the world. We had a guest speaker in class to talk about her role and the role of the United States Department of State in the unification of people around the world with sports. Her name was Trina Bolton and she is a program officer there at the diplomacy, where she promotes sports and the lessons you learn by playing, all over the world. Some of the things that she does is go to third-world countries and teach them different sports such as soccer, baseball, and even skateboarding, to name a few.

Their goals are not only to promote the benefits of sports to the less fortunate, but also to unite the world on a global level that is greater than what any political meeting could convey. Her presentation was very cool, and it was nice to learn that there are actually governmental organizations that care about giving opportunity to those in countries who can’t afford it. I also find it really cool how they bring professional athletes and coaches over on their envoys to teach the game and inspire those learning to play.

More specifically to what Trina actually had to say, two things stuck out to me. One of them was that when they went to a country to promote the sport of skateboarding, they turned it into a girl’s sport, where over here in North America it is very much a boy’s sport. I think that that is really cool because it just proves that you can teach people anything, and anyone can do anything that they put their mind to. This gives me hope because I never really knew that people, especially people from the government, were out there trying to teach and spread the game. Another thing that stuck with me from her talk was when she said, “They asked if we could send an NBA star tomorrow and we said we could send a WNBA player in six months.” This struck me because there is still that gender inequality because they were asking for the top of the popularity hierarchy by the next day, and instead they sent an unpopular women’s basketball player in half a year. I don’t know if it is easier for them to send female athletes because they are more willing to go or if it’s because they are easier to convince, but it just struck me when she said that.

Overall though, her whole presentation gave me lots of hope in the faith of humanity. I have learned so much through playing sports that I don’t even know where to begin if I were to share everything. At home, I am a part of an organization called Jumpstart, which buys equipment and runs clinics for children who can’t afford to play. So, the US Diplomacy of State reminded me of Jumpstart and that was something I also found that I could relate to.

What I’m Writing

Right now, our assignment was to write a scholarly essay about a topic that meets technology, sports and society at the crossroad. I chose to talk about the slight controversy the National Hockey League experienced when they decided to reduce the size of goalie equipment for the 2015-16 season. What I like about this topic is that I can relate to the issue on a personal level because I am a goalie in hockey. This gives me an opinion that I can share in my article, personal anecdotes about my experiences with equipment, what I like about certain types and choices of equipment, and an opinion on what others have to say on the topic as well.

Something that I don’t really like about this topic is that it is slightly old and has closed the case. Since it was for the 2015-16 season, it was three years ago so it isn’t really a current issue. Also, when deciding to whether to actually make the change or not, there weren’t a lot of people who were against the change.

This project was a bit more challenging than I anticipated it being because of a couple reasons. For one, this assignment itself is unfamiliar because I have never been asked to write a narrative involving scientific papers. I don’t really know how much of my voice I should include in it, how many quotes I should have, and how I should format it. Also, for my topic specifically, I’m having trouble finding enough to talk about regarding my topic in general. I feel kind of like I’m swaying from the main idea, and because of the confusion in the assignment I’m not sure if we’re allowed to sway into new territory or not.

One thing that I forgot to do in my first draft was connect it to an ethical theory. The social contract theory is the ethical theory that is the most applicable to this situation, and when I realized that it is a perfect example of this theory, I got a shock of energy towards the project. I think talking about this will be incredibly helpful towards developing my paper, so I will really make sure to implement that in my next copy.


Writing Literature Reviews

How is writing a literature review similar or different to other things you have written? What do you find most challenging about it?

Writing a literature review is similar to other things that I have written in many ways. For one, the process and procedure that is involved in the writing is mostly the same as other research papers that I have done. Simply by looking for scholarly sources that can contribute to the your piece is something that is relatable and necessary for other projects. Another example of where it is similar to other papers I’ve written is the introduction and conclusion of these reviews. With all the other types of papers I’ve written, the introductions and conclusions all have the similar, if not the same, purposes.

What I find most challenging about wiring literature reviews is the amount of interaction it requires between authors. The whole point of a literature review is to make the authors talk to each other through their works, and sometimes I can find that the most difficult part.