My experience as a researcher and writer in college has been fairly short and tedious. The entry level English course didn't really challenge my abilities at writing or researching, mostly because the assignments were too easy and didn't really require it. The main part of my writing and researching experience came with English 201, where my critical thinking abilities were challenged more than my writing skills. I can honestly say that it was probably one of the most useful classes that I have had the chance to take, mainly because it challenged my idea of the much overused five paragraph static essay. Instead, I learned that all papers are different, and the normal five paragraph structure that was drilled into our heads from k-12 just doesn't cut it for most college and academic essays.
As for the researching portion of the class, it was again fairly straight forward and required nothing more than article searches online, which from the Craft of Research, isn't the best of ideas. To make matters easier, almost all of the essays were based off of a central issue, the earth's environment. This similarity between all of the essays allowed me to do as little research as possible since each of my sources could be kept and used over the course of the semester.
To be successful on my assignments I need to be patient when I work my way through them, making it a very tedious job when trying to work on essays. Most of the time this means lots of typing, reading, deleting and retyping as I work my way through essays making sure that each paragraph is exactly the way it should be. Unfortunately this process seems to take the most time, which is why I am trying to take less time in the rough draft process this semester. Instead of editing as I go, I am going to try to hold myself back, making sure to just type and save the editing for when I am done.