Your name: Kelly Doyle
Your home town: Rose Valley, Pennsylvania
Your major(s): English/Creative Writing, Psychology
Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English? No
What are your career plans? I hope to become a writer, but while I am working towards this goal I am going to pursue a career in publishing.
What is your favorite book or author and why? One of my all time favorite authors is John Steinbeck. His books combine moral lessons with truly entertaining stories.
What is your favorite word? Cantankerous
Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer:
During my senior year of high school, I designed an independent study on 20th century American literature with the help of an English teacher. We built a reading list of ten books and I was to write an essay for each one. There were no prompts and no guidelines. Everything was up to me and this freedom, while enjoyable, was challenging. Coming up with an interesting and original thesis is a difficult task, but it became much easier for me when I realized that I needed to stop writing about the books and instead write about something that is important to me and use the book as support. When writing critically, it is not enough to compare and contrast characters and identify similes. Instead, I stepped back and tried to discover generally, what makes this book relevant to me? What makes it important today? What does it teach me personally? Why do people read it? I used those questions to develop an argument that I could use the book to support. By building a thesis in this way, I could create a strong foundation for an interesting paper. I still think creating an original thesis is difficult, but this altered perspective has helped me greatly in that area.