Dear Portfolio Readers,
I started this quarter thinking that as a third year student I had enough experience in writing to excel in this University Writing Program class. However, this class quickly made me realize that I was not as proficient as I thought I was. Previously, I used to think that writing an essay was just a one step process, but now I understand that there are a lot more components that go into writing quality work. This class taught me to break the barriers of the standard high school five paragraph essay, employ revision strategies, and use metacognition to integrate analysis into essays.
The first assignment I chose to include in my portfolio was the Problem Project because this letter exemplifies all the things that this quarter in UWP has taught me. I did not organize this letter as a five-paragraph essay but instead wrote it in manner that organized my thoughts most effectively. For example, by using statements such as “I would like to start by addressing the lack of education towards completing taxes” and “Next, I would like to address how our education system fails to teach students about the banking system in America” I was able to explicitly express my ideas in a manner that flowed. I was able to further develop paragraphs and expand on my thoughts more than what was expected of me in high school. I learned how to accurately use metacognition in order to analyze why the information about the education system I was presenting was important. Furthermore, instead of just presenting problems with the education system, I added information about how these issues can be resolved in my final draft. The most difficult part of this letter was the revision process. I used to think revision was just small edits such as grammar and sentence structure, but revision of this essay taught me how to revise ideas and organization that lead to a more cohesive paper.
The second piece I chose for the Portfolio was assignment four, the Perspective Analysis. This was definitely the most challenging paper of the course because of all the different aspects of the paper. The inventor stage was challenge because it was difficult deciding which rhetorical elements to analyze for both the popular and academic pieces. The real significance of this piece to my portfolio is that it shows the improvements I have made in being able to organize a paper. As compared to the first draft the second draft has organization that really categorizes all the elements of this paper. All these edits to the organization were made possible through the revision process of the paper. This essay as compared to first assignment for this class is a great reflection of the analysis I am able to now incorporate into my essays. Sentences such as “Although both of these pieces emphasize similar dangers about the Zika Virus, differences in the audience and language create two different purposes of the pieces” really help showcase my ability to utilize metacognition in order to incorporate more analysis into my essays.
Saying that I will use the skills I learned in University Writing Program 1 class in my essays is an understatement. This class has really helped me develop into a better writer. I no longer am constrained by the basic essays that I was taught to write in high school. I am better able to integrate revision strategies that we learned in class to make my essays more informative and cohesive pieces. I can also bring a new depth into my papers due to my new understanding of bringing the concept of analysis into my essays. I hope you enjoy seeing the product of the progress I have made in the past quarter.