Dear Portfolio Readers:
I was to preface this by saying that I am not a confidant writer despite the fact I am an English Major. I think that for many pieces of work I have, you can see a lot of passive voice in play, especially for the kinds of work that demands textual evidence. That being said, when I had came into this class I had a fairly good idea of the problems which have plagued my writing for a long time. I knew my writing went all over the place and really needed more focus, and I needed to adjust my writing in regards to the audience better. I knew these things because these are the worries that I had whenever I wrote a paper and were the cause of my insecurities as a writer.
This course has gone a long way towards ridding me of these insecurities. In particular, the problem piece that was asked of us shows a lot of improvements in the areas I needed help in. It correctly addresses my audience in a very active voice, it is surprisingly organized for a work that had very broad boundaries and structure, and overall I felt the entire piece was successful in conveying the message I intended for my audience. My last piece also showed much improvement from before this class, in terms of evidence and the tone and voice that is used for the audience. It certainly needed work, but it was still better than things that I had done earlier in my life.
And I attribute this to active engagement of what I was writing. The pieces of writing I had done for this class was not some procrastinated hack job done before class, it was something we worked on constantly and in great detail. Because of this I saw all of the common errors I made and with help I was able to fix said errors. Peer reviewing may be underrated, but it truly helped me understand how to organize my paper better, where to put in transitional sentences, where to start one topic and stop another, and so on and so forth.
I have already seen the fruits of this class’ work transition into my other writing. My comparative literature class is a great example in which I started the class with C papers, but ended with an A on my final piece. I have found myself actively looking over my papers and editing much earlier than I would have before this class, if at all. I am a realist however; I know that the success of my work only lasts as long as I put in the effort. And I know there is still much that can be improved on. I can still do better with organization at the individual sentence level and my evidence can still use better explanation and examination. Still it is quite the accomplishment to have improved so drastically in these aspects of my writing; I just need to put in more effort.
As an English major, I found that I did not put in the effort I wanted to for my college career. It certainly did not reflect in my grades for one reason or another, but my writing did leave me with a lot of doubt and made me question if I was cutout to be an English major or go back to Biology. This class has shown me however that if enough time and effort is put into writing, then the results will follow. The two pieces that I have chosen are a reflection of my work and the effort I had put to make my writing better. The problem piece successfully blends my creative strengths with my organization weaknesses into a broadly structured paper that helps to strengthen my piece through its style. By making it an article piece I was allowed the freedom to go as crazy as I had wanted to, but found myself more focused than ever before. And my research piece was the culminated efforts of my successes in this class. It is a show of the possibilities of my writing as long as I put the effort into it and remain focused.
To my Readers, a pleasure to write for you.