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Dear Valentina,

In the Academic Writing class, I believe I have improved my understanding of writing


mechanics above all. The multiple project builders and writing project gave a real feeling of what
the process of writing should be like. In the process, my ability to identify the conventions that
contribute to the formation of a genre. I have improved my writing to ensure my work is more
clear, thorough, and compelling. I have continuously aimed to produce work with evidence that
is appropriate and credible. In addition, I have also saught to include evidence and sources
seamlessly into my work. Furthermore, I intended my writing to always contain a variety in the
use and integration of evidence. I consistently attempted to improve conventions of form, style,
syntax, and citation.
Although I think this class has taught me a lot about the use of evidence and proper
citations in academia, I would like to know more about how to make my writing sound more
professional in terms of language and grammar. I would like to elevate my language in order to
feel confident in my future endeavors with academic texts.
For my final portfolio, I chose to revise my first 2 writing projects because I felt there
were more things that I could change and that would make a significant effect on the quality of
the writing. For example, in my first writing project, I immediately understood your corrections
and realized I had not given any multimedia evidence for my multimedia genre. I think this
improvement then spilled out into another aspect of my essays such as strengths of arguments
and organization. By including images of movie posters and then referencing them in my
arguments I think the persuasive aspect of the essay was improved because I was able to point
out specific details. Once I had developed my ideas more I then reorganized the essay so that
there would be better fluidity throughout.
In the second writing project, I had less of an idea of how to improve my paper since I
received a better grade. Notwithstanding I took your comments into account and improved my
thesis by taking a position on which text was better at persuading and why. This then carried out
into the wrest of the essay and I included more arguments throughout the essay on which of the
texts is more effective when constructing arguments and using evidence.
For this writing project, I also worked on the inclusion of sources so that there was a
smoother integration of evidence in the arguments for both the images, tables, and quotes. It was
hard to integrate at times. However, what was most difficult was elaborating on my evidence.
In terms of language and style, I think I maintained a good variety of sentence length. I also tried
to keep the language elevated and appropriate for an academic text.
Personally, I think I would still like to improve my use of sources and my language.
Another point of improvement for me would be on organization and connecting between
paragraphs. This is something I often forget and have a hard time doing well. Although I think I
have managed to do this properly in these writing projects I think I need to put an effort into
making sure that I keep doing it consistently.
Another issue I’ve come across is in clarity. Often, especially when trying to explain
complex ideas my writing can become wordy. However, many of the activities we did in class
helped me with this. Learning strategies to create more clear and concise writing. Reducing text
has always been a struggle because I am afraid of losing something of value that I would
possibly forget later. However, I have come to realize that writing to a great extent consists of
letting go of things that you think you can improve even though you worked hard on them
before.
I think my portfolio reflects the personal style I have developed in this class that follows
the rules of citations but is more unique to me than the high school standard 5 paragraph of
essay. This allowed me to be more creative with my paragraph structure and overall paper
organization.
What I believe I will take away from this class is a systematic and more efficient way of
writing. I have developed less hesitation when reorganizing my work, introducing, and
eliminating text. Another very valuable skill I have learned in this class has been learning how to
use the UCSB library system both online and in the library.
Although I had been very familiar with MLA format it was interesting and useful to learn
the APA format. At first, I had a hard time understanding APA and the minimal details of its
format but I had the Hacker’s Manual that was very useful. I developed a better idea of what the
hackers manual consists of and how to use it in other scenarios.
Another skill I have taken away from this class is learning how to cooperate with my
peers in writing. I do believe that after this class I will be people to read my work more. I think
this is the best way to improve writing. Some of the feedback my peers gave me in class were
some of the most helpful pieces of advice. Without the critique of my peers, I would have not
been able to understand my strengths and weakness in writing.
Because of what I have learned in this class, I plan to make study groups for essay
writing hereon forth.

Sincerely,

Francesca Sofia Knoell Harris