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1 Emily Braswell

Mr. Borrero

ENGL 1102

April 20, 2012


After spending two hours a week with this small English 1102 class, I can honestly say that immense progress has been made. Ever since grade school I have had negativity relating to my writing skills bashed in the back of my head. As I progressed through my education I began to lose hope that these negativities would ever fade. It was until this school year that I finally began to mature out of my past dark relationship with writing. My English 1101 class last semester gave me the push and small taste of confidence I needed to excel this semester.

During one of the first classes, you laid out the idea you had strategically composed for this entire semester. From the very beginning I knew what our initial goals and major assignments would be. This helped me mentally prepare for the semester that lay ahead of me. Our whole semester was based on one large project. This one broad project was broken down into many components, creating a very round dynamic finished product. Many of my former English teachers have exercised this same tactic to

2 help students decide their fate early on, but what was so different about this class was that the final project was determined by the student. My senior year of high school I ended the year with a big fat F in English, simply because the entire class was focused on the one story of Hamlet. Being allowed to choose what we studied for the entire semester ensured my success. With this freedom, all I had to do to keep me own attention was to pick a topic I was sincerely interested in. I know myself, the more interested I am, the harder I will work. Another reason I felt so compelled to aim for success was because the course allowed for concentration in areas other then formal writing. Having the e-portfolio as the final product allowed me to focus on many different ways to present basic research and information. As the semester flew by I do not think any of us really realized how much work we were compiling to include into this portfolio.

I know you want detail, but in all honesty I think the biggest success I have had this semester was the consistent positive transformation of my mind set. The biggest barrier that prevents me from being an accomplished writer was my lack of confidence. Hearing from my instructors and peers here I have broken that barrier and allowed myself to grow. The longer I was being told I was a terrible writer the longer I would stay a terrible writer. On a more specific note, another growth I have made has been in a technical sense. Looking back I was surprised to realize I learned a lengthy list of new techniques of writing. Some of those techniques include annotated bibliographies, correct MLA use, and the proper use of end notes. All of these were completely foreign ideas to me before this class. Whether or not I accomplished each of the skills perfectly, I have a basic understanding of what they can do to your

3 writing. The Historical Inquiry Essay was one big list of directions. I somehow managed to follow those directions and develop a decent understanding of what a formal research paper should look like. Along with written techniques we were introduced to a multitude of new ways to present written work. With online sites like Scribd, Weebly, Dipity, and Timeline, this class brought my writing skills up to date with all of the innovative technological ways to present information. Being introduced to this varied list of new skills and possibilities refurbished y belief of writing being another form of art. In my opinion some of the most miniscule assignments have really helped my thought process develop. For example, the day you broke us into groups to create a storyboard brought so much clarity to the possibilities this project held. Another helpful assignment in my mind was the Glogster collage. As an artist I was struggling to translate this vivid film I could see in my mind into a word document. Allowing for us to incorporate images lifted that weight from my shoulders.

Although I can acknowledge my progress, the past week has really brought my remaining struggles back into focus. I have struggled with this pitch essay for weeks now. After meeting with you a second time I began to see what it was lacking. I have difficulty pin pointing my perspective and pushing it on my audience. I want to be too neutral. When you make a piece of art you make it with your idea, or message in mind but allow the audience to perceive it however they would like. I guess I thought that because this project was about a film I could attack it with that same laid back attitude. I was wrong. Not having a clear perspective and purpose for my idea has proven hindering. I also still need to work on my

4 organization. In many cases I get carried away with content and originality and I lose sight of how comprehensive my writing is.

In the future I intend to pay much more attention to the credibility of facts. In my mind I constantly toy with the question; what is a fact. I believe that anything said goes. One persons words do not override anothers. Everyones ideas and opinions matter. This mindset does not work in formal writing. My acceptance was seen more as gullibility and gullibility is frowned upon. Although I showed my ability to cite all of my sources correctly, some of my sources proved to not be worth citing.

Despite my remaining problems, I am happy with the progress I have made this semester. I have things to work on and successes to celebrate. In closure, I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, and I will honestly miss Statons loud mouth and Demirs inability to make it to conferences. Thanks.

Emily Braswell.