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Griman 1 Tess Griman Ms.

Ingram Portfolio Essay- 1101-049 5 November 2013 E-Portfolio When I was creating my e-portfolio, there was a lot of thought put in to how and where I was going to include all the necessary information. My goal was to create a space where people could easily interpret the purpose of the information they were reading and easily recognize an organized theme. Originally, I had my, “About Me,” page as my introduction, the first page that a person would encounter upon visiting my website, but I later decided that I was trying to include too much information on one page and it was starting to become cluttered. Now when someone visits my website, they will see my new introduction or so called, “Welcome,” page that details the exact purpose of my website. I chose to keep the page simple so as to not overwhelm the reader. I moved the, “About Me” page to its own separate tab because it is extra information that is not imperative to my overall website. The focus of my, “About Me,” page is basically centered on the saying that, a picture is worth a thousand words. I have written a short bio on myself, but included many pictures to give readers a personal background on myself and I have left it up to them to interpret the pictures how they may. The next four tabs I included on my page are my written works. My Portfolio Essay is the first of the written works tabs because it is the most important. The next tab is my Literacy Narrative because it was the first paper we wrote in this class. I chose to put the

Griman 2 Genre Analysis tab before the Midterm tab because I wanted to keep the papers I had written next to each other. On the top of every page I have chosen a different assortment of pictures not necessarily related to the subject matter. The reasoning I have for doing this was to make each page easily identifiable to the reader so that they could more easily flip through the pages. The first paper that I wrote in this class, My Literacy Narrative, was also the first paper that I wrote in college. In retrospect, I wrote the paper thinking that it was unfortunately the worst thing I had ever written because I had procrastinated and did not think the idea was strong enough. So it was quite the surprise to me when I received positive feedback from Ms. Ingram who wrote that my paper was, “Well-written, thoughtful, and interesting.” That helped my confidence as a writer. On my Literacy Narrative tab you will see that I have included my brainstorming notes. I was trying to figure out in which grade there was an event that had such a lasting impact on me that I could remember enough of it to write about it. Around the same time I was trying to write this paper, we were assigned “Shitty First Drafts.” That article, which informed students that all great authors have rocky beginnings, gave me the comfort I needed to build off the idea that turned into my final draft. My first draft, as previously mentioned, was off to a good start, but unbeknownst to me, I had made a continuous error. I switched between present and past tense verbs. With help from Ms. Ingram, who told me to, “Stick with past tense because it’s more natural to tell a story from your past, in the present,” I was able to see my errors and make the changes necessary to clarify it. For example, the first sentence of my second paragraph was written as so, “Arriving in first period five minutes before the bell rings, I pause in the door…” I went back and changed it by breaking it up into two

Griman 3 sentences, “I remember arriving to first period five minutes before the bell rang. I paused in the doorway…” I have now become more conscious of my verb use in my papers not wanting to repeat my mistake and leave my readers confused. The wildcard that I added on this page was the letter I wrote in response to Ms. Ingram’s feedback. In my letter, I detailed what my plan of action was to better my paper. One of the key concepts that I exhibited in that paper was risk-taking. I say this because not only was that my first college paper, but it was also the first paper I had ever written or written in a long time at least that was not in the five paragraph format. It had been drilled in to me so long that, that was the only acceptable format for writing, I was not aware that other formats of writing even existed. This class helped to show me that formats conform to your writing and not the other way around. Another risk that I took was incorporating details that were not necessarily accurate. It would have been impossible for me to remember that much detail, so I had to fabricate realistic details that would not make my reader question whether that actually happened or not. It is evident to any person that I became more confident with my use of dialogue towards the end of my paper when I included conversations with more than two people. A critique someone made had been to not be so afraid to use it, so that’s when I went back and edited my paper to include more dialogue where it was appropriate. Towards the end I also experimented with sensory details. Details meant to help my reader feel like they were in my shoes. “I got up from my seat with an unstable balance due to my legs shaking so much, and with every step I took closer to his desk my heart seemed to pound faster. The hushed whispers, the bite from the chill of the room, I felt as if I was walking towards an academic death.” I used this sentence in my paper to convey the nervousness I felt at the possibility of failing. Overall I think I

Griman 4 accomplished the task I set out to do, that is, to experiment and break out of previous writing constraints previously known to me. In retrospect I see that since then I have grown to be more mature as well as intellectually, this is most evident in my study skills that I have acquired since starting college. I have learned to better manage my time and grasp the importance of staying on track with my classes so that I may do well. I struggled to grasp the concept of the Genre Analysis paper and the parameters that we had to follow in order to properly complete the assignment. I got off track on my analysis of my college genre, because instead of focusing my analysis on what I wrote (my brag sheet), I began to analyze the directions. I was forced to go back and revise my college genre paper by including quotes of what I actually wrote. In reference to the key concepts, I explored the writing process and revision quite a bit during this assignment. I found professor Ingram’s feedback to be most helpful because without it, I would not have been able to see the error in my ways. After I had read through her comments, I saw that I needed to revise my sentences by clarifying them and adding more detail where needed. Originally in my college genre analysis, I opened by explaining the purpose of the brag sheet, that being, it was meant to aide you in your college applications by detailing why you are a worthy candidate of attending their school. “On the brag sheet was a list of question that needed to be answered and typed up. The answers would then be taken and turned into a letter of recommendation by your assigned guidance counselor. “ From there I began to analyze the directions instead of what I wrote. In fact I did not quote my brag sheet at all. In my revision that I did, I focused my attention on my third paragraph where I explained the three parts to the assignment. I mentioned each section’s purpose, but made no such mention of what I actually wrote. I went back and added quotes of what I wrote after each

Griman 5 explanation of the three sections. “The first, the resume, was understood to display maturity and responsibility. This was done by showing that it was possible for students to balance a job and maintain a constant and steady achievement level in school. My high school required that every year you were to participate in the assigned volunteer activity with your Theology class in order to graduate. After my freshmen year, where I interacted with children in a low-income day care, I began to realize the importance of service in the community, so I began to look for other places in my community that I could be of service. I was a volunteer for the Town of Cary all through High School, logging about a hundred hours of service. On my resume, you would find all the activities that I participated in, as well as the name of the Town of Cary festival coordinator that I primarily worked with.” Adding this to my paper, I was able to show the reader the depth of my involvement. The article, on genre by Dan Melzer and Nathan Timm, taught me valuable lessons like the purpose of genre and to look for verbs that help you to understand what kind of writing/ thinking you have to demonstrate. From this assignment I learned the importance of paying closer attention to the directions, because without direction, assignments cannot be properly completed, and therefore the intended purpose is not understood. Like my other classmates, I too found the hardest part of the midterm to be making sure that my answers were in depth enough. Not necessarily writing lengthy answers, but properly analyzing and answering the questions. With this assignment I focused on independent inquiry and intellectual growth and maturity. I thought quite a bit about the differences between high school and college and attempted to convey the most important and life changing ones. “In my first blog post I posed the question, „What risks will I be taking in my writing and how do risks even apply to writing?‟ After some time I have

Griman 6 realized that the risks I have taken have been mostly about letting old habits die, hard, which has been unsurprisingly easy and a great relief. I am stepping away from the only writing format I‟ve ever known, and seeing that other formats of writing actually exist. The five-paragraph format is no longer welcome and I have been taking full advantage of that fact by experimenting with formats previously unbeknownst to myself.” The great thing about all the papers that we have had to write for this class has been the amount of freedom we‟ve been given to experiment with finding the format that works best for us. We are allowed the room to grow not only as a writer with a unique style, but a person as well. All the questions made me think about how different a person I am now, then I once was, college changes you for the best by preparing you for the future. “You are no longer able to rely on your mother for a stocked pantry and meals, and your dad for fixing things and helping you with your homework. Learning to fend for yourself is how you become an adult and how you become a member of society.” This epiphany gave me the clarity to see that I had made the transition from adolescence to adulthood. I very much enjoyed writing blog posts every so often because it provided a space for me to put my thoughts to words. In the beginning I thought that without direction I would not know what to say, “As much as I like the idea about having the chance to say what I want, I’m a little nervous about finding my inner voice and trying to get my point across. It’s pretty much like I have to rewire my brain or unwire really and let loose.” By the last blog post, where we were allowed to write about anything, I found that I actually had a lot of topics that I would have liked to talk about. Each blog post led me to explore different ways of expressing myself. By the last blog post I also found that I had become more comfortable with being open and bold in what I posted. “Ads set this unattainable standard

Griman 7 which no one but anorexic models and Photoshop can fill. Everyone is racing towards a goal that they’ll never see. So screw you ad companies for making me ever doubt myself or make me feel like I should be embarrassed or uncomfortable with myself for who I am. Banksy is right, we owe them nothing because they’ve never given us anything of worth.” Compared to my first post, it is quite evident that I began to test the boundaries of what I could write whilst staying within the parameters of the topic given in the directions. In my first blog post I posed a question to myself (independent inquiry) that I hoped would be able to be answered by the end of the semester. “I’m curious to see what risks I’ll be taking in my writing though because I wasn’t even aware that you could take risks.” I was able to answer my question just a few weeks later when I wrote my Literacy Narrative, where as previously explained, I took numerous risks whilst writing it. Risk-taking ended up being a continuous theme in the class with everything I wrote, due to the untraditional nature of the assignments. The blog most importantly, introduced me to a new concept, providing and receiving feedback, something I did not have a lot of experience with. “I was never sure of the proper and polite way to peer edit, but after reading what Richard Straub had to say about criticism and praise I can now go forth and peer edit with confidence. He also helped me to understand the difference between sounding like a teacher and sounding like a student.” Giving positive feedback through commenting on my peer’s blog posts also allowed me to practice the art of giving good advice. I have become so fond of the idea of having a blog that I might continue to have one after the semester is over. My family is always asking me about my college experiences and what I am up to these days so a blog would be the perfect place to keep them informed and up to date of all activities worth mentioning.

Griman 8 When I look at everything I have written this year as a whole, and as this all being new writing territory for me, I think that I have done a pretty good job. In all my papers I made an effort to utilize what I leaned from the assigned articles in our textbooks to improve them. In regards to the grade that I think I deserve on this e-portfolio, I believe that I am deserving of at least a B. I have spent quite a considerable amount of time revising this essay so that it displays what I have learned this semester to the best of my writing abilities. In my analysis of all my papers, I have explained the lessons that I learned from them that helped me to mature as not only a writer, but a person as well. I used direct quotes from my papers to show how I engaged with key concepts and have tried to organize this essay in a unique way that included all the necessary information without listing. I hope that others are able to see my progression as a writer and find my essay to be easily understandable.

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