1366 Larch Cunningham Ames, IA 50013

December 16, 2013 Mr. Jeff Gordon 8675 Corn Dog Lane Apt 309 West Point, IA Dear Mr. Gordon, Before I put effort into my writing, I would only use big words and fancy phrases to make my papers seem more credible. However, I now put my effort into my writing process. I take multiple approaches before I start in on whatever I am writing. Outlines and free-writing tend to be my favorite combination when writing. I tend to do my writing in sections. Once I have written each section of the paper I combine them into one document. Once this document is together I read through and try to make everything flow smoothly from one topic to another. Once I’ve finished checking the flow I go in and correct any grammatical or punctuation errors. My ability to think creatively is good, but my ability to communicate my thoughts through my writing struggles. My limited vocabulary and poor use of punctuation are the main factors that inhibit my writing. I have not been able to improve improper use of punctuation so I have resorted to avoiding any type of situation in which I may make a mistake. This often causes my writing to be boring and simple. The work before writing a paper has been my main struggle throughout this semester. I originally would only create outlines of what I wanted to write about before writing. After continued disappointment I decided that I should experiment with free writing along with creating an outline for me paper. This has allowed me to come up with much more creative ideas. My writing thrives because of my ability to think creatively. I’ve had many teachers that have pushed me to think above the conceptual level of thought. Book reports are where I tend to thrive. I once read the book A Separate Peace. When being assigned a book report after I went up and beyond what my teacher had expected of me. I decided to create an argument why this novel deserved to be considered a literary classic. Selecting symbols, determining the type of language used, analyzing the novel’s structure, and discussing possible eternal dilemmas. These different areas of my writing gave enough background about the novel so that the reader could understand what was going on, but also presents a more deep analysis of the text. Picking apart certain sections of texts and deeply analyzing them it is my strong point in writing. There are three major areas of oral education that I tend to rank as the most important: large groups, small groups, and presentations. Being outgoing is often beneficial when it comes to group work or any type of oral exercise. When in large group discussions many people may become intimidated and fearful that others may judge them for whatever is said. Group

discussions are great for going over basic material that doesn’t require much critical thinking. I don’t tend to like large group discussions because I always feel that whatever I know, someone else already knows as well. Thus, I tend to sit back and let others participate expecting them to say what I could say. Small groups are great ways for people to communicate their personal thoughts. The groups are small enough where no one is fearful of being judged by a large group. These small groups are then able to present their thoughts as a group to the rest of the class or groups. I tend to not like small groups because peoples’ interests differ and there usually seems to be one member of the group who does most of the work. Finally, presentations are great ways of presenting information to a large group of people. I tend to thrive in presentations because of desire to make learning fun. I have been considered a comedian my entire life so getting up in front of people doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve recently gave a presentation in one of my business classes regarding the simulation we did. After two days of listening to one boring presentation after the other I decided to mix things up. I started off by catching everyone off guard by telling them a joke. Once I had their attention I worked very hard at keeping their attention which lead to a great discussion after my presentation. My ability to maintain peoples’ attention when presenting is what makes presenting my most successful form of oral communication. My use of visuals adds to my presentations as well. Microsoft’s PowerPoint has been a consistent tool that I have used in nearly all of my presentations. Creating a visual that is both visually appealing and easy to follow allows for others to easily follow along even if their first desire is to not pay attention. Anything that causes your presentation to be remembered is essential to a presentation. A popular visual used this year was Prezi. This software is more visually appealing than PowerPoint. I wish I would have been less ignorant and had given it a shot for at least one of my presentations this year. Many people learn through the use of visuals more than they do orally. This is why it is important to capture the audience’s attention through props and slide shows. I would definitely urge you to take a look at my attached resume. I would also love to be able to meet with you for an interview to further discuss my qualifications, experience, and what I can bring to you. Email me at brenth@iastate.edu or give me a call at (319) 470-2429. Thank you so much for taking the time to read over my letter. Respectfully yours,

Brent Holtkamp