You are on page 1of 10

Socha 1

Emma Socha
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1103
1 December 2015
A Run-through of My Time in UWRT 1103
When I sat down the for the first day of class, Ms. Ingram announced that this writing
class would consist of writing pieces to incorporate into an e-portfolio, and we would not get
grade until the end of the year. Now this term e-portfolio was foreign to me. In my previous
English or writing class I have taken I was given a prompt, I write the paper, and then I turn it in.
All the other work would be done in the same fashion, I complete it and then turn in a hard copy
of the work, it gets graded, and then I am done. When she told the class we were going to take
this direction, I had so many questions, questions that did get answered throughout my time in
this class.
The Design
The one thing that immediately came to my head at the mention of an e-portfolio was,
How am I going to set up and design my site? I had never made a website before so it is not
like I had any personal experience beforehand. Throughout this semester, I worked solely on the
design of this site for about fifteen or twenty minutes whenever I opened it. When creating it, I
tried my best to use the modes of communication we learned about towards the beginning of the
year. I wanted to make it visually appealing so I incorporated pictures throughout the site,
different colors, sizes, and fonts for text, and put a lot of thought to the placement of where I put

Socha 2
all of this. I tried to make the home page the most visually appealing in order to keep the
audience of my e-portfolio interested. I used pictures that represented me and what I liked to do,
such as the picture of me playing soccer and my roster picture. On some of my pages I also chose
to use different colored texts and bolded texts in order to highlight certain information, and also
make it more fun and visually appealing to the eye. I used this when incorporating my feedback
artifact. Each quote from my peers or teacher was in a different color. I also bolded and color
coded each mode of communication when I discussed them in the Help tab. I chose to use a
photo I took while I was in Curacao as my header to add a more personal touch to my portfolio
as well as give the readers a beautiful picture of nature to look at as they navigate through each
page.
Along with the visual aspect I also used spatial and linguistic mode in the design of this
site. I wanted to organize it in a way that made it easy to navigate through. In order to do this, I
clearly labeled each tab so that any reader would clearly be able to know what they are about to
look at, such as, Final Portfolio Essay and Exploratory Essay. Along with organization, I
used a progression to show the process of some of my writing. For example, under my
exploratory essay, I placed an artifact that helped me start my writing, two drafts of my paper,
peer and teacher feedback on my draft, focus questions that were used to help me and my peers
with our writing, which all leads to the final product. Ultimately, I created a site that can be
easily viewed by anyone, but it is not too simple where it would send people away and leave
them uninterested.
Exploratory Essay
In UWRT 1103, we did a lot of writing and talking, whether it was a warm up, a paper,
peer reviews, or just daily class activities. Each and every one contributed to my learning and

Socha 3
experience in this course. The first project we got in this class was the exploratory essay. We
were given a prompt on a single sheet of paper with almost no words on it. All it said was, What
are you so passionate about that you cannot ignore? This one question gave me no direction at
all as to how I was supposed to write this paper. I ended up writing it with no specific format in
mind and was able to get my point across just the same as I would a five paragraph essay.
An activity in class that related to the exploratory essay was when we had to recall a
memory. I used this as a process artifact because it really contributed to the brainstorming of
this essay. For this activity we were told to recall event that we could connect to the topic we had
chosen to write about. Ms. Ingram told us to imagine the scenery, scents, what we could hear,
and the people around us. This one activity helped me to recall personal experiences that I could
tie into my essay and helped to make an entire section of my paper fairly simple to write since I
already had the memory laid out. I usually do not brainstorm before anything I write, so this was
something new for me. I never knew brainstorming could be so easy or helpful.
This activity really began my engagement with the key concept making connections. As
I had talked about in my midterm, I explained in my essay that my biggest passion had been
revealed to me throughout the past four or five years. I was able to explain this revelation, by
talking about two memories that really helped me to understand why I felt the way I did,
memories that really brought about my passion. I used the memories to make a connection to the
topic I was talking about throughout. I also had other opportunities throughout class to engage
with this concept when I had to make connections between my sources for my research project.
Another thing to go along with this essay is that I had many drafts, which were used as 2
of my process artifacts, and a lot of peer review sessions for feedback (of course peer reviews
were used for other projects as well). Before this class, I rarely had multiple drafts of a paper and

Socha 4
I would never have anyone read over my work. I hated when anyone even had a chance to peek
at my writing. With these peer review sections, I worked with the key concept getting out of
your comfort zone. Reading my work out loud and allowing other people to read over my
writing really made me uncomfortable before this class. These workshops forced me to try
something new, and now when asked to do activities such as these, I am a little more comfortable
with doing so. I never would have thought I could gain so much from a few drafts and a little
feedback. I quoted some advice I was given in my e-portfolio as a feedback artifact. Some of
this feedback included, Take out the first sentence of your paper and Add more to your
personal experience.
As another feedback artifact, I included focus questions we were given. These questions
allowed me to help my peers edit their exploratory essay as well as my own. Some of the
questions I had to answer when reading my peers papers were, What are the best parts of this
draft? and What parts of the draft were confusing or lost you, or lacked detail or purpose?
Before we went through peer workshopping I wouldve read through a paper and said, oh this is
good or I really like this. I was never one that critiqued things that well. I steered clear of ever
coming close to offending someone. Most of the time I never knew what advice to give. These
questions really helped guide me in the right direction of becoming a better reader.
A draft of my exploratory essay is included before showing my final to show how the
feedback did in fact help me to improve the entirety of the paper. I gained an entirely new
experience by participating in the workshops we did in class and learned that there is always
something that can be changed or fixed. Different perspectives are needed for a piece of writing
to reach its fullest potential.

Socha 5
My exploratory essay started out rough, but with feedback and plenty of editing I have
turned it into something I am very proud of. Since 5th grade I was told to start my writing with a
quote, but I learned very quickly that was clich so I ended up taking it out. Getting straight to
the point can be better than slowly creeping up to it. To do this I started the paper by saying, My
biggest passion was revealed to me throughout my four years of high school instead of using the
quote. After my introduction I had some information that lead up to my personal experience that
really showed my passion. Since I was told the personal part was the most intriguing, I shortened
the build-up and made that section longer. I started out with one personal experience, but now
my paper has a second personal experience following that. I believe this really added so much
more to my paper and really allowed people to see what made me so passionate about this topic.
Then to finish off my paper I added, We are kind of unconscious to the fact that there are others
with less. If you are fortunate to never have to experience something so awful, which I believe is
near impossible, then just try to see things in a new way. And we ALL need to try to do these
things a little less and try to appreciate and be thankful a little more no matter who we are, to
better reiterate what I had just gone over in the paper. Now I can say this essay is a close to final
as it can get.
3 Column Notes
I have always loved to research things, especially when I conduct research on something
I am interested in. The one thing I tend to dislike is writing down all the information. It is just so
tedious. However, I really liked doing the 3 column notes. It helped me to organize my
information in a better way and also show how all my sources connected to each other. Usually I
do not take the time or think to compare and contrast each source I have looked up, but this gave
me the opportunity to do that.

Socha 6
When I started this draft I did not fill out the connection section completely. To make it
final, every section of this column is now complete. In one section of the connection column I
stated, This source really helped me gain more background information on the snow leopard. It
helped me to conclude that my other sources are reliable because it mentioned the same threats to
the species. Some of my other sources went in another direction and maybe were not related to
the others at all such as, This source is very different from my other sources. It only discusses
one thing in the area of what should be done to save the snow leopards. By connecting my
sources, I was able to see what information appeared to be most important or what maybe did not
need to be used and it also gave me an idea of what I still needed to research. This later helped
me create a great research project because I included the significant information and was able to
leave out what was not so significant to the topic. It was certainly a new approach for me in the
research process, but one I could see myself using again.
Multi-Genre Research Project
The inquiry project that I made consisted of a lot of the information that came from my 3
column notes. Instead of choosing to write a traditional research essay, I chose to present my
research with a multi-genre project. This also goes back to the key concept of getting out of your
comfort zone, because instead of taking the route I was used to, I tried something new. I could
have written a tradition research paper, but I went in a different direction and used a Power Point
and a brochure. As I had said with the exploratory essay, taking a chance with this project
allowed me to get my point across in a more persuasive tone then taking the traditional route.
Both the essay and the project changed my view on writing completely. It opened my eyes to the
fact that not all writing has to follow the format I was told in high school and that writing should
be formatted in a way I believe will get my point across best to the audience.

Socha 7
The main focus of this research project was to get my audience to help snow leopards. In
order to do this, I had to add more information to the What can YOU do? portion of my
brochure. To give a better chance at gaining more people to help the cause, I included websites
that the audience could visit and contact information of people in the government that deal with
these specific issues. For example, I included a section Say NO to Fur, and below this I
included a website and said, Use this website to help you determine if a product is made out of
real fur or real animal bones, and under Take Action, I gave phone numbers of people in the
headquarters involved with endangered species. The idea is that if the information is right in
front of them and all they have to do is dial the phone number or look up that website, more
people will be interested in helping, and in turn help me reach the goal I intended with this
project.
Blog and Midterm
My blog and midterm, which happens to be embedded into a blog post, both really
helped me organize all my thoughts as I went through this class. They both allowed me to
organize and review my writing throughout the semester and also introduced me to the reflecting
process. With the blog I reflected on my exploratory essay. As I went through writing this post I
was able to figure out that I had a purpose to this one essay. I said in blog post #2 that, when I
reread my essay, I realized I had been writing with a purpose in mind the entire time. My blog
also allowed me to organize the information for my research project by creating an outline,
which I used as a process artifact. By the end of this post I had my initial research question,
thesis statement, an argument and supporting claims, ideas to include, and reflect on what I had
learned through my researching. This in turn made the process of creating my project that much
easier because I already knew what I needed within it. With all this in mind, my blog really

Socha 8
helped me bring my writing forward because of this. With all the brainstorming, reflecting, and
organizing involved I was then able to turn this over and incorporate this information into my
final drafts.
My midterm on the other hand made me really think in depth about the key concepts I
was engaged with in the first part of the semester and which ones I had struggled to use. Before I
wrote my midterm I had just skimmed through all the key concepts and then did not pay much
attention to them after that. Through writing my midterm I had to learn about each one and then
see if I had been using them in my previous pieces of work or if I had not. This helped me as the
class went on because I now knew what I should continue to use and also what I needed to do
better at attempting to include out of all the key concepts. This midterm forced me to see these
concepts in much more depth and in return I gained a greater understanding of what each one of
them means.
In the tabs of my website I included one labeled Help. Here I included a few pieces that
really helped me with my writing in this class. I used these as my writers notebook artifacts as
well as my wild card artifacts. As I had mentioned earlier, there is the Dos and Donts of
Peer Review. Following that I added Who Says? The Writers Research, a power point of
Aristotles appeals and short descriptions of the modes of communication that Ms. Ingram has
also posted in her syllabus. I thought it was appropriate to add these documents within my eportfolio because they all helped me immensely.
When we did our blog posts, we often had to read sections in the required book for this
class such as Says who? The Writers Authority, The Writers Voice. This section helped me
the most, especially with my exploratory essay and research project. The Power Point also went
into depth about rhetoric. One important thing I learned was that ethos does have to do with

Socha 9
ethics, but not in the since that when someone is environmentally friendly they are ethical. It
has to do with ethics in that as a writer you want your reader to trust you. By reading through
this book and the power point I expanded my knowledge on rhetoric and was therefore was
really able to make use of the key concept rhetorical knowledge. For example, in my exploratory
essay I asked the question, would you rather be the one who showed no appreciation and is left
with heavy regret? Or would you rather be the one who can say, I was thankful for what I had
when I had it and have no reason for remorse? This was in attempt to reach peoples pathos and
make them feel something. Along with this rhetorical question, my paper was filled with many
other forms of rhetoric, mostly pathos. My research project was also filled with rhetoric. I used
unpleasant images of snow leopards to reach my audiences pathos and make them feel a sense
of guilt. Along with pathos I used logos to back up my purpose with facts. I also used this book
to learn how to create an outline for my inquiry project since I had no idea of how to do one
before this class. At least now I am not completely clueless as to how to make an outline thanks
to this book. It truly helped me have a greater understanding of what writing is and all the parts
and pieces that can be included within writing.
Before this class I did not even know that there were modes of communication. Now if I
was asked what each one is I could give you a detailed description of each. These terms really
helped me when creating my multi genre project as well as creating my e-portfolio. For example,
visual mode includes color, layout, style, size, and perspective, while linguistic mode is, word
choice; the delivery of spoken or written text, the organization of writing or speech into phrase,
sentences, and paragraphs. Since I had never made an e-portfolio before this class, these modes
of communication helped me to determine how I should choose what I would include and how to
organize everything. Without these I would never even consider my word choice, or layout or the

Socha 10
arrangement of everything. I probably would just create something with no thought behind it and
in a way that I liked personally. These terms also have opened my eyes to seeing texts in new
ways besides thinking text only has to do with words. Now I know text is so much more than
that.
I honestly believe that I deserve an A in this class. My writing has improved greatly
throughout the semester in my eyes. Before this class my confidence with writing has always
been poor. I have never been able to create something that I am actually proud of, not to mention
I have always had strong, negative feelings towards the subject. But since this class was ALL
writing I was forced to do it, and therefore improve, gain more confidence, and maybe start to
enjoy it a little bit. And I mean how could I not improve? I put so much work into this class
whether it was through peer review sessions, just workshopping and working on my writing or eportfolio, or working on my own time. I gained so much amazing feedback from my teacher and
my peers, and I learned a lot of new material, such as the key concepts and modes of
communication. I brought all of this together and was able to incorporate it into every piece I
did, whether it was in my blog post, my essays, or other projects. I still believe that I have much
room to better myself in this subject, just like everyone else. We can always improve. But based
on all the time spent, my work ethic, and what I have created I really believe I am deserving of
an A to represent everything I have put into this class.

Related Interests