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English Final Portfolio:

One Last Dance


Works Originally Done and Revised
By
Ryan Nash

Reflective Course Outcomes Letter


801 Locust Place NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
December 9th, 2015
Elizabeth Benedict
Albuqerque, NM 87131
1 University of New Mexico
Dear Professor Benedict
Throughout your course we had three major sections, all unique to the world of
professional writing in their own way. In all of these assignments, we focused on the Course
Outcomes in some way, shape, or form. In most of the assignments, we used more than one, if
not all, of the Course Outcomes. The Course Outcomes are Analyze Rhetorical Situation, Find
and Evaluate Information, Compose Documents, and Present Documents. I feel we addressed all
of these outcomes in a creative, entertaining, and involving way that allowed us to have fun
while improving our writing skills in multiple medians.
The most prominent Course Outcome for me this semester was Compose Documents. We
composed a different type of document in every assignment we did. We also worked in different
ways, and with different people along the way in completing the given assignments. From
creating our own personal website to writing a proposal with a group. In this class, you had to
use skills atypical to a lot of lower level English classes in order to work together and get the job
done. Knowing your audience when doing the assignments was incredibly important. I
personally wrote to the State Legislature, University of New Mexicos Rec Services department,
and to FTI Consulting Global about becoming an Economics Consultant at their firm. I had to
look at each given assignment through a different lens in order to compose the document to the
given situation.
While composing all of these documents, like I already mentioned, I needed to be able to
understand the given audience in order to meet the end goal. While doing this, you have to pay
close attention to your rhetorical situation, thats right, you have to Analyze Rhetorical Situation.
Doing this is one of the most important steps in being able to complete the given assignment.
You have to be able to understand who you are writing to, why you are writing to them, what do
they want to hear, and what are you trying to get across. If you cannot answer those questions,
your document can easily become cluttered and messy. As a class, we really focused on getting
to the point and understanding your aims in goals with writing. This allows the audience to easily
understand what you are trying to say. I personally had to focus on this idea because I like to
ramble and just jot down my thoughts when I write, and I write in a slightly informal way. I had
to pay close attention to how I was writing in order to avoid rambling and getting off track
because no business or the state legislature wants to look at a messy document, much less take it
seriously. I needed to understand the situation in order to tailor my rhetoric to each given
situation.

Before you can worry too much about how you are writing a document, you have to be
able to Find and Evaluate Information. This was a huge part of the class, research. Research is an
invaluable step in the writing process, and especially in our writing process as a class. We had to
research heavily before we could move on with all of our major assignments. In Project One, we
had to figure out who we were going to write to and then learn more about the specific job we
were applying for. In Project Two, we had to research what we even wanted to make our
proposal about, then proceed to research heavily about what we were going to propose. In
Project Three, we had to research what we were planning to do our analytical report on, then do a
ton of research about that given place, primary and secondary. While doing on this research, we
needed to make sure the sources we were using were valid and could be trusted. Most of my
research was taken directly from the places I was researching. For example, Deshawn and I
almost strictly used the Balloon Fiestas website to get our proposal done. Their website was
easy to use and even contained an Economic Report on the Fiesta that made doing our job a little
bit easier. Being able to Find and Evaluate Information in this class was pivotal in completing
our assignments, if you could not find useful, trusted resources, you were probably going to have
a tough time completing the assignments.
Our last course outcome, arguable the most important, is Present Documents. Personally,
I feel one of the most important skills an individual can have is having good people skills. Being
able to communicate your thoughts in an effective way, while coming off as a good, intriguing
person can go an incredibly long way. Look at Donald Trump, clearly the guy is not fit to be
president of the United States, but his ability to communicate effectively has him destroying the
Republican Party and in front in the Primary Polls. Our big presentation practice came in Project
Three where submitted a virtual presentation or PowerPoint to you using a screen capturing
program. This was good presentation practice, but I struggled with that assignment because my
computer and the screen capture programs did not get along. Presenting documents or how the
document is presented also means that you document has useful, and effective design. We did
this in almost every assignment through the use of Multimodal components. The wide array of
ways we presented information in this class forced you to understand document design and
understand how to present a document in the best possible way, whether it was in the form of a
website, a pamphlet, or a proposal.
Throughout this year, I learned how to become a better professional writer through a lot
of research and different medians of writing. I better understand what a professional document
should look like and why presentation, length, and overall appeal of a professional document are
so important. The Course Outcomes were not always brought up in class or on assignments, but
look back at them while writing this letter has made me realize how much we touched on each of
them. I enjoyed this class. Thanks for a great semester!
Sincerely,
Ryan Nash

Reflective Revision Memo


TO: Professor Benedict, University of New Mexico
From: Ryan Nash, Student
Date: December 9th, 2015
Subject: Reflective Revision Memo
Before I made any changed to the writing and style of either of our major writing assignments,
the proposal and the recommendation report, I wanted to just take a look at the overall design of
the documents. I immediately made some simple, but I think effective, changes. I originally had
all of my headings or subtitles underlined, looking at the documents as a whole, I did not like this
because it made it look unprofessional. The underling was certainly unnecessary. I also shrunk
down the font size of the headings on the proposal. Making simple changes to the design of both
documents makes them easier to read.
The next step in my revision process was to do a simple read through and edit. I found tons of
grammatical errors in Deshawn and Is proposal, which was surprising to say the least. In your
notes on our assignment, you mentioned we might need some more hard data, but I think the data
was there but it just was not made clear. In my read through, the content was not presented in a
good way originally and it was hard to read/understand. I chopped the document down from
1866 words to 1709 words in order to make the document simpler and less congested. I then
added a paragraph about how a parking structure would be beneficial to Balloon Fiesta Park year
around and not just during the Balloon Fiesta. The changes I made to the proposal were
implemented to add clarity to a long document, in addition to, adding a paragraph to the proposal
to make clear a further benefit of our proposal.
For my analytical report, I did started the same way I did with my proposal. I started with a
simple read through and cut down a bit of clutter. My analytical report was written much better
than my proposal so I did not change nearly as much. So, I then went to your feedback to explore
what else I could change. There were eight comments on my analytical report from you, most of
them just required minor changes and I made all of those changes. Those changes mostly make it
easier for the reader to know what is going on. Ultimately, I did not change my report too much.
I condensed it to make it flow a little better and deleted some rambling, along with changing
some universal design aspects of the documents.
Throughout these changes, most of them I consider to be minor, I realize that little thing can
make or break a document. I believe our proposal had the content and information, but reading
through it made me realize how information can easily be lost with poor word choice. In both
documents, I tried to make the sentences shorter and more to the point. Both documents now
read easier than before to the benefit of the intended audience.