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Arvinth Sivakumar

Professor Melton
English 5 Section 5
4 May 2016
Portfolio Cover Letter
My writing process has improved a lot over this semester. One thing Id like to note is
that Ive become more confident with my process as a writer. I found that a lack of confidence
causes you to lose essential understanding points. By improving on this I learned to focus more
on clarity and be confident about my ability to do so, leading to more clear paragraphs. I also
learned to make better connections and transitions between details. More generally, Ive learned
to understand reading, writing and research process better. Earlier in the semester analysis related
tasks like the rhetorical analysis we did, I just put down facts I researched. Understanding more
about these facts was a major way in which I improved.
One of the main assignments where I had trouble with reading, writing and research was
my Rhetorical Analysis of George Orwells Why I Write. At one part, I just wrote some lines
down from a poem and part of a paragraph about how Orwell found a way to take sides on
issues. This was wrong since I didnt understand what they meant in the context of the whole
text. Instead of just leaving it there, I explained it more clearly. I also made a good transition to
the next paragraph. My next revision, with that error in consideration, was a lot more smooth and
clear. All I had to do was simply look at the paragraphs I got the information from more carefully
to see connections.

The error stated in the paragraph above is a writing error. However errors in writing can
also come from reading, as this rephrasing reveals. Reading a text like the one above can in fact
be done in different ways. You have to make sure you understand what an author is saying before
you make any comments about it. Thats the first part of the goal of understanding the processes
of reading, writing and research. The second one is writing which is where we integrate this
understanding. This first course goal also mentions research. I fixed the error above by reading
the article better, showing an aspect of this goal. Research is a process outside of reading which
is a little more complicated. It involves finding information thats relevant to your topic and
reliable, sometimes before reading. Choosing what sentences to include definitely helped me
revise that rhetorical analysis better.
Understanding the reading, writing and research processes is good, but sometimes we
have to reduce our use of one or two of them or use them more. The first goal for this course was
to understand the ways that readers read and writers write in and beyond the university. I
analyzed this in my Rhetorical Analysis Essay in response to George Orwells Why I Write. The
goal indicates that youll be writing to different audiences over your writing career, which is true.
Different audiences create different contexts and expectations between them and the writer,
sometimes requiring rewording. Another goal of the course talks about text conventions, which
involves the implementation of rules for certain genres of writing like the personal narrative style
or the rhetorical analysis style I described above. Writing to different audiences can require
different genres or text conventions. Practicing different writing genres and knowing what goes
into one of them definitely helped me improve my reading, research and writing skills.
These skills have given me more knowledge on what to write and how to analyze it. The
Writers Narrative gave me practice talking about my own revision of an essay. This brings up the

idea that all of the revising your own writing is a metacognitive process, one where your own
evaluation process, as said in another course goal. Understanding of these processes is the key to
focusing on what you really need to improve your writing. That is in fact what the Writers
Narrative made me do. The essay I wrote about in the past was a description of two heroes,
Beowulf and Superman. The main mistake I made involved just stating each ones advantages
and powers and forgetting in quite a few places to link their stories together. The correction of
this was a metacognitive process. It also allowed me to get some practice with the personal
narrative genre.
Another goal says that you should think critically about discourse communities as contact
zones for different cultures to connect. In this class Ive learned to do two crucial things better in
terms of discourse communities, something that we see every day. One of them is to
acknowledge what unifies them by linking their statements to the main idea of supporting their
beliefs. And the other one is to acknowledge others writing styles and beliefs and use those
factors to shape a better discussion. An essay, most of the time has one writer. Only one person
or group is writing, the acknowledgement of others beliefs is easier to show in a discussion since
not all of it is due to context. It happens a lot faster and is much easier to see. This idea appeals
to the course goal stating that students should understand and engage in reading and writing as a
communal process. It gives more emotion to their writing. I like genres of writing involving
discussion or debates since it isnt just focused on one main topic. Main topics can even be
mixed here, sometimes showing more accurate emotions and ideas..
This brings up another major reason for my improvement over this semester. When I
write an essay, I now know how to look deeper into discourse communities and the very

discussions and other genres of speaking, reading, writing and research from which I get my
information. This leads to more accurate information and creative ideas.
This leads to a more general point. This idea is a more descriptive version of what I said
about discourse communities. Different organizations and areas of study use different types of
data collection and analysis. For example, a scientist uses experiments and the scientific method
of data collection, evaluation, analysis, and publication. Metacognitive analysis of writing is
good, but it leaves out what youre actually writing about and sides towards an outline for any
general topic. Knowing the data collection and analysis styles of other writers themselves
provides the most accurate information to use in analysis of their ideas. Seeing things in someone
elses way can, in other words, help you understand it better for a better evaluation.
This leads up to future improvement. Over the semester, Ive improved my writing
process by learning to adapt my reading, writing and research processes and textual conventions
in a metacognitive way, in order to understand others ideas better. However, there are still a few
points where Im unconfident about what to say. The main things I have to improve are the clear
expression of new connections and a clear, consistent understanding of others writing. This will
allow me to express my interests more accurately without bias and write a better overall
assignment.