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Tajeddini 1 Carmel Tajeddini Ingram English 1103 Final Portfolio Essay

The Finale William Shatner once said that, “writing is truly a creative art – putting word to a blank piece of paper and ending up with a full-fledged story rife with character and plot.” This infers that writers don’t have to be geniuses and their writing doesn’t start out as #1 selling pieces. If there is one thing I have learned this semester about writing it’s that if the process of writing isn’t present then the final product will not exist. There are many different forms of writing out there and I learned a few of them through my first semester of English in college; you can either write formally or informally. Examples of informal writing that I partook in through the semester are in class warm-ups, free writing, blogging, and brainstorming. When approaching informal writing you don’t have to worry about the structure of the piece as much. I look at informal writing as work that I can put more of my personality into because I don’t have to worry myself with writing my piece “wrong.” I looked at informal writing as a way to develop my creativity as a writer. One of the methods of informal writing that I enjoyed the most was blogger. Although this was an out of class assignment, I felt that it was more of a way to showcase snippets of my work as well as getting help with the little questions I had. Along with blogger I enjoyed a lot of our in class warm ups. This gave me the change to get my ideas flowing for the work we were going to complete that day.

Tajeddini 2 I approached these warm ups as gateway assignments for the lesson plan that was to come. In class we had to think back to a previous peer discussion about our research paper and that helped get my brain flowing with ideas. As opposed to informal writing, with formal writing, you don’t want to make your structure and language too casual. Forms of structured writing that we have worked on in class are our WILTBY essay, our annotated bibliography, our argumentative research essay, etc. The very first assignment we had to dive into was our WILTBY essay. This assignment branched off from the book Peace Butter, and Jelly. Through the blurb I had to write I began to discover what the book was about and what David wanted to shine through his book. This was my first chance to show off my work. I started off by reflecting mentally on my past life experiences and how they have shaped me into the young lady I am currently. Although this was an essay about myself I still considered this to be a formal essay that required well planned out paragraphs and formal structure. I knew going into the assignment that this essay wouldn’t be the best one I have ever written, but as I began to learn details on writing in class I knew my writing would soon be able to develop and grow. I began with draft one which was simple and included no depth. I began to talk further in my cover letter on the points I needed my peers to help me on. Draft one wasn’t my strongest, but it gave me hope to move further. I’d say the biggest challenge for me was being able to get started on each part of the assignment I was given. I found myself struggling with the same reoccurring question in my mind, “am I doing this wrong?” For some reason I felt that each and every assignment had a right answer and I seemed to be doing it all wrong. As the class progressed and I met with my peers I realized that there is never really a 100% correct

Tajeddini 3 way of writing. I was able to include in my cover letters what I was struggling with and they could help me out. For example when we had to complete the 3-sided essay it was a challenge for me because I figured there was a certain way I had to propose my arguments. Even though that was the case, I sat and thought about what this assignment was really about. I reflected on my previous research of the viewpoints on meditation. I soon began to realize that I just needed to address three standpoints on the topic regardless of positive or negative. I used my research and with the help of a peer I was able to create an essay that thoroughly explained the views on my topic of meditation. A main key that I have learned from facing my obstacles as a writer is I can’t hesitate when it comes to writing for the purpose of being afraid that my structure isn’t correct. From the struggles I have faced with starting my assignments I have discovered that the fundamental opponent to writing is simply just starting off with the opening paragraph with my reliable knowledge that I have. I’ve learned the only way to grow as a writer is to dive into my work without any regrets. Every assignment starts out as a rough draft for a reason. For instance I had to create a visual that went along with my essay for meditation. I started by brainstorming what I could do. I thought of creating a comic strip and incorporating a conversation between a teacher and two students. I got inspiration for this comic from a guest speaker that spent a day in our class and he specialized in meditation. Now I know the best way to create a piece is to take from my own life and the experiences I have faced. If you can’t relate directly crank up your imagination and start to create a new picture. As my English 1103 class has progressed one of the main concepts I have grasped onto, as a writer, is the writing process. I’ve learned how crucial this is when it comes to

Tajeddini 4 good writing. I remember reflecting on what good writing is in one of our in class warmups and it’s all about allowing the audience to understand the point you are trying to bring through the paper in the clearest way possible; along with creativity of course. The writing process comes with many steps that lead you to a well-constructed paper. My draft 2 of the WILTBY essay showed further development of my writing along with the cover letter I was allowed to ask more questions and comments about bettering my paper. Through my cover letter and new paper my peers could see what I was having trouble with and they could give me constructive feed back to help me put more detail and support in my paper. As I learned in my WILTBY warm-up the key to the writing process is thoroughly completing each step without cutting corners. I have discovered the more you bring to the table with each draft, the better your piece will turn out. It’s important to engage with your information and use the resources that are available for you to explain your argument. In a rhetorical analysis hand out the author clearly states the issue that he wishes to address and he uses definite and specific examples to back up his agreement. Here you can tell that he went through the steps of his process meticulously to grasp the attention of his targeted audience. Personally my most important work in the class in the past months is my argumentative research essay. This I feel is a collection of all of the strengths I have built up over the semester. I haven’t been able to write a numerous amount of research essay through my time in school, let alone ones that were fully developed and planned. With this essay I have been able to start from scratch. Thankfully, I was allowed to pick a topic that grabbed my interest. This was the first positive point to my essay because having interest in your research topic allows you to engage in the proper findings of information

Tajeddini 5 as well as the possibility of being knowledgeable about the subject already. Then I began the process work for my paper. I took into account my knowledge about the writing process and how imperative it is to my final product. I began my research with an open mind. I started to look for information from scholarly sources I knew would be important when it came to supporting my argument of the positive affects of meditation. Research is an important part in planning a paper. I’ve learned you need to make sure to reflect on the purpose of the information you are finding and how it will tie in with your arguments. I’ve experienced the many different ways of going about finding research. You can search on the Internet, you can read news articles, and you can also do a catalog search at your nearest library for reliable book sources like I did at UNCC. After I am able to put all of my detailed support into my paper it’s time for revision. I’ve learned you can never have too many drafts. There’s always room for improvement; the more drafts, the better! Getting feedback from peers and your professor is especially important because sometimes they may catch error that you may not have caught or advise you with constructive criticism that can help better your paper. I can truly say I am proud of my argumentative research paper. I put a tremendous amount of time into my research and really invested myself in the topic I chose. I also mapped out a visual that could express my feeling about meditation. I feel doing so helped me support my research. After being involved in an MLA practice assignment in class I was able to put my paper in the right structure. This paper reflects my best qualities as a planner and creator of writing. Selecting the pieces for my portfolio was a bit difficult because all of the work I presented this year I tried to put my best foot forward. Each assignment showed how I progressed as a writer and how I faced the struggles that were presented in front of me. I

Tajeddini 6 believe my final drafts met the standards that I wish for them to be at as well as what they should be at. These were some examples of the the formal assignments we had that needed structure and supported evidence. I feel like I gave each assignment the time it needed to be well developed and polished. The portfolio as a whole I feel reflects not only me as a writer, but me as a person. I didn’t want this portfolio to be presented to my peers and teacher as a robot who can write. I want my portfolio to reflect my charisma and personality along with my developed writing skills and I feel the pieces that I have picked achieve this goal. I wasn’t too sure what to expect when coming into this class. Since it was English 1103 I sort of assumed it would be much more challenging and boring. Now I can say this class definitely was not boring. Yes, this class was a challenge, but it was a challenge I could enjoy conquering. This class helped me face the obstacles of writing that I hadn’t faced before and take the risks that needed to be taken. I always came to class with an open mind prepared to work on what I was supposed to. Why sit there doing nothing when you can pass the time completing your work right? I see it as I have the resources to learn so why not use them? Having work on time wasn’t an issue for me because I always wanted to take the advantage of using my peers to help me improve as a writer. Along with gaining feedback, peer groups allowed me to learn as a reader to give useful feedback to help out my peers as well. I noticed that the more I was engaged with my peers’ paper, the better I could develop mine. I truly feel I put all of the effort I could into this portfolio, better yet this whole semester. For all of the time put into my work and challenges overcome I believe my performance deserves an A letter grade. I’ve completed every assignment given to me to the fullest of my ability and by doing so I’ve learned to continue with that skill with

Tajeddini 7 every other assignment I am given in school as well as life. I make sure to come to class with an open mind ready to engage with the class in our discussion. When my peers need feedback I am there to help them better their writing to the best of my ability. I do the best I can to give my 100% attention in class. This semester in English 1103 has been an enriching experience for me as a student and I’m glad I made the decision to take the course.