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Ver Vaet 1 Margery Ver Vaet Professor Venn English 1510 29 April 2013 Cover Letter In my project 4 I attempted

to argue the three most important elements needed for effective writing are using a strong voice, identifying the audience, and that paper and pen is not always the most efficient way to present your work. I believed that my paper would be effective since I had examples from my own writing to back up my argument as well as the articles we explored in class. I did make all the corrections that we discussed in the revision meetings. I had a few grammatical errors, as well as needing to be more direct in my topic sentences. I originally began with a different argument for my paper, but I am glad I switched. I think my paper could use improvement on the flow of the pieces of evidence. I tried to smoothly transition but I think that it could have been better. I am taking away from this paper my new theory of writing, and what makes effective writing. I now know that voice can be allowed in writing, audience is a key part of writing, and media forms like Prezi can still present information in a successful way.

Ver Vaet 2 Margery Ver Vaet English 1510 Professor Venn A Love/Hate Relationship Writing has never been a friend of mine. Whether I was messing up grammar, using the incorrect voice, or making my paper too personal, I felt that every turn I took I sank deeper into failure. When I set my eyes on the fact English 1510 would be included in my schedule my heart sank, as well as my GPA, or so I believed. As I began this course, my theory of writing consisted of strict guidelines and seeing writing as a single format. A successful writer was defined to us as, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any signs of promise, you keep writing (Diaz 320). The idea that a writer is someone who does not succeed at all times completely shocked me to my core. I believed that my struggle with writing was only one that few un-gifted people experienced. The thought of this challenged my theory of writing, and it quickly began to evolve. As I leave this course, my eyes are open to a whole new world of discourse communities, gender in writing and even the thought of autism as rhetoric. I began to realize that writing was not a concrete mold that one must form to. As I leave this course, my theory of writing says the rules may be bent to fit effortlessly to your mold. I believe that effective writing must include active voice within his or her paper, accounts for the audience of the written work, and one does not have to use the formal format of paper to create a scholarly piece of work. The articles we read throughout spring semester lead me to evolve my theory of writing. In the article by Elbow he states the importance of voice and is able to dispute

Ver Vaet 3 why some would say that it is not necessary. By arguing both sides he is able to avoid any bias that would normally form in an article like this. We were introduced to a whole new media format when we read McClouds article. His scholarly article was in a complete comic book form and was still able to articulate his point excellently. We walked away remembering his point better than others due to the fact that it was unlike any other we had previously read. When we read Wysocki article she discussed how advertisers take their target audience into account when trying to catch their eye. The advertisement has to be able to catch the eye of the customer in order to be successful. All of these factors are important on their own, but all are necessary for effective writing. I had always been told voice should never be included in a piece of work until I entered the doors of my freshman English class. Voice within writing is a necessity since it allows the author to expand as well as focus on the main argument. As I began to use voice in my writing, it felt as natural as snow in May. There were multiple times I switched from active to passive voice, as if it were my comfortable first language. The original sentence in project two was, If a weak voice is used throughout the paper, a reader can have a difficult time hearing exactly what the author is about (Empowering or Overpowering Voice 4). In this sentence, passive voice serves as a barrier between the reader, and whoever wrote it. It sounds disinterested in what is being stating, especially since the active voice is being used all around it. If the authors focus seems to fade, the readers will as well. In a later draft the sentence reads, When voice is weak, a reader has a hard time listening to exactly what the author is trying to communicate (Empowering or Overpowering Voice 4). Just by re-arranging the sentence to include active voice the sentence instantly seems more complete. It sounds like I am not removed from what I am

Ver Vaet 4 saying, but rather communicating with the reader. Even Elbow states when using passive voice, You sound kind of distant, uninvolved, or bureaucratic to me (Voice in Writing Again 53). Passive voice does exactly what is says, it creates the image of the author being passive about his argument. Using passive voice would lead to a disinterested reader that would forget your work, rather than recall it. I never considered the audience of my paper before I began to write, even though they are arguably the most important element. The audience is whom you are writing for, and should, therefore, play a major part in how you write. My tone was the same whether I was writing a scholarly article or if I was writing a creative piece, but the audience would differ greatly for either. Just as I converse with my professor differently than I would with my friends, my writing should as well. Part of my major struggle was that I lacked professionalism in any scholarly writing I had to complete. Re-reading my project two, I realized that I let creative writing overtake my professional writing. I removed sentences such as, A paper without voice is like a professional speaker without the ability to use his words, as well as, It is the extra twist of the wrench to make sure the nuts and bolts are in extra tight. For a scholarly audience, the above sentences could come off as un-professional, and lead to the questioning of what I was trying to prove. It leads the reader off topic, confusing the picture they already had in his head. In the article Writing about Texts/Constucts: Assignments and Advice, it clearly states, [] what the most appropriate forms are for reaching that audience (168). The audience should determine how, and why you are writing your work. Without my identifying who the audience was for, my writing would be ineffective with trying to reach the audience. By

Ver Vaet 5 considering what the audience would expect to hear from me, I am able to write a paper that will meet their expectations. The format of a paper had always been taught to me as a standard five-paragraph paper. It is always seemed so stiff writing the same way over and over, as if I was stuck re-writing the same paper. I experienced a new form of presenting my paper when we used Prezi. We were able to complete a whole new picture for our reader, and allow him to interact with the text. In our Prezi, we used a video to introduce our topic of Ohio Universitys ROTC. It gave the viewer a crystal clear concept of what the ROTC program consists of. If we tried to just write an introduction paragraph, the reader would lose all of the detail that the video was able to provide. In project two, I found myself trying to struggle to define voice. All the articles I read partially overlapped on the definition, but none matched up perfectly. In the end, the definition I chose was, Voice is the most important key to unlocking a trustworthy portrayal. Voice can be defined as a persona constructed by means of different linguistic devices which help writers project an image of themselves and of their relation to their arguments, community and readers (Lorez-Sanz 174) (Empowering or Overpowering Voice 1). I felt that choosing just one definition was leaving my readers at an unfair advantage. I was writing my paper based on the multiple definitions that I was aware of, but my reader would only be aware of one. My supporting facts were from multiple articles using their own definition, but the readers were basing the facts off just the one definition I was able to provide. If I had been able to use a media form such as a video, I could have clearly stated all the definitions, leaving the reader with a greater understanding of voice, and a more complete

Ver Vaet 6 work. In this case, using a media format would have been a more effective way of presenting my information than a simple paper was able to. Every freshman should come into college writing with a blank slate when it comes to writing. If I followed what I was taught through out my younger years, my writing would suffer greatly. For a student to have effective writing in college, he must be able to include voice within the written work, have a clear understanding of who his audience is, and be able to use different media forms while writing. All three of these elements are able to improve writing on its own, but when they are combined, they are able to bring a piece from average to outstanding. As I look back through project one to project four, I see how much my writing has changed for the better. I began this course as someone who dreaded receiving a writing assignment since it meant an instant fail. I now leave this course with the confidence to take writing on, and turn any paper in with my head held nice and high.