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November 29, 2016

NDSU English Department Assessment Committee


Dept. 2320
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Dear Assessment Committee,


This portfolio demonstrates my abilities to incorporate ideas into a variety of
genres. The following are the genres I have included: blog posts, professional
emails, a job packet (including a memo, resume, and cover letter), an activity
report, a group proposal, and a self-evaluation memo. Throughout this letter I will
cover how I have written in a variety of genres and context and how I have
integrated knowledge and ideas within the documents provided in my portfolio.
Writing in a Variety of Genres and Context
In this section I will compare two genres, the blog and the proposal, to show my
abilities to write in different genres and context. I picked these two since they are
very different from one another.
To start off, I will begin by talking about the blogs that I have provided in the
portfolio. The purpose of the blog is to inform the general public about various
dietetics topics. With this being said the blog is aimed at the general public who
may be interested in learning a little more about the diet, but they may not have
any background in dietetics. Everything I talked about in the blogs was very basic
information when it came to dietetics and no specific terminology was used that
someone in a different field of study would not be able to easily understand. With
the audience being the general public, all my blogs were written in a conversational
tone to keep people intrigued and not overwhelmed with big words that they may
not understand. These blogs did not require a formal tone that a research article or
the proposal would. To go along with this, there was a little bit of research needed
for the blogs to back up the majority of my opinions, but most of the information
came from my own analysis of a topic. An example of this would be the news article
and explaining how this would affect the field of dietetics. Here I had to find the
new research that was released article. However, I was just analyzing what
implications this would have and not performing any extra research to be cited in
the blogs. Now, I will talk a little bit about the proposal to see the difference
between the genres.
When looking at these two documents it is very apparent to see the audience of the
genres differ. As stated above, the blogs were written for the general public which is
a very large diverse audience, but the proposal was very specific. The proposal is
addressed to one specific organization, the Fargo-Moorhead Community Association,
rather than to anyone who happens to run across it. This requires me to tailor my
writing to the specific needs of the organization and what they want to see rather
than what I believe the general public needs to be informed about. The purpose of
the proposal was to grab the attention of the Fargo-Moorhead Community
Association in order to grant us the opportunity to pitch our initiative to them. With
this being the purpose, my writing was very formal in order for the organization to
take my company seriously and to consider our plan to expand the Mental Health

Consulting Firm to the Fargo-Moorhead area. If I were to have used the


conversational tone, like I did in the blog, the Fargo-Moorhead Community
Association would have not viewed our company as being very professional and
would probably cost our company the opportunity to work with the organization in
improving the lives of young professionals in the area. In order to take our company
seriously I had to do a lot of research about the area and the mental health status.
This research was necessary for the proposal in order to back-up claims that were
stated to show that these claims are reliable, because this genre is not my opinion,
but facts. As you can see, there are many differences between the blogs and the
proposal.
Integrating Knowledge and Ideas
For this section I will talk about how I have integrated knowledge and ideas into the
proposal and the job packet memo.
The proposal was definitely a big document requiring a lot of research to gain and
support knowledge on the subject of young professionals in the Fargo-Moorhead
area with mental illness. Some of the research strategies included in this document
are as followed: surveys, focus group questions, research articles, and national
mental health databases. All of this research was used in order to get background
information to help understand what the problem in the area is and it was also used
to support what my company had stated to be true. A direct quote from my
proposal that helps back up my claims of mental health being a problem nationally
is, According to the National Institute of Mental Health in 2014, 20.1% of people
ages 18-25 had a mental illness. In a proposal it is important to have evidenced
based research to improve your stance on an issue. This is exactly what I did in my
proposal to help solidify my ideas to the Fargo-Moorhead Community Association.
The proposal is just one of the genres I included in my portfolio that has shown the
integration of knowledge and ideas.
Another place that I had to use resources in order to complete a document was in
my job packet memo. Here I wasnt using the research to help with a claim I was
making. Rather, I was using the research to figure out what companies offer that
would best fit my personal values. This was very interesting as I had to use many
sources from various data bases to learn all about the company and the
demographics of the area. Analyzing all of this information to put into the table,
shown in the document, helped tremendously in matching where I would fit best for
a future job. My ideas of what values I wanted in a company was demonstrated in
this memo as I explained the reasoning for picking United Hospital due to analyzing
their non-profit hospital. From the United Hospital website, I found their mission
state. Their mission statement was all about wanting to help people of all ages and
not only treating them, but also in preventative care. This is a perfect match for me
as my passion is to help clients prevent disease. This part in my memo shows the
research I did in the company as well as why I felt as though United Hospital was a
good choice. The memo was addressed to my professor, but all of the information in
the document was for my own sake. This differs from the proposal as all of that
information was backing up claims I made for the Fargo-Moorhead Community
Association.
Final Thoughts
Throughout this course I have written in a variety of genres. My writing skills have
been improved since the beginning of the semester by being taught to incorporate

different writing strategies as well as research into my documents. Although I am


not perfect at writing, my improved confidence and ability to write in different
genres will help with my career in the medical field immensely in the near future.
Sincerely,
Cassandra Pedersen