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Dear Malcolm,

I started this semester with a letter to you and thats how I plan to end it. I
have truly enjoyed this class and was the first time I didnt dread going to an
English/Writing class. We have done many projects this semester and this letter is
my honest opinion and reflection of them all. Starting with the daybook, I loved
having a prompt to write and get the juices flowing every class. However, I think
creative writing would be a more suitable name, since the free write had a
prompt. I also loved that everything was collected in one place and showed how I
felt about all our projects through the year as we went. Next we have the blogs,
another form of reflection that was helpful. I found it useful to read something and
give a reaction to it. I appreciate the stress relief that comes with free writing blogs,
however finding time was not always the easiest. Also, it was interesting to see the
patterns and transitions I had over the semester in the setup of my blog. This
moves into how we worked together as a class. Just like the blogs, we discussed the
readings as a class. The readings were a wide variety and I appreciated that, but I
didnt appreciate all of the readings content. Some of them came from people who
wanted change and identified a problem, but didnt offer a solution, which is a big
pet peeve of mine. Despite this, the readings sparked great conversations in class
and I loved the different perspectives and the new lens to look through. Another
class activity that I enjoyed was the in-class peer review process. I found peoples
incite in my group useful and a great way to strengthen my papers. Plus, the people
in my group were honest and willing to adjust to requests for what worked for each
person. For example, on one of my drafts, I thought, for the sake of where I was at
in my writing stage, it would be better to have conceptual edits and ones that
pertained to flow instead of grammar. These edits were more helpful to me, and I

appreciated my group members willingness to adhere to my personal needs in my

writing. I loved the in-class time to edit and think about how to make the paper or
writings better. Plus, you (Malcolm) were always there to provide tips and critiques
that really made my writing stronger and helped the editing and revision step more
efficient. As far as researching goes, it wasnt as terrible as expected. I think it really
helped having a topic I was interested in and cared to learn more about. Then, we
had group work for projects like the SLO translations. I enjoyed my group and feel
that everyone pulled their weight and had a similar mentality of working efficiently
to get the project done. Overall, these assignments gave me a new process to
follow and one that actually works for me. Along with a new process, this classes
work has given me a new perspective and a more positive way to perceive writing
and English based work.
The most important work I have done this semester is the EIP. I would say
that is the most important because I had to utilize many resources and skills to put
together a well-designed final product. Plus, it is important because I took an
interest and turned it into a project that dug deeper into the research and the study
of the topic. This connects to my learning as a student and my goals because it is
the same process that I will be following for the rest of my life. I will take an interest
and find information, questions, controversy, and other opinions to make an
educated decision or personal opinion, which will then be applied to my learning or
life knowledge. Also, in my opinion, this is the ultimate process for critical thinking
and doing extra to make a justified response and I feel this will be a technique that I
will utilize throughout the remainder of my time here at UNC Charlotte.
In the process of digging a little deeper into my writing, I have been able to
realize my current strengths and weaknesses as a writer. My weakness is my

organization and flow of writing. I struggle to focus on making a plan and making
everything flow together to make a coherent thought. I find that my scattered brain
shines through in my writing and often has tangent moments that are not
supporting my topic or point. As for overcoming this issue in my writing, I am
currently still working on it and feel that this is the first step to fixing it by
identifying an area for improvement. On the other hand, I have also identified my
strength in writing. My strength is my ability to express my personality in informal
writing. From my blogs and daybook entries, I have truly found that I enjoy informal
writing because I am able to write what I think as I think it and hold a conversation
with the reader. My informal writing and conversational tone has changed over the
semester through all the practice I had. I have never had a class that it was
accepted to write in that tone and now since this class I have had experience and
am able to make clear thoughts and speak my mind.
Looking back to the SLOs and each part I have found that I have improved in
composing processes and critical reflections. This semester I have definitely seen
progress when it comes to composing processes. I have learned to write shitty first
drafts and make them into solid pieces of work, along with keeping an open mind to
critiques and being able to justify the choices I have made. From all of the peer
reviews I have experienced getting advice and explaining why I chose to write the
way I did. Also, I learned the benefits to shitty drafts and why making those choices
to add or change are important and help the process. Another area I improved in
this semester was critical reflections. I have reflected on every assignment from the
whole semester and learned what I think about certain topics and how I react to
different perspectives. This has been done mainly through all of the blogs and

readings we have done, but also the daybook responses of the assignments on how
the processes worked for us.
My progress in this class was stemmed from many challenges I faced and
have learned from. One of my challenges that I faced was the difficulty of
translating the text in the SLOs. I faced this challenge by collaborating with peers
and taking the time to truly break down the content to have a better understanding.
Another obstacle I faced was establishing my topic for my EIP and deciding if my EIP
was going to be an argumentative or exploratory paper. I knew I wanted to focus on
what social media is doing to teen users, but I came to the decision of what kind of
style I wanted my paper to be by organizing the abundance of research I found. In
my findings, I found that there was a two-sided problem, yet neither had enough to
be a stronger argument and there was an additional aspect of changed behavior as
opposed to just negative or positive. From these challenges, I learned that it takes
time to better understand difficult texts and doing the work to find the meaning will
bring a more solid understanding of the topic. Also, I have learned that doing the
researcher and digging deeper with emerge yourself in knowledge and with the
greater understanding of the information it becomes easier and clearer on what
decision to make.
Throughout the semester we did many assignments such as the SLO
translation, topic proposal, annotated bibliography, EIP first draft, and final EIP and
ePortfolio. As for the SLO translations I found that it was difficult to understand the
more complicated language, but I found synonyms and interpreted the text to a
more user friendly version. I overall did like the assignment because it allowed you
to give it a go on your own and then come together as a group to make an even
stronger document to submit. This process worked for me because it makes sure

that everyone has something to talk about and contribute when coming together
with our ideas. The next assignment was the topic proposal, which was an
assignment I had mixed feelings about. I enjoyed searching through the information
and narrowing down a topic to research. As for the content, I had to write, I didnt
particularly care for because it felt like I was just justifying that I did the research
versus making a decision on my topic. On the other hand, though I did like that I
was forced to really do in depth research to follow the template. This process did
assist me in making a definite topic and a good proposal to write my EIP about. After
this assignment was followed with the annotated bibliography, which was a great
source to make sure I had credible sites and information. I did enjoy that the
number of sources was reduced and only 4 sources from a range of outlets, which
provided me with a wide variety of perspectives. The annotated bibliography left me
with lots of great information to plan out my EIP and make a huge start to making
structural decisions for the EIP exploratory style. The EIP first draft truly was a shitty
first draft that has come a long way. In my eyes the EIP draft had a good range of
topics that were discussed about the effects of social media on teens, however it
was pretty bare bones and didnt have much meat to it. After many revisions I
realized how to beef up my EIP draft and make it a more substantive piece of work. I
learned what it actually means to write an exploratory style paper and that it is
better to break down the information to be reader friendly. I enjoyed this process
because it went from a ton of spewed out information to a flow of conceptual text.
This EIP draft went from a dense terminology filled paper to a well explained biaseliminated understanding of my topic. My final EIP was added to my ePortfolio and
was the ultimate conclusion to my semester. The ePortfolio was my favorite
assignment this semester because I found it satisfying to have a completed website

with all of my work in one place and a theme to it. The theme was stemmed from
my EIP topic and has subtle features throughout the website. The process was
pretty cut and dry with the guided assignment sheet which was something I greatly
appreciated. I loved that it was open to add personality and other authentic
changes made by the publisher. Some of the changes I am most proud of are the
names and titles of the tabs and how they have @s and #s which are common
symbols used by teens on social media, along with the backgrounds of each tab
being images of social media or technology/devices. After seeing all my work come
together at the end of the semester and reflecting on all of the different assignment
I was able to see how much I have improved over the semester and that I now have
a reduced sense of negativity when it comes to writing. I have never liked a writing
class until I took UWRT 1103 and for someone who is stubborn and normally stuck in
their ways I must say that has huge importance.
Malcolm youve been great this semester and I can say I wouldnt have
wanted to start my college career with any other UWRT professor. I really mean it,
even though it was an 8am and I feel like a zombie most the time Ive never
enjoyed an instructors teachers style more than yours.

Keep it real and always interesting,

Allie Knuckles