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Dear Professor Johnson,

I would like to begin by stating that during the last two quarters the quality and effort in my
writing has increased greatly. I was very nervous when I walked into the ACE Writing 1 class. I
expected to be looked down on and ridiculed, a little, because I did not consider myself a very
strong writer. In the ten weeks of winter quarter 2017, I gained a bit of confidence in myself and
my writing abilities. Those ten weeks of winter quarter I looked forward to attending class and
found myself breaking a few of my bad writing habits in the process. I would not go so far as to
say that I enjoy writing, but I no longer fear and dread it as I used to. Then as I walked into ACE
Writing 2, during spring quarter 2017, I felt more confident in my abilities, and that I would not
be made fun of since I was still with pretty much the same classmates as the previous quarter. I
am very grateful to have had the same classmates, since they allowed me to have stability and a
feeling of comfort and a safe space. I have a sense that I became a better writer partly because of
the articles you exposed me to including Mike Bunns How to read like a Writer, Peter
Elbows Teaching Thinking by Teaching Writing, Dana Lynn Driscolls Introduction to
Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews, and E. Shelly Reids Ten Ways to
Think About Writing: Metaphoric Musings for College Writing Student.

During winter quarter I learned to differentiate between genres and their conventions. I feel like I
have grown significantly, because I have learned to adapt writing to a genre. If I do not know
how to write a genre, I know I can look at examples and figure out what the conventions are then
emulate them in my writing, as with the genre translation piece. Considering I had never been
asked to create a work which was reflective in nature, I looked up examples in Starting Lines
fifteenth edition (2016) which were very helpful in guiding me in the correct direction.
Additionally, I found that I prefer writing papers that deal with conclusive results, were there are
facts, like the second paper, and I have a bit of trouble expressing myself when it comes to my
thoughts on a subject, like the third paper. I found that, after I dug deep, I am capable of many
things in my writing, including explaining things in a way readers will understand, describing
scenes and feelings, and being creative. For example, in the second writing project, writing in
academic settings, the second paragraph under the heading of scientific method was dedicated to
explaining the assignment and what the answers were.

I noticed in winter quarter that I have trouble including why something I had described was
important. For example, in writing project 2, I felt as if I did a very good job explaining the
assignment that lead me to believe that the scientific method was a literacy practice in the field
of linguistics, but I received the same comment form you and my peers, that said, why is this
important?, and how does this tie in with linguistics? I have continuously struggled with
assuming my readers will know what I am talking about. I still have to continue practicing
showing my readers what I am trying to prove instead of just telling them what I am thinking, as
Reid stated, if we could read each other's mind, writing wouldnt be hard at all, because we
would always know what everyone meant, and wed never doubt each other. I always keep
thinking that the readers of my essay can read my mind, but obviously I know they cannot, I just
have to learn that to help them I have to help myself first, in remembering they cannot read my

I feel as if I am no longer intimidated by writing a primary research paper, since I know the most
difficult part of the process is actually gathering the research. The writing itself is the easiest part
of the process. Driscoll gives an overview of the stages that I went through while doing this
primary research paper, she stated, the essay begins by providing an overview of ethical
considerations when conducting primary research, and then covers the stages that you will go
though in your primary research: planning, collecting, analyzing, and writing (154). I,
personally, went through each of the stages Driscoll provided. Also, throughout this course I felt
as if I have grown as a writer, in that I know where my writing is strong and can accept the fact
that my writing needs work, editing. Editing my papers is a big deal for me, usually once I turn it
in I never want to look at it again, other than the score I received. However, for this portfolio that
was not going to go over well, I knew I needed to edit and I did as much as I could.

While composing the third writing project, translating genres, I had to lean towards Bunns
thinking and read like a writer, in that I was trying to understand how the movie scene was put
together and what was important to translate it. Bunn states that, The goal as you read like a
writer is to locate what you believe are the most important writerly choices represented in the
text, (72) and during the translation from a movie scene to a childrens book, I followed a
variation of this. I say a variation because I could not read the script while watching the movie,
thus I followed his advice adapted to a movie. Also, when writing all three writing projects I
thought about what Reid wrote, which was, writing is made harder than it has to be when we try
to follow too many rules, (3) this stuck with me because I found a lot of truth in that statement. I
was taught there was supposed to be five paragraphs in a paper, never start a sentence with and,
but, or or and I learned that is a lie. Writers are able to express themselves in their writing
without constrictions other than of the genre they are writing in. I am very happy that I know
these things now as I can incorporate some of the skills I have learned in these two classes and
transfer them to other courses further down my academic career. Overall I think writing 1 and 2
have greatly improved my confidence in myself as a writer, and I will always be grateful.

Forever grateful,

Teresa Espinosa
Works Cited

Bunn, Mike. How to Read Like a Writer. Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. 2 (2011):

71-86. Print.

Driscoll, Dana L. Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews.

Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. 2 (2011): 153-174. Print.

Reid, E. Shelly. Ten Ways to Think About Writing: Metaphoric Musings for College Writing

Student. Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. 2 (2011): 3-23. Print.