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Dear Reader,

For my portfolio, I decided to include my rhetorical analysis essay and my literacy

podcast. In my rhetorical analysis essay, I focused on Gandhis Quit India speech, and how his

powerful language helped him convince others to join the fight for Indias independence from

the British Empire. For my literacy podcast, I focused on a significant experience I had in my

freshman year English class that was critical in shaping my attitude toward English and my

reading and writing habits that I carry with me to this day. In this cover essay, I will go over how

I have met the learning outcomes for UWP 1, further revisions I could have made if I had more

time, and how I can apply the skills I learned in this class to my future.

For the first learning outcome, rhetorical knowledge, I mainly focused on large rhetorical

concepts we learned in this class, such as audience and exigence. In my rhetorical analysis essay,

I focus heavily on audience. In the first body paragraph, I talked about how Gandhi recognizes

that his primary audience is his supporters. I explained that when he says there are people who

ask me whether I am the same man that I was in 1920, or whether there has been any change in

me, he is addressing his supporters, because he assumes that they already know about and view

his previous achievements favorably (Gandhi). Later in the first body paragraph, I also explained

that when he says he is the same man, he makes himself more relatable as an individual to his

followers. He is considering how his audience wants to see him as an equal rather than an

authority figure. In both cases, Ive analyzed how Gandhi is considering his audience while

giving his speech. Ive mentioned many more examples of how Gandhi considers his audience

throughout my rhetorical analysis essay. While formulating my rhetorical analysis essay and my

literacy podcast, I also thought about how I could consider my own audience. For my rhetorical

analysis essay, I assumed that my audience would be familiar with the concepts of audience,
exigence, and other rhetorical terms. I assumed that they werent familiar with Gandhi speech, so

I decided to use block quotes to give my readers more context about his speech. I framed it as an

academic essay, so I wrote it for an audience that would understand the academic essay genre.

For my literacy podcast, I decided to consider a more general audience. I chose not to use

complex language and terms. For concepts that I mentioned, like reading against the grain, I

gave definitions so my audience could grasp what they meant (Bartholomae and Petrosky). I also

considered exigence while writing my rhetorical analysis essay. In my first body paragraph, I

mention how Gandhi uses exigence to remind his followers that the fight for independence has

been going on for years. I talked about how he uses his fight against the British empire since

1920 as his exigence to convince his supporters to join his movement. In my second body

paragraph, I also talk about how Gandhi uses his supporters fear of unregulated power, due to

their experience with British imperialists, as exigence to call for non-violent and democratic

ways of gaining independence. Thus, hes considering the exigence when talking to his audience

about the best approach in fighting for independence. Throughout my whole rhetorical analysis

essay, Ive shown that Gandhi uses exigence and his understanding of his audience to formulate

his speech.

For processes, I created several drafts of both my rhetorical knowledge essay and literacy

podcast, where I made large revisions. My final rhetorical analysis draft is drastically different

from my first full draft. In my first full draft, I had lots of quotes but not enough analysis about

the rhetorical significance of those quotes. The feedback I received from others indicated that I

should focus on including fewer quotes and analyzing more in-depth, because my analysis was

lacking. For my final draft, I decided to have one large content rich block quote per paragraph

that I analyzed much more in depth. My teacher also suggested that I look at Gandhis language
more closely. I decided to reflect on that feedback and made changes to my essay to by looking

closely at Gandhis diction. For example, in the first body paragraph of my rhetorical analysis

essay, I analyzed how he uses the phrase same man, to reinforce his positive intentions and

identify himself as his followers equal rather than an authority figure (Gandhi). In my initial

draft, I also hadnt addressed the concept of exigence as much as I should have. For this draft, I

did a more complete analysis of exigence and how Gandhi uses it to further his message. For my

previous draft of my literacy podcast, I had used a lot of anecdotes from my life, but didnt spend

much time analyzing their significance in shaping my experience as a writer. Reflecting on that, I

decided to focus on one major experience in my high school that helped me shape my attitude

toward English and develop habits that I still use. Doing that allowed me to analyze more and

reflect on how my past experience had shaped my current experience in UWP, rather than just

telling stories about my experiences with writing.

For knowledge of conventions, I followed the guidelines for the rhetorical analysis essay

and the literacy podcast genres. For my rhetorical analysis essay, the prompt said to format it like

a traditional academic essay. Thus, I used more formal language and third person while writing

this essay. I decided to structure it with an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion,

which is typical of the traditional academic essay. For my literacy podcast, I used language and

structure typical for a narrative. I used first person, and reflected on my own experiences, rather

than analyzing an object. This was structured as a story with interjections where I would reflect

on the significance of a certain event or habit. There are no specific paragraphs with topic

sentences or transitions. My contrast between my literacy podcast and my rhetorical analysis

essay also highlight a conflict between my home and my academic discourse community. The

language I use in my literacy podcast is much more informal and the type of language I would
use while talking to others outside an academic setting. On the other hand, the language I use in

my rhetorical analysis essay is much more formal. I struggled to conform to the language

expectations for the rhetorical analysis essay because it is so different from the language I use in

my home discourse community.

For research, Ive conducted both primary and secondary research. In my literacy

podcast, I mentioned my personal experience of receiving a bad grade in high school and how it

changed my attitude and my habits related to English. I spent time synthesizing new knowledge

by reflecting on how that experience truly affected me and my current experience in UWP. In my

podcast, I talked about rereading, drafting, and reading against the grain and why I think using

these important techniques is critical in fully understanding a text. This served as my primary

research because I used my personal experience to synthesize knowledge about effective reading

and writing techniques that worked for me. For secondary research, I also incorporated quotes

from Bartholomae and Petroskys Ways of Reading. I included a quote about what it means to

read against the grain, and a quote about challenging others ideas while synthesizes ones own. I

used these quotes to support my own analysis of how my reading and writing habits have

changed over time, and why reading against the grain helped me. I have also included in-text

citations for my rhetorical analysis essay and my literacy podcast script, and a works cited page

in MLA style for both.

Lastly, Ive demonstrated metacognition through my process of reflection. Throughout

the quarter, I would use my cover letters to reflect on the choices I made in my writing and why I

made them. In the beginning of the quarter, I didnt know whether to focus my rhetorical

analysis essay on the rhetorical concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos, or broader rhetorical

concepts like audience, exigence, and constraints. The first few drafts of my essay were based on
ethos, pathos, and logos, and I used my cover letter to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of

using those concepts as opposed to others. Through the process of reflecting, I decided that my

essay would be stronger if I focused on audience and exigence, rather than ethos, pathos and

logos. Thus, for my last two drafts, I focused on integrating these concepts into my writing and

explaining how Gandhi uses audience and exigence to further his message. In my literacy

podcast, I took a similar approach while reflecting on its components. For example, in my first

draft, I had many stories about my personal experiences with writing and my analysis and I

focused on how those experiences shaped my emotional relationship with writing. However, I

decided that for my final draft, I would focus my analysis on my process of reflecting about my

writing and reading habits. I chose to analyze how my habits have changed as a result of my

personal experiences, rather than just the way my experiences shaped my emotional relationship

with writing. Thus, I successfully reflected on my choices and incorporated what I thought was

important into my writing in the end. Lastly, Ive reflected on my reading process in UWP within

my literacy podcast. In my podcast, I mentioned how I struggled to understand the concepts that

were taught in the beginning of UWP. I talked about discovering the reading against the grain

technique and how it has helped me become a better reader. Thus, within my literacy podcast,

Ive reflected on how Ive changed my reading process over time to help me be more successful

in this class.

If I had more time to revise, I would continue my analysis in my rhetorical analysis essay.

Gandhis Quit India speech is rich with rhetorical knowledge. However, because I was

restricted in time and number of words I could write, I couldnt thoroughly analyze his whole

speech. I had to limit the number of quotes I could pick so that my essay wasnt too long. I

would also focus on analyzing how Gandhi uses rhetorical constraints. It would have been
interesting to study how constraints played a role in how Gandhi presented his message and

convinced others to follow his movement. Similarly, I wish I could have written more for my

literacy podcast. I think the experiences I had as a child also influenced my relationship with

reading and writing, although it wasnt as significant as my experience in high school. I

wouldve talked more in-depth about the relationship with language in my home and school. At

home, I primarily spoke in my native language whereas in school, I was expected to speak, read,

and write in English. If I had more time and space, I would have reflected on how that shaped

my experiences with reading and writing and the challenges that came with conforming to the

standards of both languages.

The skills Ive learned in UWP are directly applicable to many areas of my life. Writing

in different genres helped me understand how I should shape my writing to adhere to certain

standards. Since Im planning to go on the higher education, I will be required to write a lot of

application essays. For these application essays, I must follow a very specific format where I talk

about my qualifications and why they should accept me into the program. Learning how to shape

my writing for different genres will help me understand how to change my writing for the

application essay genre. The process of reflecting has been valuable for me as well. Prior to this

class, I never spent time drafting a cover letter to think about the strengths and weaknesses in my

draft. I was surprised to learn how useful it was for me in understanding how I could improve. In

my future writing classes, I will follow a similar format to this. I will think more critically about

the writing I do and come up with changes I can make while drafting.

Sincerely,

Sai Akshitha Namani


Words Cited

Petrosky, Anthony, and David Bartholomae. Introduction. Introduction: Ways of Reading, by

Bartholomae and Petrosky.

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand. "Quit India." Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay. 8 Aug. 1942.

Speech.