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Cover Letter

The research paper is an extended reading response from reading responses that we
complete throughout English 5M class. I had the choice to choose one of the ten topics, then
construct a thesis and argue why this should be the most important idea amongst others, that an
outsider student should learn.

One of the course goal from English 5M class is to explore a writers identity in terms of
his/her reading and writing (ones literacy). The research topic I chose was arguing for writers
identity, how his/her identity can influence his/her writing. By analyzing sources and construct
an essay, I am showing my understanding of ones identity and its influence on literacy. For
example, a bilingual or multilingual student has a unique background. When it comes to writing,
multilinguals can blend in some cultural elements, so their writings are exclusive. Identity is an
abstract word to define. Experience, culture, language, environment, beliefs, and many others
forms an individuals identity. While writing this essay, I discovered everyone has an identity
which defines him/her different from others. As a writer, I realized the importance of not judging
my own writing to be better or worse than others because everyone writes different. This is
where identity comes in to play, which makes all original papers varied. In addition to identity,
since we all have different experiences and backgrounds, this is an advantage for writing because
each of us prospect at various angles.

For this research paper, there were three challenges. One was deciding on which topic to
write. There are too many choices. I must find a subject that interest me the most and it is
relatable. Another was finding relevant sources to support my thesis. In both the text book and
internet, there seem to have a few sources directly relating to what forms an identity. Instead, I
tear off scraps of this source and a few from others to formulate a full map to show why identity
is most imperative when constructing a writing. Lastly, the structure of the outline is different
than previous writings. this P.I.E. (point, information, explanation) form is fully ready for a draft
whereas the previous outline is an organization of an authors thoughts. It is easy to connect all
sources to support my ultimate argument due to practices from reading responses (argument,
information, and logic).

Practicing P.I.E. structure paragraph will help me to construct an organized paper for
later classes. It will show a clear sense of structure, so it is easier for readers to read. On other
side, identity is something that is built upon. As a student, I will keep progress of my writings
and reflecting to changes of my identity. If I were to make any changes to this writing, I would
conduct a more thorough research on gathering source. Evidence is the skeleton for writing. By
doing this, it will strongly support my thesis, as well as having a stronger authority
communicating to readers.

This paper is ready for ePortfolio since my instructor and peers commented on the draft, I
had corrected the errors so it will not be confusing to read.
Point to consider: Good afternoon, Professor Doutherd, did I make counter argument clear? Was
there any formatting errors or grammatical errors?

Thank you!
Research paper

Deborah Brant is a researcher for Center of English Learning & Achievement (CELA).
She states from The Sponsors of Literacy, citizens reading and writing skills are important to
the increasing amount for the exchange of information, especially to their pursuit of education
and status (1-2). Brandt emphasizes that work places, schools, and families are strands that bring
together the complex form of literacy (17). Literacy includes both reading and writing. A
persons literacy experience, such as lessons taught in school and outside readings can be factors
that formulate a writing, but an authors identity is the most significant contribution to the piece.

There are many aspects when it comes to defining an individuals identity. From James D.
Fearons report of What is Identity (As We Now Use the Word)? He explains a social identity
is a set of persons marked by a label and distinguished by rules deciding membership and
(alleged) characteristic features or attributes (2). A persons social identity has tags and labels
that separate him/her from others. Further more, Fearon explains personal identity as some
distinguishing characteristic (or characteristics) that a person takes a special pride in or views as
socially consequential but more-or-less unchangeable. (2) Despite of the formal definitions of
both social and personal identity, in Julian Bagginis speech of Is There a Real You? He
defines you as in every individual, consist a collection of elements, so you have
memories, and these memories help to create what you are. You have desires, maybe for a
cookie You will have beliefs We have knowledge. We have sensations and experiences as
well. Identity makes a person unique. One can distinguish from others who even shares the
same trait. A person is a central core that is made from abstract elements such as memories,
desires, beliefs, knowledge, sensation, and experiences. The elements overlap and interconnect
with each other. These are what construct a person and his/her perspective.

Authors have a will to lead audiences to a specific direction. As Baggini mentions in Is


There a Real You?, desires or wishes are parts of ones identity. This is their desire (as what is
defines to be one of the element from an identity) and want readers to see what they see. This is
like a narrow view where writers want us to see the world in one way as opposed to another, not
unlike the way a photographer manipulates a camera lens to frame a picture. (Greene 30).
Authors want their readers to see and feel a certain way; therefore they are leading them to a road
of direction. This is the authors desire for the readers to perceive the way they wanted to. They
have control to channeling which vision readers should be sighting. It is what authors desire of
wanting readers to see a specific angle. Desires made up ones identity.

Ones cultural background can shape his/her identity. Especially with multilingual writers,
they are what Ferris identifies as someone who speaks and perhaps read/writes languages other
than English and that English was not the first languages [she]/he leaned.(23) According Ferris,
multilingual speakers understand more than two languages and cultures. They bring valuable
background knowledge and experience that can help their own learning processes (23) A
multilingual identities to be one who speaks and/or writes more than one language besides
English. The quotes explain a student with more than one cultural background can bring a
broader aspect when it comes to writing. With cultures blending in, writers create a new
chemistry of writing. That is, they can involve some element from English and another from
his/her culture to create a writing of new trend. This is a unique characteristic of some
individuals whose background and culture are diverse.

All writings contain authors traits in it. In Donald M. Murrays article of All Writing is
Autobiography, Murray argues that we are autobiographical in the way we writeI have my
own peculiar way of looking at the world and my own way of using language to communicate
what I see. (67) By autobiography, it does not mean authors are writing about themselves.
Murray means that the origin of any writings contains some traces of the author. Autobiography
of one can be experiences, beliefs, or desires. Indeed, the writer uses his/her experiences as muse
to develop his/her piece. The experiences create a persons unique identity, are being utilized to
make their writing exclusive compare to others.

Authors often blend in elements of their culture to the writings. In Girl in Translation,
Jean Kwok wrote After everything Ive done for you, you speak to me like this. You treat the
human heart like a dogs lung. (266).The synopsis for the novel is when Kimberly Changs aunt
Paula argued that Kimberly should not go to Yale without her permission. If Kimberly and her
mother left Aunt Paula, they would forget everything Aunt Paula had done for them in order to
have a good life in Brooklyn, United states. In addition to the forgetfulness, it is seem like they
dont care about Pauls hard work. Kwok uses a Chinese traditional phrase, treating the human
heart like a dogs lung; describing Kimberly had no appreciation for a good persons heart for
doing something for them. I sorry, sir, I said. We not find school. (Kwok 25) The narrator.
Kimberly Chang has similarities with Kwok. Kwok is an immigrant from Hong Kong and move
to Brooklyn and graduated from Harvard. They speak Cantonese as their native language; Kwok
implements this element to Kimberlys background because this will develop connectivity to the
novel. It will also make the readers feel a correlation between themselves and the book, if they
have similar immigration experience. As an author, Kwok uses part of her identity, a Chinese
immigrant, to create a character in her writing.

It is not always the author shaping the writing, but writing is shaping the author as well.
As Writers shape and change genres, the power of those genres also shapes and enables
writers identities (Bawarshi 97). (Wardle 287) Sometimes genres create a blockage for authors.
In addition, blockages also suggest that resistance arises from contradictions individuals
experience in their multiple subject positions. (Bawarshi 100) (Wardle 287). Although an
individuals identity is influencing the writing, but when encounter a writing, the genre, how one
is expanding their involvement in one system and will force he/her to stay away other system
value. (Wardle 287). This will cause contradictions in authors experiences when he/she is
writing. One incidence can contradict another event. As a result, author has to avoid putting this
element into the writing.

Authors identity is the most important contribution to writing, despite of their literacy
experience such as lessons taught in school, and outside readings. Identity is a distinctly unique
representation of an individual. Baggini defines a persons memories, desires, beliefs, knowledge,
sensation, and experiences are the factors to an identity. Specifically of a persons background
belongs to experience category. All writings are autobiography since texts contain certain
original traits that belongs to author. Cultural and language environment is influencing the
authors input to the writing. As seen through Kwoks input of treating the human heart like
dog lung. This is portraying her Chinese trait by inserting a Chinese traditional, commonly
used phrase. Because a writing composes of a purpose, a reason why one writes a piece or
message he/she wants to convey, author wants readers to view in a specific way. This is the
desire that author strongly want readers to create within their thoughts of this writing. Elements
including culture, education, experience, and many others are shaping an identity of an author.
Bibliography

Baggini, Julian. Is There a Real You? TEDxYouth. . TED. January 2012, Manchester. Speech.

Brandt, Deborah. The Sponsors of Literacy. National Research Center on English Learning &
Achievement. New York. 1997. pp. 1-2, 17. November 10, 2017

Fearon, James. What is Identity (As We Now Use the Word)? Stanford. Draft. November 3,
1999, pp. 2. November 11, 2017

Ferris, Dana Multilingual Students and College writing.Student writing handbook, Dan Melzer,
2009. pp. 23. November 11, 2017

Greene, Stuart. Argument as Conversation: The Role of Inquiry in Writing a Researched


Argument. The Subject Is Research. Ed. Wendy Bishop and Pavel Zemiansky. Portsmouth, NH:
Boynton/Cook, 2001. pp. 30. Print. pp. 30. November 10, 2017

Kwok Jean. Girl in Translation. Riverhead. May 2010. pp. 25, 266. November 10 2017

Murray, Donald M. All Writing Is Autobiography. College Composition and Communication


42.1 (1991): pp.67. Print. November 10, 2017

Wardle, Elizabeth. Identity, Authority, and Learning to Write in New Workplaces. Enculturation
5.2 (2004): n. Pag. Web. 18 Feb. 2010.pp. 287. November 10, 2017