This cover letter is my final portfolio as the culmination of the things that I have leant about reading, writing and the application of skills related both reading and writing. It is, therefore, a self-analysis of the learning process during my course. I have assessed my progress from start of my course through to the entire period up to the completion of the course. Basing on my earlier drafts and writings, I have sincerely evaluated myself. After deep soul-searching, I observed that my overall personal performance in class has really improved. Therefore, I believe I am on the right track. I was always keen on ensuring that my grammar was perfect and in my scripts and that, my writing had a systematic flow. A systematic flow ensured that the reader does not get lost or bored. However, I did not enjoy making revisions as per the instructor’s review comments. It is ironical since it is only through making such revisions that I perfected my grammar. Through revisions, I leant the grammar mistakes that I had been making. I also liked the idea that for me to achieve success in my class work, then I needed to work extraordinarily. I also needed to sacrifice my time to ensure that I come up with quality work that not only meets the basic requirement, but also impress the instructor. Revisions almost made me give up on writing. However, I continued soldiering on with my writings while knowing very well that indeed, “Practice makes perfect”. I realized that indeed, the only way that one can achieve success and perfection in writing is to accept correction and criticism from all levels and stages of their writing.
Through analysis of my own final portfolio, I have been able to demonstrate easily the knowledge of both analytical and writing skills that I have attentively leant over time. In order to portray how I have advanced from an unpolished writer to a professional academic writer, it will be prudent if I give a chronology of events. Events depicting the progress I have made it from start to the final phase where I can write quality academic work that conveys the intended message and has perfect diction. In the beginning, I used poor diction; my writing had numerous grammar and syntax mistakes. For instance, PW1 shows that my writing was full of grammar errors and other common writing errors. Leah gave an adverse review of the article that made me disappointed with my writing. A look at the PW1reminds me that when I started writing, my work below the expected standards. My writing instructor had a rough time going through my work and advising me on what I should have written in the first place. Therefore, I sincerely thank Leah for her patience for going through the article and pointing out all the mistakes that needed correction. I had thought of having her write an adverse review on my writings. I eventually discovered that this was necessary if I was to succeed and present quality work. It was through making mistakes, identifying and correcting them that my writing matured over time. I can confidently say that my writing has grown from infancy through puberty to maturity.
Based on my preliminary writing of Draft 1, I can ascertain that indeed, my writing had a lot of formatting errors. However, I have eventually worked on them as I progressed in my writings. There were also several times when I made spelling errors in my writings and forgot to insert spaces where they were necessary. However, with time I have leant how to correct such mistakes during the course of my learning. I realised that I made most of these mistakes because I used to type in a hurry and failed to proofread my work. Looking at my earlier writings it is clear that I used to present my work using different font styles and line spacing. This made my work to lack clear formatting types, consistency and homogeneity. However, as time progressed, I corrected all the formatting errors in my writings and presented quality work to my writing instructor. Besides, I did not appreciate that numbering was an important aspect of any academic writing. Therefore, I failed to insert page numbers in my initial writing work. However, I now appreciate the importance of numbering and the different acceptable numbering styles in academic writing.
My general viewpoint regarding revisions has changed during different times of the quarter. For instance, I almost hated my writing instructor for writing negative comments regarding my writings. However, the perception changed over time. I realized that revisions were one of the best ways through which I could improve on my writings and come up with quality work that would suit my target audience. In the beginning, I viewed reading, writing, time management and even revision as time wasters. However, I came later on to realize that this was a genuine endeavour meant to polish me up with knowledge. The knowledge enabled me to understand how important it was to write articles independently.
My general evaluation on the various engagements, which I undertook in the course, point out at my exemplary performance and improvement. These engagements include; free writes, reading journals, on the papers, engagement with various academic materials and involvement both in office and class. I personally believe that I did well in the writing work since I am now capable of handling my work and independently working on it with minimal or free errors.
At the beginning of my course, I wanted to learn various things. Not only learn them, but also improve. For instance, I wanted to learn and use the correct format of inserting the page numbers in my writings so that I could label the page numbers as they were printed. However, although I leant how to insert page numbers, I was unable to accomplish this objective. This is because I often forgot to insert page numbers after finishing my work. I always remembered when it was too late. I only remembered when the Writing Director had already returned my work back to me. The insertion of page numbers was one of the new things I aspired to remember before submitting my work. I was capable of achieving it in my subsequent writings.
I entirely attribute my success in writing to the tireless efforts of Professor Leah who has made sure that each of her students understands all writing concepts. She instilled in me the notion that for one to succeed in any given area, then constant practice and acceptance of corrections was the key to such success. I also came to realize that teamwork was essential especially if one wanted to know their mistakes. Through the company and cooperation of my peers, I leant some of the grammatical and formatting errors that I could not have established on my own. It is through constant writing that I have come to realize where my weaknesses lie. I have realized that spend a lot of time on one particular assignment. Therefore, I made a resolution to spend the least time possible on any given assignments without compromising on quality. I have also ascertained that I can improve in my writings by reading other people’s work. That way, I can adopt some of their literacy styles in my work.
In preliminary writing, I leant the basics for writing a poem. I managed to write a poem, which incorporated the use of imagery. Wrights poem enabled me identify new writing styles, which I would later on use in my poem. I learned that the use of repetition in a poem makes the message clear. I also learned how to incorporate onomatopoeia in literature to create feelings and meaning. Through the poem writing, I developed knowledge of how to use tone variation to stress and emphasize on various points. In essence, I learned how to compose classic literature works. Furthermore, I developed my knowledge on how to use different stylistic devices to compose an interesting literature. I also learned how to present narratives in creative styles.
During the response writing stage, I learned how to use tonal variation to demonstrate feelings and emotions. From Li`s poem I learned how to incorporate past tense in literature to talk about past occurrences’. I acknowledged the importance of headings through Li`s poem. Through analyzing different poems, I developed my knowledge of new formatting styles that a writer can incorporate in literature. For example, I realized that writer indicates a continuation of thoughts by using commas followed by ellipses.
Throughout the course work, I have learned how to use various diction and different parts of speech. I have acquired knowledge on how to use figurative language such as personification and metaphors to capture the readers. Moreover, I attained knowledge on how to compose both creative and academic works. The course experience has enabled me acknowledge the need of sharing my work with the peers. I have also understood the significance of preparing drafts prior to compiling my final project. Working with the drafts is a strategic approach for identifying mistakes made to produce a final well-polished paper.
I learned how to use elevated diction rather than relying on everyday diction to compose my writings. I can now appreciate the use of elevated diction as a tool in composing intellectual literature. I value the need of using strong verbs in sentences and interchanging them with adverbs and adjectives to develop a coherent work. It has been a learning process because I now understand how to draw a reader into my writings using imagery and alliteration. Strategic utilization of these styles offers me a chance of composing creative articles. These styles enable me as a writer to establish a creative interaction with the reader through rhetorical questions. I learned how to avoid abstraction in my articles and to explain ideas in detail. This is essential in ensuring that the reader follows my story at all stages. In my articles, I am now able to explain my ideas in a coherent manner. I have developed skills and built my confidence in academic writing. I learned that in academic writing, I need to use quotes to identify borrowed ideas. I have also noted the dangers of composing five paragraph essays. In such essay, the writer is not able to develop and present ideas fully. These essays fall victim of abstraction because the writers fail to describe his or her ideas comprehensively.
Experience in the writing class offered me a chance of developing my reading skills. I was made to appreciate the importance of reading articles and content from other writers. This is in view that the practice broadens my ability as a writer by inspiring me with new ideas. Furthermore, through reading diverse works, I can easily compare how I develop ideas in my writing with how other writers develop their ideas. Reading articles and poems from other writers enables me to identify the mistakes that they make. I am also able to identify new stylistic devices.
During the writing class, I wrote numerous drafts, which were returned to me by my lecture, Leah. Each draft highlights different grammar and syntax mistakes. Each time I received the draft, I was faced with the challenge of correcting the draft. After making the suggested correction, I would return the draft to Leah for her comments. This repeated process has helped me nature my writing skills. I am able to appreciate the struggles and effort that writers go through before publishing their work. A writer can easily give up since the process of producing a final draft is excessively tedious. However, I did not give up because I am motivated to develop my skills to be a successful writer. Leah played an important role in motivating me to develop to my potential. I did not understand the term potential until I achieved this growth. I realized that a person may have ideas that can create good stories, but they need to develop them as writers. In some cases, writers fail to realize their potential due to low self-esteem. Through the experience in writing class, I have patience as an important quality for the writer. One should be patient to learn and accept genuine criticism.
Through the course experience, I have learned how to develop a strong and logical thesis statement. This statement forms the backbone of academic articles. The statement gives a reader a view of what the paper discusses. The statement also guides a writer during the writing process. A writer uses the thesis statement to evaluate the article and consider whether the paper covers the topic. I learned how to use the thesis statement to gauge whether my paper covered the requirements. Furthermore, I developed my knowledge of referencing the sources used in the research process. I have also learned the ideas of professionalism and ethics in writing. The writing class also offered me a chance of developing my research skills. I am now able to research and write on various topics. In writing class, I interacted with fellow writers and engaged in the process of brainstorming. I now appreciate the need to work on different projects as a team. I have acknowledged that as a writer, I need the opinions of others in developing my ideas.
In conclusion, I am a good example of how a bad writer can eventually transform into a good writer because of constant practice in writing. Indeed, not all good writers are born; some learn the Art. I have realized that through practice, one eventually develops a great interest in writing and upon acceptance of corrections and advice from all quarters; one ultimately develops to become a good writer.