Dear Portfolio Viewers,
Once I entered UWP 1 and understood the expectations that were required from me in this course, I knew that this class would help me gain more insight on writing college-leveled papers, and allow me to progress as a writer throughout the process. I was already aware of the weaknesses and flaws in my writing skills, so I was determined to work hard in each of my homework and assignments that would help prepare for the portfolio. The drafts I wrote were written with the mentality to make it as strong as the final drafts. After revisiting my past essays, I noticed that many of my papers were scattered and disorganized. For example, I tended to babble on without addressing my preferred audience, or relating my points to my thesis statement. Luckily, the in-class peer reviews allowed me to fix my problems. I usually never had another person read my drafts because I was too embarrassed that my papers would be flawed. However, as I started to receive feedback on my writing, I made it my goal to write a thesis-driven statement for each paper that includes my understanding of who my audiences is and the what exactly I am writing about.
Of all the instructions I received from UWP, I thought the most important lesson I learned was accepting that my first drafts were not meant to be perfect. By using the free writing technique for the assignments, it allowed to me get all my ideas and thoughts out on paper. It gave me the opportunity to provide the evidence I would use to relate to my thesis. Before taking this course, I never realized how important it was to write out my ideas and what I wanted to say. When I was given a topic, I immediately jumped into the task and started writing out my introductory paragraph. By the time I reached my thesis statement, I had forgotten what I was going to talk about. The papers I have written before did not display a clear and developed thesis statement that allowed me to connect my paragraphs with topics. Perhaps that was the reason why my papers seemed so confusing and disorganized. Fortunately, with the lesson I learned from UWP, I was capable of understanding the significance of free writing my ideas out which lead to a thesis-driven statement. After learning what I had to do to improve my writing, my papers started to come with ease. I had all the information I needed for my paper laid out for me to rearrange and edit for writing out my thesis and my final draft. At this point, I was able to focus on other components on my paper such as analysis and audience.
One of the written assignments that were required for my portfolio was the research paper piece. After writing and finishing my research paper, I was glad to know that this piece of writing was to be put into my portfolio. This particular assignment was enjoyable because I was given the opportunity to showcase my ability to make thorough research and clarify who I wanted my audience to be. I was able to utilize my research and the free writing technique to provide a large amount of evidence that supported my thesis. I also referred back to the audience multiple times throughout the paper to ensure that they would not lose attention. This new strategy I have been practicing throughout the quarter has changed the outcomes of my papers. It transformed from a disorganized draft with confusing information to a well-developed paper that supports the thesis, and understands who the audience is.
Another piece of writing I included was the literacy narrative paper that exhibited my development as a writer at a young age. I knew I wanted to make the narrative interesting and engaging. I had written this literacy narrative with the intention to captivate my audience with my inspiring story. I used the free writing style to write out all the events I could remember from when I was young, and applied it to my thesis. However, when I received the feedback from my peers on my first draft, I read comments such as, “How does this point relate to your story?” and “This sentence doesn’t make sense.” When I looked back at my narrative, I noticed that I continuously wrote out events that were not focused on the topic. So instead of ignoring my classmate’s comments, I revisited and revised all the errors I made. I learned that correcting the major and minor mistakes I made created a stronger and advanced paper. Overall, I chose my personal narrative as the paper to include in my portfolio because it demonstrates how I became the writer I am today. It shows the audiences how my sister affected the way I read, write, and communicate with others.
As a final point, all the assignments helped improve my writing skills. I progressed through the practice of many drafts and was able to develop creativity in my papers that I did not attain before taking UWP. The free writing technique and the development of evidence surrounding the thesis gave my essays clarity and detail. I learned how to target my audience by clearly stating who they are, and rearrange my essay to support my main claim. I hope to continue progressing as a writer with what I have learned from the UWP curriculum, and apply it to future purposes with the knowledge that I now know.
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