Portfolio Cover Letter

Dear readers,

On the first date of my UWP class, I thought there would be no difference between UWP1 and my WLD57s class. However, there were a lot of differences. First of all, each paper was longer than I had anticipated. Furthermore, each assignment had a different target audience and different writing styles. For instance, Assignment 1 was a narrative essay while Assignment 2 was in a letter format. Therefore, we not only needed to learn the writing styles of different authors, but also had to know how to apply these different writing techniques on our writing pieces.

Before working on the Assignment 2, I never realized the problems of genre, target audience, and word choice when I wrote a letter to propose a suggestion to a person in authority. During the first peer review, my classmate indicated that some sentences were not very appropriate because she felt like I was complaining to the principal about our high school current curriculum. In other words, there was something wrong with the tone of my paper. I also had a problem with the word choice. For instance, the phrase “a huge pain” appeared frequently. Thus, when I received the feedback, I realized that I could not use the same writing style for each paper. I used to treat every assignment as an argumentative essay. That was why my first draft was very emotional. So, during the revision process, I showed a highly respectful attitude towards my principal by altering my word choice and the sentence style. I also tried to be more objective, and, therefore, the paper would look more persuasive. This assignment reshaped my opinion on the writing and raised my awareness of the importance of genre, target audience, and word choice.

Working on the Assignment 4 caused me to know how to find resources and evaluate them to develop my research topic. Assignment 4 centered on the importance of grit for a college student. Initially, I had no idea about the topic, and thus I could not find resources to support my arguments. However, after reading through Duckworth’s research paper, I knew that grit is defined as perseverance. Therefore, I considered “grit” and “perseverance” as my keywords and typed these two words into our library database and Google Scholar to find any relevant resource. This strategy worked. After that, I had to pick up several resources from hundreds of resources available online. Our instructor told us we needed to check the credibility, timeframe and source type when we evaluated each resource. Based on the criteria, I knew how to choose the resources for my paper. Additionally, I decided to focus on the importance of grit and the factors that help or hinder the development of grit after reading through these resources.

I also learned how to write a good research paper by integrating resources with my opinions smoothly during the revision process. For the first draft, I did not integrate the resources into my paper smoothly. The first draft looked more like an argumentative essay, instead of a research paper, as I cited too much Duckworth’s and Hanford’s opinions to support my topic sentences. In other words, I did not integrate the resources with my opinions and not discussed any of their research or statistic. As a result, for the revision process, I focused on the integration of Duckworth’s research and my field research data. I decided to get rid of my old writing style: an example or statistic always follows by a topic sentence. This time, I put Duckworth’s research and conclusion at the beginning of my paragraph. Then I did a further analysis of her data to show readers why grit plays a vital role in college in terms of two aspects. This strategy worked, and it turned the Assignment 4 into one of my most favorite papers.

Overall, these assignments reshaped my opinion on English writing, which each assignment had its own unique technique, audience, and genre. These assignments also let me get access to different types of writing: narrative essay, letter, research paper and argumentative essay. Assignment 2 lets me realize the significance of a sense of audience awareness and the impact it exerts on my writing style. While, Assignment 4 lets me realize the way to evaluate and integrate resources when working on a research paper.

Sincerely,

Ruoxi Wang

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