English 103: Writing Portfolio

Final Introduction

            The blog posts in my portfolio are responses to the reading that we had to do for this class.  Despite the few blog posts that we had in the second half of the semester I felt that I put a lot of effort and opinion in these two posts.  In these particular posts I utilized the tools of making a blog, and used the skills that I have accumulated throughout the year to appeal to my audience.  For example, in the Old Spice entry I embedded a You Tube video.  This video was related to the topic and gave my readers a little entertainment.  Another highlight from this post is that it was a sequel of a previous post, so I was able to elaborate on what I had discussed in the other entry.  The second blog post that I choose was part review and part opinion over Iron Man for the Movie Review project.  This blog was effective because I enjoyed this movie, as well as this project.  Therefore, the entry contained my emotions and hyperlinks that added to the effectiveness of the post.

            The in-class writings are answers to the questions our professor gives us to type about on discussion board.  I picked these two writings because I had personal experiences that related to these assignments.  Having experiences that related to the subjects at hand helped me elaborate in my answers, and allowed me to make these my best in-class writings.  The first writing is the answer to a question that the professor asked us, “What do you believe Halloween is?”  There was an experience from high school that made me view Halloween differently than others, so I was able to respond with a quality answer.  I voiced my beliefs throughout this writing, which may be my best one of the entire year.  The second in-class writing was all about what a review contains.  Since I love watching movies I have read quite a few reviews throughout my life, so I already had a pretty good knowledge of what they are made of.  In turn, I was able to use my prior knowledge to put together an excellent writing response for this assignment.

            As usual I had to make revisions to the pieces of formal writing that we did in the second half of the semester.  In my meaning essay I had to correct the way that I introduced my commercial to my audience.  First instead of saying “In this commercial”, I said, “In one particular commercial”.  I also had to give a brief overview of my commercial before stating my thesis statement, so that my audience had a better understanding for the purpose of the commercial.  To eliminate the impression that this essay is for class I also removed the statement, “the commercial that I chose.”  In my movie review project I made revisions in my analysis and my personal review.  Throughout the analysis I had to revise some sentence structure errors and make grammar corrections. After making a statement about the summary from one of the reviews that I analyzed, I had to give a specific example from the review.  I also had to make revisions to my citations and put them in alphabetical order.  I made changes to my movie review’s layout, such as resizing the actors’ names and editing the font of the footer.  Due to the fact that the audience may get confused with the wording I used in one instance, I had to replace “sweetest” with “best”.

            The revisions that I made on these essays improved my final drafts.  The corrections that I made to the introduction of my meaning essay will give my audience a better understanding of the purpose of my paper and the commercial.  These revisions along with the removal of the unnecessary statement make my essay more appealing to my readers.  The revisions that I made to sentences and the grammar in the analysis of my movie review project make the analysis easier to read.  After adding the specific example from the review to my essay I also gain creditability with my audience.  The changes that I made to my movie review’s layout make my review more pleasing to the eye.  Finally, making the changes to the wording in my review will confirm that my audience won’t misinterpret my statement about Iron Man’s costume.

            I learned a lot about myself as a reader and a writer this semester.  Although I still don’t truly enjoy reading, I realize that it is essential to all parts of life.  I also understand what to look for when reading different types of material; for example, how to interpret all the layers of a persuasive argument.  This will help me better understand text throughout life, especially when I enter the business world.  I now realize a lot more about my writing skills as well.  From the grades and comments I have received from my work throughout this semester I realize that I am a pretty good writer.  I don’t always have the most creative ideas, but at least I understand how to organize a paper and what elements are key.  Knowing this about my writing skills I will be able to face future English courses with a great deal of confidence.
           On the other hand, there is still room for improvement in my writing skills.  The biggest issue that I need to address in my future assignments is the amount of time that it takes me to write a paper.  I have good ideas and organization for my papers, but it always takes me an extremely long time to type them.  I have to make every sentence perfect, which makes it a very long process.  I also need to continue to improve with limiting my grammar and spelling errors.  Grammar and spelling is vital to writing, so I must work on these skills.  Lastly, I need to work on my punctuation skills.  I tend to have poor comma usage, because I over use the comma.  I have a bad habit of creating comma splices, which I need to pay close attention to in future writing assignments.