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Olivia Cotter
Professor Ingram
November 6, 2014
Final Portfolio Essay
Walking in to a college English class I had no idea what to expect. I quickly glanced
through the textbook when it arrived at my doorstep and assumed maybe we would be
learning grammar or writing essays on a book we were required to read. Every assignment
in this course has allowed me to brainstorm and formulate my own opinions about diverse
subjects as well as advance off of my peers opinions. This created an academic community
that allowed me to grow as a writer and help others grow as well. A common theme in this
course was peer work shopping, this allowed us students to combine our opinions and
work together to sculpt a final piece. As a freshman walking into this course I was
inexperienced with giving positive feedback and the growth process that was presented
through this academic community. A helpful quote used in the first Reader Response Letter
posted in the Wild Card Tab in my e-portfolio was, Ideally, youll read the paper with an
eye to the circumstances that it was written in and the situation it is looking to create. I
verified that this quote was helpful by saying, This explains how you need to have an open
mind about the topic in which the writer is responding to. Everyone is literate to different
subjects as well as styles and as the editor it is your job to respect that and not change the
writers work because you were taught a different way. As the semester progressed peer
editing became clearer and helped me develop a portfolio of my work. Through this eportfolio have displayed my growth as a writer during this semester.
In the e-portfolio I created you will find my Required Artifact from this course along
with the writing rituals and growth process that suit each work. Also, you will find my
Writers Choice Artifacts, which are pieces of writing that expanded my knowledge in this

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academic field. I have organized my e-portfolio with sidebars displaying tabs sectioning my
different works. These tabs include pages for these assignments: literacy narrative, portrait
of a writer, a blog page, and wild cards. Each page is presented with the finial draft showing
the completed work for the assignment, along with the writing and editing process of this
draft.
The first Required Artifact that was assigned was our Literacy Narrative.
Intimidated from the first collegiate level essay I would be writing, insecurities filled my
mind when writing my first draft. My first draft was very broad, I started out with and
introduction explaining the prompt and vaguely touched on my topic, being literate in
dance. A segment from my first draft shows how I restated the prompt to introduce my
paper, In society individuals share both similarities and unique differences in through the
literacy that surrounds us. To be literate in a subject is the ability to understand and analyze a
subject and apply that knowledge in a meaningful way. Often literacy is displayed in two
common subjects, reading and writing. People often do not think about how they acquired their
ability to read and write; as far as they remember these skills have been accessible to them
throughout their whole life. Therefore thoughts of how these skills were become literate to us
often slip our minds. In the feedback I received I was told to consider my audience for this
piece, which would be my professor and peers. I had restated information my audience was
especially familiar with, leading me to cut my entire introduction. This was a big step because I
felt as if my introduction helped shape my entire paper until I wrote draft two. The next draft had
strict instructions so that you focused only on one moment in time to where you could share you
literacy. An in class assignment displayed on my Literacy Narrative tab put meaning behind my
entire final draft. This linguistic approach allowed my to recreate this moment and illustrate it in

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a descriptive manner. Words came easily because it was about a subject and moment I knew all
about. It was easy to write on and on and on; however, I had to pick and chose the pieces of
information that well suited the prompt. In my e-portfolio I incorporated pictures to appeal
visually of the atmosphere mentioned in my Literacy Narrative. The Required Artifact allowed
me to comprehend my weaknesses as a writer and become comfortable with complete changing a
paper. I was so comfortable in the past with editing my first draft and taking our maybe a
sentence or two, I would have never considered taking out two paragraphs and adding two pages
of content. However, the growth from my first draft to my final draft is pleasing for me as the
author to see because there was so much change and broken habits involved.
Similarly for the next assigned Required Artifact, Portrait of a Writer, I continued to
challenge myself as a writer by breaking my former writing habits. The first question posted on
the prompt was Who are you as a writer? Completely stunned by this question I settled with the
fact I had absolutely no idea and why I had no idea. I centralized a theme of passive voice and
explored how this caused repression in growing as a writer. I received feedback recommending
showing my brainstorming in my paper. Therefore, I enjoyed constructing this paper because the
final draft advanced to be a diverse piece of work with linguistic and visual characteristics
involved. Along with continuing to come out of my comfort zone and share my personality
through writing was what drove me to complete this paper. Thoughts begin to wander across
my mind: Who am I as a writer? Initially as a writer I was told you were not allowed to use
I in any paper EVER. As I grew as a writer, passive voice was the style I continuously
wrote in. Passive voice dominated my writing for the simple reason that I was told that it
was wrong to use I in the academic environment.

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The last two Required Artifacts were my blog and midterm. Both of these styles harped
on reflection. The Midterm allowed me to begin to analyze my own writing and establish subtle
changes in the process in which I use. In my Midterm you will find the Key Concepts that I felt
stuck out to me. Half way through the semester I said, I find the concept that sticks out to me
the most is being responsible for your own learning. I have found in college that even
though professors relay certain information to you; to truly be aware if you know the
information being taught you have to challenge yourself. In this course some of the reading
material assigned to analyze is not a piece of cake, it sometimes takes me till the next class
to fully understand it through our discussion. Therefore, I always challenge myself to later
go back in my reader response letter and look at what I could have added to make my
opinion stand out, or comment on my blog post to expand my thoughts. I still strongly
agree with this key concept, what you put into a course is what you will get out of it. By
having a passion to succeed and see yourself grow as a student is honorable feeling of self
awareness. Another key concept that I feel I critical thinking this course has helped my
critically engage with opinions from different people helping me advance my level of
thinking. Reflection is a major factor in critical thinking because it allows you to express
your opinion and back it up with statements from other authors, whether they are
professional or your own classmates. My blog is a prime example of critical thinking. Given
readings about a certain topic I had to reflect upon and piece together a stronger or
sometimes new opinion about. The conversations in class and through the websites we
were asked to go to in order to advance our blog posts increased my range of opinions on
certain topics. I felt a change in my blog posts after I wrote them and we would discuss in
class because I was subjected to so many new ideas to write about in my blog. Therefore, I

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would go back and add comments to make my answer to the blog question more clear and
state my new founded opinions. The blog post assigned for this course allowed me to react
and form opinions about topics that were new to me. This is an excerpt from my Blog Post
#6 that explains how I furthered my reflection on blog posts through in class discussions. I
enjoyed writing the blog because it gave me a chance to experience a free writing style
Instead of writing in a strict style with a set prompt we can type freely and write whatever
may come to mind.
As for the Writers Choice Artifacts I chose to put two grammar lessons and two
Reader Response letters Grammar lessons provided helpful information that helped me
feel more confident in writing. I selected these two lessons as my Writers Notebook
Artifacts because these grammar lessons have helped me understand what makes
paragraphs and sentences clear, precise, and interesting. The Reader Response Letters
allowed my to use critical thinking to formulate my own opinion on subjects that were new
to me such as peer work shopping and positive feedback.
Throughout my e-portfolio there is process and feedback work displayed. After
receiving a variety of feedback I chose to put the pieces that stuck out to me most in my eportfolio. The advice that helped take my writing to the next level and create unique idea
and challenges for me to overcome. Each process and feedback work has a caption under
the image explain the ways in which that particular advice helped me advance. I have found
that throughout the semester I have seen myself grow as a writer. Coming into this course
unsteady about my writing I have branched out to try new styles and developed awareness
for my weaknesses as a writer. With that being said, I believe the grade I deserve in this
class is an A. I have connected with the key concepts in this course allowing me to reach out

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of my comfort zone and use critical thinking the become responsible for my learning in this
course. I have designed this e-portfolio to be easily navigable and interesting for my
audience to connect with. Please make your way through my e-portfolio and enjoy the
work I have accomplished over the course of the semester.