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Daniel Rondon
Prof. Branson
Writing 2
9 June 2016
Cover Letter
Writing 2 has improved my capabilities as a writer now that I can see writing as an
essential part of life outside the classroom. Throughout primary and secondary school, writing
has mainly been taught in one form: an essay. For this reason, I have grown to dread any school
task that involves writing. However, after experiencing this Writing 2 course, I realized that
writing has many more applications than just formal essays. While working on the Discourse
Community Analysis, I found that writing is crucial to everyones everyday life and is used for a
variety of practical reasons besides essays. The next writing project, the Writing Habits Analysis,
then allowed me to examine my own writing more in depth. After conducting personal research
and studying my writing habits, I concluded that writing serves a significant role in my life and a
majority of my writing is not essay related. Working on both the Discourse Community and
Writing Habits analyses changed my perspective on writing as I noticed the various genres and
types of writing that appear in everyday life.
The distinctive writing prompts for my writing assignments this quarter resulted in an
improvement of my ability to incorporate rhetorical analysis and research into my work. The
Discourse Community project allowed me to explore a new field of writing outside of school,
which I had not seen before. A main focus of the Discourse Community Analysis was to analyze
the different genres of the community and explore how those genres helped shape that
community. I wrote about the Super Smash Brothers video game community and mainly focused
on Melees iconic videogame match being a genre resulting from the needs and nature of the

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Smash discourse community that defines and shapes the community. Throughout the paper, I
analyze[d] conventions and concepts of genres while applying the idea that a videogame match
is a genre (Branson). I mention that the video game match is a response to the rhetorical concern
of community members wanting a method of relating their capabilities against each other. The
Discourse Community Analysis applies conventions and concepts of genre analysis to different
contexts to fulfill the Rhetorical Analysis outcome of the course (Branson). While the
Discourse Community project heavily focused on the rhetorical analysis and genre concepts area
of the course, the Writing Habits Analysis concentrated more on personal research and reflection
in writing. When I first began the Writing Habits Analysis research, I did not know what aspects
of my writing that I wanted to study, but after a few days of examining my writing logs, I was
able to narrow down my focus of research to musics effect on my productivity and interest.
Because of the writing logs, a new genre of writing for me, I could more easily use processes of
inquiry to develop and explore questions relevant in academic contexts, and was able to
explore, in-depth, my writing habits (Branson). After recording all of my data habits, I had to
code my data numerically so I could easily graph and compare my data. The process of
gathering and coding my figures for the project involved applying strategies for locating,
evaluating, and incorporating electronic, textual sources to explore questions relevant in
academic and other contexts (Branson). Both the Discourse Community and Writing Habits
analyses helped me understand and employ the skills of rhetorical analysis and writing research.
The prompts of the writing portfolio works encouraged and presented the opportunity to
reflect and expand on the Creativity and Engagement Habits of Mind in my writing. I have
cultivated the Creativity aspect significantly in both the Discourse Community and the Writing
Habits analyses. For the Discourse Community paper I did not analyze written text because

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when two people actually play Melee, there is no written text, the text is how the players control
their characters and interact with their opponents characters. I then extended the analogy by
stating that a genre of the Melee community is the video-game match itself, demonstrating the
ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas (Habits).
Creativity in my Writing Habits Analysis is represented by my coding method in which I turned
my writing logs into easy to manipulate numerical data, and then turned the data into visual
graphs. However, I would not have been able to demonstrate creativity in both of these writing
tasks if it were not for the prompts of the writing tasks themselves. Both writing projects
encouraged me to take risks by exploring questions, topics, and ideas that are new to me such
as the Discourse Community Analysis theme that a genre, and other writing concepts, can be
applied to videogames (Habits). The Writing Habits Analysis also induced creativity by
establishing the writing log as a way to incorporate methods that are new to [students] to
investigate questions, topics, and ideas (Habits). The other principle Habit of Mind,
Engagement, was also predominant in my writing portfolio works due to the nature of the writing
prompts. Both analyses encouraged a sense of investment and involvement in learning which
is evident by their length and enthusiastic tone (Habits). The Discourse Community prompt
permitted me to focus on a community that I belong to and am passionate about, resulting in a
determination to write a fair amount. The Writing Habits Analysis also encouraged engagement
since the project had everyone study themselves and their own individual writing habits. This
personal attachment related the outside research aspect of the project to myself, influencing me
to make connections between [my] own ideas and those of others (Habits).
This course has revealed that writing and genre are not static concepts, but actually
dynamic forces that have various applications outside the classroom. When I began writing my

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Discourse Community Analysis, I researched many different communities and became aware
that various forms of writing and genres exist outside of the classroom. I had always seen genres
as strict guidelines for writing pieces, however, after going through this course I recognized that
genres are not rigid and constricting but actually malleable and essential to writing. Once I began
to see that a genre is a dynamic response to and construction of recurring situation, one that
changes historically and in different social groups, that adapts and grows as the social context
changes, I had more opportunities in my writing (Devitt 580). I started to focus my Discourse
Community Analysis on the importance of the various forms of genres and the corresponding
text in the Smash Community, and how the genre becomes necessary for the existence of
Melee as a competitive game and community. Then when I worked on the Writing Habits
Analysis, these concepts about writing became applicable to my everyday life. After analyzing
my writing for a week, I noticed that I write a lot out of the classroom, and I employ many
different genres to express my writing. I also was able to examine my writing process, resulting
in the realization that when working on a complex task, such as writing, music cripples my
ability to remain focused and interested. Over the duration of this course, I not only was capable
of seeing and using writing as a dynamic tool in everyday life, but I also figured out how I
personally apply writing in my life.
The overall layout of the portfolio displays the final realization first, and then progresses
through the steps that led up to that final product. The home page is the introduction for the
reader of the website, presenting a summary of the work that I have done over the quarter, but
does not go into depth about the work. The pictures next to each summary of the analyses
correlates to the subject and theme of that paper, and the summaries of each paper switch
between the left and right sides of the screen to provide contrast. After readers see the home

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page, they will go to this cover letter, which is a reflective introduction that encapsulates the
writing portfolio and has a simple, colorful picture that contrasts the black background. The
cover letter presents readers with a brief insight into the final works, so they know the end
product before reading from the beginning. Then, the readers will read the first paper that I wrote
this quarter, Discourse Community Part I. The picture at the top of this page depicts one
character getting hit by one of the most powerful moves in Melee, the Falcon Punch, because the
first essay is always the hardest and most prone to error. The next page that will be visited is for
Discourse Community Part II, the second paper that I wrote this quarter. The picture at the top of
this page is the symbol for Super Smash Bros Melee, which is a sturdy shape, indicating the
improvement in writing, and associates the paper with Melee, the community that the paper
focuses on. The last page that readers will see is for the Writing Habits Analysis, the final paper
that I wrote before creating the online Writing Portfolio. The picture at the top is of my favorite
band, Portugal. The Man, since music is constantly in my life and my Writing Habits Analysis
focuses on the influence of music on my writing. By now, readers will have seen the progression
of my writing ability and identity throughout the quarter. Overall, my Writing Portfolio is
designed to guide readers through the advancement of my writing over this course.

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Works Cited
Branson, Tyler. Writing 2 Syllabus. 2016. Writing Dept., University of California Santa Barbara,
Santa Barbara, CA.
Devitt, Amy J. "Generalizing about Genre: New Conceptions of an Old Concept." CCC 44.4
(1993): 573-586. Print.
"Habits of Mind." Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. N.p.: CWPA, 2011. 8-9.