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Jala Robinson

Professor Ingram
8/5/14

Final Portfolio Essay
It was July 1
st
, 2014, at 11:30am and I was stepping foot into my first college level English class. I
honestly didnt think that I would make it this far in my education. There were always those people that
doubted me every step of the way, but earning my high school diploma and receiving my letter of
acceptance into UNC Charlotte proved them wrong. I knew that once I came to the campus, it was time
to work hard and stay dedicated to my studies. I was skeptical about what my English class would be
like because I was so used to the way high school English was. In my high school English classes, the
teachers were so strict on what went on in the class, such as what the correct answers were, editing
our own papers, sitting straight up and paying attention to them teach the whole class period, and
grading that didnt make any sense to anyone. The differences between high school and college English
were so drastic that it is impossible to deny the love of college English much more than high school
English. In college, you are able to have free discussions and talk about why you feel a certain way
about a topic, you can peer edit in groups and go to the writing resource center for additional
assistance, and it is easier to get close to your professors.
This essay explains everything a reader will need to know about my e-Portfolio. If there is ever
something in my website that seems confusing, this essay should clear everything up. My goal in this
essay is to clearly and concisely describe my e-Portfolio so that anyone who reads it will get a pure
understanding of what it is all about. I feel that this e-Portfolio will truly show how much I have
improved and gained strength in my writing. I included the writing in the header about comparing
English class to the ocean because that is what it feels like to me. Everyone will experience ups and
downs during their English class, but at the end of the day, it will all smooth out and you will end up
learning a lot out of that session. When you look out to ocean, it seems like it is never ending. The
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

knowledge of writing is never ending to me, you are constantly learning something new about it.
Whether it is how to skillfully give feedback, or checking for content, there is always something new to
writing. My e-Portfolio shows how being about to have free range on my writings has made me a better
and more strategic writer.
HOME
The design of my portfolio is more personal with visuals that each express something about me
or go along with the writing assignment on that page. I felt that my website needed a personal touch
about me since most of the writings were of my personal experiences. I knew that a black and white
theme would have been more sophisticated, but I think that my personal touch made the writings pop
just a bit more and showed my personality. I start my website out with a short paragraph that describes
a little bit about me, but not too much because the reader will soon read more about me. I also include
hashtags that state, #UTOP14, #UNCC18, #NURSING, because these are my goals that I hope to
achieve. At this point, I am extremely close to accomplishing my first goal of completing UTOP this year.
Choosing to come to UTOP was one of the best decisions I had ever chosen because it has set me ahead
of the rest of the freshman coming in in the fall, and I also get a chance to get familiar with the campus
and my resources. My second goal is to graduate from UNC Charlotte in the spring of 2018. I know that
it will be hard work, but I know that with my family and friends here behind me, I can do anything. My
final goal is to become not only a nurse, but a Nurse Anesthetist. I want people to know that whenever
they are in need, there is someone there to help them and not make them feel like they are alone. I
particularly want to work with children because they always seem to have a way to make me smile even
when I am down. Finally, I added a quote by Stephen King that my best friend and I always go by, which
is The scariest moment is always just before you start. I decided to include this quote because I feel
that it ties the whole topic of going from high school to college together. College may seem scary right
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

before you are supposed to start, but once you start your day, it will all feel natural and like a new
beginning.
BLOGS
I decided to put my blogs as my next tab. I think that they were the best option to put next
instead of trying to go right into my major writings. I feel that they express my opinions on what I feel
about the topics that we were required to answer. Within my blogs is my midterm that we completed
two weeks into the course. I was nervous about it, but I knew that I would be able to complete it. It
enabled me to go back over everything we had learned so far and analyze it step by step. Some of the
topics we blogged about was to talk about my first week in college, how I felt about how I would
accomplish the key concepts, and what type of literacy we wrote about in our literacy narrative. The
blogs also show a progress in my writing because we have written blogs every Wednesday during this
course. I feel that every week my blogs were better and better, producing a more in depth answer to
the questions that were provided. I used to just answer the question and not really put my opinion into
the answer. Later in the course, I started to go deeper within my blogs and express every sense that
occurred in the writing, such as in my blog post #5 when I wrote
Readers will be aware only of what you share with them in the reflective
elements. This sentence caught my eye in the reading because the readers wont really know
what to look for unless you tell them. Say that they are looking over your e-Portfolio and
looking at your drafts, then your final drafts. They may just see a difference in the way you
wrote it, not necessarily how you changed those mistakes. I want to be able to reflect on how
I personally changed my writing habits from each draft to the final, every step included.
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

In this post I was able to truly reflect on the reading by including a quote and discussing my reasons of
selecting that quote. Finally, I chose to include a picture of a piano in the background because it is what
describes me as a person and writing. I love to play the piano, and at the same time, writing is like
playing. There are so many different combinations of notes you can put together, nothing is ever the
same. Just like writing, everyone has their own opinion and way of writing.
LITERACY NARRATIVE
My literacy narrative was my first college English paper. This was one of the hardest papers I
had to write during this course only because I was so nervous while I was writing it. The changes
between high school and college English are so significant that you already know the grading will be
different, but you arent quite sure yet. I wasnt sure if I was adding enough content, details, imagery, or
if I was grammatically correct. I quickly had to put all of my worries behind me and just focus on writing
a well- developed paper. The first artifact I included on this page to the left was my timeline that we
completed in class. In order to decide on the event or experience that we would want to write about,
the timeline activity helped up to put the event in sequence to provide us assistance when writing our
papers. The timeline helped me choose a more important event that occurred to me during the
summer heading into my twelfth grade year of high school. This activity taught me how to spread out
my events in a paper to make it make sense. When I am given a broad topic to discuss about in a paper,
I immediately think about a timeline to choose which event I could talk about the longest and easiest.
The second artifact that I decided to include on this page to the right is the visual activity that
we also did in class. After the timeline activity, this second one really helped me put my paper together.
We would sit with our eyes closed and listen to what Professor Ingram would tell us to envision. She
would tell us to, Look around you and try to remember what we sawNow use your other senses and
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

remember what you heard, smelled, or maybe tastedLastly, think about how you felt or what
thoughts were running through your head at the that exact moment. I would write down everything I
could remember, even if I wasnt sure if that really happened or not. When I came down from the
spike I felt instant pain...I smelt sweat from everybody herding around meHow could I get hurt
my senior year? As soon as I got back to my room, I started writing and couldnt stop. All of my
thoughts and memories were flowing out onto my paper. If it wasnt for this visual activity, I dont think
my papers would be as good as they are now. My papers have truly improved because they now include
imagery details that help the reader to feel like they are experiencing everything I am. Instead of me
just writing about what happened in my papers, I want the reader to be engaged throughout the entire
paper and want to read more.
I also decided to include my first draft of my literacy narrative because it shows how every is not
perfect and they make mistakes. No ones first draft is ever perfect and they also need someone else to
help them make corrections or look over for content. I knew that I was going to have grammatical
errors, but I didnt want to only focus on those when the grading was going to come down to the
content of my paper. From this draft, I learned that I would need to start checking over my paper and
rereading it myself out loud. I used to just write a paper and not look back over it. Once we started
having to read our papers out loud to our small groups, I would start catching my mistakes as I read.
This draft helped me gain feedback on what I wanted to be included more maturely in my paper. I feel
like you had more to say about the day you got hurt: feelings, thoughts. Bring all your important
moments in sequence together, you can tell the true importance of volleyball to you. I took the
feedback from Tayler presented above in more consideration because she helped me gather the
thoughts that I couldnt put into words that I wanted included in my paper. As I went on from this draft,
I also found out what I wanted to focus on in my next draft. I decided to trim down my paper to just the
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

two hours I had summer workouts, the moment I had my injury, and the effects on me emotionally and
physically from the incident.
The last thing in included on this tab was the final copy of my literacy narrative paper titled I
Now Talk to None of Them. The prompt for this essay was, Pick the most interesting, funniest, or most
crucial event from your first draft to focus on. Rewrite your narrative about this particular event. This
narrower focus will allow you to engage your writer in different ways. Youll still want to use relatable
details, but try experimenting with sensory detail and dialogue, too. Writing this paper wasnt hard, but
it wasnt easy either. It didnt take me long to decide what I wanted to write about because this
experience hit me hard physically and emotionally. I decided to focus on the event when I tore my ACL
and both my left and right meniscus in volleyball summer workouts heading into my senior year of high
school. My goal for this paper was to add as much imagery and emotion as I could. I feel that this was a
paper that was meant for me to go as deep as I could into my emotional side, even though I dont like to
talk about it. Sometimes when you write, you have to find a way to get out of your comfort zone to
become a better writer.
PORTRAIT OF A WRITER
Going into this essay gave me quite a hard time. For this assignment, you will write an essay
that answers the 11 Central Inquiry Questions from the first page of our course syllabus. You will write
multiple drafts of this assignment, so pay attention as you write: as you draft, you will notice attributes,
ideas, opinions, habitsgood and badthat you might want to include in your essay. The prompt,
which is presented above, made me think a long time about what I wanted to write about, or compare
writing to. It took some serious critical thinking to be able to process what the central inquiry questions
meant to me and how they applied to me. I had to figure out how to answer the questions, without
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

directly answering them in an essay. I then began to brainstorm and started to think of different ideas.
The artifact at the top of this tab shows how I started to brainstorm and begin to construct my paper. I
usually start my essays by writing them on a sheet of paper first to get my thoughts flowing with ideas
and to put them down on paper. Just like the article Shitty First Drafts states, All good writers write
them. This is how the end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts. I used to try to make
my first drafts the best because in high school we never really peer edited them or had more than one
draft, so I would try to make that one the best one. Writing this essay on paper first as my first draft
helped me to get all my thoughts out and make a foundation for my next draft. When I am able to see
what I have wrote down instead of typed, it helped me analyze it better and see what I want and dont
want included.
MORE: ARTIFACTS
The artifacts completed throughout my English 1101 class have each benefited me in their own
way. If it wasnt for them, I think I would still be struggling in my writings today. The first artifact on the
top left is my feedback artifact that talks about how the process of my literacy narrative is going. During
this process, I learned that Im not as bad as I thought I was... I used to think that my writing was
terrible and had no purpose in it. The feedback that Professor Ingram gave me was very uplifting and
changed my whole perspective of writing. She said, We can all be good writers. Its not a trait that
some people are just born with. I felt like people who were good writers was because they had the
trait in their family to be a good writer. It wasnt until this feedback that told me otherwise. This was
just another benefit of being able to take this writing class.
Another artifact that made a difference in my writing was the notes that we took on Rhetorical
Awareness. While we were going over the notes step by step, I had no idea what we were talking about.
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

I had never heard context be broken down into several pieces. When I found out that this was what this
course was going to be about, it worried me. I could hardly understand what it meant now, how was I
going to write papers that interpreted that. Going deeper into the notes we started talking about genre.
I knew that there were many types, but the amount that there really is is overwhelming. I included this
artifact because I taught me that it doesnt matter what you are writing, everything has a genre. It also
taught me how to analyze writings or pieces of a writing. After learning the notes and really getting an
understanding of them, I was able to use what I learned to completely break down and analyze
someone elses e-Portfolio. The final artifact on this page is my Reader Response Letter #2. In this
reading response we were required to read a chapter from our writers books called Responding
Really Respondingto Other Students Writing. The main thing I took from this reading that was
important to me was they broke down the process of editing someones paper to make it less
intimidating. Editing used to a scary process to me because I always felt like I wasnt doing a good
enough job or that I couldnt catch everything I needed to. I learned that any feedback I can provide is
valuable, no matter if it may be a grammatical error or based on their content. After reading this
chapter I was able to become a better reader and not just an editor.
MORE: WILD CARDS
There have been many activities throughout this course that have benefited me and made me
the writer I have become. I have grown and matured intellectually and am proud to now say that. The
first wild card I chose was my Reading Response Letter #3. In this letter I talked about what it really
meant to write personal expressive writings and if it mattered in a personal essay if you should be
accurate or to share the personal memory. This reading grabbed my attention because I felt very
passionate about it. I also made a connection to my literacy narrative because it was a personal
experience and in order for a reader to connect, you need to be personal and use imagery. I dont
Jala Robinson
Professor Ingram
8/5/14

understand that if you arent personal and passionate about something, how can you call that writing a
personal narrative? I dont believe that you need to be accurate, just truthful with your feelings and
thoughts. The facts dont make the paper, you do. The second wild card I chose was the warm up
where we talked about what we were deciding to put into our portrait of a writer essay. There was an
important sentence that I wanted in my e-Portfolio. In the portrait of a writer essay we were to answer
the question Who am I, the writer. My answer was, I feel that the answer to that question will
continue to grow along with the course. I dont think there is ever an ending to learning who you are
as a writer. I know that I am constantly learning about writer, whether it be in my classes or out in the
real world at my job. There can be answers on how you are as a writer at that moment in time, but your
answer will soon begin to grow as you grow as a writer. My answer to who am I as a writer is still the
same as I wrote in my essay , but I know over the time I am in college, it will change for the better.
I believe that I deserve an A on my e-Portfolio because I think that I clearly explained everything
that you will find within my e-Portfolio. I tried my best to make it make sense and easy to find
something if needed. I used the special mode of communication in order to make my e-Portfolio flow
and not have everything piled on top of each other. I also add in the linguistic and visual modes of
communication because I felt that they were very important to include. I had to use linguistic in order
for the reader to understand what I was trying to present to them. The visuals and gestures were for
the reader to enjoy looking at an image of what my writing pieces talk about instead of just reading with
no visuals. I followed the grading scale for an A e-Portfolio and based my criteria off of that. I feel that
all the time and effort I put into this e-Portfolio has gained me an A and I am very proud of it.