I have decided to submit Animal instincts, Umass Datmouth - Application essay, The Children's Hero, and Alternate future into my portfolio. I believe they are a good representation of the progress I have made as two of the pieces were written earlier in the semester while the last two were toward the finish.
In Animal Instincts, I had to write about an important core belief of my own within a 350-500 word, double-spaced format that should last about three minutes when read aloud. Although the first thing that would come to anyone's mind would be something on the serious side but this essay encouraged us to be positive or even have some humor in it. While telling a story, be sure to include when the belief was formed, tested or changed but most of all use a personal tone with words that are comfortable for the writer to speak.
I wanted to include this essay because it was my first literary work in thirteen years, let alone in college. Most of all, when I see this essay, I think about how this topic was created. I let the paper run away with itself and the thesis seemed to emerge from it. It's one thing to hear how it's done but to see it happening first hand on a subject your passionate about, is something quite different. It's made an impression upon me and it definitely affected my writing from there on.
On this essay I took what my peer had to say and applied it. It seemed to build up to the anecdote at the end which was originally the introduction. I think that paragraph would have worked on either end of the essay. Fitting it at the beginning would engage the reader and grab their attention while at the end it was able to leave a lasting impression on the reader and drive the point home. Reading it now, I like the warm feeling that it leaves me with giving the change merit.
The application essay to UMass Dartmouth is asking me to select a current prompt from a college or university our our choosing. It should be well written and stay within the 350-500 word allowance with the prompt clearly above the essay. Topic sentences should be included for each paragraph while a good amount of evidence, be it personal experience or simply research on the college, is recommended for validity. Lastly, a dominate impression should made upon the reader so that the writer can stand out in the crowd yet fit into their college.
My attempt to add some humor into my writing came somewhat natural when I was writing it but didn’t feel as easy on paper. The question was very open ended so it allowed me to fully express what I felt. I decided to state my case as to why I have decided to attend college after so many years away. I know I'm not the first but wanted to get a little bit about my unique story out there.
Here, I made some peer recommended changes that I did not completely agree with. I can see what my peer means by swapping some paragraphs around to be more chronologically sound however, it seems to change the flow I tried to create. After making the peer suggested changes, I feel that the point still gets across and maybe I'm just a being a little hypercritical. This essay was important for me because it represents a turning point in regards to being more open to suggestions from others.
My profile assignment challenges me to create a portrait in words through interviewing a person of interest to me as well as others. The 500-750 word guideline may seem grotesquely large at first glance but after some interviewing with a person you really do admire, it seems more constricting. An engaging lead should grasp at the reader while your nutgraf should be clear and meaningful. The body should be woven from great ideas and facts about the subject as well as a physical description of the character. Quotations and anecdotes will breath life into your person of interest. Finally, finish off with a conclusion that will leave a strong impression.
I included this because I feel it would open people eyes and get them to think. How would you handle it if you were in his shoes? Would you have taken that job dealing with the occasional suffering of children? There is something to learn from Kevin's story. Although there will always be darker days ahead of you, if you keep your head high, you will see the light beyond the darkness. Kevin did so and he helped many people along the way. He is an inspiration and he helped motivate me to attend college for Psychology.
There was some slight changes I made to this paper. I “trimmed the fat” and it seemed like it is a sharper essay. I combined and adjusted the last two paragraphs to make it more concise. I'm not sure I can agree with how some people feel about the thesis. It may need more focus but I don't think that it is to far off the mark.
Alternative Future, the trend essay, was an assignment that wanted us to analyze a recent pattern in the behaviors of a clearly identified social group or culture, that is expressing a change over time. It was to be contained within a three-to-five page, double spaced framework. The thesis should state clearly what the trend is. The thesis should not only include the specified group but a precise period of time when the trend occurred and the degree of change, whether an increase or decrease. Lastly, cite all sources in an MLA format which should meet the minimum requirement of two.
Including the trend essay is a requirement but I also feel that it is the culmination of all semester and it deserves its spot in my portfolio. Just as the Animal Instincts essay marked the beginning of my journey through English 101, The Alternatives essay should represent my polished final product as a writer. I feel that the trend essay should be interesting and informative. The graph would catch the eye while the introduction paragraph would capture the attention. The options offered in my trend essay may bring some insight to automotive illiterate individuals. The essay may even perk the interest of some people to investigate further into those vehicles. They may find that car manufacturers are designing hybrids to make more horsepower.
There was much information that needed to be added that I was unaware of. Being in the automotive field for so many years dulls my attention to the fact that not everyone knew what an OEM was. Although that was explained in my second draft, I left the question in the lead paragraph as it was. Some people felt that it was to broad but I feel that anyone reading about hybrids will fully know what that question is trying to do. I cleaned up some of the issues in regards to quoting correctly and making it easier to read.
In conclusion, I believe that the final draft of each essay should be read in their original form as I have left them because it demonstrates (at least to me) how far along I have come in English 101. To redraft another copy would ruin the progression of learning. Would you change an entry in your journal just to make it sound better after a year of pouring your soul into it? It is a reflection of you as a writer over time.
I feel like I have come a long way as a technical writer. I didn’t feel like I needed to perfect much when it came to creative writing. I found out along the way that I always feel like I missed the mark when it came to nailing down the focus and staying within the structure of the assignment. Do most creative writers feel like a caged wild animal when confining their talents as I do? It was always a struggle for me to put out good work and many times I feel like I fell short. Every time there was comments to be read I usually saw “thoughtful” or “concrete” but alas I never did get to see the one word I was hoping for...Promising.