Portfolio Cover Letter

Dear Professor Zugnoni and other UWP1 instructors,

Thank you very much to take time read this letter and my final portfolio.

The purpose of the UWP 1 class is to help me be prepared for the writing tasks I will experience in my college courses. In this class, I have read lots of readings of different genres and written various types of papers. This course teaches me a lot of transferable knowledge that can help my writing in my university education and even future career. For me personally, the most significant idea I learned in this course is the importance of audience awareness.

In order to discuss the understanding of audience, I will first talk about one particular assignments specification in this course. I noticed that there is one major difference between assignments specifications in this UWP 1 course and that of my previous writing courses. In this course, the groups of intended audiences for each paper were not fixed, so that I had the opportunities to choose the type of audience I was more interested in. In fact, the assignment specification really provided opportunities for students to develop on their audience awareness.

The design of such assignment specification is aim to improve our skills and strategies of addressing audience properly. However, I did not understand the significance of audience awareness very well before completing my three major assignments. The experience of writing Assignment 4, as a particular example,  really helped me understand the idea of  audience awareness. This assignment is a two-thousand-word research paper. My final draft of this assignment got a grade of “Unsatisfactory,” and the instructor’s feedback indicated that I was unclear on my intended audience. In the process of revising this paper, I found that I almost forget who my audience were. Consequently, I  switched back and forth between different groups of audiences, and it made my paper become very confusing. Therefore, I spent lots of time finding the sentences that made my audience unclear. Then I revised those sentences to ensure that they address one specific group of audience, students. After that, I tailored my argument and wording to make them approach students. Finally, my whole paper is a lot clearer and it makes more sense.

The experience of wring Assignment 4 helped  me understand the idea of how important addressing audience is. I used to define good writing as papers with focused controlling idea and effective organization. Now I know that the demonstration of audience awareness is an indispensable feature of a good paper, otherwise  the paper is confusing and misleading no matter how good the central idea and organization is. I learned that it is extremely important to address the needs and interests of my audience, and I need to adjust my paper style for my audience. In other words, I had to revise my diction, sentence types, evidence, and thesis statements over and over again to ensure that they address knowledge base and standpoint of my audience. This idea that I learned in this UWP 1class can be implemented in other courses as well. For example, I will take an upper Economics course next quarter that may require students to write research papers to analyze the development of modern economics. Therefore, the understanding of audience awareness I learned this quarter will help my paper become clear and persuasive.

Assignment 4 is a crucial part of the final portfolio, and I put a lot of effort into it. It is definitely representative of what I have learned because I actually learned the significance of  audience awareness through the experience of writing it. Like I said, a strong understanding of audience is the most important idea I have learned this quarter, but I have also developed on other aspects as well. Assignment 4 is a paper that evaluates my general ability as a writer, so it demonstrates my abilities to organize, analyze, integrate sources, research and revise.

As for another part of my final portfolio, I decide to choose the literacy narrative because I think it is a better demonstration of my analyzing ability as a writer. I chose option 2 for this paper, so I had to analysis my original text, and I have never written a paper like this in the past. This writing experience helped me grasp the method of analysis thought the experience, I concentrated on developing analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of my original text, and I compared my original narrative’s opening to the course reader of Stephen King’s piece to make my analysis more powerful. Therefore, I chose to include my literacy narrative since it emphasizes my analyzing skills.

In short, the UWP  1 class is really a special experience for me this quarter. My instructors are great and I really appreciate that. As a student, I learned lots of useful techniques and made some new friends at the same time. I do enjoy the whole process and I will keep improving as a writer.

Sincerely yours,

Mengji Xie

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