Dear Portfolio Readers,
The purpose of this letter is to inform you on the progress I have made during the quarter in UWP 1 this Spring. Coming into this class, I believed my writing skills were average. I knew that I was not at a professional level because I have always struggled when it came to writing papers. I accepted the fact that my writing was not perfect. I knew that I wanted to improve on different aspects of writing because I was going into the professional work field where advanced writing skills are required. Through out the quarter I have improved in several ways. I would say that I have paid close attention to audience, given myself enough time to work on several drafts, and I have avoided writing the way that I speak.
Before this class, I don’t think that I had ever paid attention to my audience unless it was explicitly explained. In reality there is always an audience when it comes to writing anything. It is important to know ones audience to get our message out, whether we are calling for change, making an argument, or anything else. For example if one is writing a letter to a professional, we need to avoid writing in slang. One, it does not look professional and your message will most likely be ignored. I have learned that it is essential to know your audience especially going into the professional working field. Most professions nowadays require advanced writing skills. If one writes unclearly, you will not be getting the job.
Coming into this class, I have also learned the importance of giving myself enough time to go over papers. Before I would write one draft and I would be done. The problem with that is I turned in papers with many mistakes, which could have been caught if I had gone over it a few times. I have gotten in the rhythm to write several drafts. I used to think that I was intelligent because I only needed to write one draft. I learned from the author Anne Lamott, that everyone writes “shitty first drafts.” There is no problem with that. I actually like my first drafts because now I can carve it out, edit, and make my papers more cohesive. I think that editing is the most fun part about writing because you get al of your ideas down, and then you go back and catch mistakes, or you change things because you don’t like them anymore. Giving myself more time to write papers not only has helped my grades, but it has helped me improve as a writer.
I would say that the most important thing I have learned this year is to avoid writing the same way you speak. I mean that I used to write whatever came out of my mouth. The problem I had when I did this was that I would receive a lot of comments on my papers, which said I had awkward sentences. The most awkward part about that was I didn’t understand what that meant. After asking, I found out that writing and speaking are not the same. If we all wrote the same way we spoke, we would not make sense. This is still the most difficult task to do. I passively write what comes out of my mouth. I think that with time and practice I will stop this bad habit.
This quarter has been a quarter where I have grown as a writer. Writing is not an easy task that comes easy for myself. I have learned many skills that have helped me improve on different levels as a writer. I have accepted that my first drafts will not be perfect, and I have accepted that. I hope that you can see the improvements I have made.