To Whom It May Concern:
The following works are a showcase of how much I have improved as a writer over the course of one semester. I walked into the class conscious of my current skills I have acquired from past writing classes I've taken in high school. As I became more aware of my strengths, however, I also became mindful of my weaknesses. I've always been discouraged from writing because of my troubles with my diction, grammar, and syntax so I knew this course would be challenging. But I strived to see these challenges as motivation to get better. My last few months of my writing class paved my path to improvement. Every WRT 102 class was a brick of progression that encouraged me to analyze the inner workings of a writer, to see how one presents information and analyses sufficiently and produce personal opinion without bias. In this portfolio, I present my progression as a writer through a film analysis, textual analysis and a research essay.
The first assignment was a film analysis I found to be both demanding and entertaining. My professor first introduced us a film review of the movie, Monster (2003), by David Denby. Denby's review successfully analyzed the intricate details of the film, lacing his own personal opinions about the movie subtly and professionally. My professor wanted my class to do the same thing but with a film of our own choosing. I immediately chose the French film, Les Intouchables (2011) because of the impact it gave when I first saw it. In this paper, I discussed the brilliant performance of the actors, the soundtrack and the thematic clash of light and dark in the film. I learned the basics of researching, as well as effectively creating a point of view using correct citations, quotes, and analytic tools to create a substantial film review. I also learned about proper organization of the topics I wanted to discuss, thus giving a more understandable, detailed film review that deviates from a basic plot summary.
The second paper in this portfolio is a textual analysis of Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World, more specifically his chapter about genetically modified potatoes. This assignment challenged me to give my readers my perspective through a detailed analysis of the a central theme I believe that was essential to the overall text. I wrote about Michael Pollan's use of the archetype of Dionysus and Apollo, correlating the order and chaos within the cultivation of the potato. The text already contained Pollan's point of the view of the topic, so the main challenge was to not reiterate his opinion but to base an effective argument using his interpretations as support and with no bias. I learned how to create a good thesis statement, use outside sources, and cite them correctly.
The pinnacle of my WRT 102 experience is the research essay. I enjoyed this assignment the most because of the freedom it allows when it comes to choosing a research topic. My professor made it clear that my class and I would spending a lot of time in this assignment so it would be wise to choose a topic that genuinely interested us. Therefore, I chose the topic of comic books and how it can be interpreted as modern mythology. However, this freedom needed discipline. While writing the essay, I had to keep in mind that it was not some kind of blog post that contained rantings and ravings of the superheroes I liked. I had to dedicate a lot of my time trying to keep everything professional by integrating authoritative sources that would help me prove my point that superheroes from comic books can help shape people's moral understanding. My research would have never reached its completion without the help of the University's Librry databases which allowed me to see all scholarly articles about the topics I've discussed and also the peer review and conference sessions. I've always been afraid of criticisms but the review sessions allowed me to welcome comments from others and accept them to improve my paper.
In this portfolio, I've sought an overall minimalist design that I believed to be sensible and sophisticated at the same time. I have included a few photos along with the hyperlinked papers to give a perspective of how I perceived the assignments when writing them. Along with my works from Writing 102, I've also incuded the rest of my undergraduate work, community service experiences and my art. I am an individual that enjoys the beauty in film, art, literature, anything in life and I am convinced that this portfolio reveals what I see. I am dedicated to give a detailed review of a film that I greatly love, a proper analysis of the interesting world of botany and an enjoyable research essay about my cherished world of superheroes. I believe that I have demonstrated my improvements successfully with this papers and I hope to develop more in the future.
Thank you for reading.
Jencel Aprille Abuan