Kari's Portfolio

Cover Letter

This has been an interesting semester of writing. I have never had a class so dependent on the internet before taking Writing for Engineers, but the website definitely has shown its advantages in and out of the classroom. It is a centralized place where all the course documents can be found, and with the ability to easily edit any page, which Andrew does throughout the day, any significant events during class can be documented publicly so that anyone who was absent or anyone who missed a detail, can check this hub of classroom activity at any time. This transparency makes the process of obtaining information so much simpler. Another reason why I enjoyed this experience is that I can look back on my contribution whenever I want very easily, unlike my past English classes, for which I have to dig through boxes and folders and papers to find anything that I wrote. This doesn't just make my work easily accessible to me though, for the website is open to any internet user. Because of that, I want to make sure that what I present on this website shows the best of me as a writer. The three pieces of writing that I chose to put in my portfolio include two blog posts from this class and an essay that I wrote for my English class last semester. Although they definitely don't show the best of me as a person, I think that these pieces do a good job representing me as a writer.

When I am writing a technical piece, I try to clearly set forth my argument by outlining my thought process. I like to think that I justify my thoughts and support my arguments with facts, but the fact that I am me and can only ever see things from my point of view biases me into thinking what I'm say is obvious when sometimes it's not obvious at all. My first piece, Blog Post 3, is my attempt to writing technically in a comparison of the research methods of Sean Branick and John Swales. I thought my ideas were clear, even if my organization was a little amiss, but if it's not clear, please do comment how you feel about it. I thought that it was interesting how the end of this piece clashes with my Midterm Draft because I wrote,

In my midterm project, I do not want to redefine what a discourse community is or challenge Swales’ definition because I do not feel qualified to make such a bold endeavor in the field of sociolinguistics, a field that I am hardly educated in compared to Swales.

When I wrote my Midterm draft, I realized that I challenged Swales' definition, meaning that I felt that Swales' six categories may be in need of improvement. It entertained me to see that I tried to do exactly what I "did not feel qualified to."

In my second piece, Blog Post 1, I also try to clearly explain my ideas, this time through analogy, which I think is very useful when used correctly because it relates something unfamiliar to something that is probably more familiar to the reader and helps them understand what is unfamiliar. Towards the end of this blog post, I started to write from a more personal viewpoint, which is something I do often with any assignment within reason. I try to be honest when writing a personal essay, which can reveal some uncomfortable truths about myself, but I do so because writing helps me learn about myself as a person.

My last piece, the untitled essay, was from an assignment that was meant to be a definition essay. I'm pretty sure that the teacher didn't want such a personal essay, but I wanted to make it work because I always find that it's easier and more enjoyable to write from my own experiences. This topic was very self-reflective and refreshing because it questioned the quality of my character for a large portion of my life. This essay is very revealing on what kind of person I was and am, and I'd like to leave this piece of me here for those who want to find out what it is, especially since it's probably different than what anyone has seen of me in the classroom.

Midterm Project

Group Final Research Report

Three Pieces Written by Me

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