Stephanie's Portfolio

Cover Letter

The following portfolio is a compilation of writing from the classes Freshman Composition and Writing for Engineers. The group research report called Syllabus Study: Writing Disparity Between Different Majors, is a qualitative study on the amount of writing engineering majors and liberal arts majors do, based on the class syllabi. The midterm revision project is a new take on my original project called Evaluating a Discourse Community from an Outsider’s Perspective about the non-profit organization Make the Road New York which helps provide justice in areas such as civil rights, education and the workplace, to new yorkers. The last part of the portfolio is a list of three pieces of writing from the past year. Each piece shows my skills in writing in different styles.The first is a blog post from the Fall 2012 Freshman Composition class titled Stem Cell Research. The post is about a TED talk that talks about the benefits of stem cell research. This was my first blog post for the class. This writing style was simply an informative summary. The second piece is a blog post from Spring 2013 called Mirabelli and Gee. It compares the way two authors evaluate a discourse community. The writing style is a compare and contrast. The third piece is my research project from Fall 2012 called Wireless Internet on Cell Phones 1983-2012 that explains how wireless internet works and how it has impacted the development of phones. The writing style here is a research paper. I chose to include these three pieces in my portfolio because they show that my writing has become better over the past year. Despite these three pieces having diverse genres of writing that all have research in common. I enjoy writing about research and I have learned how to write based on research, in various types of formats from small blog posts to research reports.

Group Research Report

Midterm Revision Project

Initial Midterm Draft

Revision Proposal

Stephanie Bodre

Midterm Revision Proposal

English 21007

4 May 2013

1. Audience
The audience of my piece is a person who would like to run their own non-profit organization or would like to improve an organization they are a part of. The piece would reveal that an organization runs on efficient literacy skills.

2. Key Questions
What are the literacy skills necessary to run an organization?
How can someone make an organization successful?
Why is Make the Road New York a model for a successful organization?

3. Writerly Challenges and Concrete Goals
I would like to revise my midterm by changing the structure from a technical report to a newspaper's online blog post. The online blog post works for my project because it is relatively informal and informative. My article will be describing how the reader can run his or her own non-profit organization based on a similar model. If I were to use another format I would not be able to use the same explanatory tone.

For my midterm revision, I would like to work on breaking up my writing into smaller paragraphs. If I breakup my writing into smaller paragraphs I would be able to expand on my ideas. This revision would improve the way I get my argument across. If I do not work on creating more paragraphs I will potentially limit my ability to go further in depth with my argument. Blog posts usually use many smaller paragraphs than a few larger paragraphs because larger paragraphs make it more difficult to read.

I would also like to update my revision by removing all mechanical errors because the first time I submitted my midterm there were typos. I have realized that I need to proofread my work more. If I achieve this goal my writing will be easier for people to read without being distracted by my errors. If I were to leave my errors it would look unprofessional and show that I did not edit my work.

4. Genre Models
I chose this genre model because like my project, this blog post is based on an interview. Since it is a “how-to” article, it also provides information that the reader can use for themselves. I will revise my midterm based on this model. My revised piece will be broken up into a few paragraphs and then a transcript of the interview.

Final Revised Draft

How to Run a Successful Organization

Do you run your own organization or are a part of an organization? The key to running a successful organization is through strong literacy skills. This includes the ability to read, write and speak well. Make the Road New York is the epitome of a well-run organization. Make the Road New York, is a group of volunteers who provide justice to underprivileged citizens in New York City. I interviewed Theo Oshiro, the deputy director of Make the Road New York on the literacy skills he uses in his position.

Oshiro uses the literacy skills he has mastered from receiving a master's degree in Latin American Studies/Anthropology. Oshiro must frequently use writing skills in his position as deputy director. Since Make the Road New York is a non-profit organization, the job of the deputy director is to write grant proposals to ask for funding for various projects. Funding usually comes from the government, other foundations or caring individuals. The process of writing a grant proposal starts by reading the proposal writing guidebook called “request for proposals” that comes from the particular sponsor.

Members of Make the Road New York have methods of intercommunication through various means. Written communication is achieved through e-mail and their website. E-newsletters are sent two to four times a week regarding news releases, which show members who have made a large-scale impact such as traveling to Washington D.C. Members are reminded about upcoming meetings by phone, e-mail, and social media.

Documents that are used to provide information and feedback are found on the Make the Road New York archive page. Found on the archive page are a record of four types of articles, media coverage, press advisories, events and reports.. Media coverage includes references of the community in newspapers and news channels such as CBS, the New York Times and the Daily News. Press advisories are invitations for members to attend press conferences. Event articles are accounts of victories written from the point of view of the Make the Road New York staff. Reports are publications and research articles that feature an ongoing problem that needs to be solved such as the articles “Back Home, Back to Work: Eradicating Dandy Mold Infestation Once and for all” and “Double Fault: The Negative Impact of the US Tennis Association on Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Surrounding Communities”. Many reports on the archive page are written by members of the community, which is yet another reason why writing skills are important. These four article types show the variety of genres that are used to communicate and accomplish goals further.

Members must also know how to communicate through words and conversing during events and meetings. They must know how to use specific terminology, in this case it is related to their ongoing projects such as, organize, social justice, impact, struggle, power, democracy, immigration, and civil rights.

No matter what institution you are a part of you will need literate staff and members. You will need to master communication through written documents and verbal expression.

Interview with Theo Oshiro who is part of the Brooklyn and Queens division:
1. What is your educational background?
Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies/English Literature and Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies/Anthropology
2. How long have you been a part of this organization?
Since 2005 [which approximates to about 8 years]
3. What is your role in this organization? What kind of clients do you serve to and what do you do?
I am the deputy director. [He is not on the board of directors; he is directly underneath the co-executive directors.] My clients are low – income immigrant families. I do not work directly with the clients, but I direct the three services departments. The legal department, which is made up of twenty attorneys and advocates, that help defend those who are treated unfairly (not being paid their wage, not receiving benefits, etc.). The adult education department that provides ESL classes to those who want it and the health department to help provide low cost service options for health related issues (insurance, purchasing medication).
4. What made you want to be involved?
Foremost, I wanted to help immigrants. I became involved with Make the Road New York to help people one on one and to help pass laws [help many New Yorkers as a whole.]
5. What are the biggest events that you have been a part of?
The biggest laws that were passed because of Make the Road New York were the most recent one providing paid sick days to New Yorkers so they are able to take days off without being afraid of losing their job. The other New York State law that was passed was to provide translations in other [9] languages when purchasing prescription medication in pharmacies.
6. What writing/literary skills do you use in your role?
My main job is to write grant proposals. Since this is a non-profit organization we need to obtain funding from the government, foundations, and/or individuals.
7. What kind of documents do you reference?
I have to read a document called a request for proposals that states how the proposal is written, before writing the proposal. Other than that, I read policy documents, news articles, and journal articles.
8. What kind of documents are used to communicate between members?
Members are sent information through e-mail and newsletters. [ You can sign up for their e-mails in English or Spanish on their website General Interest (1-2 emails per month) , Action Alerts (2-4 emails per month) , MRNY In The News (Quarterly updates on our impact) , Walk for Immigrant NY (Seasonal) ,Press Advisories & Releases - 2-4 emails per week ] Annual reports to politicians [can be found on website archive from 2000 – 2011. Other documents such as media coverage and events can be found on the website.]
9. What specific vocabulary do you use as a part of Make the Road New York ?
Social justice, impact, struggle, power, democracy

Revision Self-assessment

Composing My Midterm Revision
After my conference with Andrew, I realized my original draft failed to meet its goal of persuading the reader to join the organization. I made my revised draft with the goal of telling the audience how they can run their own organization by having staff and members with strong literacy skills. I used the New York Times' online blog post as inspiration. I started the first paragraph introducing my thesis: The key to running a successful organization is through strong literacy skills. Then, I moved on to discussing the writing skills used by one of the staff members, Theo Oshiro. Next, I talk about how written communication is achieved by e-mail and after that, how written documents are uploaded onto their website. I finish up the piece with the importance of verbal communication. At the end, I provide a transcript of the interview I used.

Success for my project is defined as being written in a different genre than the original draft and having a clear main idea or thesis. My original piece did not have the main idea clear and thus failed to address the audience. The successful part of my project was stating the thesis: "The key to running a successful organization is through strong literacy skills." multiple times through out the piece. I also created a piece that looks quite different from the original piece. The original piece was broken up into categories of abstract, introduction, methodology, results,discussion, conclusion and back matter. The revised piece looks informal and is only broken up into paragraphs.

The least successful part of my piece is the fact that some paragraphs look bigger than others. I believe it is distracting to the reader and it shows that I did not provide the reader with enough information. Making more smaller paragraphs was one of my goals, but if I had more time I would have made all the paragraphs look about the same length.

Other Work

Blog Post - Stem Cell Research
Blog Post - Mirabelli and Gee
Research Project - Wireless Internet on Cell Phones 1983-2012

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