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Dear Malcolm, Id like to start off by saying how much Ive enjoyed this class experience.

Being an Engineering major, its difficult for me to find time for introspective thought and reading that doesnt consist of lab reports and technical writing. This class was a breath of fresh air for me, and it gave me the chance to hone my writing ability which I feel will be an invaluable tool for me in the future in a world where Engineers struggle with writing (seriously though). At times it may seem that I wasnt paying attention, but trust me when I say that I learned something new every day we had class. I feel that because of your free form way of teaching, the little tweaks to my writing have not only improved my written voice, but have made it more mature. The EPortfolio that I present to you is the culmination of my work this year in Honors English 1103. Now I dont want this to be thought of as the end of a semester, but instead as the beginning of a grand adventure as my theme suggests. Each assignment that I chose was placed in order of completion to symbolize the entire adventure of this first semester, and each page details the work that Ive completed and my thoughts on each of them.

As one of the first assignments that Ive written in college, the Literacy Narrative offered me a chance to create a fun story that was both interesting and, at times humorous. The assignment showcases the foundation of my writing knowledge at the beginning of this semester. Because this was the first piece of evidence of my high school writing style, it wasnt necessarily my best piece of work, but it shows just how far Ive grown in my writing ability and how mature my thoughts have grown. As I recounted the story of my first German language class, I wrote about the feeling and thoughts that I had at the time. While learning a new language was

frustrating at first, I grew to love it because it challenged me in new ways, and I feel that this applies directly to my transition into college which has been plagued by potholes and rough patches. Not only was this type of writing fun and easy, but it was refreshing too. All throughout high school our writing was regimented and focused on a set goal, but this assignment piqued my interest into a world of writing for pleasure. I can remember myself thinking that if this was what college writing was about, I was really going to enjoy my time at UNC Charlotte. As I progressed through the year I really began to enjoy the informal writing assignments that we had. These daily entries not only made me think differently about some of the assignments we were working on, such as the extended inquiry project, but they forced me to ask myself questions concerning the progress of my work. Once we had shifted into the inquiry project stage I really began to enjoy myself. There was something magical about being left in charge of your own paper that looked into something you really wanted to learn about; it was as if we were left to our own devices and encouraged to research anything of interest. Its because of these thoughts that I would choose the Extended Inquiry Project as my favorite assignment. I thought my writing was relatively good at first, but as soon as I began looking over my first draft and topic proposal, I began to see that I could make some dramatic improvements in my writing. The amazing thing about this process was that whenever we turned in a draft, you would provide some positive yet constructive criticism. The feedback from each assignment really helped push me to work harder on my next draft, making me attempt looking for all the things that could be made better, more fleshed out, and pursued in greater detail. While my topic proposal started me off with looking into how technology was changing the job landscape, I quickly began to stem off from this with the help of your feedback. While my initial inquiries were well thought out, I didnt answer all of them and many that I did answer turned out to offer

many more questions. In my pursuit of answers I began to ask the same questions in different ways, to astounding results. What I originally thought was a straight forward look into how technology was changing todays jobs, evolved into a deep argument concerning morality and economic success. The questions that I started out with pushed me into towards my next few drafts in an attempt to find answers. In my second draft I sought to clarify what some of the opposing arguments were saying, and I looked into how automation was directly affecting the white collar industry such as journalism and telemarketing. While it was a long process having to go through research all over again, it was gratifying once I could pull the information together and organize it into a cohesive paper that looked into the progressive change of the job landscape of the world. While your feedback made the largest impression on my writing, I cant say that it was all due to you. The support and insight of some of my peers helped me to nail down my topic and their comments have done nothing but provide me with useful pointers and advice for my writing. While my peer review wasnt extremely helpful in and of itself, the process of reading through another persons essay helped me formulate my own thoughts and showed me what I could change. As it turns out one of my worst assignment actually helped me the most in my inquiry. Ill admit that I didnt work too hard on my research presentation, but what it lacked in originality, it made up for in perspective. What I mean by this is that through research for my presentation, I found new information regarding the opposing arguments of some of the articles I had previously read, and they not only helped change my perspective on the topic, but they showed me how broad the argument was. I began looking for articles that argued for the necessity of technology in the growth of humanity, how human kind needed to have a positive outlook if we were to ever reach the same type of exponential growth that we had seen in

previous decades. I learned about what the future would look like in a positive light, rather than an ominous one. What I learned from this one assignment, changed the way I wrote the rest of my essay. With some new excitement in my project I was able to actively seek out more information that I could use and I actually enjoyed it. While it was probably my least favorite assignment of the year, it unexpectedly helped me improve my essay, which makes me think that there was some sort of overarching plan to all these assignments (Malcolm youre so clever). I would say that the most important lesson that Ive learned from your class is to never stop writing. Like any great tool or skill if I quit writing profoundly, Im going to have more problems in life than I already do. My greatest asset to writing is that I always try to look for a different way to do things. I hate the idea that my writing will sound boring and I try my best to vary the way my essays sound. This applies to my topics for papers as well. I mean who wants to write about the same old thing for different classes without adding a little flare and style to it? I certainly dont. While I may be relatively creative, I feel that my biggest problem in writing is my word choice. I believe that if I varied my diction and syntax more I could be a much more captivating writer, and so I try very hard to find new words to use. Sometimes I feel as though my writing gets repetitive and predictable, so in the future I plan on focusing on inputting different words that I rarely use in order to spice things up. While this is a problem for me now, I feel that I can easily fix this so long as I continue to read. As Ive mentioned before in class, I love reading yet rarely have the time to devote entirely to it. I feel that the best way to learn new words and increase ones knowledge of them is to read. This is certainly more enjoyable than reading a dictionary which, lets face it, no one actually enjoys doing.

As I look over my writing from a few weeks ago, I cant help but smile at how much I have changed. While I may have come in as a high school level writer, I have grown to encompass mature and articulate thought that not only improves my writing, but helps get the point across. For example, if you were to look at both my Literacy Narrative and my final Inquiry Project side by side, you would see a stark difference in my writing voice. This year I learned tips for writing that cut around the B.S. that pervades most writing classes and cut straight to the point. Through your assignments I learned some humility as I compared my work to the great work of others, and I began to see how others could help improve my writing. After the first day I began to see that English class wasnt as boring as it had been in high school. Suddenly I realized that I could learn and have fun. Thus I am extremely glad that I began my freshman year of college in your English class. I hope to see you around in the next few years, and if I ever need some writing help youll be the first person Ill call.


Daniel Milde