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Reflective Letter English 220

It has been an enjoyable class this entire semester. I really feel I have improved my
writing from the beginning of the semester to this point. In English 220 I learned a few things
including making the thesis statement and introduction more relevant to the topic instead of a
broad statement. Another thing learned is how to use my sources properly in my paper starting
by introducing the quote or source, explaining it and finishing with my decision of agreeing,
disagreeing or both. The best part about this class, it all tied together at the end. All three
projects had the same theme, education; project 1 and project 2 helped me develop my own ideas
about education, to the finish with a manifesto for project 3. It was also very cool that I was able
to use material learned from my political science and macroeconomics class in all three of my
projects.
I started to note my progress when I went back to edit my first three projects. I started
first by editing the introduction in project 1. I got rid of all the useless background information,
for example, I replaced, Plato is one of the worlds most famous authors of all times with
Plato in his Allegory of the Cave, presents us with the big idea of education. This helped me
get rid of all the unnecessary information about Plato and instead dig in to what he saying about
education and my interpretation. I also went back to revise all my sources and quotes I used in
this project. I was able to use the handout They Say I Say as a model to reframe all my quotes.
For most of my quotes all I had to do was change the order; introduction, quote, paraphrase, and
explain why I agree. I did add a lot more detail to why I agreed with it and how this was relevant
to the topic and my argument. In other words I better explained why my quote backs up my
thesis statement. That was one of my issues when I first turned in project 1.
Project 2 I didnt have much editing done to it. I went back and looked for grammar
errors. One thing I did do a couple of times was to express my points more thoroughly. I found
that writing a blog was a lot easier than the normal academic essay. The blog focused on my
ideas on how to reform our educational system in the United States. For this project it was very
important to gather data about education around the world and in the United States. I was able to
gather some valuable information from the OECD website that has information about 15 years
olds test scores around the world. Other data that I gathered was about TAG the #1 school in
America. I did this in order to get information about what program this school offers. This
helped me promote ideas in my blog such as senior trips, retreats, AP classes and other activities
to get kids involved in school. The fact of using Weebly to write a blog, being able to use
pictures, change the format, font, text style and colors made this project very fun to develop.
This has also been the highest project grade in a college English class for me.
Project 3 was my favorite project. Like I mentioned before, all the projects and what I
have learned in college helped me in this paper. Even before this project was assigned I already
had ideas of why education was important, all because of project one and two. For this project I
started by using Maria Montessoris idea of education and using that to disagree with her. By
disagreeing with her I was able to explain why which was a threshold for my idea of education
and why its important, the economy. I did a lot of research, to this point another thing I learned
is to be firm with my position and use the sources I gathered to back up my point. This is why
my research was important, to provide the credibility to my argument. I was able to use concepts
of Macroeconomics such as opportunity cost, marginal propensity to consume, GPD and
multiplier effect to explain my arguments and how they are relevant to my argument. For
example, I used the opportunity cost to explain how this prevents people from committing a
crime. The reason being is simple, it all has to do with economics. The opportunity cost of
committing a crime is higher than the opportunity cost of getting an education. Meaning that
you lose more by committing a crime than getting an education. For the editing portion of this I
went back and looked to make sure my quotes were properly introduced, explained and show its
relevance. It is a little bit more difficult because this project has not been graded yet.
SLOs are the key things we needed to learn. In my SLOs I explain in greater detail how
I applied each one for the specific project. For this portfolio I went back and revised all of them,
from Project 1 to Project 3. The one that had the most editing was SLO 1 for project 1. I added
a lot more detail and proof of what I did to get my audience for both part A and B. I also went
back and explained why the things I did were important, for example, the following quote is
from SLO 1 for project 1. I separated my paper into several categories: Introduction, Educated,
Uneducated, Plato's View on Government and Conclusion. Because of the different categories, I
was able to stay on track in every topic. For example, for the educated, I explained that this is a
person who knows about natural rights and human world affairs.
Finally, I would like to thank you Ms. Alapin for all your support and help throughout the
semester. This is the first class Ive felt that I have improved the most in my writing. Your class
taught me how to take a different approach to writing, as you mentioned at the beginning of the
semester, break it down. This was key to me, because I actually learned how to take my time to
develop a thesis, do my research, edit and present a good document without the stress. Secondly,
the multimodal approach to the class was very impressive. I must admit, for project 1 part B I
was worried because I didnt have ideas, or I had ideas but I thought they were not good enough,
by project 2 I was more confident to use something like Jing. And for project 3 I actually did a
picture video with my own voice. Finally, one wonderful thing about this class was the variety
and diversity of views on the same topic. At first I thought that many people would have the
same ideas as I do, on what is education and why its important. After discussing the readings I
learned about other points of view, some of which at first I thought were wrong, and learned why
people hold those views. Very interesting class, Im glad I took it.