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Matthew Migasi
Professor Jason Melton
English 5
16 May 2016
Final Portfolio Cover Letter
The English five class at Sacramento State has various learning objectives that must be
accomplished in order to show competency in writing. This is to ensure that all students have
acquired the skills needed to write an effective paper for any class they take in the future. Over
the course of the semester we, as a class, have completed each of these learning goals as well as
learning to read and write effectively, research properly, and find our personal writing strengths
and weaknesses. This class has also shown how writing can be a useful skill to learn for outside
of the college environment as well as in classes.
Learning to read effectively sounds like something that can be taught very easily. It is
actually something that can never be fully taught however, this is because it is up to the students
to actually do the readings and develop their own opinions about the content. An effective reader
will be able to Recognize the influence of context [which] helps rhetorical readers understand a
writers intentions regarding the subject matter and the intended audience, and thus to reconstruct
the strategy behind the authors choices (Bean,2). Finding out what the writers intentions are
gives the reader exactly what they need to know, that being the main points. The main points will
lead the reader exactly where they need to go in order to find the main focus of the material. In
this class we have done multiple dialectical journals for readings, such as the one by Bean, in
order to become effective readers for our three papers. This helped to guide us to find effective
examples of main points in which we could cite within our papers.

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My reading process over this semester has greatly improved because of the
dialectical journal assignments. My new reading process includes looking over the material
multiple times. The first time I read material I will look at the material as a whole and try to
decipher what the main points are. The second time through is when I will break the material
down into groups to have all of the main points paired with its supporting information. In the
pairs I have given to the topics I am able to find the information I find most relevant to me easily
and quickly. This is my new way of effectively reading material and using it to help me support
any of arguments within my papers.
Writing is the main focus of this class and it has its very own set of standards that go
along with it. An effective reader can only do so much before material is just too confusing and
difficult to read, which means the writer must effectively communicate the main points through
writing. A part of making it easier for the reader to understand the material is knowing that
Effective writers are not simply expressing what they know(Flower, 196). This means that the
writer should not just put down everything that they have learned about the subject material, but
instead write about the things that will mean the most to the reader. The reader will become
bored or confused about the topic if they cannot identify the main point amongst the unneeded
information. Throughout this class I have improved my writing abilities by receiving feedback
from the class and professor Melton. This connection between my peers and my writing has
allowed me to see the mistakes I make and different ways in which I could fix them. I am able to
see the main points of what I am writing now and find different ways in which I can show them
to the reader.
My new writing process is still in the works and will always be. A writer will never truly
be done improving and I am in the very early stages of development. The first step in my new

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writing process is effectively writing a crappy first draft. A first draft will set the bar for future
drafts so that I can aim to clarify and improve more than that first draft. The first draft sets a solid
baseline for revisions because it is impossible to revise a nonexistent paper. Previously I made a
bad habit out of turning in my first draft as a final draft. This lack of a revision meant that I had
no input from any other readers besides myself, which meant I lacked the connection needed in
order to effectively get my points across. I now have multiple people look over my material in
order to spot any mistakes I have made or find points I have not clarified.
The latest thing we have learned in the English five class is how to research properly. The
researching process is a long process but a very rewarding one. The first step in my new
researching process is finding something interesting to research. Finding a topic that interests
yourself makes the researching process go by much quicker and makes the whole process more
enjoyable. The second part of my researching process is creating a web of topics that link to each
other so that I can use these terms to help aid me in the process of looking for previous
researches done on those topics already. The third part of the researching process uses my new
reading process by finding multiple sources which can help support the research topic. As an
effective reader I will be able to find the important information from previous researches done on
the same topic, and find ways in which I can use them to help provide credible information to my
own research.
The writing process I have improved upon this semester has highly influenced the
process I have used for this final portfolio. I used the submission drafts I have turned in
throughout this semester as my first crappy draft. I was able to use the comments made by
professor Melton in the same way I would use a peer reviewers comments in order to improve
the things that did not make sense. I then brought the submission drafts to one of my friends so

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that I could have a second set of eyes looking over my paper. I combined all of the comments
made by professor Melton and my friend and used them to revise the drafts I had reviewed by
them. These revised copies of my drafts are now finalized and laid throughout my portfolio.
This final portfolio has emphasized my writing strengths and weaknesses. I may not have
many writing strengths but in recognizing this has created another strength. Knowing that I am
not a particularly strong writer is a strength to me because it means I am more willing to change
my writing style. These new writing styles can only become better than my last improving with
each change. Another strength I have recognized throughout writing this semester is in my
opening paragraph. I have a strong intro which shows the reader where the paper will be going
and what will be in it. It shows everything that needs to be shown about my papers without
giving all of the information.
My weaknesses on the other hand are much more prevalent. I have many weaknesses and
many of them I have tried working on all semester long. One of these is my procrastination
which is my biggest weakness. When I procrastinate I have to skip multiple steps in my writing
process which diminishes the quality of my final product by a lot. Another of my weaknesses is
going of topic in the middle of a paragraph. I will get lost in my writing and forget to separate
two different points from each other creating an awkward flow within the paragraph. The only
way to improve upon these two weaknesses is to simply write more. The more proficient I
become at writing the less likely I will procrastinate because the task will seem less daunting to
approach. This will also fix the problem with my paragraph flow because I will be able to
recognize when a paragraph changes subjects more easily and separate the two.
The writing process I have learned throughout this semester will be carried far past my
college classes. This will be useful in any career that I choose to follow, such as being a

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managerial accountant. The managerial accountant looks over the entire business and decides
how and where money should be spent or saved. The writing I do today for this class will carry
over to that job because of the letters to management a managerial accountant writes. If a
managerial accountant decides that a company is facing a financial problem, they must write a
letter or create a presentation in which they will persuade management to change their ways.
They will research in order to find multiple different ways of solving a problem and then write
their ideas in a way that persuades management to think the way they want them to.
This class teaches people to read, write and research effectively. I feel that I have used
these teachings to improve upon myself greatly in terms of these topics. I have not become an
ace reader, writer, or researcher through this class, but what I have done is become aware on how
I can become one. I have seen the multiple ways to become better and am slowly easing one
process in at a time becoming better and better with each paper I write. I feel like all of the
learning goals have been met for my entire class because we have worked as a team this entire
semester, I have seen the improvements from a peer reviewers point of view and I hope that
professor Melton will see the same.

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Works Cited
Bean, John C., Virginia A. Chappell, and Alice M. Gillam. Chapter 2: Strategies for Reading
Rhetorically. Reading Rhetorically. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2004.
Flower, Linda. Step 5: Know the Needs of Your Reader. Problem Solving Strategies for Writing.
4th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 1981. 194-197.