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May 9, 2014

Dr. Leslie Bruce


Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics
California State University, Fullerton
P.O. Box 34080
Fullerton, CA 92834-9480

Dear Dr. Bruce,
Upon entering this course I feared my writing skills and I immediately was
discouraged to even begin any major assignments. I felt overwhelmed and often
wondered if I was ready for this writing class. Soon enough, I realized that this course
was a major stepping stone in my major. Without proper writing skills, indirect
communication such as emailing, submitting lab reports, and most importantly, research,
would be hindered. I decided to become more involved in my writing and not become
disgruntled with the advice I received. I am enthusiastic to see my progress continue even
after this course is completed.
By completing the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), I have expanded my
writing performance. I will demonstrate this progress to you in my portfolio. I have
included three versions of my review article, which are; the original, a peer and professor
revised document and finally the rewritten review article. To further demonstrate my
expanding skill, I have included three writer notebook entries, as well as a rubric I
completed while critiquing my peers writing. I have organized the documents in a
manner that will demonstrate my progress to reach the finalized product. Below I will
address how the documents I have included in my portfolio satisfy, in their entirety, the
SLOs given to us.
I satisfied SLO 1 by including my review article which was a formal in-class writing
assignment. I satisfied the informal writing requirement by adding my peer revised
documents, such as the revised review article from you and my peers, and rubrics I have
completed. Conquering both formal and informal writing is necessary because there are
different situations throughout my career where I will be confronted with communicating
to others and being able to address how to define my audience will be critical.
Student Learning Outcome 2 reads, Find, evaluate, select, synthesize, organize,
ethically cite, and present information from a variety of sources appropriate to their
disciplines, this objective was entirely satisfied by writing my review article. The review
article is a synthesis of information comprised to present a single topic that Michelle,
Evan and I decided by selecting various research articles.
Often times, we had trouble being able to translate all the information we acquired
into a single coherent document. We decided that we needed to create subtopics to
compare and contrast areas of interest. We decided to research diseases in marine
organisms and look into virus subtypes and vaccines created specifically for each
subtype. I think that us overcoming our bias and managing to construct the review article
satisfies SLO 3.
Student learning outcome number 4 is also satisfied with the review article, in that
there is a clearly stated thesis, the paper transitions from topic to topic amazingly. For
example one paragraph discussed the various subtypes of the virus, followed by about the
effects of subtypes 1 and 3 and concluding with research on vaccines for these specific
subtypes.
There are various examples I could have incorporated into my portfolio to satisfy
SLO 5, which is how well I addressed my audience and the effectiveness of my writing. I
believe that my review article, cover letter, and even my Weebly page are able to
demonstrate ways in which I am sensitive to my audience. Through my review article, I
had to incorporate definitions and explain certain information in order to address an
audience outside of the scientific community. Through my cover letter that I am
addressing solely you, Dr. Bruce, am able to remove a degree of formality. As for my
Weebly page, I feel that since it is a site that can be accessed from nearly anyone in the
world, my audience is vast and therefore my views about genders, cultures and politics
should be completely voided.
Satisfying SLO 6 was completed by submitting this portfolio and including a
revision I did for a peer, however to further my own critique on written works. I included
my reflection chart and some writer notebook entries that required me to revisit past
assignments and further edit them. Including these revision entries will show that even I
am able to improve my own writing. These documents are necessary to include into the
portfolio because they will demonstrate issues that have been noticed by my peers and
you, but more importantly, myself. Upon revision of my papers, I have taken into
consideration the criticism given in order to remove any confusion in my writing. Having
taken notice of these issues, the daunting task of writing yet another paper is no longer a
fear I possess.
My ultimate goal from this class was not to fear writing. It was not until a few
assignments ago, that I felt completely at ease with my skill of writing and being able to
take advise and actually incorporate it into my writing. I plan to keep the skills obtained
from this course to distinguish myself in my future courses, but more importantly, to be
able to write my own personal statement and have it rock the socks off of the admission
committees across the nation.

Thank you for a wonderful semester,
Teresa Cabrera