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Class Participation Assessment
My Class participation has not stayed constant through the quarter in College Writing. In the beginning of the school year, I was rather quite. I never added any comments or offered to read. The only time my voice was heard was when I was sharing a comment or two to the person sitting next to me. I found myself talking and giggling a few times in class. I can recall one time when I was told to be quite. For those few times, I lose points on my class participation grade. I am not necessarily a leader in class, but I am starting to take a stronger position in class discussion. I have been volunteering much more often lately, and actually finding myself wanting to read in class. In fact, I was complimented in class the other day about how my class participation points were starting to rise. I have been taking a stronger stand on becoming more active in class.
When we missed class one day and I was supposed to read from my journal, I came in and asked if I could read that day, since we had missed the day of my turn. I have also been commenting and sharing my ideas more often. When we were doing a read-around of position papers, I was able to get my voice and opinions in a few times to help a peer improve his essay. That is not the only time I have helped a peer however. I am always willing to help my classmates by giving them positive feedback, but more than just a "it’s good." I show what I like and why I like it and vice versa. I remember when I was reviewing a personal paper, I told the author I liked her piece but there was one line that took away from the flow of the paper. I will not insult my classmate’s work. I find myself open-minded and respectful because I have never insulted a peer’s work. I have had a couple of absences and tardies, which will impact my grade. Most of my tardies have been excused, but for the one that were not, it takes away from my grade. I have never forgotten a writing utensil, binder, or journal for class. There have been two times when I have not had my paper on time, but there were reasons for both. My first paper I was absent so I had difficulty getting it in by the due date. The second paper was only a day late because of personal problems. Therefore, I do not think it will take away from grade a very large amount.
Throughout the quarter I have had some strengths and weakness
in the area of class participation. While my class participation
is rapidly increasing, there was a time period when my voice was never
heard. Due to these factors and others I have decided that my grade
for class participation should be a B-.
Progress Toward Goals Portfolio Assessment
Goal One: Write a College Essay - Significant
One of the biggest reasons I took the class was to, hopefully, develop a college essay I was proud of. When I first started writing my personal essay, I would have no idea that it would develop into that college essay I wanted. "A Deep Breath," is a paper that I spent about a month on, starting from the assignment in class and ending outside of class. "A Deep Breath" has already been sent with a couple of applications and will be sent with a few more. This essay was a result from the desire to create a college essay. When my personal essay was in the beginning stage, it needed a lot of work. I put all of my effort into this paper and that made a dramatic difference. I am proud to say that I have developed a college essay that I am proud of.
Goal Two: Improve my Personal Essay/storytelling ability - Significant
Speaking of "A Deep Breath", the essay is representative of this goal as well. I think that this represents my development towards my goals and as a writer better than anything else. When I got my personal essay back, entitled "Now It’s A Wonderful Life" at the time, there was a lot of telling and not enough showing, which is the whole purpose behind this goal. I want my stories to set up images and allow the reader to reach understanding through my scenes and stories. These types of comments were present on my paper and I needed to get rid of the telling and expand the showing. After a few more revisions and input from Ms. Citrone, I was able to develop the "showing" essay I wanted. The last paragraph of this essay is different than the previous goal because they are papers for two different purposes. I intentionally made the endings different even before I compiled my portfolio. This goal was completed to the fullest and demonstrates my hard work, determination, and progress as a writer.
Goal Three: Make my thoughts come together smoothly - Significant
The first essay I wrote for College Writing, while untitled at the time was about my grandfather. My feelings, ideas, and stories were very scattered and did not come together smoothly. When others and myself realized these faults, I knew that this had to be one of my goals. I was able to take that essay and edit it so the ideas came together better and the story was read smoothly. In the original essay, I jumped around from when my grandfather had passed, to before he passes, and back to when he had passed again. I did not make a time transition and the story was not in an order in which it could flow. I revised the essay, so it would not jump around, but flow smoother and go in a more chronological order. This goal was significantly met through the development of this paper.
Goal Four: Know my audience better-write for them better - Satisfactory
I have a tendency to write too formal or too informal on certain assignments. This is due to the fact that I do not write for my audience. I realized this problem going into the class and I knew that I wanted to work on it. During the first couple classes, after just reading a few essays and writing a sample I realized why I do this. When I sit down to write my paper, I do not think about whom I am writing for. I just write however I feel like writing. In some cases, this would be looked at as a good thing, but others it is not. I realized I needed to sit down, think about whom I am writing for, and write for them. This could result in the addition or removal of information in the essay, which would change the whole purpose, tone and everything about the piece. When I had to write an essay on evil for my Madman class, I looked at this assignment as a chance to help me change my problem. I sat down, thought about whom I was writing for and what my purpose was. I needed to state my ideas about evil, but since it was for my teachers, I knew I needed proof of that. If I did not think about this, I would have just sat down and threw my ideas onto the paper. However, this time I added quotes, references, and historical background that supported my ideas. I was therefore very successful in meeting this goal.
Goal Five: Use skills, ideas, and styles learned in College Writing to develop a more interesting analytical paper - Satisfactory
While this was a goal I just recently changed, I
realized that it was in the back of my head the entire time. I wrote
an analytical poem for English entitled "The Raven" and I used my knowledge
of the power of personal experience to my benefit. I added personal
stories and experiences in order to help prove my thesis. I am able
to take skills I am learning in the class and use them in other classes.
Overall grade: A-. I have five goals, each with
an example of my progress towards the goals. Although I have basically
the same essay for two goals, I still believe I deserve an A-. "A
Deep Breath," is proof of my progress as a writer and how I am starting
to enjoy my writing a lot more. I have also not had to do many essays
in other classes and this one represented my first two goals the best.
Although it is still early in the year, I can already feel my writing style
and process changing, making me develop into a better writer.
My journal demonstrates a decent amount of effort
on my part. I have all journal entries (100%) completed, titled,
and dated. I do not have many out of class entries, however.
I have always put effort into my journal assignments, especially my poem
about the outside experience. I enjoyed writing it, so I put a lot
of thought into the creation of the poem, although it is short. I
also took it upon myself to do two self-conferences on my personal essay
and I have included every step I have taken on every assignment.
When dealing with the Personal Essay assignment I have the complete process
stapled into my journal ranging from numerous rough drafts, the graded
paper, and the work I did on the paper outside of class. I believe
I only have one piece of writing that I did outside of class that was not
assigned. Most of my journal entries are one to two pages in length,
but some range a little longer. My entry of my adventure through
the darkness was a risk I took because of the ending being my mailbox and
I was not sure how the story would flow and come together. I have
always been able to become informal and comfortable writing in my journal.
Most of the entries are not formal, but more laid-back and personal.
I always read out of my journal when I was assigned to do so. I can
recall a time when I missed my day to read and I asked if I could read
the next day. I have comments from a classmate on a peer revision
of my personal essay and a couple of copies of a personal essay that I
worked on with Ms. Citrone. My journal juggles back and forth between
the criteria of an A and a B. I do not think my journal is as good
as it could be, but this realization will help me with my second quarter
journal. For this quarter, however, I would have to give my journal
Class Participation: B-
Progress Towards Goals: A
Journal Assessment: B+
Taking into consideration my journal, participation, and my progress towards my goals I would give myself a B+ for the quarter. My journal was done well, while I see room for improvement. My participation has been increasing, but started off slow. My progress towards my goals has been excellent and my portfolio is completed. With all of these assessments I was able to give myself this grade. I do not think I deserve an A for several reasons. I see where I could have put more effort into my work, such as more entries in my journal or more class participation. However, I realize that there is room for improvement so I can work on them for second semester. I do not think I deserve a B or lower because while nothing was perfect, my journal is well organized and fully completed, and my class participation has been increasing. With all of these factors coming into play I gave myself a B+. Yet, there was more to this decision than just those factors. I have seen myself developing as a writer from the very first day of class until today. I have gained a lot of skills and techniques from the class that will help me continue to become a better writer. I have realized what I would like to try in writing; such as taking more risks and that too will help me develop as a writer. These realizations and goals have helped me realize that my grade of a B+ is the best grade for me at this time.
I feel that the class has been beneficial in several ways. The most useful part of the course so far has been the personal essay assignment. I liked how there was plenty of time to make several rough drafts, get peer revision, and learn different styles and skills. I think that the process we used in class to complete the personal essay helped me want to take it to a new level and challenge myself to improve the piece. It has also helped me realize what kind of writer I was, am and want to be. The worst part of the class was the section on poems. I do not have an interest in poems, whether it be reading or writing them. When I am forced to do so, I will put my effort into it, however I do not enjoy it. This also made it the least useful part of the class for me as well. For the next semester I think that more time should be spent working on the position paper in class. For some reason I felt that we did not do as much on the position paper as we did on the personal paper. I would also spend less time on poems, but perhaps that is because of my disliking for it. I understand that it is a requirement of the course and I think that perhaps it would be better to be done in one unit. Personally, I think just getting the unit over with instead of coming back to haunt me every couple of classes would be beneficial. I would like to see more general skills or writing reviewed and taught because that is another main reason for taking the course. The course has met some of the goals so far as outlined on the curriculum guide summary. I have witnessed myself gaining an increasing amount of confidence in my writing and as a writer. Goal A of the curriculum was designed to do this, "develop a positive attitude toward writing and themselves as writers." I have learned some basic editing skills, but I think that there should be more taught. Goals B and C are supposed to cover this technique, " revising and editing writing…revision skills…. art of revision." I have a lot of trouble editing my own paper and I think that if I learned more techniques then I would be able to become better at editing a person’s paper. The course, so far, has done a lot of what it was designed to do, but there is always room for improvement. However, different people are going to have different ideas and likes, so it is impossible to ever make the course "perfect". For what it is, and what it has done, I will never regret taking the course and I look forward to the second quarter.
Web Site Assessment
The College Writing web site, while not perfect, was rather good. When the first page loaded, my immediate reaction was to the colors. The writing is legible, but I disliked the blue background. When the links to the right are visited, they turn a light blue color, which makes them almost impossible to read on the dark blue background. I noticed this again when I went to the curriculum page. The blue background and black print makes it hard to read since the colors are both so dark. Perhaps changing the background or the font will help the appearance making it more enjoyable to view and easier to read. I did, however, like how the journal assignment for the day was present. It is in plain site and the heading is flashing, that is a wonderful touch. The site is obviously up to date and the links that are on the side of the page are self-explanatory. Even someone who has no knowledge of the class would be able to find what they were looking for and therefore, students should be able to do the same.
I first visited the curriculum page and thought about what could be there that is not, but I did not find anything. The Position Paper link is thoroughly explained everything. However, there is one suggestion I would make. At the bottom, there is a topic, "Qualities of an Effective Essay", that deals with national topic issues. But some of the steps and qualities could be used for other position papers. For example: "Show the breadth of the problem with telling a statistic (or personal story)". These approaches could be used for any type of position paper, not just a national issue. Therefore, I believe that the type is too broad and not accurate so it should be changed to cover different types of position papers, or another section should be made for these types.
I found the Journal Assignments page confusing. There is a large list at the top of all possible assignments, but then broken down into the quarters. I do not think this had the effect that was anticipated and should be edited. Perhaps removing the large list at the beginning or adding a link that directs you to the breakdown of journal assignments. This way it would be more effective and less confusing.
The personal essay page was very good. I love the
diagrams of style that are present and it was very in depth. The
link page was probably my favorite because a student could find help or
information for just about anything concerning writing. Most importantly,
there is contact ability, so if there was an individual problem or question
that could not be answered on the page, there is a way to find the answer.
Overall, I thought the website was excellent. There are a few minor changes that I believe should be made, otherwise it comes together quite nicely. Everything I could possibly think of, that should be accessible from the page, was present. The web site is very thorough and hardly confusing, which is important when putting a web site of this type together. If I had to give it a grade, I would rate it an A-.
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