Sample English Essay on Final Portfolio

Final Portfolio

Rhetorical situation

Taking this class has really helped in improving my writing and made me have renewed respect for the written word. The different forms of writing and the presentations of the text to different audiencesand situations was a real eye opener for me. There were certain literary mysteries, especially concerning authors that I found interesting against those that I consider plain. I knew there is a difference in their writing styles, and yet could not place my finger on it. This course has made this apparent to me, and it has definitely made reading more interesting and exciting for me, just as it has enabled me to become a better writer. In this paper I discuss the various concepts about writing that I have learnt and how the various student learning objectives for this class have gotten fulfilled in my case.

Rhetorical Situation and Genre

The first student learning objective (SLO) for this class isenabling the student to ‘analyze, compose, and reflect on arguments in a variety of genres, considering the strategies, claims, evidence, and various mediums and technologies that are appropriate to the rhetorical situation’ .There were a variety of genres that I was familiar with before this class, but then came to learn that the classifications of writings are not as simple as had earlier on assumed them to be. I had made the mistake of assuming that review and narratives fell under the same genre, and that might have been the reason why i would find some writers interesting ad others boring. Sometimes, I would seek entertainment instead of knowledge in some genres, making me get disappointed. The different methods of analyzing the arguments in different journals have enabled me to recognize the kind of writing that I am exposed to instantly and in the process know what to expect. It has therefore made my reading sessions very satisfying.

An example of the analysis and composition skills that I have gained from this class is demonstrated in the email composed about the conversation teacher. I will take this email in this paper and change into another genre, that of a letter. I have learnt the different formats that one ought to use when composing different genres and the language that one is expected to use in each. Analysis therefore involves looking for the format before delving into the content of the literature. If the style of writing does not match the outlook of the text, then one is at liberty to classify that literature as substandard. A good application of this is in the report I have written on the trash generated by Albuquerque residents. This report is long, as it requires the methods used in the collection of data and the whole process of data analysis to be outlined well. On the other hand, the email that I composed is rather short and on point. It is concerned on passing the message to the recipient and being economical with words at the same time. The report prepared has several headings whose inspection qualifies it as a report. On the other hand, the email has only a subject that gives the reader an idea of what the text is all about.

Writing as a Process

The other SLO for this class has been to enable the student in using multiple approaches when preparing for writing. Some of the activities that the students are expected to master include researching, prewriting, composing, assessing, revising, editing, proofreading, collaborating, and incorporating feedback. These are to help in making better compositions and make them stronger when using various mediums. The importance of doing research on a subject that one wants to write about has been well emphasized in this class. Failure to do this might lead to not having enough content and increases the likelihood of the resultant work being irrelevant. Writing drafts before final copy is a skill that I have found to be very helpful. This was very instrumental in the preparation of the report that will be revised in this paper. The use of a draft is often referred to as prewriting, and it helps the writer to check whether all the issues that he/she wants to include in a text have been covered. It also assists in rearranging the text in a manner that makes it coherent and have a meaning that is useful to the reader.

Proofreading has helped in determining whether I have included all the information required in the composition and also in ensuring that correct grammar is used. Collaboration with other students and the incorporation of the feedback received from readers has helped in making the compositions created to have better content and adhere more to the conventions of the genre intended. An example where the feedback suggestions have been applied is in the revision that is to be done on the report ‘Trash generated by Albuquerque residents.’ The traditional revision of this report that is to be included in this paper will include the revisions suggested by both the instructor and classmates. The need for a person to plan well for any composition is reflected in the encouraged I have received from the instructor to start working on any project when there is plenty of time prior to the deadline. This makes it easier for one to apply all the techniques that the writing process entails, hence come up with a quality composition that has the correct content and is in the desired genre.

Grammar and usage

The other SLO for this class was to improve the fluency of the students in the written American English at all levels including the sentence, paragraph, and document. This class has enabled me to understand the usage of the English language in various cultures and how it differs in them. For example, I have come to learn the different spellings for works in American English and British English. This knowledge has made it possible to know the context of literary works and the possible origins of the writers just by looking at the usage of the word. The importance of correct punctuations and the different meanings that can result if the punctuations are changed is something that has greatly impressed me. The usage of the lines and paragraphs in the various genres of writing has also proven interesting and helpful as well. For instance, have realized that it is possible to change a composition from the profile of a person into a poem just by rearranging the words in that composition it is also possible to change the meanings of the words by changing the stress that given to them by the reader. This can be done by tweaking the lengthof the sentences and playing around with the size of the paragraphs.

The usage of words and tenses in their proper context is another thing that I am grateful for having learned. This helps in making sense of what is being communicated and assist the reader in knowing the timeline to which the composed text refers to. The past tense can be used to narrate the experiences of the writer or somebody else. The present tense is used to refer to the currently ongoing events while the future tense is used to make predictions of what might happen and expectations of the writer as well. I learnt the importance of being consistent in the usage of tenses, as failure to do that might confuse the reader and have the text not make sense to them. The uses of the direct and reported speech was made clear to, as that was an area that I had challenges in earlier on. The usage of the first person, second person and third person in composing of text was clearly demonstrated. I have for example learnt that in the preparation of academic compositions, first person and second references are not encouraged, as they are not deemed to be scholarly or formal enough compared to the third person reference.


Another SLO was to enable the student to make an honest evaluation of his or her development as a writer throughout the semester and how the ability to compose in various mediums and technologies can enable the student to fulfill goals in life. This has enabled me to track my increasing proficiency in the written word throughout the semester. I have come to understand the new ways of composing text that have been heralded by the emerging technologies. In the past, one used to rely on words to express their emotions regarding some subject, but the latest technology has brought about new methods of expressing the same such as emojis and emoticons for informal text messaging. The knowledge of the words that are supposed to be used in different settings plus the styles to be used with them has helped in the quick identification of the genres that a composition belongs to.

Reflection involves the description of the events that contributed to the learning process and the experience derived from them. The leaner is then expected to evaluate the experiences themselves paying attention to the ways in which they have impacted their learning and life in general. It also involves a vivid description of the aspects of the learning process that were hard to grasp plus how the leaner intends to work on them in future. There are also plans of the learner that are included in the reflection concerning the future.

Genre Revision

Cover letter

The MWA that is revised into another genre is the memo that was composed on the subject of the conversation teacher. I chose to revise this email into a poem. I was at a loss in the beginning regarding what genre I should revise this MWA to. There were so many genres to choose from, and I was concerned that if I chose some, the message in the original email might get lost or it might lead to omission or addition of content. The poem genre was widely used before the advent of computers and emails, and this revision is therefore somehow a nostalgic one that revisits the rules that were applied in letter writing during those days.

A discussion on the meaning of genre would suffice before embarking on the process itself. A genre is a classification of many types of mediums such as films, books, TV shows and music into one category. As the genres are based on stylistic choices, this makes them have limited conventions. Most genres tend to target a particular audience, and this makes it important for people to know the different types of journal that exist plus what can be done or achieved using them. I chose to write a letter genre because it has been a long time since I prepared a letter, and even those times that I did write them, I did not diligently follow the conventions that are required when doing this genre.

Apart from, my personal preferences, the other reasons that influenced the choice of genre were the audience for which it is intended. As the poem is about a teacher that has impressed us a lot, the audience for this letter is the administration of the institution. It is also directed to my classmates to act as a subtle reminder on how they are supposed to format and get creative in their use of the language. The mode of presentation to the audience was considered, and I decided that the letter would be presented in form of hardcopy and forwarded to the offices of the administration while another copy would be pinned on the class’ noticeboard. The poem would also be made available electronically using the word processing application that would be used in its preparation. It will also be posted on the school’s social media page.

Having improved my writing skills throughout the semester, realized that I had quite a number of grammatical mistakes on in the original memo that I had written. The rectifying of those mistakes would be among the revisions that I intend to effect. When writing this poem, I have chosen to use uniform sizes of stanzas, as it is the most common formal writing style in the present. It is also easier to apply and remember compared to the other styles of poem composition. There is additional information put on the composition in addition to the contents of the poem. I put significant effort to ensure that the words used in the letter aroused the interest of the audience; hence making them read it and gets its message in its entirety.


Genre revision (poem)

Vanessa our dearest,

Give an ear to our pleas

Or better still, our veneration

Of Carolyn the sweet…

Sweetest teacher of all

I Alkassim speaks not for myself

But for my fellow veterans too,

In this battlefield of the minds

Where language is the enemy

To be subdued into service

Careful not to quash or kill, for whose good is a dead servant?


Apologies dear Vanessa,

For my wandering mind; I see the furrow on your head

As you wonder and question

Why Carolyn is the sweetest

Why not Jonah, why not Christie, why not Ramon???

And most of all, why not Vanessa?

You’re sweet as well, Vanessa our dearest

Only that you’re candy,

And Carolyn is the honey

She has a way with words-that draw us from our fantasies

To a reality that matters more

A reality only she can create


Carolyn is our speech teacher

And we need her back

We can not

Get enough of her.

It’s amazing, with only few words

She has made us better communicators

And masters of the Queen’s language

To us, she’s a mother, a sister and a friend

To whom we are not ashamed

To confess our un-doings

With carelessly woven words


Carolyn takes the confused threads of our words

And knits anew with patterns unexpected

In the few minutes that she opens her mouth

She melts our broken tenses and grammar

And molds it into trophies of eloquence

She is a good example

Her ways are safe to follow

We feel that she has carried us halfway across the lake

Of literary and dialogue

En-route to the shores of proficiency


If only we could have her next semester,

Oh dearest Vanessa,

We will make it to the other end.

And who knows,

You might just become

Our newest sweetest.

Traditional revision

Cover letter

Doing a traditional revision had proven challenging, but when I decided to modify a report that I had written earlier, it became a bit easier. Going through the prompt given by the instructor a number of times helped in giving a clearer picture of what was expected. I also had to go through the report on the trash produced by Albuquerque residents severally in order to notice the mistakes and omissions that I had made, which would rectified in this traditional revision.

The major issues that I found in my report included the omission of an introduction and a recommendation paragraph. There were also a number of grammatical mistakes that needed to be rectified. Awkward and ambiguous sentences were also many and these also required correction in this revision. There was a need to articulate the research question in the report clearly and to ensure that the audience of the report could be identified and implored to take action on the recommendations that were made.

The coming up with actionable suggestions at the end of the report helped in ensuring that the writer gained credibility from the audience for whom this report was intended. The correction of syntax and grammatical errors also assists in enhancing the credibility of the writer of the report, making it more legitimate in the eyes of the readers. The inclusion of the omitted items and correction of the misrepresented issues aid in making this composition more scholarly. The use of the third person in the language used in this report gives it a timelessness and passivity that is essential for such types of work. The formatting of the reporting was done relatively well, and as such, there will be no need to rectify it. Going through this activity got me thinking about all the different conventions of compositions and the different genres taught. It made me wonder how I am to apply them in the real life outside away from the precincts of this institution. It was then that I learnt this form of writing is used in research circles in order to make the process of seeking information easier for the interested persons.