University of California, Davis
Dear UWP 1 instructors,
Taking this course during my first quarter of freshman year has been very challenging, yet very rewarding. In high school there was, and maybe there still is, a very distinctive way of writing essays, where writing focuses solely on structure and being able to connect ideas back to the thesis. For that reason, I commenced this writing course with a fixed mind set on structure and connections. However, as this course comes to an end I have realized that writing is much more than that. I have learned, through challenging assignments and thorough revisions that even though the basic writing skills of structure and connections are important, audience is just as significant because it develops the purpose and interpretation of your paper.
Given that the writing expectations from high school and college are different, I was able to develop as a college writer by applying my high school writing skills and expanding them to match college expectations; expectations such as structure, purpose, and matching your entire essay with a corresponding audience. In high school I developed as a writer by learning the skills of diction and syntax; defined as word choice and arrangement of words and phrases, respectively. Diction and syntax are essential writing skills to have in order to appeal to your intended audience. For instance, if the audience of a paper is parents, than the writer must use words that appeal to a parent’s maternal and paternal instinct because this will let the audience feel relatable to the writer. Being able to appeal to the audience with structure, connections, diction, and syntax is an important skill that has guided me to better understand the importance of audience.
The skills that I now have are because of the opportunities you all offered me, and by opportunities I am referring to the great writing experiences I had in this writing course. For example, for the mid-term, I had a difficult time understanding the prompt, which caused me to preform at a lower level than I expected. However, due to your wonderful feedback on my writing, I was able to thoroughly point out the mistake of not effectively addressing the audience, which helped me revise my paper into a better writing piece. I believe such experiences will help me accomplish different writing tasks in the future because every single experience has had a different audience and acknowledging different audiences helps your various readers feel relatable to your writing.
In order to illustrate the skills that I have gained through this writing course, I have provided a revised version of my problem paper (assignment one). This enclosed paper illustrates my gained abilities because it has (1) structure, (2) appropriate diction and syntax (3) a clear and concise thesis, and (4) thoughts and ideas that connect back to my thesis. Not only does the paper demonstrate my gained abilities but it also shows my writing style, the way I voice my ideas. For instance, in order to allow the reader to better understand my feelings I use the metaphor “given that my skills for writing timed essays were as bad as the economy during the Great Depression, I knew that my only option was to take a different approach of structure.” Using figurative language in my paper gave my audience the opportunity to better understand what I felt and helping them better understand the purpose and meaning of the paper. In my perspective, this paper is different from other papers I have written in UWP 1 because besides just speaking to an audience, I am speaking to myself. I am reminding myself that mistakes happen in writing and the only way they can be fixed is through acknowledging my mistakes and making thorough revisions. In addition to the problem paper, the research paper also demonstrates my abilities as a writer because I am able to demonstrate everything that I have learned in this course. For instance, in the thesis of my research paper I target a specific audience (high school students), specify the problem, and provide a possible solution. Thus, voicing my opinion through the simple skills of writing.
Though it was a tough challenge to understand the concept of audience, my previously learned skills not only helped me acknowledge the importance of audience but it also guided me into a direction of successful writing.