ENG 101/102: Directions for Final Portfolio & Cover Essay
Following a standard essay format (with introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion), first, explain the nature of the writing you completed this semester (as if reflecting on this for yourself or as in explaining to someone who asked, “What kinds of things did you write in ENG 102?”). You should include references to the uses of technology in the computer lab in writing: the Bulletin Board & BC Moo, the weekly use of the lab, using a word-processor, keeping documents in a 102 file on your X drive (or not) etc. Then, offer an assessment of what you believe are your strengths as a writer and please refer to specific contents which exemplify those strengths. Please remember that you can refer to Essay 3 by looking at your own saved copy of it on your X drive if you feel that aspects of that essay represent some of your strengths. Be sure to comment on any practices, skills, technologies, approaches, techniques which you have acquired this semester and which you believe will continue to help you with your academic writing. Finally, comment on aspects of composition which you believe you should continue to work on, improve, and/or develop in future classes.
. . . .One of the most helpful techniques I learned was the importance of the title and introduction; in fact, I’d never paid much attention to either before, so I probably handed in lots of papers with titles like “Essay 1” and with no introduction at all. First, I see now that the title and the introduction always go in concert to get the reader interested and show where the essay is going. The title must be eye catching to engage the reader’s attention. For example, I wrote an essay this semester on the differences between African Americans and Africans from my native Ethiopia, and my title was “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” The essay had nothing to do with mirrors, but I guessed that the title would appeal to any reader because the mirror should reflect the object, but in this case it did not. Also, it was a recent movie title, so I thought readers would recognize that and be curious. In the same light, the introductory paragraph should have a motivator to get the reader’s attention. For example, my classification essay on television programs had the following motivator before I led into my thesis:
We’ve probably all heard the saying many times: ‘‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’’ In many cases, research and development accounts for huge portions of the operating budgets of industries and corporations—busy “inventors” are dreaming up the products which soon they hope will become everyday necessities. Countless researchers gather data to determine what people need or, more often I think, what they want: one invention which would seem to point to the “wants” than the “needs” of consumers is the television set. . . .
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