Evaluating Writing Skills

I believe that it is a good effort for anyone who, especially college students, to reflect back on previous writing assignments to find the minor and major mistakes in order to enhance their skills. I remember taking English 1010 Composition class for Freshman and we had to write a letter that demonstrated Student Learning Outcomes. Each student had to write an evaluation in a letter form with specific instructions. (I forgot how it happened, but from my class, my letter was chosen to be read from the pool of others written from my classmates). After I have survived different assignments from a year's writing assignment, all the skills I gained from the course will be very helpful in the future. Rather you are in college or still in high school, you should be able to sit and think how you will approach the different types of writing assignments that are given to you by your instructors.

Sometimes after we realize what we have learned from different course, especially those of English, we can use them in every ability possible. With everything said, I would like to my letter to sum of the purpose or point of this me writing this post.

November 3, 2007

Dear Portfolio Evaluator:

This semester I have demonstrated the Learning Outcomes for this English course that helped me developed a foundation of improving and developing reading and writing skills to a higher level.

Analyzing and critiquing a writer's essay is something that is usually done on a simple basis. For example, in high school I remember reading novels in the eleventh grade where the teacher wanted us to think about the purpose that the writer was trying to send to the readers, or the class would have to write an essay about the novel using a rubric. In this English course, I have demonstrated the goal of analyzing an author's essay and discovering the purpose of his or her rhetorical choices. In the essay the "Fourth of July," I have discovered the purpose of why the author uses a word several times and why the author uses an ironic title to talk about her vacation. To help me understand the text I was reading, I highlighted certain words to be used as context in different sections of the essay so that I could dissect everything to find the author's message. After noticing different colors of highlighters, style, and choice of words, tone, and all other elements used in Audre Lorde's essay just popped out of the book. This method really helped me to meet the ability to analyze a writer's essay.

The ability to comprehend the essays which we had to write about was a learning outcome that I felt I met. Taking the quizzes over different essays after reading them helped me with comprehending a college-level text because I found out what I needed to know and what I already knew that could help me understand the essays. To help meet this reading outcome, I believe that my Reader Response essay was something I enjoyed writing since I actually got to be objective and disagree with what the author in one way or another. My essay response to the essay "Real Men Don't: Anti-Male Bias in English" helped me to comprehend the author's purpose of writing the essay. In other words, the dialogue journal with quotes helped me to get a general idea of what I will use for rebuttal. Once I wrote the essay, I reread it to discover the writer's message and what he was trying to tell the audience. The peer review groups allowed another student to evaluate my essay for certain standards. Since the student gave a critique and understood what I was saying in my essay, I concluded that I comprehended the writer's essay through effective method.

From this first-year course, I have demonstrated the skill of thinking of my own ideas and responses and ideas of other authors to quote, summarize, and synthesize their work to respond to their works to prove a point. In my essay, about whether or not to make English the official language in the United States, I used several quotes from the selections to prove my point that I was for the government to make English official. I have never written a synthesis essay until it was explained and assigned to me by my teacher. As a prewriting activity, I read every essay from the book twice and highlighted quotes that were similar to each other among the group of essays discussed. I can use my work as evidence because throughout the essay, there are several quotes to help me develop an idea of explaining my point in forming disagreement with the topic given. Taking ten minutes to read and respond to a reason by using a quote also helped me to complete this learning skill.

Using the writing process has helped me develop and construct essays. Participating in peer review groups allowed me to see what my classmates thought of my writing and if they were able to comprehend what I had written throughout this course. Being able to see what my classmates thought of my ideas and using supporting quotes helped me to revise and edit sentences that contradicted myself or might be unclear. The strategies given to help proofread were used in the case of correcting grammar, spelling mistakes, and other errors allowed me to see what I need to improve in those different areas of writing. I have demonstrated the ability to organize an essay to prove a point, explain an authors purpose, and organize ideas to form an essay to respond to a selection.

I have been familiar with using MLA and incorporating it into essays from high school writing. The ability to continue using MLA is very important that allows me to get better familiar with it on the college level. In ever core essay, I have correctly used MLA to use quotes as a foundation and source to explain formulated ideas. As evidence, I have shown my ability to write a works cited page with the synthesis essay. Cross-reference is another method that I have learned to use versus the regular way of documenting a resource.

The learning outcomes that I developed and have shown as evidence helped me to evaluate my own writing skills. I think I have done a good job in this course.




  • You wrote "a letter that demonstrated Student Learning Outcomes" --what a great idea.

    It is wonderful to reflect on our work as writers and to grow and learn.

    There is a special award waiting for you at my blog. Please stop by when you can.

  • I find lists very helpful when picking out stuff for school.
    Random question: how much did you pay for your laptop case? I wanna see if I got screwed or not on the price of mine.

  • I don't have a case for my laptop. Just a bag for it.

  • Hmm, I had to write one as well. I thought it was a weird thing to write, considering that we can make up a lot in the essay. Weird assignment, but it does help significantly in self-evaluation. :)