Introduction to Composition 110

Macey Schuler • Beth Undem-Instructor • Fall 2014

Macey Schuler

In previous English classes I loved writing and I brought that love for writing into Introduction to Compsition 110 this fall. I have felt myself become a stronger writer in this class. In the essays we have written this past semester I have learned how to write a correct thesis, write an effective summary, and how to correctly reference sources. This portfolio will provide examples for how I have changed as a writer over the course of this semester.


Sounds from Wednesday evening by MaceyElaine


This fall I have learned to write a thesis statement that correctly describes my paper in one sentence. Before this class I didn't know how to successfully write the thesis statement. Now I know that a thesis statement is not a question and it is the main idea or the most important point of the paper. Generally a thesis will be one sentence long but in some cases it is two sentences long. When writing a thesis statement it will usually be at the end of the first paragraph but in some cases the thesis can be in the last paragraph to help wrap the paper into one thought. One of my favorite thesis statements that I wrote was in my research paper. My thesis statement was,

"Stress in high school students is a rising epidemic that is constantly worsening and is not showing any signs of getting better. "

This thesis statement was something I liked because it gave a strong introduction to my paper and it explained how the paper was going to be set up.

Effective Summaries

In Introduction to Composition 110 I learned how to correctly write an effective summary. The summaries we used were summaries of other writer's work. Summarizing and putting things in your own words avoids plagiarism. A person would want to use a summary when writing a paper much like a research paper. Summarizing helps include facts and makes the paper reliable. An example of summarizing in my research paper is highlighted in yellow in the link below:

Referencing Sources

When referencing a source one is giving credit to the author of the work they had researched and avoiding plagiarism. When citing a source one needs a source citation and an in-text citation or a parenthetical citation. A source citation needs to be in MLA 7 style and parenthetical citations are used after quotes, summaries or paraphrased information, statistics, tables, charts, and graph. Parenthetical citations are also used after not commonly known facts. Both of these citations are necessary because citing the source gives credit to the author, making the use of their information legal, and a parenthetical tells what information came from what source. Works Cited pages are located on a new page at the end of a document. These pages should be alphabetized, double line spaced in entry and between entries, and have indents on the second line of the citation. An example of an intext citation and a source citation are located in my research paper highlighted in blue in this link:

The video below helps explain when one should cite a source.


  • In Introduction to Composition 110 I learned how to write a Division and Classification essay. Classification groups ideas or subjests into already established categories while division separates classes of ideas or subjects into categories. This essay examines the common characteristics of subjects. Each paragraph has it's own category on a specific subject and it ends with a stated conclusion that can be drawn on the subject.Before this semester I had no idea this essay even existed. After writing this type of essay I had found myself using it in other classes. To learn how to write this essay our class read a chapter on it and read many examples. Here is a link to my Division and Classification essay that I wrote this semester:
  • Another article of information that I gained in this class would be how to write a research paper. A research paper conducts research using print and Internet sources. When available, using databases is the best souces along with written sources. Google is not the most trustworthy source. In the research paper I wrote this semester I learned many things including how to correctly use a parenthetical citation and how to correcly write notes. When writing a parenthetical citation in the past I would always insert it wrong in the paragraph. A parenthetical needs to be in parentheses and have the punctuation after it. When writing notes I used the note card method to gather information. This way was organized and helpful in the structure of my paper. Here is a link to my research paper: https://ww

My Best Work

I feel that I had two very strong essays this semester. My Division and Classification paper and my Research paper were my two favorite to write because I wrote them on topics that I enjoyed very much. My strongest paper would have to be my Division and Classification for many reasons including that it included a strong thesis and a topic that most would enjoy. My sentence structure was strong in the essay and it included a point even though it was humorous and enjoyable for a reader. Details of a Division and Classification essay are stated above in Things I Have Learned. Here is a link to my Division and Classification paper:

As a Writer

As a writer, I consider myself to be progressive. I'm not a super strong writer but I am getting increasingly better as the year goes along. When I write I find myself stuck between a good writer and a great writer. I express my thoughts clearly and ideas in informal writing context and compose structurally correct sentences in Standard American English. I also write well-developed and focused essays. The essay's characteristics display the writer I am today. Tomorrow could be a completely different story, I keep adding more skills and keep increasing my skills. My strengths as a writer include being able to complete an idea within a paragraph and being able to correctly use tools given to me to make my writing better. My weaknesses as a writer include writing conclusion for a paragraph and making it complete. I can end paragraphs with a complete thought but I struggle with writing conclusion paragraphs for a paper. In the future I would like to be able to write without having to stop and rethink why I am writing this paper or the purpose of this paper. I would like to just know how to display information in a document without having to question if I like writing about the topic.


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