Intro to Composition 110

AnnMarie Narloch- Fall 2014. Instructor, Beth Undem.


As a young child, I always enjoyed writing my own stories as a hobby. My creativity as a kid blossomed in my writing. Of course, these stories were not at all grammatically correct. As I grew older, my interest in writing declined until I took this class. I regained my ability to write stories and essays. As a writer, I like to focus my essays on health issues because that is an interest of mine. There were many changes in my writing that I underwent during this semester that has made me a better writer. I have become a better writer grammatically as well as processing information clearly. This portfolio will demonstrate well structured, focused essays and will provide examples of my writing.


Intro by user577573788

Features of a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a very important part of an essay. It should explain the point the author wants to get across to the audience. A thesis stament should not be a question and should not be the very first sentence in an essay. A thesis stament is usually one to two sentences long. Also, the thesis statement should not be too general or too specific. It should be a general statement that is supported by the facts or ideas in the essay. Here is an example of a well-written thesis statement in bold that was in the "Process of Digestion" essay.

Digestion is an important process all humans need in order to live and to have a healthy life. The function of digestion is to provide nutrients to the human body. Several steps are included in the process to separate the nutrients from the wastes. During these steps, the digestive system goes through miraculous changes. In order for humans to process food, the digestive system has a series of complex organs and glands to break food down into smaller particles and molecules. The process of digestion occurs in this order: mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and lastly, the large intestine.

This is a good thesis statement becuase it is giving a clear statement of the point that is wanted to get across to the audience. The location of the thesis statement is towards the end of the introduction paragragh and is not too long. This is a great example of a thesis statment.

Effective Summaries

A good summary has to include using own language, style and sentence structure. It should be a shortened version from the original paragragh, but it still has to represent the same point of view with the author. For paraphrasing, make sure to focus on word choice and order. The original statement must be paraphrased in own words. Here is an example of how effective summarization was put into the essay "Types of Betta Fish."
This essay showed examples of good, effective summaries because each paragragh of different betta fish was paraphrased and put into own words from a book and various websites.

Referencing Sources Correctly

To reference sources correctly, we used the MLA 7 style format. Parenthetical citations have to be used after any quote from an author. If there is a summary, paraphrased information, or statistics that are not commonly known facts, then a parenthetical citation must be used. Parenthetical citations are located directly after the sentence with unfamiliar information. At the end of the essay, the last page should include the works cited. Works cited need to be in alphabetical order. Here is an example of parenthetical citation and the works cited page in the "Process of Digestion" essay.
This essay was a great example of how to reference sources correctly. Parenthetical citation were used when the information was not commonly known facts about digestion. The works cited page was on a separate page and was alphabetized. The work cited was also in MLA 7 style format.

Organizational Patterns

Having taken this class I have learned so much more about writing. I learned that their are three different organizational patterns. The three different patterns are time order, space order and logical order. Time order is also known as chronological order. It represents the order in which they occurred in. Space order can be used in describing a person, place or thing that begin at a specific spot and moves in whichever direction. Space order is often used in mystery books to create suspence. The logical order organizational pattern can have a variety of forms. This pattern is the order of importance; wheather it's the least importance to most important or most important to least important. My "Process of Digestion" paper above provides a good example of time order.

Well-Written Paragraphs

During this semester, another thing I learned was writing well-written, thorough paragraphs. A paragraph is the most important unit of thought and has its own main idea and has a topic sentence. Each paragraph is almost like a mini essay. The average length of a paragraph is typically 50-250 words, but the best way to finish a paragrapgh is to know that your main idea is completly developed. Here is an example of a well-written paragragh from my "Autism" essay.

Detecting autism is not complicated at all due to the numerous symptoms. All of these

symptoms range from mild to severe. Commonly, talking about a certain subject or interest

frequently is a part of abnormal communication. For instance, if an autistic child has a favorite TV show, he or she will sing or hum the theme song over and over again. Another example would be repeating phrases on TV or phrases that other people say to them (Rodier). These words or phrases get stuck in their mind, and they can't help themselves to repeat them. Their language development is delayed tremendously. Autistic children with severe cases never develop language. Many children just make gestures and motions instead of words. Less severe cases don't usually have the full understanding of words so their words are often used clumsy or used incorrectly. The words that are spoken can be slurred or are just sounds that don't make sense. Some children may begin talking very rapidly to themselves. Often autistic children will talk more to themselves than to their parents.

My Best Work- Research Essay

For this semester, the best work that was written would have to be my paper on Autism. The features that made this essay the best was the use of good oranizational patterns, having a strong introduction and conclusion and using parentheticals where they were needed. As I was writing this essay, I felt very enthusiatic and confident because I am familiar with that disorder. I will provide an example of my paper on Autism down below.

Conclusion- As a Writer

Taking this class has definitely made me a better writer. I am able to write better thesis statements, summarize sources more effectively, and process information more clearly. I would say my writing skill level would have to be both level one and level two. Level one writing skills include expressing clear thoughts and ideas, composes structurally correct sentences in Standard American English, and generates well-developed, coherent paragraghs. Level two writing skills include processing information to produce writing that is accurately summarized, keeps essays focused, and searches for information and inserts research appropriatly.

Some of my strengths as a writer would be writing well-written and developed introductions, conclusions, and paragraghs. My writng has become more focused and has a better understanding of the main idea. I aslo have been writng good thesis statements and correctly having my works cited completed.

My weaknesses as a writer would be forgetting to use parenthetical citations where they are needed. Another one of my weaknesses would be taking notes Effectivly. I normally just read a paragragh and put it in my own words without writing it down, but writing it down would help me remember it better.

My goals for future growth as a writer would be not forget all of the skills I have learned this semester. I hope in my future writing, I can use all of these skills I've learned and even some more.


Conclusion! by user577573788