Introduction to Composition 110

Taylor Bingham, Fall 2015, Beth Undem


I've never considered myself a very exceptional writer; although, I somewhat enjoy it. Growing up, I've always kept a journal, but writing for a college English class is much different. I enjoy writing for myself more so than having due dates and certain lengths on my essays. Although, I enjoy learning in class about the proper ways to write essays and I also like being able to choose our own topics. In this class, I feel like I have really grown as a writer. I've learned how to peer edit my classmates essays, how to cite correctly with parentheticals, and how to write different types of essays as well as what many different types of essays are. Overall, I believe I have become a much stronger writer from this class. In this portfolio I will tell what I learned throughout this semester.

Taylor Bingham

Introduction by Taylor Bingham

Features of a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is one or two sentences usually located at the end of the first paragraph of an essay. This statement should be more general than the ideas and facts supporting it in the rest of the essay, but specific enough to be told about in the whole essay. The thesis tells a person the main idea of what they will be reading in the rest of the essay.

Depression is a serious mood disorder that makes a person have a constant feeling of sadness. It is more than just a temporary feeling and cannot be overcome by willpower (“Teen depression”). This disorder can occur at any time in a person’s life, but 20 percent of teens will have some sort of depressive disorder before they are 20-years-old (Pereira). Depression requires treatment to be improved. Depression affects how teens will think, behave, and feel in their daily life. It causes emotional, functional, and physical problems (“Teen depression”). This disorder affects teens differently than other ages. It is also more likely for teens to become diagnosed with depression because they experience many highs and lows, which makes them more susceptible to getting a depressive disorder (“Teen Depression”). More people should become aware of the symptoms, causes, treatments, and prevention of depression in teens.

This is a good thesis because it tells exactly what someone would read in the rest of my research essay. The main idea is the symptoms of depression, the causes, the treatments, and how to prevent depression. It is general enough to be applied to other essays as well.

Effective Summary

When using a source it is very important to summarize it, or put it into your own words. Even when you give credit to the source by citing it, you still must not plagiarize. To restate information as your own, just take the idea of the sentence and put it into your own style. At the end of the sentence it is important to put a parenthetical citation to show it is not your idea, but rather someone else's idea in your own structure. To make this easy, a person should take short notes when researching to ensure they do not copy direct phrases. I will give an example of how I summarized a sentence and made it my own.

Direct sentence from the website: In some teens, depression is so severe that a hospital stay is needed, especially if you teen is in danger of self-harm or hurting someone else.

Notes taken: Hospitalization, severe depression, harm

Summarized sentence: In some very extreme cases, teens can even be hospitalized for extended amounts of time for their safety ("Teen depression").

This is a good summarized sentence because I am taking the main point of the direct sentence, but rephrasing it enough that now it is in my own words. It also has a parenthetical to show that it is not my idea.

Referencing Correctly

One of the most important things I learned this semester was how to reference sources correctly. While referencing sources in this class, we used MLA style. The two ways we referenced sources was by using parenthetical citations and citations for websites. Parenthetical citations should be used after quotes, summaries, statistics, tables, charts, and graphs. They are usually the author's last name or the first word in the complete citation. When referencing all the sources in an essay, a person should have a separate Works Cited page. The sources should be in alphabetical order and double line spaced. The second line of each source should also be indented.

This disorder can occur at any time in a person’s life, but 20 percent of teens will have some sort of depressive disorder before they are 20-years-old (Pereira).

A parenthetical was needed after this sentence because it has statistics in it and just the author's last name was needed.

Pereira, Susan L., Mari Egan, and James J. Stevermer. "Screen Teens For Depression-- It's Quicker Than You Think." Journal Of Family Practice 59.11 (2010): 643-644. Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

This is one of my sources that I used in my research essay that was cited correctly. To have a complete research essay, a person needs to reference the sources from which their borrowed information comes.

*Note: the second two lines of the citation should be indented.


One of my favorite essays I learned how to write in this class was a narrative. A narrative essay is written to tell a story or a series of events. This type of essay should have a clear context, well-chosen details, an organized structure, a consistent point of view, and a purpose. I love hearing stories as well as telling them so it was enjoyable to write an essay about how I got my first horse. These essays are nice to write because you do not need any citations. I also enjoyed reading the sample narrative essays in the book as well as peer editing my classmates essays.

Comparison and Contrast

Another type of essay i learned how to write in this class was a comparison and contrast. This kind of essay is just like its name, it compares and contrasts two or more things that are similar. The reason for compare and contrast essays is to explain and inform people. There are two ways to organize this type of essay. The first one is subject-by-subject and the second one is point-by-point. Subject-by-subject makes the reader aware of everything about one subject at a time and keeps them separate. Point-by-point compares the two things right away for the reader. This way of writing a compare and contrast essay is ideal for longer essays; where as, subject-by-subject works better for shorter essays. In my compare and contrast essay, I wrote about English style riding and western style riding.

Best Work

I believe my best work of all the essays we wrote this semester was my description essay. A description essay is a very detailed essay that you try to embody all five senses into while you write. From the details, the writer will try to create a certain mood or atmosphere for the reader. The essay should be logical and easy for the the reader to follow. It should also be detailed enough for the reader to be able to imagine oneself in the essay. In my description essay I wrote about when I go to the barn and how it is "A Happy Place."


In conclusion, I believe I have become a better writer this semester. I have learned so much and can generate it into my writing. I believe my writing is clear and logical to people who read it and my sentences are grammatically correct. I feel like I can find information for essays that require research and cite everything appropriately. There are still things I need to work on this next semester, though. I am hoping to get better at peer editing by searching more thoroughly for the mistakes. I also hope to get better at developing the thesis for my essays. Something I think I am good at is making my writing easy to comprehend and having my essays be structured nicely and logically. My goals as a future writer are to get better a peer editing and developing a thesis.

Taylor Bingham

Conclusion by Taylor Bingham