UWP1 Portfolio Letter

Dear portfolio readers,

Before I started UWP1, I had many concerns about my writing skills as a second language writer. I felt stressed out in writing classes at UC Davis. Although I took a lot of time rephrasing my papers, the improvement was limited. Luckily, UWP1 is a helpful class, which not only provides grammar skills, but also teaches how to apply these skills. I still need more practices, but now I have a clear direction and process to follow.

In my previous writing classes, students listened to writing tips but seldom learn how to apply them, such as how to improve paragraph cohesion and prevent wordiness. In my UWP1 first “How to Write a Clear Paper,” I describe my difficulties with awkward sentences and word choice. Although I have learned many grammar rules and vocabulary words arranging words and sentences well is still difficult for me. The biggest difference between UWP1 and my previous writing classes is that UWP1 gives students more samples to practice on their own. UWP1 thought me that sometimes I could cut out unnecessary words, for example, “it is” and “there is.” I now understand that completed paragraphs should include both evidence and analysis is, as well as transition into next paragraph. Learning more applications for writing is one huge improvement I made during UWP1.

A portfolio class makes students have chances to continually revising their papers and figure the process how to improve their writings. Since I needed more time to revise my paper compared to others, in this way I do get more opportunities to ask questions.

Besides basic grammar concepts, I learned how to write a formal research paper in this class. I learned how to write a title page and recognize that an abstract and an introduction are not the same thing. The abstract is a summary that tells readers about the general contents of the paper, while the introduction may include more analysis.  Citations are important because they strengthen the paper and give the authors copy right. It was a really difficult process for me to complete my research paper “Grit and First Year College Students”. I started writing this paper with a limited knowledge about citation and analyses. Thus, several drafts in the beginning lacks of cohesion and did not follow the prompt. Afterwards, I learned that citation is a useful way to help clarify the topic of each paragraphs.

The class helps international students, too. As for myself, I finally figured out why I cannot succeed in writing classes and other subjects. I believe that understanding word meanings is important. Reading prompts and questions clearly have been difficult for me. I took a long time figuring out prompts and questions. As a result, I did not have time to answer the problems completely during exams.

Overall, I learned many writing skills in this class and got many writing tip. This class was really difficult for me, but I still try my best to ask questions and find writing tutors. In the future, I have to strengthen my writing skills for higher-level classes and future career. I am ready for challenges.

Thank you for reading my portfolio.

Gin Hua