Hello, my name is Jenna Allsworth. I am currently a student at Florida State University, and this is my portfolio for ENC1102. Within this portfolio, you will find a collection of all the writing pieces I have completed throughout the Fall 2013 semester.
Throughout ENC1102, I learned a lot more about writing than I ever thought I would before going into it. In high school, teachers teach writing in a very formal, structured way. It is necessary and important to know how to write like that, but I feel as if it limited my creativity, my voice, and my opinions. We were assigned essays to write in a particular format, MLA for instance, but were never really taught much more than that. ENC1102 made me look at writing differently from the way I have been looking at it for my entire life prior to this class. I was taught to think about my audience and who I am trying to appeal my writing towards, rather than just writing for no purpose. Purpose is actually another thing I learned about. Of course I knew all along that whenever I wrote something it had to have some specific purpose, but I never really realized how more important my writing becomes when it has a purpose to it. When I was in high school, I would write with the purpose of either getting the assignment done or to just talk about whatever topic I was given. I would not really analyze and give my opinion in the paper. Instead, I would just discuss strict facts and contextual information. Now, I have learned that it is okay to analyze with my own thoughts and opinions, as long as I have found credible research to support it. I had always been too afraid to give my opinion because of the doubt that maybe I was possibly wrong or that giving my opinion made the paper too informal. I was never really taught how to write an essay, and what to include and what not to include. Now I know how important it is too state exactly what my purpose is and my key points in the introduction of a paper I may write. ENC1102 was not like any English class I have ever taken before. It made me think of genre in a new way, and the importance of having a piece of writing that is categorized in order to make it more clear to its audience of its overall purpose. For example, if a story is categorized under mystery, then its audience knows to expect that there will be some sort of mysterious element within the story and that they should be attentive to follow the story line. They won’t be paying attention to the signs of feminism as they would have had they known that they were reading a feminist piece of literature.
My favorite thing I learned about in ENC1102 that I know has sticked out the most in my mind is the different forms writing can take place in. I previously never really thought about writing other than in schoolwork because school for the past 16 years has been my life. It has been all I have known. I began to associate writing purely with dreaded essays that I felt limited my voice. Now I view writing as a much more freeing act of expressing my ideas. I no longer feel limited in what I feel I have to say. A journal assignment that really opened my eyes up to this was the handwritten letter that I wrote to a friend that passed away, and the Vine project. Nowadays, everything is typed out and I cannot remember the last time I had actually written a letter to a friend. I usually just text or email them; I don’t even pass notes in class anymore. Instead, its a text message. Writing that letter opened my eyes up to how caught up I have gotten with technology, and that there are so many different forms of writing out in the word other than a double spaced, times new roman, 12 point font essay on a computer screen. I had always considered writing a form of expression, but never really viewed it as anything other than actual written down words. What also helped me change my way of thinking was the Vine project. Composing the vine based off of something I had written made me see that the composition of the vine was writing in itself. I had created this six second looping video off of actions and words that my partners and I spoke. The fact that we composed that video made me see how writing is not just physically writing something, but it is also a way of composing something to express ourselves for a specific purpose. I had always considered myself a creative person so I found it to be quite a surprise when I had never really looked at writing in this way before. I have noticed how my work has progressed throughout the semester significantly. I started off with a very narrow-minded view of writing by it being something you write down visually to express yourself. As I progressed, I noticed my journal assignments became much more expressive and creative. I was no longer afraid to say what was on my mind nor did I worry about having to make grammatical errors. My sole purpose was to get my message across as long as it made sense to my audience. With my research paper, I wrote about graffiti. At the beginning of the semester, I would have never thought to view graffiti as a form of writing. I would have thought it was art, or vandalism, but now I see how it is a form of writing after all. My mind opened up to all the possibilities that can be considered writing, and I now view art, and even film making for instance, as a way of writing. For my portfolio project, I decided to go with the theme of a quilt. Since I love making things and creating art, and since I have opened my eyes to incorporate that as writing, I decided that a quilt would be the perfect theme. Making a quilt is something creative that I would enjoy doing. A quilt contains many different pieces of cloth that are so different from on another but when you tie all the loose ends together, it makes something beautiful and functional. I think this relates to all that I have learned this semester because we learned about so many important concepts of writing, and in the end, we have tied them together to all relate to one another and create a significant piece of writing. The pieces of cloth are the concepts we have learned, my professor (Joe Cirio) is the thread that ties them together, and the end result is the quilt that is the semester full of everything I have learned and will posses for the rest of my life.