16th March 2016
Professor Agnes Stark
UWP 23 Instructor
University of California, Davis
One Shield Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Dear Professor Stark,
Though a quarter of learning in the course UWP 23, I feel I am improving my English skills, especially on writing, gradually for the last two months. As a writer, I had some experience with essay writing from high school and the winter quarter, which was my first quarter at college. I would say that I was not a bad writer, and my essays were able to convey my ideas. However, I heavily relied on the sources and was using quotes a lot and sometimes the analysis comes weaker than the quotations. Now I feel I am much more confident and natural with analysis and eliminating the direct quotations from my essays.
What I learned in this class can also be helpful in other classes whenever there is an essay to write. The most useful skill I learned that can be used in essay writing is researching in the school library. Library is a source that is being forgotten by people because of the existence of the Internet and research engines. However, the articles and journals in the library are much better sources than the articles from the Internet since they were actually published on magazines and other academic publications. Moreover, the presentation skill that I practiced in this class is also very useful for other courses.
As a writer, I think the strongest strength I have is that I can always find something others cannot find. I love to write about something unique or interpret something through a unique point of view that is completely different from others. I guess it is related to my creativity and personality. I think the unique point of view can really help me to stand out from other writers.
As always, I can work on my essay organization since it is where my problems at. Despite the grammar problems I have had, my essay organization is sometimes confusing and really need improvements by making specific outlines. Instead of enjoying researching the topic, I think I should pay more attention to planning my essay way before I start researching. If I can make a complete outline including the thesis statements and topic sentence, I should be able to make my essay very clear and direct.
My favorite piece in the portfolio is the one that I interviewed my mother about the air pollution in China. I like this one the most because I really learned a lot of what I did not know before during the process of not only interviewing, but also doing the research to fully understand about the topic. I had a lot of fun during the process, and found interviewing a lot easier and relaxing than I had imagined. I think the analytical research essay came out a little confusing for the readers that it did not have a very specific format and topic sentences. However, the content, as far as I am concerned, is really interesting. Reddit is a website that many may be heard of but never experienced, especially for older generations. While writing about Reddit, I did look through a lot of articles talking about Reddit from its history to the problems of the community. I even learned the Reddit users accidentally accused the wrong person as the bomber at Boston Marathon.
As a UWP student, I really appreciate the program that helps me getting more and more comfortable with the English related works at UC Davis. I do feel more capable of getting good grades on essays and presentations, and even better than many of the native speakers.