In High School I always had difficulty with writing assignments, because I couldn’t organize my thoughts very well into a coherent document. So when I came to SLCC I tested into WRTG 990. But I did well there, and went on to ENGL 1010 and ENGL 2010. Click on each subheading on the left to see examples of my work in each of my writing classes.



My English 1010 course was portfolio-based, meaning that we had to construct a portfolio of our work during the semester. Here is a (not-active) link to my English 1010 e-portfolio.


For this General Education e-portfolio, I want to share with you my favorite assignment from the course. It also happens to showcase an important communication skill–that of rhetorical analysis. This (not-real) file, cartoon.doc, is the final draft of my rhetorical analysis of a political cartoon.



I loved this assignment! Not only was it fun to do, but this simple assignment helped me be a more critical consumer of political messages and really drove home the elements of effective communication. After picking the political cartoon, I had to describe it and analyze it in light of key concepts such as audience, purpose, and rhetorical strategies. I don’t want to rehash my analysis here, because you can click on the file name above and read it for yourself. What I do want to say is that I now realize that all forms of communication–from something simple like a political cartoon to complex arguments like a Presidential inauguration speech–can be analyzed using the same method we learned in this assignment.

Authors, speakers, cartoonists–indeed, all of us–use key rhetorical strategies and a knowledge of audience and context to convey their message as effectively as possible. Some people are better able to do this than others. For instance, shortly after 9/11 President Bush referred to his War on Terror as a “crusade,” which played well with a domestic audience that was looking for a strong response to the deaths of 3,000 people in the worst terrorist attack in American history. However, Bush probably momentarily forgot that he was also speaking to a global audience that included hundreds of millions of Muslims, for whom “crusade” has ominous implications. I feel like I’m “clued in” to rhetorical analysis now. In fact, it’s like a lifelong gift, because I’m able to look for deeper meaning in any text.


English 2010


My English 2010 course was portfolio-based, meaning that we had to construct a portfolio of our work during the semester. Here is a (not-active) link to my English 2010 e-portfolio, so you can see the whole range of my work.


The best illustration of my work in English 2010 is Learning Communities.pdf, a pamphlet I made for SLCC’s Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC). It is a piece of the public writing campaign group project that is a part of all English 2010 courses. I was in a group of four students who hooked up with Deanna Anderson, Director of the FTLC, to produce a campaign to promote learning communities at SLCC. We made a series of pamphlets, flyers, podcasts and research papers targeted at faculty and student audiences. All of these texts had a similar look and feel. My part was the pamphlet addressed to a faculty audience.




I think this pamphlet speaks to my ability to work professionally with others and to communicate effectively in writing. Once we got to know each other and understand the assignment, my group did a good job of dividing up the assignment. We quickly agreed on the idea of working with the FTLC Director, and sketched out the possible pieces of our public writing campaign. We set up a research meeting with Ms. Anderson so we could gather information on learning communities at SLCC. She also pointed us in the direction of prominent literature about learning communities, which was very helpful. Then we divided up the responsibilities–who was going to create what–and settled on a common style and format scheme. When we each had a draft, we got together and did some peer review to give each other feedback. Before we finished the project, we copy edited and fine tuned the documents. By the way, the photograph above is of our brainstorming session (not really) when we were determining the elements that ought to be in our campaign.

As you can see from the pamphlet itself, the first rhetorical choice I had to make was how best to balance text and image elements. I knew that a pamphlet full of dense text was inappropriate; that’s not what people want in a pamphlet! I knew from talking with Ms. Anderson that many faculty didn’t know much about learning communities, so that’s why some of my headings are phrased as questions. I also needed to balance text, images, and the proper use of blank space to help the reader navigate the document. Bill, one of the students in my group, made the suggestion to include comments about learning communities from students and faculty, and I think that worked out well. Another element of effective communication has to do with the synthesis of quite a bit of research information about learning communities into the relatively small space of a pamphlet.

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