Dear Class,

This semester was something different. It was something that no one would have ever expected before. Ever since we were hit with COVID-19 the world changed immensely. Something we have all faced together is having to quarantine. Very few schools have allowed their student to attend school on campus. Therefore, those who are not in person must do their schooling online. Unfortunately, City College is one of the many schools that are forced to do school online. For many of my classes i8 find that doing the work online is not as helpful as doing it in person. But for some reason this class is different. English 11100 is something that I can say that I am greatly happy that I have decided to take. Although having to work remotely, I think I was still able to obtain a lot of new ideas and understandings that I haven’t learned in the past. 

Throughout the semester I have learned different reading and writing strategies. Through each phase of the semester, I found myself learning different ways in which to express my writing. In doing so, I have been able to successfully say that I think that all the course learning outcomes for this class, have been met. Such as in phase one, I was able to “recognize the role of language attitudes and standards in empowering, oppressing, and hierarchizing languages and their users, and be open to communicating across different languages and cultures” (cited from English 1110 syllabus). We were told to express in ways in which we dealt with growing up learning the English language, and what obstacles we took to overcome those challenges. In my essay specifically, I voiced my obstacles and how I overcame them. The essay explained how when I was younger, I never really had a good English class. I was forced to learn mostly about what my religion was and all the things I was supposed to follow. I wanted to be able to create an essay where I catered to those who struggled with the same issues that I had had in the past and to let them know that they weren’t alone. Which here, by addressing an audience, I was able to “Understand and use print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences”, which is another one of the learning outcomes for this semester (cited from English 1110 syllabus). By addressing who I wanted to speak to within my essay, I was able to show to everyone, not just children, that it is okay to stand out and be different. That it is okay to get things wrong and ask for help and receive it. Because without the help that I needed, I would not be standing here today with all the knowledge that I attained, nor would I be able to share my experiences. And once again in my essay, I was able to clearly explain another one of the courses outcomes. I showed my ability to “recognize and practice key rhetorical terms and strategies when engaged in writing situations” by using the rhetorical choice of pathos to appeal to my readers (cited from English 1110 syllabus). In doing so, I explained the hardship I had faced as a child and everything that came along with it. And how the emotion of the reader towards the beginning was to feel sorry for the child, that is represented in the story. I used ethos to describe the situation that I was in, and logos to show the logical reasoning for doing what I did. During phase one’s assignment, I learned what I came from. I never truly sat down and analyzed where I began and how I have come so far. But by being asked to look back on our original learning of literature, and to reflect on it. I learned that I struggled a lot. Also, during this phase, I learned how to properly work with others and critique others in not only art (as I am an art student) but in English as well. Which is another one of the course learning outcomes, which states to “engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes” (cited from English 1110 syllabus). I learned that although sometimes criticism can be hard to take, most of it is used as a way to push ourselves to do better. And all we want for each other is to do the best that we can.

During phase two, we were introduced to a new type of strategy called rhetorical analysis. Within my phase two essay, I had provided two examples of texts that exhibit ways in which a text can appeal to the readers emotions or their understanding of logic. During this phase I have learned that not only were texts written to illustrate something that had happened in the authors life or something they are trying to describe, but in fact they are trying to educate the reader and make them feel for the characters and events that happen inside their writing. This way of writing that we are learning, checks off another course learning outcome which is to, “recognize and practice key rhetorical terms and strategies when engaged in writing situations” as well as “explore and analyze, in writing and reading, a variety of genres and rhetorical situations” (cited from English 1110 syllabus). This type of learning allowed us as readers to see the three different types of ways that the writing appealed to the understanding of the text. First being pathos, which is appealing to emotion, second being ethos which appeals to the idea of facts and logos which appeals to the logic behind every argument. But aside from learning strategies within a text, I have learned values from reading a text outside of the curriculum and what we were told to read. One of the terms that impacted my learning and writing of this essay was explaining rhetorical situation, being that this essay was veered toward understanding rhetorical strategies within a persuasive text. I was introduced to tone within a text and the understanding of speaking to an audience. Within this essay, we were given the opportunity to explore the writings of different authors and learning how they used rhetorical strategies within their essays. I think overall during this phase, I learned a lot of new things that I was never introduced to before, up until this year. I can say that I am greatly appreciative for the chance to be creative and not to be told exactly what we can and cannot to. Because it allows us to go beyond the boundaries of the assignment, which is something that not most professors appreciate.

During phase three, we were given the change to write an essay about any topic of our choice. We were asked to do research of our essay and explain what point that it was that we were trying to get across. I had chosen to write about the importance of domestic abuse. I felt that it is not something that should ever be taken lightly, nor should it be something to look past. So, through various forms of research, I had discovered different ways that people have delt with domestic abuse within their own households. When one thinks of abuse, they usually assume that it is the man that is abusing the woman. But this is not always the case. As I have learned, there is much more to what goes on in an abusive relationship that people think. It is not just some pushing and some screaming. People have lost their lives, and those of their children by both a males and females being abusive. There are thousands of stories of men and women sharing their experiences dealing with abuse. No type of abuse is better than another. People can be hurt physically and emotionally. This can lead to various types of long-term effects. Such as one dealing with depression, or other dealing with physical pain from their partner. I wish for those who chose to read this essay to understand how important it is to understand what domestic abuse is, and how to read the signs before it gets to a point where they are stuck. I wanted my readers to learn from mistakes of others and find ways to help themselves. Asking for help is never easy but with time, it will be the right thing to do in the long run. During this phase, I learned about researching a topic that I was interested in. Fortunately, I don’t deal with any type of abuse in my own household, but by understanding what it is that shows signs of abuse can help me to assist those that I see, who aren’t seeing those red flags. I focused mainly on stories to express not only the facts, but what happens. By doing this, I feel that the reader can clearly understand how important it is to understand what abuse is. When it comes to this assignment as a whole, this phase’s assignment allowed me to “locate research sources (including academic journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles) in the library’s databases or archives and on the Internet and evaluate them for credibility, accuracy, timeliness, and bias” as well as “Compose texts that integrate your stance with appropriate sources using strategies such as summary, critical analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and argumentation” (cited from English 1110 syllabus). As I had explained I have used different sources to come to the conclusions of the essay that I had written and used fact as well as stories to prove so. I used statistics and current life situations to develop my essay and give an overall explanation to the point that I am trying to convey. I feel that during this phase, while we were given the opportunity to explore anything we wanted, most of us chose to choose topics that sparked our interest. If I were given the option to do a second essay, I would have! There is an abundance of things that I find interesting and would love to explore some more. But I think that with the conclusion of the essay that I had written, I am happy with the overall result and all the new knowledge that I have now obtained.

And now coming to an end, the last two course outcomes, which are to “practice systematic application of citation conventions” and “develop strategies for reading, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing”, can clearly be shown within every essay that I have written this past semester (cited from English 1110 syllabus).These learning outcomes are important in understanding the process within any essay. Especially understanding the developmental strategies of reading something, then drafting, then working with someone to reread what you have written, and then revising and then editing. It helps to come up with a strong essay, and without this idea of going back and learning from what others have to say, there is not any sort of development to your essay, which can therefore result in not doing as well. The citation of an essay is also extremely important because it is needed in making sure that there is no plagiarism. When using someone else’s words, it is always important to give them the credit that they deserve. And the way that we do that is by citing them within the essay and at the end in the works cited page to show that some things that have been written were not all of our own. Now aside from everything that was given as a major assignment during this course, we were also given the opportunity to write minor papers where we could be as creative as we wanted. Through each one of the creative pieces (or journals), I was able to express myself in writing in ways that I enjoy. I have written poems and told fiction stories. It was a way to let my creativity to run wild and even get points for doing so. It was a win, win! So, thank you for an amazing semester, and I hope that every English class that I take after this one was as amazing and informative as this one!