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English 401-Advanced Composition

Advanced Composition Cover Letter

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COVER LETTER

 

Dr. Judith Szerdahelyi
Department of
English
Western Kentucky University

1906
College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101

 

May 5, 2008


Dear Dr. Szerdahelyi,

 

When I received the information on how to complete the portfolio due for his class, and what needed to be included in the cover letter, it was in audio format.  From what I heard, there were visual instructions that I was not privy to.  With that being said, I am going to try to complete this to the best of my ability.  When completing the surveys for your research project, I continuously stated that I would have preferred all of the readings to be in text, instead of audio or video.  I am a very visual person and prefer to either see or read my assignments.  This was one of the hardest things that I had to overcome in this course. 

 

This was the first time I have ever taken an online course, which this was one of three; therefore, I was not exactly sure what to expect.  When the classes first started, I was a bit overwhelmed and scared that I was not going to be able to do this.  What happened, though, was that I found out that by being a non-traditional student I was more disciplined than some of my younger classmates.  I found that being online was easier, yet more challenging, than attending class in a room.  I also seemed to become addicted to keeping BlackBoard pulled up at all times, checking for posts from any of my classmates, whether they were in my group or not.

 

I believe that by taking this course I have been able to look more closely at my life.  It has forced me to search my soul and re-examine feelings that I have kept buried for many years.  This fact is evident in my Paper 2, which I have continued to revise, and will probably keep working on for a long time to come.  While most people in my small town would believe that I have a family that is considered a pillar of the community, I know otherwise.  Every family has their secrets or skeletons in the closet, and through the CNF genre, I have been given the opportunity to open up for the first time about my pain.

 

I feel that the writing assignments gave me a chance to express myself and my viewpoints, while honing my writing skills.  The reading assignments were strategically placed so that we were able to learn, step by step, how to keep improving.  I feel that I have learned more in this class than any other I have ever taken at Western.  While I may never be a published author, I know that what I have learned from you, the feedback and encouragement I have received from my peers, along with the wonderful tips I picked up from reading Anne Lamott and Stephen King, will enable me to help my students write papers that they never imagined they could. 

 

Some of the ideas, such as using index cards and keeping a journal, are things that I have started doing and will continue to do so that I can use them in my writings.  I plan to continue writing, more for pleasure than anything, but now I have a way of keeping track of my thoughts and things that have happened in my life. 

 

I realize, through your feedback, that I am guilty of “telling” things to the reader, instead of “showing” them.  This has been one of my biggest problems, and I hope to keep improving so that I can use more descriptive details in future writings.  I was very pleased with your feedback on Paper 3 and am currently working on the revisions so that I will have a paper that not only brings my grade higher, but will bring me pleasure. 

 

When this course started, I was in Group 1 with two other very active students and two more that participated sporadically.  When one member of our group dropped the course, there were only two of us left who took an active role.  With the re-grouping, I found that there was more interaction and feel that our postings became more like that of a classroom setting.  Although we never had the chance to meet in person, I feel that we all became very close and had some wonderful discussions.  I believe that I have kept up with the assignments very well, didn’t miss any deadlines, and was an active participant.  I did provide feedback for all of my group members, along with anonymous feedback postings on both papers for those in the class.  I was also an active participant in your research project with reading assignments and responding to surveys. 

 

Although my first two papers only scored a ‘C’, I feel that I improved greatly with the revision of Paper 3 in that I was able to bring my grade up to a ‘B’.  Obviously, I have learned, through feedback, just what I need to do to make my papers better and have strived to make the necessary corrections.   I hope that by the time I get my final portfolio digitalized, I will have made both papers worthy of a high ‘B’.  With regards to my overall grade, it is obvious in my personal and group folder that I have been an active participant throughout the semester.  While I would love to receive an ‘A’ in this course and feel that I am deserving of this grade, my interpretations may be a bit biased; therefore, I will be happy with a ‘B’.

 

In closing, I want to thank you for the tremendous amount of time, effort, work, and help that you have provided each of us this semester.  It is evident that you thoroughly enjoy your profession and you have been a wonderful professor.  Thank you for your guidance and I wish you much success with your research project. 

 

Sincerely,

Veronica M. Johnson