Heather Murray

Letter of Transmittal


Prof. Stephenson,

            The target audience of my narrative, rhetorical analysis, and research project is all the students who would have potentially read them during the peer reviews, the teachers and teacher assistants that helped me write them during my labs.  The therapeutic community was a specific target of my narrative.  I wanted to target the justice department, police, courts, attorneys, and anyone else who is involved in the process of convicting and imprisoning people.  And without a doubt, in all three of my pieces I wanted to target the whole of America.  I wanted to open peoples’ eyes to either a new point of view on a subject, or possibly to a new topic all together.  Often times people are so comfortable in their own daily lives that they fail to notice what is going on outside of what they know.  I wanted to expose people to that “other side” that they may not have ever thought about or knew existed.

            In all three of my pieces I started out with a very basic and dry, rough draft.  There are a couple reasons for this.  First, I usually don’t know what I want to write.  I’m debating on different topics and I want to get feedback before I get too deep into writing it in case I change my mind about any part of it, then, revision isn’t so difficult.  Second, I usually want to find out what is expected of me.  Even after reading instructions 2, 3, or 10 times, there are always questions.  I like to get clarification on the direction I’m supposed to take.  By the end of all three of my pieces, I wouldn’t describe any of them as basic, dry, or rough. way.  This is due to my revisions.  One of the most important revisions I can remember making in my narrative assignment was the decision to either take out or add in a part of the scene that had really affected me in the moment that it happened. 

            The part was about something one of my therapists had said to me.  He had taken something I said out of upset and desperation and used it to spite and upset me.  What I and he had said was, “I wouldn’t put my dog on a rope.”  It was so upsetting to me.  It is also very important to me that I get the message across of how traumatic the event really was, and I wanted to include this specific part of the story so badly.  In the end, I had to decide to omit it from my final draft.  This was due to length and the path in which my narrative took.  To fit it into my narrative would have jumbled, confused, and cluttered the piece.  So although it was very important to me, I had to understand that it wasn’t going to have the same effect on my audience.  I gave up personal satisfaction for the bigger picture of getting across a clear message about my experience with the therapeutic community and the type of behaviors that can go on behind closed doors.

            This is an awesome example of how I’ve grown as a writer.  In the past I would have sacrificed the piece for one small part that I felt was important.  Whether something made sense to my audience or not, I didn’t care. I also didn’t care if it confused the piece.  I only cared about the personal and emotional satisfaction I felt in including or omitting any given information.  Now, instead of focusing in on the little things that effect my emotions, I can see the bigger picture.  I can see how it is okay to skip over some of the more irrelevant or emotional information, and that I don’t have to tell every little piece of the story to get the message across.  This is one of the main ways I’ve grown as a writer, and I’m glad I did.  I’ve also learned to be more concise.  I tend to be wordy in my writing, saying in three sentences what could easily be said in one.  I also like to repeat myself.  I’ve learned to look for these errors and be diligent about saying what I mean without using too much flowery language.

            Most important of all I’ve gotten more confident about my abilities as a writer.  Before this semester I had very little confidence in my writing.  I believed that I was a “bad writer.”  I didn’t realize that all it took to write a good piece was time, effort and maybe a little help from others who are able to give guidance.  I now believe that if I were given any topic to write on, in any genre, as long as I had a little help along the way I would be able to complete the assignment, and do it well.  I also never believed that I had the ability to be creative.  I now know that I can be creative as well, and this is all thanks to the challenging assignments I was given this semester.  If it weren’t for being afraid upon reading the assignment descriptions and successfully completing them afterward, I would have never been able to gain this newfound confidence in myself.  I appreciate that I was given the opportunity to learn new writing skills, skills I would have never learned nor explored otherwise.

Part II.docx Part II.docx
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Part I.docx Part I.docx
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Rhetorical Analysis Final Draft.docx Rhetorical Analysis Final Draft.docx
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Narrative Revision 2.docx Narrative Revision 2.docx
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