Throughout the semester, my development as a writer can be traced through several avenues. Close attention to the content, organization, and language of the profile piece “Modern Equation” in comparison with those aspects of the resume analysis piece demonstrate that I have strengthened my abilities as a writer. The specific areas in which I developed are in analyzing and immediately engaging my audience by at once defining and embedding the subject in a context common to both.
Comparison of both assignments also reveals a higher level of critical and evaluative skills, a greater level of organization in the area of content, and a more mature use of language as a mode of expression. In addition, the two writing projects revealed a significant degree of improvement with regard to the treatment and discussion of the ideas pertinent to each piece. Finally, the experience gained throughout the class was evident in my increased ability to draw conclusions about the writing projects, as well as in considerably increased facility and confidence in putting together the pieces.
The introduction of first assignment shows an adequate amount of engagement with the audience at the outset. It mentions the boundaries of the academic writing with which the audience would have been familiar, indicating that the kind of writing that college students are exposed to might not be precisely the type that is required of them in the business world. As the intended audience is made up of college students, the relevancy causes engagement to occur immediately. However, the introduction does fall a little short of the anecdotal aspect that was required of it, as no reference to a specific event of the past.
In contrast, though the second piece also includes little anecdotal material in the introduction, it adheres more strictly to the content requirement, which was specifically to create common ground between the audience and the writer. This is accomplished in its likening the professional world to “every other area” which includes the sphere of the audience. It then loses no time in defining the true subject of the piece, the presentation of professional resumes, and it also defines “values” and “conventions” which are the criteria used to create and judge the resumes.
Both assignments show a similar level of research and effort, as the breadth of information available for the background appears comparable. What does appear dissimilar is the degree to which the information was analyzed and presented. It is notable that both pieces include information on the same person, Brian Cox. In the first, Cox’s information is merely stated: “Mr. Brian Cox, an MBA graduate in International Business, is the corporate account manager at Henry Schein, Inc. , a pharmaceutical company” (par. 2) .
The second piece when evaluated proves to contain more highly developed critical and presentation skills. It gives a more detailed and specific explanation as to the relevance of the information, indicating that the resumes serve to show the level of exposure and experience its holders have acquired in their respective fields. Though a portion of this apparent advancement in critical skills can be attributed to the genres of the pieces, much can also be attributed to advancement of the cognitive and representational skills of the writer.
The second assignment, the resume analysis, also demonstrated a more structured aspect than that of the profile. The profile does flow naturally from one aspect of the topic to another, but the flow is less predictable as each paragraph picks up from a thread of the last. For example, in the third paragraph of the profile on Brian Cox, he is said to have indicated that “the most important genre […] that he uses at work is the follow up e-mail. ” The next paragraph, therefore, goes on to look at email, its purposes, structure, organization, scope, strength, and weaknesses.
On the other hand, the introduction of the resume analysis details precisely what is to be expected in the subsequent paragraphs, and as a result afford the audience a greater ability to predict and process the information. The introduction of this assignment first delineates its scope and purpose, which is to “examine the way in which each resume is structured and [to] present an analysis of the genre according to content, organization, language, and format in light of the values held by the writers and their audiences” (2).
After this, each paragraph systematically explores the resumes from the angles indicated, being careful to adhere to the order in which they were presented. This displays the presence of greater and more focused attention on the organizational structure while writing the second assignment. However, it does also seem that the nature of the second assignment lent itself to a more rigid structure than that of the first, so that fluidity was more acceptable in the first and rigidity in the second. In any case, the second assignment did reveal the growth of the writer’s ability to structure the content of the writing.