Portfolio Reflection Essay The beginning of high school I was a seed in English class. I was not particularly good at English and had doubts on whether I should ask the teacher to move me down to the college prep class. Just like a seed, I was a plain little student sitting in an honors class. Maybe from last year’s English class, I was fully aware my writing was not anything special. That was what I thought because I compared myself to my friends, but for sure, one thing I was positive was that writing was my strength in English rather than vocabulary and reading comprehension.
With a portfolio with all my past essays in front of me on my desk, I flipped through it. I noticed that my essays were not well-organized, and I had trouble with structuring my essays. However, at the same time, I saw that I had a variety of transitions, and clear topic sentences. The topic sentences were not creative because it was in a basic format, but I knew she could work on that the upcoming year.
Thanks to the portfolio that my teacher handed out at the start of the school year, I was able to realize that my writing can change and believed that if I put time and effort through the year, my writing may become a flower one day and bloom beautifully. I sat down in that classroom, day after day, learning new ways to improve. Eventually, almost a year of 9th grade passed. Now that almost a year has gone by and I compare my current self to myself in the beginning of the school year, I definitely see an improvement.
I started the year off well, with many A’s in my timed writing and my annotations. But as the year progressed, my grades were dropping. At first, I thought it was because I was putting less effort or my English teacher was grading hard on me. Although my grades did not show improvement, I feel my grades are unimportant. What really matters to me is that I grew and improved mentally through the year despite what my low grades. Of course, if I improved then my grades would rise, but compared to the beginning of the school year, I feel that I am able to write more fluently.
Response to literature essays seem more familiar to me, and I do not struggle with concrete details anymore. Due to the timed constant timed writings I had to take, I can brainstorm essays faster and finish essays within the given time limit. Paying attention to details was a major problem for me in the beginning of the school year, but now I know that I should read the text more than once and constantly write notes in the book with post-its so that I do not forget what happened.
In addition, just like I wanted to improve on my topic sentences, I was able to learn to make a variety of topic sentences instead of the basic topic sentence formats. Discussions, homework, lectures, and tests, were not the most interesting things, but through these, I was able to change. Throughout the year, I was given many on-demand writings reflecting upon each book that I read in class. I always had trouble with brainstorming because I took too much time on it. I was not able to organize my paragraphs well with pressure of time.
The results of this were shown through my basic formatted paragraphs because I could not think of varieties of sentences. However, as time passed, my brainstorming time got faster and I was able to have enough time to edit my essay afterwards. As I looked through my portfolio toward the end of the year, I saw all the on-demand writings I took over the course of the year. My favorite one turned out to be the Fahrenheit 451 in class essay. The essay was well written according to the comments from the teacher.
It had an interesting opening sentence, organized thesis, and clear topic sentences. I am proud that I showed changes in my TS especially since I wrote the Fahrenheit 451 ICE toward the beginning of the school year. I would probably say that this essay is far the best on-demand writing I have ever written. In addition, I wrote a couple other ICEs on Oedipus Rex and Romeo and Juliet. From these two essays, I learned that I need to work on my commentaries and my introduction paragraph. I look forward to seeing new growth in myself next year. Process essays were my worst essays.
It took up lots of time to brainstorm and research, especially since they are worth a lot of points and important. However, I found that the fact that we had only a limited amount of sentences for commentary was invaluable. I should have the freedom to write as much as I want in the commentary especially since that part is one the most important parts to each body paragraph. A couple essays I wrote were a persuasive essay and a career report. Typically, people would favor the essay that received a higher grade, but I prefer my persuasive essay. It had an attractive hook, but needed work on unity and depth.
Persuasive essays are my worst type of essay especially because I have to do research and I am terrible at looking up concrete details for these essays. I usually tend to blow off my commentaries because I do not have enough detail. But while flipping through my last year’s essay, I found a persuasive essay, and it brought a smile to my face. There was a huge improvement with the flow of the essay. My other essay, the career report, was definitely better than my persuasive because it had a good introduction and integrations, but the improvement touched me more than just a grade.
I never knew an essay with the worst grade I ever received could make me smile. At the moment, I am a seed with a small, barely noticeable sprout. I feel that I am still not a great writer, but I learned many valuable lessons this school year. Through those lessons and small improvements I noticed, I hope my writing will grow and bloom like flowers in the spring. Next year, I wish to create stronger commentaries, introductions, and conclusion paragraphs. My weaknesses will become my strengths to improve throughout my high school years.