Your Final Portfolio should contain a Title page with your name, course, section, date, and instructor’s name. There should also be a Works Cited page in the final page/s of the portfolio, in alphabetic order by the author’s last name (following MLA format). Your word count cannot include the Works Cited, Title page, Index, or any other writing outside of the primary text. Adding images, graphs, media, or any other visual or multimodal text can be rhetorically useful and effective in supporting your argument or developing your purpose, but it will not count in your final word count. Your portfolio should be organized as follows:
Cover Letter – 20%
Reflect on your growth and struggles since the beginning of the semester. Then, compose a cover letter (minimum 500 words) for the reader (a general audience getting to know you and how you are thinking about the work in the portfolio) of your Final portfolio for English 104. Even though I am one of your primary audiences, please do not mention my name or talk to me directly – the focus is on you, the writer (as a writer, reader, and critical thinker). In order to help your reader have a framework for the portfolio, consider each of the following statements (although not necessarily in this order).
Provide an overview of the pieces in the portfolio.
Reflect on the process of composing these pieces.
Analyze how these pieces reflect your growth as a writer.
Predict what you will take with you from this class.
Include an overview of your theory of identity.
Best Short Draft – 20%
Choose your best draft from the first half of the semester and conduct a thorough revision. You will be assessed on the expectations of the initial prompt, in addition to the expectations of a finished product.
Final Research Project – 50%
Compose and revise a final draft of your research project. This should include an introduction that clearly and thoroughly introduces your topic, a clearly stated thesis that makes an argument about identity and its relationship to something else and is included within the text, and full development and organization of your research, background information, supporting evidence, and purpose. Lastly, you are expected to include and effectively incorporate at the minimum ten credible sources, of which at least 6 should be academic.
Guidelines: Your draft should be 2,000 words minimum, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and submitted on Blackboard.
Assessment: You will be assessed on the development, investigation, and organization of your topic; clarity of purpose and organization in your introduction; focus, organization, and implementation of your thesis; appropriate and relevant choice and use of sources; and the development of your supporting background information, evidence, and argument. You will also be assessed on your consideration of the rhetorical situation in your writing and your reading of sources. Finally, you will be assessed on your general organization, structure, grammar, and sentence structure. This will be assessed as a finished product with the below points in the rubric:
-Supporting Evidence /7
My Writing Portfolio
In the first section of the portfolio, the data and findings relating to the Qatar Blockade is provided. As is highlighted, it refers to the strained diplomatic relation involving Qatar and other nations (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the Maldives, Jordan, Comoros, and Senegal among other countries. There are different factors that explain the blockade and in the paper both perspectives from the nations affected are provided. In other terms, the paper argues in support of the other nations that were united against Qatar. In the second paper, I address my life background about how I learned English. I expound on the difficulties I encountered as well the help that I received.
The process of composing the two pieces was challenging to say the least. However, it was also informative and educative at the same time. Relating to the Qatar blockade, I was allowed the unique opportunity to use the research skills that I had garnered earlier in the class. Therefore, I was able to learn about nations such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the Maldives, Jordan, Comoros, and Senegal among other countries and how they are affected by diplomatic relations. Earlier in the course, I was somewhat skeptical on the relevance of diplomatic relations but this piece allowed me to gain more understanding. In the second piece, I was offered the unique opportunity to look at my life from a third-person’s view. Thus, I can be able to understand my journey and the change I need to make to communicate more effectively.
As a writer, the piece relating to my understanding and use of language allowed me to be able to open up to new ideas on how I can boost my command in language. I was able to learn that communicating in written language is one of the most vital skills that a writer needs to possess. Thus, the second piece helped me as a writer as I was offered the chance to practice communicating in written form and in so doing I was able to boost my vocabulary. The first piece, on the other end, opened me to the opportunity to use my research skills in garnering information. In so doing, as a writer I can base my assertions on facts.
I will take way the research skills that I gained. These research skills will be helpful in future as I can be able to initiate extensive and detailed research on different topics. I will also take away the knowledge relating to the need of diplomatic relations and the outcomes that are associated when such relationships are strained. II will also take away the conflict resolution processes that I learned from the Qatar blockade as they were used to resolve the challenges faced by the affected countries.
My theory of identity argues that our environment shapes who we are and how we perceive life. In other terms, the environment affects the language skills we possess as well as how we develop the skillset to communicate effectively. It is therefore necessary to ensure that learners are well set to be able to learn and use language effectively.
Moving from high school to university is just an adjusting in the level of education, since my high school had much higher academic standards. My English was poor compared to the majority of other students. In addition, I was unsure about speaking in English, fearing that they would made fun of the way I speak.
Thankfully, I had friends that would correct my mistakes when I speak. I was annoyed at the amount of mistakes I would make because my friends would keep interrupting me. Moreover, I always felt insecure and shy as I spoke in front of people I didn’t know. However, this motivated me to work on my skills in English. Throughout my years of studying in high school, I began improving bit by bit. I started watching movies in English with subtitles, so I would get a better view on how a conservation should be. It’s been hard, since I was supposed to review a whole language during a short amount of time for me to able to score well on my English grammar, Spelling, and Writing exams. In fact, I remember when my first course card came out in my seventh grade, I was shocked. I had passed all my subjects with perfect scores except for English. I had failed. I was devasted and I hated English more than ever, since I felt that I would never going to improve and learn.
My school decided to let me pass the grade and move forward with my subjects. This made me work harder and pay more attention in my English classes. This also made my concentrate more on my English assignments and put more effort on completing them. I also worked more harder on my grammar and spelling. It was much more difficult since my school was of no help. They would always make us memorize English rather than understand why to do. Our exams would be a multiple-choice exam, which would be a copy of a “revision sheet” they give to us. All was needed is to memorize. Moreover, I would get confused since the choices were very similar to each other and the one-word difference would make the answer wrong. I didn’t understand. It was so frustrating and stressful. So, I decided to print out questions from the internet similar to the ones in the revision sheet and see where would I go wrong when solving the question.
I was getting better at solving questions from our school revision sheet without having to memorize or even look at the answer. However, I was forced to memorize spelling since there is no other way to know how to spell. My marks were improving greatly, and there was a huge raise on my average percentage. I started having confidence in my self and in the ability to learn. It took a lot of time, but it was worth it. I tried books for a change, but I had no change of understanding the sentences I read. All I saw where words smashed together to form a sentence which failed to make sense in my mind. I had way more diffculties in pronouncing some of the words I would read. One day at school, the teacher decided to make the whole class take turns in reading a paragraph from the book. When it was my turn, I started to shiver and my face turned red. It was going smoothly until I stumbled on a big word that I couldn’t pronounce. “D..vas..dev-t…”. I couldn’t pronounce the word “devastating”. The teacher seemed mad. “You mean devastating?”, he said. I nodded my head. “It’s in your vocabulary and spelling sheet!”, he screamed. Everyone in the class was looking at me with pity in their eyes. I never felt this embarrassed before. I hated English more than ever until the nineth grade. With much of luck this time, I was with the best teacher in English. The majority of people talks about her personality and about the way she teaches. She was so nice, and she taught me new ways of thinking and learning. Furthermore, I liked her lessons because she would give interesting topics that motivates me to participate and interact in her class. This also improved my public speaking since I was answering questions in front of the school mates. She also improved my reading skills and I was finally able to understand the content of the book to some extent. Moreover, my English kept improving because I tried to respond to my friends in English as they did. I was some times forced to speak English because some of my friends were English speakers only.
In my Senior year, I decided to take the IELTS English exam. I seemed confident that I would score a satisfactory mark, and as I expected I scored a high score most people struggle getting. However, I sat for the SAT exam which most people say that this is much harder than the IELTS. I did ten practice tests to prepare for the exam, however, I wouldn’t score high as I expected. The exam was hard. Very hard. I was anxious waiting for the results to come out. Surprisingly, I did well. I was the happiest person alive. Scoring such a high grade from the first trial boosted my confidence.
In this moment, I believed that quote, “Practice makes perfect”. It wasn’t easy to reach the level I’m at right now. Learning how to read and write wasn’t an easy task to accomplish since English wasn’t my first language. It took time, effort, and many mistakes that I learned from. However, I don’t think learning English would stop, since there is always more to learn.
Message as a Function of Audience: The Qatar Blockage
One of the most important features that shape the content churned out by the various media avenues is the audience. The audience is of great importance since it is the recipient of the content. As such, the media has to fine-tune its content in order to appeal to its intended audience. Primary audiences are also referred to as the target audience and are those who are directly addressed by the content. Secondary audience, on the other hand, refers to the section of the audience that is not being primarily addressed by the content but who are still included as consumers of the content. Tertiary audience refers to all other audiences that do not fall within the primary and secondary categories and who often share, to a reasonable extent, a common interest with the other audiences. Two scenarios related to the Qatar blockade and how different newspapers reported the scenarios with the aim of showing how the newspapers tuned their content to cater for their audiences as well as how this affects how the Gulf crisis is perceived. To be more particular, different audiences react in varying manners depending on how content is presented. Thus, the media outlets play a critical role in affecting the manner in which messages are interpreted by the audience and at the same time the manner in which the given content is perceived. Analysis of the features of messages and how they are conveyed by different mediums can be helpful by looking at the case the Qatar Blockade as well as reporting of the UAE vs. Qatar AFC Asian Cup 2019 Match and how they were presented by newspapers based in Qatar and the UAE. By looking at the two nations, which are the primary targets of the information that the newspapers conveyed, it is possible to ascertain the role that the medium of communication plays when it comes to influencing the feedback and reaction from the primary audience.
Before embarking on the context of Qatar blockade, it is fair that a definition of this issue be provided. It refers to the land as well as sea blockade that was imposed on Qatar by other Muslim nations such as the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, as well as Bahrain. These nations were driven by different reasons to impose the blockade that led to severing of diplomat ties between the given nations (Daalder & Stavridis 3). However, the sea and land blockade that was imposed had the primary objective of brining Qatar to heel. There are two nations that were directly involved in the diplomatic wars and they are Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These two nations are such that they seek to argue in support of their reasons in that Saudi Arabia aims at convincing its population that the blockade is justifiable. On the other hand, Qatar sought to prove its innocence on whatever charges were being imposed by the other nations and present its credibility to its population. Thus, the media outlets in both nations presented information and facts about the Qatar blockade differently toi the primary audience (citizens in the nations where they are based). According to Daalder and Stavridis, the Qatar blockade began in 2017 when the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the Maldives, Jordan, Comoros, and Senegal among other countries severed their diplomatic relations with Qatar and banned the country’s ships and airplanes from entering their sea routes and airspace (Daalder & Stavridis 7). In addition to this, Saudi Arabia also blocked the only land crossing that Qatar could use to access the country. The main reason cited for this blockade was the alleged support for terrorism by Qatar.
The countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the Maldives, Jordan, Comoros, and Senegal) insisted that Qatar had violated an agreement made in 2014 with other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Lynch 14). Thus, it is fair to note that the nations that are involved in this form of diplomatic woes are member coutries of Gulf Cooperation Council. By looking at the manner in which the Khaleej Times reported about the issue, it can be able to ascertain their motive as well as the characteristics of the information that they used and their objective as well. Khaleej Times, which is a United Arab Emirates-based English daily newspaper, reported on the manner and their motive was to show that the UAE was affected by Qatar’s involvement in supporting terrorism (Telci & Horoz, 144). On the other hand, the Gulf Times also reported on issues relating to the Qatar blockade. However, this newspaper took a different venture as they served to inform citizens of Qatar (their primary audience) that the country was being falsely accused. By looking at this Qatar-based English daily newspaper, it is possible to highlight how reporting on the matter is different from both nations. From one end, the Gulf Times presents Qatar having acknowledged that it had given assistance to such Islamic groups as the Muslim Brotherhood; it denies providing assistance to any militant groups that are linked to the Islamic State or the al-Qaeda. To back up this allegation, the newspaper reported that Qatar has aided the United States in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and in the war on terror in general. Looking at the example that has been provided above, it showcases how the Newspaper looks at the issue differently. The case of Khaleej Times is also addressed in the section that follows.
In this section of the paper, evidence is provided based on analysis of Khaleej Times and Gulf Times to show that media outlets take different approaches with the selected information that they use so that they can be able to advocate for their objectives which appeals to their primary audience. Gulf Times advocates for the UAE while on the other end Khaleej Times advocates for Qatar.
The newspaper is based in the United Arab Emirates. Relating to the case of Qatar blockade, the newspaper focused on showcasing that the United Arab Emirates was justified in cutting off the ties with Qatar. In addition to this, the newspaper also sought to sell the message that they (the UAE) were still in support of the objectives by the Gulf Cooperation Council. In so doing, the daily was soliciting support from the UAE public (its primary audience), so that the country’s action to block air, sea, and land access by Qatar could be supported by the public. As one of the nations that is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the UAE citizens expect that member states should be willing and determined to protect one another (Telci & Horoz, 147). Therefore, failure to back up Qatar needed to be explained and justified and this was the objective of Khaleej Times. Hence, the primary role of focusing on the wrongs by Qatar was to allow it to develop viewpoints which are inclined on proving the wrongs by the said nation. From these assertions, it can argued that the primary target affects the manner in which message is conveyed as well as the components of information being conveyed (Telci & Horoz, 151). The UAE move to adopt the Qatar blockade is therefore being supported by the Khaleej Times.
Unlike the Khaleej Times, the Gulf Times is Qatar-based English daily. It is also another newspaper that reported on the issue in the sense that it presented facts and information which allowed the public (Qatar nationals) to be able to learn about the Qatar blockade. The objective by the Gulf Times was to sell the idea that the country was being accused falsely and punished for crimes that it did not partake (Cooper & Momani 114). For example, the daily reports that Qatar acknowledged that it has given assistance to such Islamic groups as the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the same newspaper insists that the country did not offer any form of assistance to any militant groups that are linked to the Islamic State or the al-Qaeda. In addition to the above, the daily adds that Qatar has and is still aiding the United States in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and in the war on terror in general (Rathmell & Schulze, 52). Therefore, the basis of the Qatar blockade that the nation is aiding in terrorism activities is unjustified and should be ended immediately. Qatar is being presented as a victim that is caught in between a misunderstanding that has come about between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Cooper & Momani 119). All the same, the main focus with regard to the blockade would probably be the effects on the Qatari economy as well as the security status of the country. The reality is that the blockade has affected other equally important sectors of the country such as sports in the international level. By taking this approach, its primary target is offered evidence to support the stand by itys nation that it does not condone terrorism of any kind.
Using a different example, that relating to the reporting of the UAE vs. Qatar AFC Asian Cup 2019 Match, the same dailies take a different approach in the manner in which they present information to its primary audiences. Khaleej Times, the newspaper is based in the United Arab Emirates, had its focus on the performance of the UAE as hosts of the match and not on the match itself. Seeing as the country lost terribly to Qatar, it was only fair for the newspaper to find something plosive to address the venue of the match and the stadium. In one of its posts the daily published a piece headlined “UAE Raise the Bar with Hosting of Asian Cup.” Although it was strange that the newspaper had its focus on UAE as a host of the AFC Asian Cup and not as a participant in the match against Qatar, it allowed the newspaper to find something to appeal to its primary audience (the UAE citizens) (Walsh 34). The primary audience for this article is the citizens of UAE because the article appears as being intended to highlight the good performance of the country as a host and participant in the tournament. The secondary audience of the article could be other countries within, and without the Gulf region and to whom the UAE is being sold as the ultimate host country of choice for such activities as the AFC Asian Cup (Kumar 1). The tertiary audience could be the Qatari government whereby the article comes off as an indirect medium to communicate the UAE‘s indifference towards Qatar (Almutairi et al., 22). Just as the case of Qatar blockade, the newspaper seeks to adpt an objectibe that would allow them to appeal to its readers (who are mostly based in the UAE) thus focusing on the positive outcome of the match which was hosting such a tournament.
Looking at the case of Gulf Times, it reported on the same match from a completely different light. In one of its posts, the newspaper published an article headlined: “Qatar Erupts in Joy after Humbling Arrogant UAE.” The authors gave a recollection of the match with the major focus being on Qatar’s win against the UAE (Thani & Heenan, 1014). The article starts off by highlighting the impressive 4-0 win by Qatar against the UAE as well as the ensuing celebrations by supporters of the team including Qataris and expatriates. The authors are keen to highlight the difficult circumstances that the team endured to win the match (Gulf Times 1). The host country is portrayed as being hostile to the Qatari team as seen in their disgraceful conduct including shoes and bottle-throwing at Qatari players and booing of the Qatari national anthem by the UAE fans before the match. The article then goes into details of the match and looks into the stats of the game citing the impressive performance of the Qatari team in spite of the unfavorable conditions prevalent during the match and which could have affected the performance of the team, yet the team was able to rise above them and emerge victorious (Thani & Heenan, 1019). The authors are keen to highlight the various instances during the match where the Qatari players were unfairly tackled by the opponent team while making references to the ongoing Gulf crisis. The article looks at the win against the UAE as more than just football but rather as revenge for every bad thing that the country has put forward against Qatar. In this given case, the primary audience of this article includes Qatari citizens as well as sympathizers of the country in the ongoing Gulf crisis.
In summation, looking at the reporting on the UAE vs. Qatar AFC Asian Cup 2019 Match and reporting on the Qatar blockade offers an opportunity to look how the primary audience dictates the mannerism and nature of information that is conveyed by media outlets. In other terms, the medium of communication affects the notions that are developed by the primary audiences although the same mediums (such as newspapers) look to ensure that they draw the attention of its audiences by addressing issues from positive perspectives. In the case examples given above, the nations mentioned are involved in the Gulf crisis and the newspapers are aligned to the stand held by host countries so that they can positively appeal to its primary audiences.
Almutairi, Talal M., et al. “5 Qatar public relations.” Public Relations in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: An Arab Perspective (2019).
Cooper, Andrew F., and Bessma Momani. “Qatar and expanded contours of small state diplomacy.” The International Spectator 46.3 (2011): 113-128.
Daalder, Ivo H., and James G. Stavridis. “NATO’s victory in Libya: the right way to run an intervention.” Foreign Affairs (2012): 2-7.
Lynch, Marc. “Three big lessons of the Qatar crisis.” The Qatar Crisis (2017): 14.
Rathmell, Andrew, and Kirsten Schulze. “Political reform in the Gulf: The case of Qatar.” Middle Eastern Studies 36.4 (2000): 47-62.
Telci, Ismail Numan, and Tuba Öztürk Horoz. “Military Bases in the Foreign Policy of the United Arab Emirates.” Insight Turkey 20.2 (2018): 143-166.
Thani, Salma, and Tom Heenan. “The ball may be round but football is becoming increasingly Arabic: oil money and the rise of the new football order.” Soccer & Society 18.7 (2017): 1012-1026.
Walsh, John. UAE-Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture. Kuperard, 2018.