Sophie Frostbaum


Throughout Dr. Cooke’s Writing With Archives class, my writing has vastly improved and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Through the process of writing drafts of papers, revising them, and continually receiving input until they are perfected, I have been able to acknowledge my weakness for the better. This process has enabled me to improve not only the assignments at hand, but my overall writing. The main aspects of my writing that have improved are my transitions and my use of syntax. These are both of great relevance in writing, and I can proudly acknowledge that my growth in these areas has established me as a better writer.


My writing has grown with the fluency of my transition sentences. Before, my writing sounded quite choppy, and did not demonstrate fluidity, whereas now, I have been using eloquently places transition words in order to create an improved flow in my sentences. For example, in order to transition into a counterargument for my proposal objective in my curated exhibit, I used the sentence, “While equality among blacks and whites have progressed throughout the years, especially due to the civil rights movement, it is clear that there are still so many stereotypes that create discrimination for African Americans.” I was able to make a counterargument without using a cliche transitional word. My sentence flowed smoothly and with ease.

Transition Artifacts:

Objective for How Do You Do

My Objective for Ed Bullins, How Do You Do, is a prime example of fluidity in transitions. There are several examples of sequencing of events in this, such as, “Later on in the conversation, Roger is speaking about how he is going to go about immersing with white women, and continues to say, ‘All the white chicks will look at me'”. This sentence shows how I was able to transition from one topic discussed in his play to another. At the beginning of the year, I would have struggled to transition from an idea within a quotation to an entirely new idea, but as shown in the sentence above, I have learned throughout the year to accomplish this task that once seemed nearly impossible, with ease and fluidity.

Setting Up Emory Box

This in class writing activity truly helped me to improve  transitions by giving step by step examples on how to set up an Emory Box account. When writing a guide to another individual on how to do something, transition words and sentences are vital.  For example, in order to instruct the user, I used the following transition sentence,”After this, you will be directed to a page asking what field of Emory you are in. Click on the pull down tab and either choose one of the fields listed, or press the “other”option”. While this example may seem to be exceedingly simple, it is something that I genuinely struggled with and required much practice. I use the known-new method, by telling the user what exactly they need to do, and then I give them an example of how they should do so. I have structured this in such a way that my instructions are clear and concise, while refraining from being choppy or tacky in any way.


Time to Reflect Diary Entry

This diary entry shows effective use of transitions, because the goal of this was to write about your favorite blog and how it would influence your own portfolio. I chose a blog called “The Pioneer Woman”. Her blog is mostly black and white, but also contains some vibrancy. In order to relate how my blog would be inspired by hers required the use of many transitions, such as, “As you scroll down on the main page of the blog,  you can see her posts, and at the bottom, you can press a button that says “older entries” if you would like to look more”. This sentence contains lots of transition because it is showing a cycle of what needs to be done by the user. I instill an abundance of detail in my wording of the blog, and use bold words such as “vibrancy”, to distract the reader from the transition of one sentence, or idea to the next. My word choice in transition sentences has drastically improved as I reflect over the progress that I have made in Dr. Cooke’s class. For some, this may seem to come easy, but this diary entry truly shows an improvement in my writing from the beginning of the semester to now.


Over the course of this semester, my use of syntax has drastically improved.  I have recognized a positive change in the arrangement of my words in order to create a well formed sentence. Throughout each of the assignments in class, I have learned how to improve my syntax by analyzing the critiques people have made for me, and making vital corrections. For example, this sentence from my proposal was initially too wordy, but as a result of revisions to my work, I mastered it to, “It would be silly to put aside the issue of race and racism, because it truly is a problem, but if it is constantly on our minds, I do not believe we will ever be able to unify as a whole community where the color of your skin merely has to do with how much melanin it has”. This new and improved sentence portrays great fluidity in its wording.

Syntax Artifacts:

Paul Robeson Connections

The  in class assignment of making connections within the life of Paul Robeson to his acting career required strong word usage in order to make this dull topic sound more interesting. When doing assignments like this, I learned this semester that wording is everything. If you are writing on a boring topic, you need to fool the reader into thinking that it is actually fascinating, which is why wording is everything. When writing this piece, I used sentences such as, “This was a turning point for the African American community because although the character of Othello is supposed to be African American, he had always been played by a white man”. I took the facts of Paul Robeson’s life and changed the wording so that his life seemed to be fascinating, unique and iconic. I used strong words and suspense in order to draw more excitement into this short writing. The syntax I used in this piece changed the boring biography I was writing on, into a thrilling and enticing story on how an African American man did the impossible.

Exhibition Title and Description

For my curated exhibit, the exhibition title and description were key components, because they were short in length, which made it important to use words that would keep the reader wanting to see more based on such a short description. When working with a limited number of words, I have learned this semester to choose wisely, because when a few words can make or break your work, you are much better off putting in a little more effort in order to experience positive results. I used sentences such as, “These dramatic events in history inspired many African American artists, as well as created inspirations for people of all races to express their artistic ability in order to put an end to segregation”. I used bold words to draw the viewers of my exhibit in, because I did not want them to turn back before even getting to the real historical and social relevance that I was trying to portray. Through the use of strong sentence structure and powerful word choice, I was able to compel the viewers of my exhibit to carry on and view the entirety of it.

Peer Review Diary 3

My last diary entry of the semester, I was asked to reflect on the last time I did a peer review activity with another individual in the class and how we went about that process. Similarly to the Paul Robeson writing, this was not an exciting topic to write about, but through the use of syntax, I was able to discuss the peer review session in more of a story form, which made the reader more interested in what the outcome would be. I used sentences such as, “She thought that my biggest issue was transitioning between sentences. My writing seemed a little choppy, she explained. I acknowledged everything she had said to me and took my paper to the library right after class and read it from her perspective”. I used a combination of descriptive syntax and the known-new method in order to write about the flaws in my writing, and posed it in a suspenseful way, so that the reader would want to know the outcome; did she improve her essay, or was she lazy and leave it to receive a bad grade? I use the known-new method by reflecting on the errors in my essay, and then giving examples of my approach to improving those. The combination of the known-new method with descriptive syntax resulted in a boring topic turning into well rounded account of the improvement of my writing through peer review.


Narrative Essay

I chose my narrative essay to be my featured artifact, because it is a great reflection of how my writing has improved throughout the duration of the semester. The narrative essay assignment was quite a challenge for me, due to its great length and description requirements. It also called for us to write on various different artifacts, which meant I would have to constantly be transitioning from one medium of art to another. Telling from my struggles throughout the semester and the guidelines of this assignment, I was my progress throughout the semester was being put to the test, and I would say that I succeeded. Telling from the perspective of a viewer walking through my curated exhibit, I tried my best to transition between artifacts by using syntax that would make the reader enticed to learn more about it. For example, “I continued on to the next artifact and was pleased to see something familiar; “Blackbird” by The Beatles, an old favorite of mine.“ Why would this old pop song be relevant to the exhibit?” I wondered to myself”. This sentence is a prime example of the progress I have made by accumulating transitions and syntax this semester. I use simple wording that leaves the reader wanting more. By ending on a question, the reader will want to know the answer, and thus, by putting this into my transition, I successfully grabbed the reader’s attention. This is only one example of  successful accumulations of syntax and transitions throughout my essay. Throughout Dr. Cooke’s class, I have noticed a drastic improvement in my writing throughout the semester, as shown in my “final test”, the narrative essay

Relfective Portfolio Letter