Final Project Complete!

After countless hours of narrative writing and interviews, I am so happy to say I will be turning in this capstone project now! It is a resource and experience guide for student survivors here on campus. Each field of resource is explored (i.e., medical, psychological, legal, academic, and local events), and the main ones highlighted are followed by objective information and a clickable link to an actual experience of a student with that said resource.


Hey guys!

The time has come and we have just finished our ePortfolios for the W17 Minor in Writing Gateway Course. If you want to learn more about me as a person and writer, you should check it out! If not, my repurposed and remediated projects feature some cool stories about my stepmom and topics of immigration, discrimination, and hybrid culture if that sounds interesting to you. Enjoy!

There’s Always Something to Do

To the future MiW gateway students,

When I first walked into my first Writing 220 gateway class, I saw the small table with 14 chairs and immediately became nervous. I didn’t consider myself to be a great writer and felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the great, successful writers about to walk into the class. I just simply knew that I liked to write. So first piece of advice: don’t feel intimidated. Chances are, your cohort is in the same boat and has no idea what to expect. Everyone writes differently, everyone has their own tone, and everyone has their own interests that inspire them to write. There is no wrong way to complete or write in the class. As most classes are structured with exams or rubrics, we always had the freedom to practically create whatever writing we wanted within three guidelines: why you write, repurposing any piece, and remediating the repurposed project. Don’t be afraid to branch out, using different platforms like Wix, The Odyssey, The Atlantic, or others to ground your work in. Figure our your audience and simply write away. Write as much as you can, even the unnecessary, drawn-out details. You can go back later and revise as needed, but getting out all the information and analysis as you can will be a great starting point.

Although my advice for you could continue on for pages, there is one key aspect that is important to keep in mind throughout this gateway class: there is always something to do. If you think you’re done, you’re probably not. There is always revising to be done, more eyes to critique your work, and most importantly, a more effective way to present your argument. Also, never procrastinate until the last minute because I guarantee you that forming a successful ePortfolio or remediated project will not create itself within the late night before it’s due. Go with your gut, pace yourself, create personal timelines to efficiently complete your writing, and continue to push. You’d be surprised how much work you can pack into this 3-credit class and time will fly by doing so. In fact, you might even find yourself frustrated for being unable to have the time to go back after turning in your work to continue making it better. But no matter what, continue to work and have faith in what you produce. You’ll learn a lot about how to write along the way, but more importantly, you will learn more about yourself and your ability to analyze further and better than at the start of the class.

Workshop Reflections

After deciding to be the first person to ever volunteer for peer workshops in this gateway class, I was simply nervous. In previous classes, I had done smaller peer workshops of two or three people, but even then, I was nervous about people reading my writing and critiquing it. Then came this writing 220 class and peer workshops seemed even more intimidating as we would be sharing strengths and possible revisions with and in front of the entire class. There was a sense of writing vulnerability about to be exposed to my cohort. As I sat quietly while listening to another student read aloud my work and listening to the whole class discuss the strengths and advice for the next draft, my nervousness went away. Jotting notes throughout the workshops, my peers not only gave constructive, helpful criticism, but I was able to ask them questions for more clarity on talked about points with ease. Expressing my concerns and thoughts for further revision, I felt more confident going forward with a stronger piece of writing. I had a lot to work off of while get validation of the strength of various wording, tone, structure, etc.

Going the first workshop day allowed me to see what was expected not only during the workshop, but during the processes of writing letters to the author as well. Similar to some of the readings about worshiping before starting the process, I found the workshops to help me become a better writer. Being able to detect the aspects that are working within a given writing, to see areas of improvement for structure or argument, and to see how us as the audience reflect in the writing. I feel like there was a sense of satisfaction of being able to critique another’s paper and giving helpful feedback with specific examples within the writing.

In-class peer workshops for other students were beneficial too in the sense that our letter would come to life and help bounce similar (or different) opinions off different students. or example, I always liked when someone would comment on how humorous a specific line was and the rest of the class would laugh, agreeing with the same comment. Other times, I liked how  we would debate whether a certain section needed more detail or did not, if the structure needed to change or it was effective as is. Overall, I liked the structure of workshops (1 minute reading, 8 minutes of strengths, 10 minutes of potential improvements, and 10 minutes of letting the author speak). No matter whose writing it was and no matter what the length of the writing was, we normally all were able to keep talking for that amount of time. If anything, some times we wished we had more and had so much to discuss. Although the process seemed intimidating at first, it became a standard process that I enjoyed, coming to class and ready to chat about others’ writing for the entire class period. And the most important part for me was that we were able to engage in every person’s writing, which not only helped me to understand their writing style better, but also to learn more about my cohort’s individuals experiences that make them who they are. They’re interesting!


I’m curious about a lot. I’m curious about the why, the how, the who. The what-ifs, the should-of, could-of, would-ofs. They all seem to strangle my thoughts almost every hour of every day. It bothers me quite a bit; I wonder if there is a switch to turn it off. Like this switch, some times I just wish I could function through the controls of on and off. The curiosity turned off, I have regained my composure and relieved all the stress. But if the curiosity turns on again, I regain my reason for existence again: to learn more, to explore more, and to feel more, all of which tell me to continue being curious.


I’ve arrived at Michigan, to college, and successfully made it through high school. I’ve made it this far, content with where my life and career were abut to head. My first college semester passed by and I arrived at a dead end. A dead end so discouraging that I lacked the willpower to push through and thought I would never settle down within one passion, one path, or career. I haven’t arrived anywhere quite yet. Another semester passed and I began to breath again. Not knowing what I’d learn or what I’d explore, I searched in hopes of knowing what the future holds. I soon arrived. I arrived at an optimism that no one else could define. I arrived at the idea of being content in the moment and evolving one day at a time, and that’s all right with me.

Never Complete

If one thinks I could narrow down how I write to a single method, they would be wrong. The language. The tone. The structure. My choices in writing all vary and revolve around one idea: the audience. However, no matter who the audience is, my writing trends seem to remain the same since all of my audiences create a foundation for me to achieve and explain a purpose. I could be creating a personal journal, composing an academic piece, or simply writing a letter to a friend, but my desire to constantly perfect my writing is present at all times.

I always go for the shitty first draft to start my writing to reduce the stress of having to create my hopefully next best piece. There could be commas in the middle of the page or sentences that look like my own foreign language, but to me, my ideas are as clear as can be and will somehow make its way into legible phrases that hold meaning. Yes, I am one of those people who loves to crank out an eight-page draft in one day and find this work to be sufficient. I typically spend an entire Saturday lying in my bed with my favorite Target bedrest pillow. Without this disorganization, I would be limiting my imagination to throw ideas onto the page and not be able to evolve a basic idea into something more complex or purposeful.

I’ll wait a couple of days before looking at this writing again. I rarely panic at this phase because my ideas are already created and I know that my writing can always be improved, whether it is the second draft or the fifth. Adding a slight tonal shift here or a structure change there, there are infinite ways to improve one’s work. That’s why I believe that there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to writing. My biggest struggle is not to decide whether my writing is ‘good’ enough, but rather to decide if my writing can be deemed complete. I decide that if the audience is able to understand why the author chose to write the piece and its purpose of being written, then I am content with leaving my writing alone. But still, realistically, whose writing can ever actually be considered as complete?

Writing 220 Introduction: Josie Jakary

Hey guys! My name is Josie Jakary and I am a sophomore majoring in BCN on a pre-law track.

So why did I choose the Minor in Writing? Great question because I never enjoyed writing until I got to the University of Michigan. The five-paragraph essays were a complete bore throughout middle school and high school, and I felt as though I was writing nothing more than a summary of a book or research. When I came here, English 125 (and my awesome professor Tricia Khleif) changed not only my perspective on writing, but the class taught me how to attack abstract writing and showed me how to write with a purpose.

What mostly inspires me to write is my experiences. Sure, everyone has them and one’s life will be complex in its own way, but I just write in hopes to make sense of what I seemingly think to be an odd life. Within the last five years, my parents got divorced, I have lived in six different cities, I recently became a part of a multiracial/multicultural/multifaith family, and I have varied in socioeconomic statuses and locations. So within many of these changes, struggles, and exciting events, writing has simply become a mainstream outlet for me when I cannot put into words my thoughts and feelings surrounding these experiences.

Some other fun facts about me, I am still not able to stay away from writing because I do sometimes write my own lyrics and songs while playing my guitar! I also loves the outdoors; running and soccer are some decent talents of mine. As for involvement here on campus, I am currently working in a lab analyzing emotion regulation and self-control. I currently just got put in charge of two new studies coming out this semester, so fingers crossed that they run successfully! Lastly, I am extremely excited to be volunteering as a Girls on the Run Coach this spring through my sorority.