Because of the benefits of communicating online, I have implemented an online component in my face-to-face classes to give my resident students the same opportunities for practicing writing that my online students receive. Because they learn about one another through writing, many students feel liberated because they can control the way they present themselves, giving them a new understanding of what it means to have ethos in their writing.
Over the four semesters that I have taught freshmen composition online or with an online component, students put together a portfolio at the end of the semester that includes two of their revised major essays along with explanations about each of these essays. This is where their perception of audience recognition emerges outside of the classroom. One student talked about the way she introduced her credibility as a writer in her revised essay because she had realized the importance of this element of writing. Another student wrote that "[online discussions were] a way to express my ideas about topics; you need to be a good writer before you can express your ideas the way you want."
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