Writing about Literature Portfolio 3

In my third portfolio for Writing about Literature, my improvement throughout the semester is evident. My timeliness category greatly improved from my previous two portfolios, and my discussion section also continued to improve. Additionally, my posts continued to exemplify the categories of depth, riskiness, and intertextuality.


The first post that I think exemplifies depth is my Hilborn, “OCD” post. I used the close reading techniques I learned from our textbook to analyze the “OCD” poem, taking a look at both the text of the poem itself and Hilborn reciting the poem.

Similarly, my response to the poem of our choice is another example of depth. In my Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach” post, I analyzed this poem in depth, writing multiple paragraphs and using close reading techniques to find hidden meanings in the poem.

Another post that fits under depth is Depression Quest or Choice of the Dragon. I decided to play both games the whole way through and wrote detailed descriptions about both of my experiences and how they classify as literature.

Going along with the theme of interactive fiction, my Photopia or Lost Pig post also fits well under depth. I finished playing through Photopia and also played part way through Lost Pig, and wrote extensively about my experiences with both.

Finally, I think another strong example of depth is my Electronic Literature Sampler post. I sampled three different examples of electronic literature and wrote paragraphs about my experiences with each example.


Overall, I was very pleased with the amount of risks I took in this portfolio. The first was my choice for my¬†Academic Article. I chose an article about The Taming of the Shrew that explained how people during Shakespeare’s time period understood how the body and mind function together, which the author tied into Petruchio’s way of thinking. It was very complex, so responding to this article was a risk, but I tried to break it down and make it more understandable through my writing.

Another example of riskiness was my RWaL 6 “Writing about Poems” post. Poetry is not my strong suit, so reading and writing about the conventions of poetry was risky for me. I identified elements of poetry that I was and was not familiar with, which helped me understand poetry better.

There were a few other examples of poetry posts that I think fit under the riskiness category. In my Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” post, I grappled with the complexity of the poem, but analyzed different words and lines to make more meaning out of it. Similarly, I always consider reading works by Shakespeare a risk, so I think my post about Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 was risky. However, like I did with the Eliot poem, I used my close reading skills to make more sense of the poem.

I continued to take risks with my first academic article in my Analyzing Shakespeare Through Psychological and Historical Criticism post. In this post, I had to identify which types of literary criticisms the author of the article employed. I had no previous experience with literary criticisms, so this was challenging, but I applied what I learned from the textbook to the article.


My first post that fits under intertextuality is my RWaL 9 (1 of 2) post. I took each literary criticism I wrote about and explained how each criticism could be applied to some of the texts we have read in our course, including 1984 and John Henry Days.

In my response to the second part of the chapter, RWaL 9 (2 of 2), I went more in depth as I employed the same techniques I used in my first post. I went a step further with this post and identified multiple literary criticisms that I was unfamiliar with, and I explained how certain criticisms could be applied to different texts like The Taming of the Shrew and The Color Purple. I also discussed my American Literature course and how it related to historical and cultural literary criticisms.

Another example of intertextuality is my Brief Intro to Electronic Literature: Background post. I wrote about my own experiences with video games, and discussed how the games I enjoy have a story, relating to the idea of interactive fiction.

My response to Text Parser Games also fits under intertextuality. Since we had a brief unit on interactive fiction in my Topics in Media and Culture course, I discussed what I learned about text parser games from that course.


After improving my discussion section last time, I continued to generate discussions by commenting on a few of my peers’ blogs. As we completed our poetry unit, I left comments on Nicholas’ post about “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Abby’s post about Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 116.” When we discussed literary theory in class, I left a comment on Steve’s “RWaL 9 (1 of 2)” post, and when we turned our attention to interactive fiction, I commented on Kaylee’s “Depression Quest Run Through” post.


Timeliness has been one of the categories I have struggled the most with throughout the semester. However, I definitely think I have greatly improved in this section since my last portfolio. The most I fell behind was a day or two with a few of my blog posts, and the rest were completed before the class period they were due. Although it’s still not perfect, I definitely can see the improvement in the timeliness section for this portfolio.


I completed all of the posts required for this portfolio, and I believe all my posts fit under at least one of the above categories. The one post that I am placing under coverage is my response to Adam Cadre’s 9:05. In this post, I briefly discussed my experience with this game during our class period.


Overall, I am very content with my work for this portfolio and the improvements I made. My work for this portfolio also shows I am continuing to work toward achieving the course goals. One of these goals is to “read and interpret literary texts on an intermediate-to-advanced level.” By reading poetry and working with interactive fiction, I have challenged myself with literary texts that I was not as familiar with. Another goal is to “develop the ability to recognize how cultural experiences shape personal tastes and literary aesthetics, and to apply that ability to their analysis of the assigned texts.” I continued to develop this ability particularly by learning about literary criticisms and theories, some of which focus on the author’s life or time period when they were alive. I will continue to work on achieving these goals as we quickly approach the end of the semester.

Source: Discussion Portfolio 3

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