Monthly Archives: December 2018

News, Arts, and Sports Writing Portfolio 4

The end of the semester has finally arrived, and throughout the News, Arts, and Sports Writing course, I have added to my knowledge of journalism. Although there were not many blog posts for our final portfolio, I believe all the posts I did create fit into at least one of the categories of depth, riskiness, and intertextuality, which were strong throughout the semester. In addition to my blog posts, my online interaction with my peers about their term projects added to my discussion category.

Depth:

Although all of my posts fit well into the depth category, the example I am choosing for this portfolio is Principles of American Journalism Ch6 + Code of Ethics. I chose a simple quote from the chapter and discussed it in detail, and also incorporated a bit of intertextuality by discussing the Brian Williams scandal. I also wrote multiple paragraphs about two different codes of ethics, including one that was completely new to me.

Riskiness:

The post that I think was the best example of riskiness was Principles of American Journalism Ch7. I wrote about topics such as censorship and the First Amendment, which are complex topics. I’m also not an expert on legal matters and history, so it was more challenging to engage with this chapter. However, I tried to discuss what I learned from this chapter of the text and also wrote about censorship based on previous experiences I had in high school.

Intertextuality:

My strongest example of intertextuality for this portfolio was Principles of American Journalism Ch8. Since the authors wrote about Edward Snowden and how he leaked information to journalists, I went into more depth about this situation and the significance of it in relation to journalism. Like I’ve done in previous posts, I once again brought up the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal in this discussion as well.

Discussion:

My most significant discussions over the last few weeks of the semester occurred on Canvas about our term projects. In the Term Project Pitch and Progress discussions, I left feedback on my peers’ posts to tell them what I thought was strong about their projects and how their projects could be improved. Since I was not physically present in class, I asked Rebecca and Rachel to send me an update and any components in progress, and I worked with them to help improve their projects.

Timeliness:

As much as I tried, timeliness simply was not one of my strong areas this semester. However, I was not rushing to finish all of my blog posts at the last minute, and I also was always on time getting my feedback to my peers so they weren’t left waiting. Since I was on time with my feedback, my editor reflections were also consistently submitted before their deadlines.

Coverage:

I believe all of my posts for this portfolio fit under at least one of the above categories.

Conclusion:

This semester was chaotic, to say the least. However, even though not everything was perfect, I am still very content with the work I did for both the News, Arts, and Sports Writing class and my independent new media project. One of the goals I identified at the beginning of the semester was to “develop an appreciation for how journalism educates the public.” These final few chapters of the Principles of American Journalism book gave me a much better understanding of the challenges journalists face, and how they sometimes must go to great lengths to inform the public in the most effective way possible. The other goal I wanted to focus on was to “examine the role of the journalist in a democratic society.” In addition to the readings and blog responses, I think my new media project gave me a much better understanding of the role of a journalist in our society. In addition to all the normal tasks and challenges I already knew about, creating an interactive project using a medium I was not very experienced with made me realize the significance of the medium in journalism. In a time when the future of journalism is uncertain, the role of the journalist involves more than just writing good articles – journalists must be innovative to effectively inform the public as technology advances and people’s expectations change. Overall, I am happy with the work I have done for this course, and I think it has better prepared me for my future career.

Writing about Literature Portfolio 4

As the semester nears its end, I have greatly improved my ability to write about literature. Although there were not as many blog posts for our final portfolio, I believe the posts I did create all fit under at least one of the categories of depth, riskiness, and intertextuality. Additionally, my individual work on my research paper helped improve my ability in all of these areas, and contributions to the research of my peers built discussions throughout the final few weeks of the semester.

Depth:

Although many of my posts fit well under depth, my post about Wit is one that exemplifies depth for this portfolio. I incorporated multiple quotes from the play and analyzed their significance and possible meaning. Since this post was about the entire play, it was also multiple paragraphs in length.

Another post that I think is a strong example of depth is A Tale of Two Tortures. I wrote this as my second wildcard blog post, where I discussed my process of deciding my topic for my research paper. I wrote about what can be learned from comparing two novels in research, challenges I have faced, and my next steps to complete my revised paper.

Turning my attention to our Canvas assignments, my Term Paper Review of Literature is another example of depth. I wrote over 600 words to discuss ideas found in multiple sources I gathered for my research paper. I tried to organize my Review of Literature by topics, rather than simply have a paragraph about each source.

My final example of depth for this portfolio is my Term Paper Draft. Although I did not quite hit the word count, I wrote nearly 2000 words for this draft and attempted to organize it well. Rather than haphazardly throwing everything into a document, I went into depth to incorporate quotes, synthesize my own ideas, and explain how my sources support my ideas.

Riskiness:

Various assignments for my term paper were my strongest examples of riskiness for this portfolio. My Term Paper Proposal was probably the most risky, as I attempted to compare two novels for my paper rather than one. Trying to clearly identify how the two novels related to each other in this early stage was challenging, but finding a few sources helped me create a starting point for my research.

Another example of riskiness was my Term Paper Presubmission. This was my first attempt at making the comparison between the two novels clear in my thesis statement, sample body paragraph, and conclusion. I was taking a risk with my body paragraph particularly because I wanted to strike a balance between the analysis of the two novels. However, I utilized my writing skills and believe my presubmission was strong.

Intertextuality:

One example of intertextuality for this portfolio is my Writing about Literature post. I discussed how 1984, a text we read in class, could be analyzed through Marxist literary criticism, which is something else we learned in this course. In my discussion of text parser games, I mentioned how I had previous experience with text parser games in my Topics in Media and Culture course last semester.

Another example of intertextuality is my Literature and Journalism post. As the title suggests, I discussed my previous experience with and knowledge of journalism in this post, and even wrote about the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal. I also discussed The Taming of the Shrew, another text we read for this course, and how literary criticisms can be applied to an analysis of the play.

Discussion:

My strongest discussions for the final few weeks of the semester were the in-class discussions I had with my peers. One discussion in particular that stuck out to me was with Lucas and Steve after the Review of Literature assignment was due. I was struggling with formulating my thesis and how to move forward, and Lucas and Steve gave me a lot of helpful feedback that pushed me in the right direction. I also offered feedback on their Review of Literature assignments and gave advice for aspects of their papers that they asked me about.

In our various peer review assignments for our term papers, I gave feedback to all of my peers and tried to give them all constructive feedback to help them improve their papers.

Timeliness:

My timeliness was not the strongest for this portfolio, but I am caught up on all assignments before the end of the semester. Although timeliness suffered for certain posts and assignments, I do believe all of my posts and assignments were high quality and went into depth. I like to take the time to make sure everything I write is meaningful and done well, and even though I would have liked to improve timeliness a little more, I am still content with my work.

Coverage:

I believe all of my posts for this portfolio fit under at least one of the categories above.

Conclusion:

This final portfolio was slightly different than the others because we did not have a lot of blog posts, but I believe my work throughout these final few weeks of the semester has contributed to achieving the course goals. The first goal I identified at the beginning of the semester was to “read and interpret literary texts on an intermediate-to-advanced level.” By analyzing not only 1984, but also A Clockwork Orange for my research paper, I am interpreting these texts on a more advanced level. The second goal I identified was 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.” Conducting research allowed me to learn about the cultural experiences of George Orwell particularly that shaped his writing, and researching about the cultures during the time periods when both novels were written allowed me to analyze the texts with a deeper understanding. Overall, I believe I have achieved the course goals as described in the syllabus this semester, and I am much more confident in my ability to write about literature.

Source: Discussion Portfolio 4

A Tale of Two Tortures

When presented with the opportunity to write a research paper, I wanted to make sure I chose a topic that I was truly interested in. I was apprehensive about choosing 1984 because I felt like that novel has already been analyzed extensively, but I remembered how I compared it to A Clockwork Orange in one of previous blog posts. The idea dawned on me that I could compare the torture sequences from both novels, and I’ve been pretty fascinated with my analysis so far.

Researching and comparing two novels can be challenging because most of my sources only talk about one of the novels. However, that’s what makes my paper unique – I’m the one creating this comparison. It’s also been interesting to see how both novels can be viewed from a psychological lens. When I read 1984 in high school, I wouldn’t have ever thought of analyzing the story that way, but it has opened up a new way of thinking about this story.

Aside from catching up after falling behind on assignments, I think one of the biggest challenges has been trying to understand the science aspect of my sources. Research involves more than just pulling quotes from a story – I have to look for sources that clearly explain the scientific ideas and incorporate those in my paper.

Going along with this idea, in my group discussion in class on Thursday, I talked to my peers about finding more sources to include in my paper. Since I’m not quite hitting the required word count, incorporating more viewpoints can add to the quality of my paper.

Source: Wildcard

Literature and Journalism

When we read The Taming of the Shrew, I noticed that many people chose to analyze it from a feminist perspective. They discussed how the women were treated abusively, whether that was mentally and/or physically. You could craft an argument out of that, but I think the feminist lens is the most obvious one to take with this text, especially since a lot of us in this class are female. I think it’s easy for us to look at how Petruchio in particular treated Kate and say he was an abusive and controlling husband. However, you have to avoid our personal biases in 2018 and dig deeper for analysis. I wrote a lot of my blog posts about Petruchio’s treatment of Kate, but I tried to find reasons why Petruchio would have done this besides power, as Shakespeare opens up a lot to interpretation. The academic article I found also analyzes the play from a more psychological lens and discusses the biological understanding of gender at the time. It was extremely interesting to read about this perspective, which isn’t the most obvious viewpoint.

As a journalism major, I don’t always see an obvious comparison between journalism and literature. However, I think the idea of literary criticisms and theories can be compared to how journalists should not look through just one lens when writing a story. Journalism is about sharing all sides of a story in order to avoid bias and allow the public to make decisions themselves. If journalists only covered one side of the story (one lens), then they wouldn’t get the full picture. Looking at the same literary text through different literary criticisms is similar, because it can provide you with a new way of understanding a text.

I think it’s also obvious that literary criticisms challenge us to think deeper than we normally would. As I mentioned, it’s easy to look at The Taming of the Shrew and say Petruchio was wrong for his treatment of women, but so much more can be discovered if you dig deeper. I compare this to investigative journalism in a way, because stories that come out of investigative journalism are not simple to uncover and write. The most obvious example I can think of is the Watergate scandal, and how the journalists from the Washington Post spent months and months working to uncover the truth about President Nixon’s involvement. If they weren’t willing to put in the work to uncover what was hidden, then the course of history would’ve been altered forever.

I never would have thought to compare literary criticisms to journalism, but I think it’s interesting to consider the similarities and how what you learn in one course can be applied to another.

Source: Wildcard: Any Course-related Topic You’d Like to Write About