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