Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

22 Feb 2007

Portfolio I

What is your portfolio?

It begins with a richly-linked blog entry that introduces your reader to blog entries that you have created, and discussions from your peers' blogs in which you have participated, as part of a reflective statement on your progress so far.

Examples of portfolios from previous classes have included a no-nonsense list and a more personal essay. Either format is fine, but however you present your work, it's important to me that you specify where each of your posts falls amongst the categories listed below. The same post can count for more than one category, but if you keep re-using the same handful of posts that's probably a sign you can do a little better next time.

Submit your portfolio either by creating the reflective cover entry via the MT Quickpost link (as you do whenever you create an agenda item) or by posting the URL to your cover entry in a comment on this page.

  • The Reflective Cover Entry: Post a blog entry that contains links to all the entries that you plan to submit for your portfolio. For the benefit of an outside reader (that is, someone who doesn't know what a blogging portfolio is), introduce each of these links and explain why they are significant. (For example, see "Favorite Blog Entries: Journaling Mode.")
  • The Collection: Your blogging portfolio is supposed to be a collection of your best weblog entries. For the purposes of this class, a "good" blog entry is one that demonstrates your intellectual engagement with the assigned readings, and/or the questions raised by your peers. I will accept a bulleted list of entries, but please write for an audience that does not know or care about your homework requirements. (Thus, no boring titles or links such as "Chapter 4 Blogging.").
    1. Coverage. Ensure that you have blogged something for each of the assigned readings (for a C-level grade, at least brief agenda items for each assigned reading; for a higher grade, demonstrate your intellectual involvement with the assigned readings, perhaps by linking to peer blog entries that mention your work). (If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.)
    2. Depth. Some of the "coverage" entries you selected above should also demonstrate your ability to examine a concept in depth. Do some original online research, and link to the precise pages where you got ideas that helped you formulate your ideas. If you prefer to use a library book, quote a passage that you found interesting. Here are a few examples (from a literature class) of a blog entry that goes above and beyond the standard "what I thought about the book" blog entry: Fitting in in the Diamond Age and Forced Reading-- Beloved Character.
    3. Blog Carnival Entry: A relatively new concept among mainstream bloggers, although the basic idea will be very familiar to anyone who has joined a Facebook group. In a blog carnival, someone chooses a topic and a date (not too far in the future). Several people agree to write new blog entries on that topic, and the carnival host collects all the links and introduces them to the blogosphere. (The idea is that one of the participants will volunteer to be the host next time -- a month or a week later -- and the process will continue; but for this portfolio I'm only asking for a one-shot deal.)
      • Examples of blog carnival host page include a simple list or a series of paragraphs.
      • In keeping with the brain-strengthening activity that I consider valuable in a seminar class, each individual entry that is part of the blog carnival should be a "richly linked blog entry." (By that, I mean simply a blog entry that uses links, not just as add-ons or throw-aways, but a blog entry in which the links are a deep, integral part of both the structure and the content.)
    4. Interaction. Of the "Coverage" blogs entries included above, some should also demonstrate your ability to use weblogs to interact with your peers. For instance, you might disagree (politely) with something a peer has written; link to and quote from the peer's blog entry, then carefully (and respectfully) explain where you disagree. Rather than hurl accusations in order to make the other person look bad, cheerfully invite the other person to explain their perspective. Quote passages from the texts your peer has cited, or find additional examples that help unveil the truth. (These may or may not include some entries you have already included among your "Depth" entries.)
    5. Discussions. Blogging feels lonely when you aren't getting any comments; you will feel more motivated to blog if you enjoy (and learn from) the comments left by your readers. Your portfolio should include entries (which may or may not overlap with either the "Interaction" or "Depth" entries) that demonstrate that your blog sparked a conversation that furthered your intellectual examination of a literary subject.
    6. Timeliness. A timely blog entry is one that was written early enough that it sparked a good online discussion, before the class discussion. A timely blog entry might also be an extra one written after the class discussion, if it reacts directly to something brought up in class. The blog entries that you write the night before the portfolio is due won't count in this category. And don't try to change the date in your blog entries -- I know that trick! ;)
    7. Xenoblogging. "Xeno" means "foreign" or "guest" so xenoblogging (a term that I coined last term) means the work that you do that helps other people's weblogs. Your portfolio should include three entries (which may or may not overlap with the ones you have already selected for "Coverage") that demonstrate your willingness to contribute selflessly and generously to the online classroom community. Examples of good xenoblogging:
      • The Comment Primo: Be the first to comment on a peer's blog entry; rather than simply say "Nice job!" or "I'm commenting on your blog," launch an intellectual discussion; return to help sustain it.
      • The Comment Grande: Write a long, thoughtful comment in a peer's blog entry. Refer to and post the URLs of other discussions and other blog entries that are related.
      • The Comment Informative: If your peer makes a general, passing reference to something that you know a lot about, post a comment that offers a detailed explanation. (For example, the in the third comment on a recent blog entry about the history and culture of print, Mike Arnzen mentions three books that offer far more information than my post did.)
      • The Link Gracious: If you got an idea for a post by reading something somebody else wrote, give credit where credit is due. (If, in casual conversation, we credited the source of every point we make, we'd get little accomplished. But since a hyperlink is so easy to create, it's not good practice -- or good ethics -- to hide the source of your ideas.) If a good conversation is simmering on someone else's blog -- whether you are heavily involved or not -- post a link to it and invite your own readers to join in.
    8. Wildcard: Include one blog entry on any subject -- related to online writing or not, serious or not -- that you feel will help me evaluate your achievements as a student weblogger.
MT QuickPost | Check Latest Trackbacks

Carnival time--host of the posts
Excerpt: Hey, lit. crit. pals out there. I'm still tinkering with the whole idea of a blog carnival... I'm not quite sure what we should write on, but I figure if we could get a group or two organized with a...
Weblog: Sugarpacket
Tracked: February 17, 2007 4:58 PM
Merry Go Round of Obeying - Blog Carnival Topic
Excerpt: The essay that had the biggest impact on me for this set of readings was Paul Yachnin's "Shakespeare and the Idea of Obedience: Gonzalo in The Tempest." There are many reasons behind this, one of which is simply that after...
Weblog: ~Luna Dreams~
Tracked: February 21, 2007 1:11 AM
EL312: Numero uno port of folio
Excerpt: Ah, the beginning of the end. As my last class with Dr. Jerz, I know this will probably be one of the last blog portfolio I complete. This has been going on for awhile now... and now, in lit. crit.,...
Weblog: Sugarpacket
Tracked: February 21, 2007 8:47 PM
1/3 of the way to graduation
Excerpt: It is scary to think that as I type this blogging portfolio, I am a thrid of the way through my last semester as an undergraduate student. I have been on this crazy roller coaster of English and education classes...
Weblog: ~Luna Dreams~
Tracked: February 21, 2007 10:25 PM
The One, the Only, the Blog Portfolio
Excerpt: You missed the blog portfolio, don't lie. Coverage and Timeliness Creating Tradition- The first entry for the new semester. Good thing I started it off right. Stop Criticizing Me- I don't take criticism well What is Literature? Good Question...- And...
Weblog: Special K
Tracked: February 21, 2007 11:03 PM
Blog Gems from a Blog Beginner
Excerpt: Adjusting to the world of blogging requires more time than I have, but I am doing my best. Here is a collection of some of my attempts at blogging genius. Coverage: * Aesthetics and Canonicity * The Life, Death and...
Weblog: DavidMoio
Tracked: February 21, 2007 11:20 PM
The Wonderful World of the Blogosphere: Number One
Excerpt: I -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism) So here is the first of the the three final blog portfolios I will have completed. I really feel like I am coming down to the final stretch of my college car...
Weblog: The Gentle Giant
Tracked: February 21, 2007 11:47 PM
My first blog portfolio happens to be portfolio 1
Excerpt: Portfolio I -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)...
Weblog: MitchellSteele
Tracked: February 22, 2007 12:56 PM
Critique of the Critics
Excerpt: What is your portfolio? It begins with a richly-linked blog entry that introduces your reader to blog entries that you have created, and discussions from your peers' blogs in which you have participated, as part of a reflective statement on...
Weblog: A Storybook of Quotes
Tracked: February 22, 2007 2:20 PM

When exactly is this due?
Monday or Thursday??

Posted by: Denamarie at February 15, 2007 8:53 PM

Do you want us to include the Bedford literary word entries in the portfolio?

Posted by: Nessa at February 16, 2007 1:43 PM

Dena, the portfolio is due Thursday.

Nessa, yes, please do include the vocabulary terms.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 16, 2007 2:17 PM

Do you want us to print everything out and bring that to class? or Do you want us to just print out the cover page?

Posted by: Tiffany at February 19, 2007 3:55 PM

No printout is necessary; just make sure a trackback or comment-with-link appears on this page.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 19, 2007 4:06 PM


Posted by: Tiffany at February 20, 2007 9:15 PM

Do we need to have each item of Xenoblogging, or just a few of the categories?

Posted by: Nessa at February 21, 2007 2:34 PM

Good question, Nessa. The more kinds of Xenoblogging you can demonstrate, the better, but since I'm only asking for 3 xenoblogging entries and I've listed 4 potential kinds of xenoblogging, I'm not expecting everyone to have one for each item. Most is better than some, and some is better than none. (Certainly it shouldn't be hard to make a Comment Primo if you haven't already done so.)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 21, 2007 2:37 PM

Posted by: Denamarie at February 21, 2007 9:39 PM

My portfolio can be found here:

Can someone tell me how to create a trackback within a post after it's already been made, and not through the MT QuickPost on this page? I know it can be done, because we used to trackback to each other's posts that way...

Posted by: ValerieMasciarelli at February 22, 2007 12:38 PM

Um...that link isn't right. My portfolio can ACTUALLY be found here:

I was trying to make a trackback prior, and I guess I didn't copy my own link...

Posted by: ValerieMasciarelli at February 22, 2007 12:40 PM

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at February 22, 2007 3:50 PM

Blog Portfolio ver. 1.0

Posted by: Kevin at February 22, 2007 4:41 PM

Posted by: Erin at February 22, 2007 5:53 PM

Sorry, I never posted a trackback

Posted by: Gina at February 23, 2007 3:16 PM
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