Portfolio 4 – Literary Study

Depth: This part of the semester we focused more on assignments that were due in Canvas, rather than posts for our blogs. One assignment on Canvas that fits the depth category is the Produce Individual Writing Project (IWP) assignment. I chose to do two news profiles centering on the idea of global perspectives. My first profile was on my uncle who is a geologist in Mongolia. I had to Skype him to interview him, which lasted about two hours. I also chose to interview an international student on the soccer team here at SHU, Caro. Her interview took about two to three hours, and both interviews took so long because they had to explain to me the cultural differences of the areas they have stayed in. This is a ‘depth’ assignment because the interviews took awhile, which allowed me to learn new perspectives about Mongolia and Germany. The two papers that I wrote are about 800 words each, and I tried to incorporate as much information as I could. Another assignment that I went in depth on was for my Scholarly Literary Analysis assignment. We had to create our own argument based on a book we read in the class and an article from the SHU database. I argued that Zusak’s story and message about humanity was lacking and wasn’t as strong as it could have been if he put more detail behind the events during WWII.

Riskiness: One safe assignment that I completed was the response to English: A Fluid Language. The blog post on my WordPress is not very long, and I do not go into much analysis for it, which makes it safe.

However, one risky assignment that I completed was the Resume and Cover Letter Revision. I have never typed up a resume and cover letter before, so this was a whole new experience. Also, Dr. Jerz gave multiple handouts for the assignment, but I felt the information on them was more advice on what to do and what not to do. So, I had to do extra research on what to write in both documents. This was risky because I had to step outside my comfort zone by trying something I have never written before. Plus, using more of the ‘you’ attitude was difficult when talking about myself. I had to really watch out about how I explained my experiences without being arrogant. Another risky assignment was my IWP, where I wrote two news profiles about my uncle and a SHU international student. Even though we had a similar assignment a few weeks ago where we had to write a news profile, I felt like I needed the extra practice. I wrote a draft of the two profiles and brought them into Dr. Jerz, and he said that I needed to start with an anecdote then go into the newsworthy part. My draft, however, started out with the events leading up to the newsworthy/current event. I needed to switch the order of my whole paper to fit the news profile ‘arrangement’. This was a risky assignment because after seeing Dr. Jerz, I could see that I still needed work on understanding the process of writing an article. Before submission, I took his advice and switched the order of my story to fit the news profile ‘arrangement’.

Intertextuality: The News Feature Assignment asked us to go see an event and blog about it before and after, so there were multiple steps when completing this assignment. I chose to write about the “She Kills Monsters” production that was performed at the Performing Arts Center. However, this choice posed a problem because I could not take pictures during the performance. I had to contact the stage manager to see if I could take pictures during a rehearsal, and thankfully, he allowed me to take pictures during a Fight Call, where the cast practiced their fight scenes. Before the play, I emailed the two leads, who played sisters, and asked them questions to produce a blog that was written before the show. I also asked them questions after seeing the play and I asked questions to another cast member in the library. With all the interviews, I was able to produce a solid article on the event with the amount of quotes I had. Another assignment that fits this category was my Unit 3 Journal. With each Journal, my grade keeps improving with the more practice I get with it. Each Journal consists of the same categories and incorporates all of the assignments we have done for that part of the semester, and since we are getting closer to the end, the assignments are more in depth and more analytical. The hyperlinks in Journal 3 consist of well-supported and time consuming effort on assignments.

Discussion: The Group Media Project consisted of a lot of discussion since our group consisted of four people. We decided to make a video of ourselves, informing the class of how English helps us in our majors, since all four of us have different majors. We had to collaborate on what ideas we should pursue and what not to do. We emailed each other through a group email and produced a Google Doc that everyone could edit so that we could see what the other one would say. We met at the same time and day to make the video, and we honestly did not have any problems when it came to the collaborations. Maggie uploaded the video to the Canvas submission. Another assignment that had discussion was my Resume and Cover Letter Draft. We all were assigned peer reviews to look over and from reading my classmates’ submissions, I learned new categories to put into the Resume. For example, Laramie included a section that listed the classes that relate to the job that she wants to apply for. So, in my revision, I included the classes that relate to the internship that I applied for by naming them in my cover letter. Plus, some of my peers commented on my draft, which really helped when doing the revision. Since I have never done a resume and cover letter before, it was nice to get feedback, like using the ‘you’ attitude and referring back to the application, because I did not know what to change for the revision.

Timeliness: One punctual post was my response to the play, ‘She Kills Monsters.’ Since it was submitted early, Esther had enough time to comment on my response to the reading. Another timely post was for the News Feature. I turned in my News Feature pretty early, but that was because I saw the play the first weekend it came out. My follow-up story for the play was on time, and I am pretty proud of it because I interviewed three people from the play. I spent a lot of time on it.

Coverage: One post that I completed was for the blog entry of English: A Fluid Language. It was not a long post but I talked about how Wikipedia is not reliable to use since anyone can edit it. Another coverage post that I created was in response to Neil Gaiman’s life advice about mistakes. My response was more of a reflection based on what Gaiman’s advice was. I talked about my journey at SHU so far and how the classes have impacted me.

Conclusion: One course goal was to demonstrate analytical skills of reading literature, and this goal was definitely met during this section of the semester because I got review the drafts of my peers and see how I could improve on my own writing by analyzing those of others. Also, by writing a small research paper for the class on The Book Thief for my scholarly literary analysis, I was able to analyze the text and create my own argument with a peer-reviewed source to help my claim. Another course goal that was met was to examine a wide range of styles in English, and by writing a resume and cover letter, I got to write in a different way. Also, by writing more news profiles, I got more experience with a different style of writing that is more factual. A third course goal that was achieved was the ability to demonstrate a high level of research. This was met with the scholarly literary analysis because I had to use the database to find information to back up my claims. I also demonstrated high research by interviewing people on several different assignments. I was exposed to a different kind of source: people/interviews. I also researched how English helps me in my major, Exercise Science, and I showed what I found through the Group Media Project. I feel that I definitely made progress since the beginning of the semester, because my analytical skills have improved by being exposed to different types of literature and by writing different types of literature as well. This class really exposed me to different types of writing, such as short stories, resumes, articles, etc. I feel like I am more versatile in terms of writing and can have more perspective because I have that experience, so when I read other people’s writing, I can have more to say critically.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.