Blogging about literature was a new activity to me this semester, so at the start, my posts were shorter and less involved. We would read plays and academic articles, and I would post a short paragraph about something simple and completely grounded in the text. Over time, my posts grew much longer and the ideas I discussed expanded to encompass anything from symbolism to theme to character analysis to context. The informal nature of a blog allowed me to say as much as I wanted about each topic exactly how I wanted to say it, without too much fussing over “fancy” language. Now that we’ve reached the end of the semester, I’m much stronger at selecting an important idea from a text, forming a statement about it, and then supporting that statement with textual evidence.
The following web portfolios showcase the blog posts of the first and second halves of the semester.
To conclude, I’d say that I have strengthened my analytical reading skills and am better at expressing arguments clearly, which are part of the class’s learning objectives. My critical reading and analyzing skills are especially apparent in my post about Fosso’s claims of “reasonable doubt” in “Oedipus Rex.” To complete it, I read (and reread) the academic article and translation of the play by Alan Stanford, analyzed which of Fosso’s points no longer applied in the newer translation, and then found new evidence from Stanford’s text to support Fosso’s claim instead. Another post where I successfully drew my own parallels between an article and a play was the one about Zubarev’s “boring chess game” theory in “The Cherry Orchard.” The article didn’t mention “The Cherry Orchard” much, so I drew upon its meaning and applied it to the play. As for selecting my own arguments to support, when I supported my first reactions to “Waiting for Godot,” I used several textual instances for support, along with outside material that applied to my argument. While I know I can still improve my critical reading and writing skills, especially analyzing academic articles as opposed to fiction, I am proud of my progress as a critical reader and at forming and supporting arguments that pose a bold statement and then support it with the text.