You made it to final portfolio week! Just a bit more effort to make those last revisions and be sure your final portfolio is formatted correctly.
I enjoyed reading your revised essays and seeing the progress you’ve made. I finished commenting on all revisions that I’ve received via D2L Discussions, email, dropbox… you name it. If I have missed anyone, please let me know. Check the D2L discussions to read my comments on your revisions. Here are a few general notes:
- I saw some essays that had paragraphs with no clear interpretive point. Remember, an interpretive point is a claim that you infer from the text. It’s something that is not obvious. It is debatable and has to be supported with evidence. Also, “interpretive” in our class means that the point has something to do with rhetorical analysis: purpose, audience, context, arrangement, strategies, etc.
- Be sure to proofread your essays. It can help to read the essay out loud, or have a friend read it out loud to you. I noticed a number of confusing phrases and typos in reading revisions on D2L.
As you know, final portfolios are due Monday December 12 by 11:59pm in the correct dropbox on D2L. Please look at the last two pages of this handout if you haven’t already. I hope that the format guidelines are clear and specific. Please email me, of course, if anything is confusing. You’ll want to read the document above soon, though, since I can’t be answering questions at the last minute Sunday night.
Writing instructors will read all the portfolios on study day (Dec. 15). If you do not pass portfolio review, I will be sending you an email by Friday to let you know. I will also be mailing a letter to the home address recorded on PAWS. If you do pass, you won’t receive an email. Remember, if you pass, the lowest grade I can give you in the course is a C. If you don’t pass, I have to give you a C- or below and you need to re-take the course.
Here is what you should do for the last week of class:
1. Submit a final portfolio by Monday Dec. 12.
Remember, your name and my name should not be in the portfolio. Follow directions uploaded at the link above.
2. Complete the Final Blog Post due Dec. 14.
Write one last post on your blog. This will be your final reflection on the class as a whole: your struggles, your accomplishments, what you liked, what you didn’t like, what you’d want to change, what you’d want to stay the same.
3. Don’t forget to complete the final course evaluation!
Look for an email from Amy Liebl or Qualtrics.
Finally, here are two last-minute revision strategies that could be helpful:
You will need a hard copy of your essay and a set of colored highlighters for this, but colored pencils/pens/markers could also work. First, read through your essay draft and highlight portions of it using the following color-code system:
- Blue: Thesis statement, which should imply a sense of your purpose in writing the essay
- Yellow: Interpretive points or claims you are making about the author’s essay (other than the thesis statement)
- Pink: Support (in the form of direct quotes or paraphrases) for these interpretive claims
- Green (or whatever other color you have): Sentences that are summarizing the author’s essay
Next, write one or two paragraphs in which you reflect on what you learned from color-coding your essay. What was easy or difficult about the color-coding? Do you have more yellow than pink? This might mean you are making a lot of claims without adding enough evidence from the text. Do you have too much green? Remember your essay should have much more interpretation than summary. Do you struggle to find a controlling purpose or thesis statement? This means your readers will struggle to find direction in your essay and struggle to figure out what you are trying to tell them/where you are leading them.
Create a reverse outline of your essay. You will need a hard copy of your essay for this. Follow the two-step instructions on the Purdue OWL web site: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/689/01/
After completing the reverse outline, write one or two paragraphs in which you describe what you noticed and what was easy or difficult about doing the outline. Did you have trouble describing how a paragraph was helping to move your essay along? If so, you may need to move things around or cut things. Did you find it necessary to use more than 5 – 10 words to accurately summarize the topic of each paragraph? If so, that might mean that you are dealing with multiple issues or ideas in a single unfocused paragraph.
Photo shared by Flickr user Paul Conneally