Drafting, drafting, drafting…. and more drafting

Edit. Revise. Rework. Repeat.

Throughout the term, constantly we have been receiving feedback, reworking our projects, and frequently reflecting on our progress. It seems that this is a never-ending process that will never come together into something that is polished and publishable.

But this kind of meticulous, methodical revising has made me, and I think our class as a whole, think more critically and improve at both providing and receiving feedback. Incorporating suggestions from peers into my work is becoming much easier, and using the feedback I’ve gotten in the first half of the semester, I hope that going forward I won’t need as many pointers on my rough drafts.

So, in creating my remediation project, I can be more confident while working on my draft. With the help of the class, I’ve already nailed down a specific audience—college guys, become very familiar with the genre—online fitness advice, and I know the tone that I have to shoot for. What’s new for me about this specific project is the layout of the newsletter/email that I plan on sending out. I haven’t really done anything graphic like this before, so in my mockup I focused on the layout because the other elements of my email are more familiar to me and should be easier to incorporate.

Receiving feedback on my layout is important, so I want to really nail that down before I submit the draft. Today in class I heard from Kit and Annika on their opinions on the basic layout and flow I outlined in my mockup, and their feedback was very useful. I need to focus more on images, and they suggested spilling my email over onto more than one page. Kit suggested using Apple Pages to design my project—for my mockup I used an online graphic designer that I wasn’t particularly pleased with. Pages seems like a very good tool and I plan to use it to create the rough cut.  Below is the mockup I have so far.

My mock-up for the remediation.  I'll keep the same order, but I plan to use a different layout.

Another challenging aspect about the email I’m creating will be curating articles.   I’ve read so many, and there’s so many sources that I think I might have a hard time narrowing down my options.   Some questions I’ll have to consider when selecting articles:

  • What makes a fitness source credible?
  • Do I want to include my own blog?
  • How many articles should I include?
  • Should the articles only come from a one-week span (like The Lunch Read), or can I use articles that are maybe two or three weeks old?
  • How do I come up with an overarching topic for the email?

Thinking about these things now will make my life a heck of a lot easier down the road.

Even then, I’m going to need several sets of eyes looking over my work so that I can redraft again next week. Although I’m familiar with the topic and I’ve gained experience with multimodality, creating a weekly email is not something I’ve done before, and I’ll take all the help I can get.

After all this drafting, revising, and careful editing—how do I decide something’s ready to be put in the ePortfolio? I think that once I tidy up my repurposing project, and read it over once more, I can get a clear sense of what kind of message I want to send. When I am able to craft a final product that shares a similar message with my repurposing project, I’ll be done. That way, when I put my artifacts together in the ePortfolio, I have a complete composition with several multimodal elements conveying a similar message.

Compiling my artifacts and surveying them side-by-side to make sure they’re painting one, full picture will be essential when I’m creating my ePortfolio. But just making sure they have similar messages isn’t enough. Putting these elements into a flowing, coherent, visually appealing layout is crucial. This process of putting together the ePortfolio is also going to require editing, critical thinking, and extreme attention to detail—just what I’ve been doing all semester.

Although it might sound a little depressing, until the ePortfolio is done, we will always be drafting. My project will morph and change as we go on, and hopefully my ePortfolio will reflect something that I’m proud of. To get there, I’ve got to focus on addressing the concerns of classmates, friends, and others, and answering the tough questions that I’ve been asking all along.

2 thoughts to “Drafting, drafting, drafting…. and more drafting”

  1. Cole– I think you’re off to a good start. I know that you weren’t confident in your mockup, but I think that using Pages will help you focus on the “meat” of your re-mediation rather than the aesthetics. Which are still important but aren’t as integral as they were for something like my re-purposing project. Also, the questions you’ve raised here are valid: “What makes a fitness source credible? Do I want to include my own blog? How many articles should I include?” These are answers that will change the entirety of your project. And I think, respectively, that Fitness sources are credible based on scientific research, I think you should include a link to your blog, and I think you should include about five different articles/topics. When I look at sources like theSkimm, they usually cover about five stories, and that typically makes for a quick, yet thorough “CliffNotes” of the news. Also, I think you should link to your blog for the cohesion of your e-Portfolio. I think it would look really polished and complete to tie the two together. Great work, Cole! I hope that this helps!

  2. Hi Cole,
    I totally understand – it feels like all we have been doing in this class is drafting and revising. Which is not a bad thing, but rather a very realistic thing. It’s much more realistic than doing a project in a couple of days, turning it in, receiving a grade on it, then never thinking about it again. Though rewarding in the short term (if the grade is good), this all-in/all-out way of doing work does not lead to real learning and improvement, whereas our work in this class ( I think ) does. It’s just tedious to keep doing work without ever feeling finished. Without ever clicking “submit” for the final time and letting it slip out of our minds.
    Anyways, to talk specifically about your project, I’m on board with a lot of what Kit said. I also think you are making good progress and shouldn’t worry too much about the immediate challenges/ questions you are facing. I think you should definitely focus on research to ensure that your sources are valid. There is a lot of BS writing out there about fitness so make sure that your info is coming from legit sources (respected news sources, scholarly articles, etc). I also think that you should include a link to your blog and reference it whenever possible. And as Kit advised, mirroring the amount of content you use off of something like the Skimm would create something that will be easily digestible by your intended audience.

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