Seriously, who’s gonna read this thing?!

A common concern of mine throughout the semester has been about who, outside of the minor in writing community, would actually want to read my work. This is especially true of the portfolio. While it has the potential to be beautiful and highly impressive, it’s also long and pretty involved to read. An exercise we completed outside of class allowed us to analyze our audiences. The activity didn’t necessarily convince me that everyone’s going to jump at the opportunity to read the portfolio. However, it reminded me that different people read with different purposes and different expectations. Even if they just glance at the portfolio and don’t spend the time clicking on every single link, they could find something to connect with. Below, the audiences I’ve decided will most likely actually read my portfolio:

  1. MiW faculty and peers: My minor in writing teachers, past and present, and other faculty for the minor, will likely be reading my portfolio for grading purposes. Thus, they will be expecting me to meet all criteria on the rubric. Also, though, they could be looking for ways to use my portfolio as a teaching tool for future cohorts. My minor in writing peers will likely be looking at my portfolio out of curiosity. We’re dedicating a lot of time to perfecting these portfolios, and I know at the end I’ll want to go back and see the diverse and highly outcomes of all our hard work. They also may seek some inspiration.
  2. Friends and family: I usually only send final drafts for most major projects I complete to my parents. Somehow, though, they end up in the hands of grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. My dad is a writer, so sometimes he’ll constructively critique me or I’ll seek some advice from him. Other than that, those closest to me are usually just there to provide me support. They are who know me best, so if they praise my work and feel that it rings true to me, I’ll know that I’ve done my job.

    My grandma’s usual reaction when I send her an essay on semiotics.
  3. Potential employers/networked connections: I am still debating whether to pass my completed portfolio on to potential or past employers. With my gateway portfolio, I felt more of a sense of urgency for potential employers to read it because I felt it would up my chances of being hired for an internship. Now, though, I want to do the portfolio more for me. I still may send it on to people I have networked with over the past few years or am networking with now who could find it relevant. I’m pursuing digital media careers, so this project could be useful in displaying my digital ability and confidence.

Sarah Schuman

Hi! I'm Sarah, from the Chicago area. I write more eloquently with a chai latte by my side.

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