Drafting and Revising Your Project

I’m going to have to be honest here. Reading this assignment and the chapter in Writer/Designer  was the first time that it really hit me that the ePortfolio project is its own composition. Looking through ePortfolios from past semesters of Writing 220 students, I thought, “what a nice way to bring together their work from the semester”, and that was that. But now that I thought of it, what was the ePortfolio but just one big multimodal project encompassing the smaller multimodal projects? And I panicked a little inside.

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Ok maybe more than a little.

But I found that reading did Writer/Designer really seem to help. This was my first hearing of a Rough Cut, as I do not have much experience with constructing multimodal projects.

I personally always seem to have trouble writing rough drafts. It is half my perfectionist nature and half my hatred for revision that causes me to spend an inordinate amount of time on my rough draft in order to reach as close to perfection as possible the first time around. I believe this is also due to the fact that in school we always have seemed to place emphasis on the first draft, and then this magical revision/editing process seems to occur and you end up with your polished final draft. What frightens me is the ambiguity of this middle part. This revision process could involve just a few minor vocabulary tweaks, or it could lead to you rewriting the entire damn assignment.

It was comforting to read this chapter and have the process broken up into Storyboards, then Rough Cuts, then Rough Drafts, and then eventually Final Drafts. I felt safer reading the clearly defined things to look for and steps to follow at each part of the process. I know that writing and creativity are often about feeling free and not being confined within a structure, but I would be lying if I said that I did not thoroughly enjoy structures.

And now that it has been better laid out for me, I can rest easy knowing that I will get through this, and my brain can return to a calmer state.

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Drafting and Revising Your Project

There is a lot of useful technical information in the “Drafting and Revising Your Project” chapter of Writer/Designer. The checklist on page 110, which supplies criteria for a solid rough draft, stands out to me as especially rich information. A lot teachers and instructors assume that students already have systems and methods that they utilize during their process. While this is true, as most students have developed their own methods through habit and experience, advice on how to efficiently navigate the steps of starting a new project is always useful. I’ve learned from experience, and been told countless times, that an organized and coherent process is as important as a successful finished product. I will hold my work to the standard of this checklist while working on my ePortfolio rough draft to make sure that my work is ready for review. This chapter also had some good advice about how to give feedback. For example, readers should familiarize themselves with the rhetorical situation of the text to most effectively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses.

When applying these points of advice to the ePortfolio project, I consider the ways the content of my ePortfolio will affect the rhetorical situation of my ePortfolio as a whole. The collection of work that I include in my ePortfolio will undertake a meaning of its own, just as the individual pieces of a museum exhibition all contribute their own unique tones to the overarching theme of the show. I will asses the rhetorical situations of my individual projects, and design my website based on the way my projects speak together.

“Drafting and Revising Your Project”

I guess the reason I have been dreading the ePortfolio is because I cannot picture the final outcome. I have looked at several portfolios of other minors, but there is not one that I have seen that has given me clarity as to what I want mine to look like. Further, I cannot imagine the journey of getting there; it seems from the final products that there are endless possibilities, and so many small moving parts. I understand that the portfolio is very flexible and can be whatever each individual writer wants it to be, but I still am not sure what I want mine to be; all I know is that I want it to be something that I can share with friends, family, employers, and really give those readers some insight into who I really am.

Reading “Drafting and Revising Your Project” gave me more clarity regarding the smaller moving parts. When creating anything, I honestly do not think I have ever thought about anything but a rough draft as a first piece. The idea of a rough cut is really comforting for something like this, and being able to distinguish between a rough cut and a rough draft makes the ePortfolio seem much less intimidating and overwhelming. The rough cut allows me to think about this as a gradual, step by step process, and makes me realize that I do not need to start thinking about the final product; the final product will come naturally from the smaller initial components. Now, I can think about only the rough cut, and all the smaller, imperfect raw materials that I will need to begin this journey.

Drafting and Revising Your Project

A major question in the writing minor is why do I write, and I genuinely do believe it’s a sincere question that has driven me through the assignments so far. No, I am not saying that for “brownie points.” It is a genuine question I have been asking myself because I have had so much freedom in choosing the pieces for the class and how to transform them into special works. Rather than another english or political science argumentative essay, I am using my writing for another means: exploring my own thought and character. I have genuinely enjoyed the journey so far as I have actually learned equally as much about myself and who I am as I have about writing more effectively.

Within the idea of writing about myself, I still have much to gain. Both peer edits mentioned desire for more of my personal stories. I think moving into the next draft, I will think about my work more from within. Although it is my eyes that have witnessed the events portrayed within my piece, I still neglect to get to my own truly raw, honest  story.

Something I have had to acknowledge to myself is that a lot of the information and memories I am writing about leave me vulnerable. I am openly discussing many individuals who have joined, entered, and exited my life over the past year at Michigan, and I have to be careful to let the content of the story remain factual, but I have to balance it with my emotional reality.

When I write for most classes I listen to classical music (and always the same one, OCD MUCH?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2LM3ZlcDnk

For Writing 220, however, I find myself listening to my normal Spotify playlist. What is even more interesting is that occasionally I catch my thoughts flowing towards the emotion in the song. If an upbeat song comes on then I view the situations in a positive manner, and if a sadder song plays in my headset, the emotion seems to transfer into my writing.

The biggest component moving into the next phase for me is truly asking the question as to why I am writing. This project has morphed many times and currently lacks a easily understood genre because I know I am using the writing to face issues internally, yet I am not at the point where I know what those issues are. No, do not worry. I am not concerned at all for neither my writing nor my mental health. I’ve had a recent breakup and few other events that have knocked me down a few pegs, and I think that despite the heavy topic, this piece is allowing me to make my comeback because it’s allowing my to re-find my values and motivations and articulate them for the world.

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Drafting and Revising Blog

So far in this project, I have really only focused on my repurposing and remediating pieces and haven’t taken the time to really think about what my e-portfolio will look like. I have spent my time writing, re-writing, changing the idea and direction of my piece, so there hasn’t been a lot of mind space for the eportfolio just yet. After reading this chapter, I realized that I need to start the process now because there are multiple stages to be completed. I am not just going to record my podcast in 20 minutes, and it will be ready to go. I will need to edit and improve to go from my original rough cut to my polished final product.

One specific idea or strategy I got from this chapter that I will use when making my podcast is to record a lot more materiel then you need. This is because you can always edit down, but you can’t add more after the fact. I wouldn’t want to throw away my shot by not recording longer than I think I need and ending up with not enough content. This way I can see what works, what doesn’t, and only include what is successful in my final cut.

Another idea this chapter had me thinking about was making sure my eportfolio as a whole works together and is cohesive. So far I have been thinking about each piece as a separate entity, structured around its own rhetorical situation, but now I need to think about them working together on the rhetorical situation of my eportfolio. My portfolio will be its own complete composition, with each individual piece hopefully adding something to the site as a whole.

The last topic I found really helpful that the chapter discussed was the revision process. Usually, I am a fan of the very quick revision process, rough draft due, feedback, a few days pass then final draft due and on to the next assignment. But after reading this chapter, I realized there are multiple dimensions to it. It is an ongoing process, and embracing that, or having the patience for it, will let me create a final product that is stronger and more effective than my first draft ever could have been.

Drafting and Revising My Project

Until this point I have put any thoughts of my ePortfolio on the back burner. In part, because the re-purposing and re-mediation projects have been enough to think about, but also because I am not quite sure what I want the final product to look like. It’s easy to imagine what parts one and two of the project will look like in the end, but visualizing the greater ePortfolio is definitely more of a challenge. Do I want it to have a theme dictated by my re-purposing and re-mediation projects? If this were the case then my third artifact would have to somehow fit into the category of female empowerment or the consequences of beauty standards. Looking back at the work I have saved, I’m not sure anything fits that mold.

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The chapter on “Drafting and Revising Your Project” made me think more specifically about the numerous steps that will help me take my individual pieces and create an online portfolio that presents them in a united front. Whether I have a central theme or no theme at all I will still need to consider the layout, visual elements, fonts, color schemes, and all of the other elements that contribute to a polished ePortfolio. I want my ePortfolio to be a representation of who I am, which is perhaps asking too much. Maybe instead I should try and make it representative of my values and interests. That would make choosing my third artifact easier, because it doesn’t have to explicitly relate to my re-purposing and re-mediation as long as it embodies something that is important to me.

The section of the chapter that discussed techniques on moving from a rough cut to a rough draft really got me thinking about how I want to make my ePortfolio interactive. One idea I have to make my re-mediation interactive (after I have finished the rough-cut and placed it on my ePortfolio) is to have a scroll-over feature that allows readers to view more in depth analysis of my artistic choices. For example if I have a subtitle on my magazine cover that says, “Find the sunscreen that’s right for you!” viewers can scroll over it and read a longer description of why I chose to say that. I think interactivity is a key element of an ePortfolio, because it engages the reader and helps them better understand your message. I’m excited to see where these thoughts and ideas take me.

Drafting and Revising My Project

After reading this chapter, I am reminded of the many components that go into making a successful rhetorical situation. Authors need to keep these in mind as they write: what audience the piece is intended for, the purpose of the piece, how the design reflects this purpose, and any genre conventions that may be relevant. Before reading this chapter, I have only been thinking about this in regards to my re-purposing and remediating projects. However, I now realize that in order for my ePortfolio to be cohesive and purposeful, I need to structure it around a rhetorical situation that I still need to think about.

When I think about my ePortfolio as its “own complete composition,” I think about how each piece I upload to my website needs to contribute to a bigger picture I am trying to get across. So far, the pieces that I am going to put up on my ePortfolio strongly convey my values, since they are about the reasons the special place I go with my family every summer is so special. However, as I go forward with adding artifacts (like we talked about in class today), and the “Why I Write” composition, I need to think about how all these parts are going to fit together to create something greater.

This reading also made me think about how it will be important to include my rough cuts for each project. I think that explaining the differences between my rough drafts and final drafts will further the arguments I am making in each piece, and why I made the choices I did. This can also contribute to the overall rhetorical situation of my ePortfolio.

Drafting and Revising My Project

In terms of my ePortfolio, it’s interesting to think of it as its own entity, separate from my Re-Purposing and Re-Mediation projects. While we have mostly focused on these two projects so far in class, I think it is good to step away from them and focus on a greater objective of the class: creating an ePortfolio. I have never created an online website to showcase my writing, and it was nice to read through the “Drafting and Revising Your Project” chapter of Writer/Designer to ease my mind a bit about the drafting process of my website. For instance, I should focus on getting an outline of my content into my ePortfolio before I worry about specific aspects such as fonts, navigation, and images. While the ePortfolio feels like the last assignment for this class, I know that the skills I will gain in the Re-Purposing and Re-Mediation will definitely help me handle the multimodal aspects of a website.

A point from the chapter that stuck out to me was being conscious of the purpose that my ePortfolio conveys through its organizational and navigational features. While the layout of a website doesn’t always feel relevant to the content, I think it should be in mine. If there is another multimodal way to show my purpose for writing, I would love to practice using it. I hope that through some drafting and revising, my ePortfolio will come to be a portrayal of my writing style and purpose.

Drafting and Revising

Almost all of my focus thus far has been on content, both in the re-purposing project and in the remediation project. I have spent all my time outlining, drafting, and revising. But reading this chapter made me think more about design and presentation rather than content. The book mentions fonts, color schemes, layout, interactivity, sound, etc. As I read about each of these elements, the vision for my ePortfolio developed, and I could start to picture it in my mind. Such visualization is important for multimodal projects because the final ePortfolio will involve so much more than just the content of our final drafts.

This chapter also helped me think about my timetable for the remediation project. The book made rough cuts seem similar to shitty first drafts – they are to be refined and shaped throughout the revision process. I realized that much of the work is to be done after we turn in our rough cuts. For my remediation, I am delivering a TED Talk, which requires several assets in the final version. For the rough cut, however, I probably won’t be using all of the assets that I will use in the final cut. The remediation project will shape itself over the course of the next several weeks, not just within the next week or so.

I tend to have a desk-clearing mindset; I like to get things done and move on to the next item. While this can sometimes help me work efficiently, it can also rush me. Desk-clearing and creativity do not mesh well. This chapter’s discussion of the revision process reinforced that I have to resist my desire to get these projects done so that I can move on to the ePortfolio. The revision process has multiple layers to it, and I have to give it the necessary time and attention. My re-purposing project will continue to develop, and so will the remediation. Eventually, they will all come together beautifully (I hope) in the ePortfolio, but only in due time.

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Drafting & Revising

So far in this process, I’ve only really thought about my project as a bunch of individual pieces as opposed to one cohesive portfolio. I haven’t thought much about my overall website layout and what I want my overall portfolio to convey to the reader. Honestly, just thinking about it gives me a bit of a headache. After reading this chapter, however, I’m feeling a little bit better because I now have a basic checklist of what exactly I’m supposed to be working on.

Feedback, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, can be really overwhelming. Going through it with specific concerns/questions in mind, however, can make it seem like a lot less information that you have to weed through. I love the last page of this chapter where they give you specific questions to consider: for example, ‘What are the most important changes I need to consider as I revise?’ I’m definitely going to create a list of important things to focus on when I’m going back into my original piece, or my final project.

The only time that I’ve ever had to revisit a project this much has been with art as opposed to writing. I’ve never had to completely rework a piece of writing, but doing this has made me think so much more about my overall topic. Even though I’m keeping the same audience for my two pieces that I’ve started so far, they’re both very different in almost every other way, forcing me to rethink what I want my overall point to be regarding my relationship with my sisters. Writing is more similar to art than I often realize–one piece is almost never perfect, but instead always has room to grow.