Chloe Fishbein Capstone Project

Hi everyone,

I am proud to finally present my Capstone Project to you all. As we all know, it’s been a tough semester. My project didn’t necessarily come out the way I had planned for, but I am proud of the work I accomplished under the circumstances.

My Capstone Project focuses on the question: Why is it important for young women to have strong female role models? As you will see when reading my project, this question personally affects me. I wanted to choose a project topic that I could connect with and allow my personal experiences to shine through. Much of my project is about my personal experiences and the experiences of my own female role models. I am proud of myself for opening up and allowing all of you to see the real me.

I also included research about the current conversation and the role that famous women and fictional characters play in understanding the importance of a female role model.

I believe that my mix of writing forms, such as an opinion essay, research essay, and personal narrative, all make for an interesting take on my central question. I hope that you learn more about female role models and their importance, while also learning more about one of your fellow classmates.

Congrats to those graduating and congrats to completing your Writing Capstone!

Without further ado, here is my capstone link:


Chloe Fishbein

What a semester!

What a semester it has been! As I discuss more in my eportfolio narrative introduction, I have undergone many changes this semester, both academically and personally. The minor in writing gateway course really pushed me out of my comfort zone, just as my recent life experiences have done as well. I loved being given the freedom to explore who I am as a person and writer through the flexibility this course allows for.

My biggest take-away from this course has been that you have to start somewhere. You won’t get a writing piece perfect the first time, but without starting with something, there is no way to improve. I used to be scared to write things that I knew could not be perfect. From this class, I learned that that is the fun part! Being able to put something on the page and then edit and develop it along the way are what writing is about. The experiment process really taught me this.

I also learned that you cannot compare yourself to others. As a class that is majorly consumed by peer reviews, this is hard to understand. I constantly felt bad about my writing when sharing it with others. I would apologize to my peers before reading it. However, I have learned that if you do not have confidence in yourself, then no one will. We are all learning and we can only do the best that we can do.

My favorite writing piece from the eportofilio was my narrative introduction, not my fully-realized piece interestingly enough. I think this is because my fully-realized piece was not personal. For my capstone project I decided that I want my writing to be more personal than the project I did this semester. I think personal pieces are more enjoyable to write and I think I am better at them. That being said, I am proud of myself for trying out creative writing, but I definitely have a lot more to learn!

Here is the link to my eportfolio for the minor in writing:

I learned more about myself while making it and I hope you learn more about me as well! Enjoy!!

Writer to Writer Literati Event

While I was at first skeptical about leaving my warm bed on a cold Tuesday night, I left the Writer to Writer event extremely happy and pleased. This was the first event I have attended where a successful writer and academic was interviewed by another successful writer and academic. I thought that this dynamic was incredible because both Shelley and Dr. Thompson were always on the same page. They truly understood each other and this made the audience feel like they could understand them as well. I felt as though I was included in the conversation.

Literati was a great venue to have Writer to Writer. It felt homey and inviting. It is a wonderful feeling being in the audience with people who love writing just as much as you do. Everyone there trekked out on the cold Tuesday night because they wanted to be there. This feeling could definitely be felt throughout the room. As Dr. Thompson spoke about specific details about her research and as she read from her book, the audience was all on the edge of their seats.

I have never taken a history class at the University of Michigan, so before the event I was not sure what being an historian exactly entailed. I loved how Dr. Thompson compared being an historian to being a detective. It was so inspiring listening to Dr. Thompson because she is so passionate about what she does. I hope that one day I can be as passionate as she is in my professional life.

What struck me as most useful and insightful was how Dr. Thompson said that there is always a story, but it is about how you choose to convey the story that matters. As a writer, your voice is so important because it is yours and only yours. How we choose to convey stories and experiences to the world shows the world who we are.

I left wanting to know more about how Dr. Thompson decided how she wanted to convey the stories she researched. As she explained, she is writing for so many people and from so many different perspectives. How is she able to come to her decisions? If I were in her position I would struggle making a decision, and then probably change my decision many times before sticking with it. I also find it so amazing how she stuck with her book for thirteen years. That amount of commitment is truly inspiring.

I did not ask a question at the Q&A because frankly I was just enjoying listening to other intelligent people. I appreciated hearing from not only Dr. Thompson, but also other people in the audience who had important questions and comments to say as well. I loved how people in the audience nodded when people would ask Dr. Thompson questions. It seemed as though we were all on the same page and really created a sense of community.

Overall, the Writer to Writer event was inspiring. I wish more college students would attend because it really makes you think about yourself and what it important to you. I learned insights about how to be a better writer, but also insights about life as well. For example, I learned the importance of balancing a tragic event so that it does not undermine the event but does not dissuade the reader, and I learned that even the best of the best can always improve.

Moth Story Night

Unfortunately I could not attend the Moth Story Night, so instead I listened to one online. I decided to listen to the podcast titled “Confidence: Too Much, Too Little.”

I really enjoyed this podcast. Some features that stuck out to me throughout all five of the stories are that there is so much raw emotion. The stories are all so honest and I feel like I know the person after hearing his or her story. Additionally, no matter how serious the topic, there are aspects of humor. The humor allows for the audience to be more involved, since these stories are told to a live audience.

Storytelling has the ability to bring so many different types of people together. It is a legitimate genre because it is a real genre. Storytelling is genuine and a part of life. Many times we don’t even think about it as a genre because people tell stories in every day life. I was moved by how real and genuine the stories I heard were. My experience with the Moth reminded me that writing does not have to be done in the academic setting. Writing is everywhere.

I think it is so inspiring that people are able to get up in front of a group of strangers and tell such personal stories. I do not think I have the courage to do that at this point in my life. I hope that one day I acquire the courage to do so.

Here are summaries of the five stories I listened to:

Aleeza Kazmi tackles difficult questions when working on a self-portrait.

  • Used peach pastel to fill in her face when making a self portrait
  • Teacher said that is not your color
  • “How can colors belong to people?”
  • Couldn’t find the pastel color… teacher went to the gross crayon bin
  • Now the portrait is a mess with pastel and crayon.. teacher still hangs it up on the wall
  • Identity crisis- she asks why can’t I be peach
  • Finally came to terms with who she was… said she black
  • This was my favorite story to listen to

Dante Jackson comes out of his shell at his 8th grade prom.

  • Nervous to dance at prom.. shy
  • Gradually starts getting more into it
  • Turns out was one of his best nights
  • “He was locked in a dark room and took a step out and learned how to dance”

David Crabb celebrates an anniversary with a trip to the spa.

  • Went to spa with partner… not nice.. east village
  • Make-shift spa.. sketchy
  • He goes in room with attractive man
  • Awkward massage…
  • Ran away with his partner
  • Said will never do that again and they still laugh about it twelve years later

Sam Shepard brings his personal horse to the set of “The Right Stuff.”

  • He is an actor
  • Wanted to use own horse for a sequence of filming
  • Didn’t have another horse like that to use for the stunt double
  • Horse does the stunt with stunt double
  • Horse looks down and sees a black cable cord
  • Maybe he thinks it’s a snake.. big jump.. stunt double flips off and is dragged
  • Sam went to guy in hospital and apologized… stunt double makes a joke about the horse

Sarah Lee Nakintu fears her dream of education has been betrayed

  • Grew up in polygamous family
  • She wanted to be like her aunt… a business women
  • Always dreamed of the day she could graduate from university
  • Instead of farming one day, her dad asked her to do some house chores
  • Father said aunt was going to take her to boarding school
  • But she didn’t want to leave her mother
  • But she knew that if she wanted to liberate her mother she had to go to school
  • Her mom told her that her father is actually sending her to get married
  • Aunt said this is the best option for her… she felt betrayed by her aunt–who she looked up to and admired
  • Mother then said no she is not getting married until school
  • Father yelled at her for giving her opinion
  • In her culture, women are supposed to be submissive to the men
  • Mother who was always submissive had finally gathered the strength
  • She went away with her mom
  • Her mom was the only provider of the home.. did whatever she could to get money
  • She finally got enough money to send daughter to school
  • “Brought my dreams back alive”
  • “At first I thought I’d liberate her, but she liberated me”
  • “She gave up her marriage in fight of my education”

How to write a monologue

If you are ever writing a monologue, here is a great place to learn the basics!

Monologues are a great genre to use when you have real and raw feelings to express. These feelings do not need to be sugar coated. They are used when a character has strong emotions, conflicts, or awakenings they want to tell another character or the audience.

The aspect that makes monologues so real also allows for a lot of freedom when writing monologues. As long as you stick to the character that you are writing from the perspective of (which can be hard when that character is not you), there is a great deal of freedom to write what ever you desire.

It is also very important to consider the audience when writing monologues. This is because monologues are read out loud to either a specific person, group, or audience. They are not meant to just be read. They are meant for others to hear.

Here are some quick tips to know when writing monologues:

  1. Determine the perspective of the monologue.
  2. Determine the purpose of the monologue. What exactly are you trying to convey?
  3. Who will you be addressing this monologue to? Audience is everything.
  4. Think of a monologue as if it is a story. What is the beginning, middle, and end?
  5. The best way to learn how to write a monologue is by reading other monologues.

To help write my speech, I analyzed two examples of monologues. Here is what I learned from them:

Hamlet: A Monologue from the Play by William Shakespeare.

This was one of the first monologues I remember reading in high school. I remember it very well because I actually had to memorize it for an English class. Hamlet’s monologue about deciding whether to exist or not to exemplifies what the genre of monologues truly means, which is why it was so helpful reading this monologue before writing my own. Monologues are supposed to express inner emotions. They are meant to be raw and real. In plays for example, they are read at crucial times, either directed at another character or the audience. In Hamlet’s monologue, he is directing his words towards the audience.

Joker Monologue: The Dark Knight

This is another example of a famous monologue I analyzed before writing my own monologue. Monologue are everywhere. This is a monologue from the popular move “The Dark Night.” This monologue is great at revealing the Joker’s true feelings. It is also important in the movie because the Joker does not reveal much about himself and his feelings until this monologue. This example shows how impactful monologues can be. They do not have to be long or written eloquently, they just have to express a character’s true feelings to other characters or the audience.

Good luck writing your next monologue! I hope this blog post helps!

Speech writing “how to” guide

Speeches are a fun and interesting genre. What I liked most about writing speeches is the creative ability it affords you. There is so much potential in speeches to motivate people and to create change. Even writing this speech, I could feel that excitement.

With that being said, speeches are meant to attract people’s attention. Because of this aspect, the technical information included must not be too intensive. If it becomes too boring, then people will no longer pay attention and you will not be able to get your point across. I struggled with this in my experiment because I needed to explain how a citizen could create a law, therefore, explaining how a bill becomes a law. It was important to include because not all citizens are aware of this process and it also emphasizes that citizens play a big role in this process. However, I was worried that it would sound too technical and I would lose the audience’s attention. Additionally, for the same reason of not losing the audience’s attention, speeches must not be too long.

To help write my speech, I analyzed three speeches given by President Obama. I based my speech off of him because I was writing as a president speaking to the United States and I admire Obama’s speech giving skills. Here is what I learned from analyzing Obama’s speeches:

Obama’s First Presidential Inaugural Address is the first speech President Obama addressed to America as the president of the United States. The point of this speech is for Obama to tell the country that he is here to help them. He discusses how strong our nation is, but also the hardships we must face and concur. This is why in my speech I chose to at first discuss all America has accomplished and then discuss my main point: why federal election day must be made a federal holiday. I also decided to break my speech up into small paragraphs—sometimes only as small as a sentence. Obama’s speeches are written this way so that he has a built-in time to pause and emphasize points. Additionally, Obama constantly is referring to his audience directly, saying “us” rather “you”. Obama emphasizes that he is an American too, which is why I say “we” and “us” in my speech.

In Obama’s final presidential State of the Union Address, Obama delivers a speech to Congress, giving the administration’s view of the state of the nation and plans for legislation. This speech is composed of the same aspects as the ones seen in Obamas inaugural address previously mentioned. However, what stands out to me in this speech is Obama’s use of very personal and specific examples. Obama refers to all of the American people and then touches on specific people. For instance, he mentions “the worker on the assembly line who clocked extra shifts to keep his company open” and “in the Dreamer who stays up at night to finish her science project”. I think that these specific examples are very impactful because they show that Obama isn’t only talking to America as a whole, but to the individuals that make up America as well. This is why in my speech I include specific examples of children whose dreams will be crushed if federal election day is not made a federal holiday. Additionally, unlike other presidents, Obama uses small pieces of humor in his speeches, like when he refers to Vice President Joe Biden directly in his speech (this got a laugh out of the crowd). This is why I included my line about how it doesn’t matter if you prefer the Yankees or the Red Socks.

In Obama’s presidential Farewell Address, Obama is reflecting on the change the country and the citizens have accomplished and how America has a bright future ahead. Again, this speech has all the characteristics previously mentioned. What stood out to me in this speech particularly was how powerful of a connection there seemed to be with Obama and the people. In most Obama speeches, Obama uses “we” to show that he is like all other Americans. A particular part in this speech that stood out to me is when Obama says “But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change.” Rather than say “we” will be the change Obama states that it was always the people who made the change. This is inspiring and is why I chose to emphasize how it is the people who will ultimately make the change.

Here are some quick tips to know when writing speeches:

  1. Speeches are meant to inspire and persuade people.
  2. Speeches must mean something to people in order to inspire and persuade them.
  3. The audience you are speaking to is crucial. If you do not write your speech for the right audience, then your speech will not be as impactful as it could be.
  4. Know your audience. For example, you should be aware whether including a bunch of academic information will either bore your audience and make them lose attention or intrigue them and make them want to listen more.
  5. Speeches cannot be too long because then you will lose your audience’s attention.
  6. Be simple. If your words become too complicated then it will be hard for the audience to follow.

I hope this helps you if you need to write a speech!

Short story “how to” guide

Short stories are a fascinating genre. It is amazing how authors of short stories are able to provide the audience with a vast amount of detail and plot line in such a short number of pages. You might be wondering, how are they able to do this? Well, this blog post will give you some insight into how short story authors work their magic!

To help write my own short story, I analyzed three short stories to use as models. Here is a what I learned from them:

“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn is a dystopian short story told from the first-person point of view—like my short story. This was an important model to use because I learned the correct way that dialogue should be included in short stories. Not all short stories are written this way, but  Vaughn mainly uses dialogue as the diction in her short story. It is important to note though that the dialogue is not in block quotes, but rather precise lines back and forth between characters. This is a key aspect of short stories because since they are short, the dialogue must be short, yet meaningful. There are also no long paragraphs for this same reason. These stylistic aspects in this short story served as a good model for my short story.

“Billennium” by J.G. Ballard is another example of a dystopian short story. This short story was helpful for me to create my own dystopian short story because it gave me a model as to how to structure my story. In “Billennium,” it was important for the author to give a thorough introduction so that the reader understood the context of society. Without this context, the plot would mean nothing. The reader needed to know what type of world the author was writing about, since dystopian worlds are foreign to the readers.

“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut is a dystopian short story with an outstanding introduction. Like my short story, Vonnegut had to describe a dystopian world in which no one reading the story is familiar. Vonnegut does an incredible job of describing this world in an effective, yet precise way. He sets up his world in only a short three paragraphs. I tried to used Vonnegut’s short and effective writing style when creating my introduction and describing the society I am writing about.

Here are some quick tips to know when writing short stories:

  1. Short stories have all the meat that longer stories have, but less pages to include it on. This means that short stories must be precise and impactful. Since words cannot be wasted, each word matters to move the plot forward.
  2. Short stories can only focus on one plot line. There is not enough time to develop more than one plot line because in doing so, each would not be fully developed and make a poor short story.
  3. Character development in short stories can be tricky. Authors do not have space solely for describing a character. Instead, the author must use the plot to not only move the story forward, but to also work on character development as well.
  4. Just like full length stories, short stories have a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning introduction must be brief, yet also set the scene for the story because the plot in the middle comes right after this brief introduction. The middle, which is the plot, is the story the author is telling. The ending serves as the conclusion, which can either simply be the ending of the story, or in my case, also reiterate the main point the author is trying to get across.
  5. Short stories can include dialogue, but it must be brief since the whole story cannot be made up of dialogue. Only what is important to enhancing the plot should be included.
  6. The rhetoric that makes up short stories will differ for each short story. This is because short stories can have any audience, topic, and meaning the author wants it to have.


Chloe Fishbein

Hey you!

So, you’re on the internet and more specifically, on this blog post. Did you know that the actual page you are reading right now is multimodal?? According to the “Writer/Designer Guide to Making Multimodal Projects” by Kristin L. Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl E. Ball, multimodal means that there are different means of communication occurring at the same time. For instance, the meme below is multimodal because the linguistic mode is used by reading the text and the visual mode is used as well because you are looking at an image.

Realizing this has made me recognize examples of multimodal communication in my everyday life, from far reaching directions. For instance, how many times a day do you check your Instagram feed? Well, Instagram posts are an example of multimodal communication. The picture you post is visual communication and the text for your caption is linguistic communication.

Here’s an example of an Instagram post on my feed from a food account I follow.

By reading the caption and seeing the picture, you are experiencing two different aspects of communication. These aspects allow you to engage in my post at a greater level than by just experiencing one mode of communication.  Multimodal communication is really interesting on Instagram because the caption can either line-up directly with the picture (like in the post I have included) or it can take you somewhere totally different. By using linguistic communication to create a caption for your picture, you allow the audience to perceive the picture however way you want them to. How amazing do these homemade chicken parmesan baked ziti tacos look???



Another example of multimodal communication I have experienced occurred last night while I was watching the American Horror Story season premier. (Great show by the way—I highly recommend it). I invited my younger brother over to my apartment to watch with me. He likes watching his shows with subtitles because that way it is easier to understand. Therefore, I used visual communication to watch the actual show, gestural communication to understand the actor’s emotions, aural communication to listen to the words, and linguistic communication to read the subtitles. These four modes of communication allowed me to experience American Horror Story in a deeper way than only using one mode would have allowed me. For example, reading the text on screen without hearing the character’s tone through aural communication would not have allowed me to grasp a full understanding of the characters dialogue. Additionally, reading the text through linguistic communication and not watching the show with visual communication and gestural communication would not have allowed me to see the character’s reactions and emotions.

This American Horror Story meme is multimodal because it involves visual communication by looking at the meme and linguistic communication by reading the text.

Writing about my experience finding multimodal communication in my everyday life will help me imagine possibilities for my experiment sequence because it makes me realize that just because a writing piece is in a certain form, doesn’t mean it cannot be changed. Furthermore, this change can allow for deeper insights and understanding of the meaning of the piece. Multimodal communication allows the audience to experience something from different perspectives. By experimenting with a piece of my writing, I can do the exact same thing. There are many different wants to look at a piece of writing, which will also allow the audience to see it in different ways too. Writing is not static—so the possibilities are unknown.

-Chloe Fishbein

P.S. My blog post is also multimodal! The linguistic mode was used to read my text, the visual mode was used to see my pictures, and the spatial mode was how I arranged my pictures and text on the page. When designing the spatial aspects of my blog post, I had to make sure that the reader could easily find their way through the text. I also decided to switch the location of my pictures and the text in some parts to keep my blog post exciting and the reader entertained!