Guidelines for ePortfolios

 1. Use a layout

I recently tried to build my ePortfolio without a premade layout. It turned out looking like an e-invitation to Elmo’s 6th birthday party. Layouts give you options for color schemes and design and will look way more put together than a personal creation (which may get confused for the work of a five year old).

2. Simple is better

With that beings said, I have noticed that layouts do not always turn out perfect. Make sure to use minimal colors and stick to one type of font.

3. Have a relevant theme

It’s really cool if your favorite thing to do is make macaroni and cheese. But don’t use that as your cover photo for your blog. Make sure that your theme makes sense and benefits your work.

4. Have legitimate stuff to put on your blog

The most important piece of your ePortfolio is the work you are showcasing – make sure that it is the best it can possibly be!

 

and most importantly,

 

 5. Avoid Comic Sans MS

If you have a choice to pet a grizzly bear or use Comic Sans MS on your ePortfolio, pet the grizzly bear. Nothing screams “I have the brain of a fifth grader” like using Comic Sans 14 pt. font in a neon color.

Curzan’s Perspective of Grammar

Anne Curzan’s piece about the rules of grammar intertwined two worlds that I previously thought were separate – spoken language and writing. In the past, I have taken courses that aim to identify different types of speech among different types of people and how these styles of talking identify different types of class, race, and culture. Until I read this piece, I had never thought about this in terms of writing.

The point that stood out to me the most? People hold a certain form of language as the most appropriate and socially acceptable. But why? Curzan makes a point of discussing the difference between “shouldn’t” and “ain’t”. “Shouldn’t” is JUST as grammatical as “ain’t”, however the latter is perceived as lower class. This also leads me to ponder why written language and grammar morph more slowly than spoken words. Traditional grammar is, in some ways, hurting cultures and labeling them as less intelligent and incapable of being taken seriously.

BUT. People who comprehend language that doesn’t match the traditional writing standards as incompetent don’t realize that this is the language that is reaching the most people and having a huge impact on society. For example, Macklemore definitely doesn’t utilize grammar that society has deemed as correct, but his words and ideas are expressed in a way that many more people can relate to than a governmental article about why gay marriage is acceptable. Curzan’s strategies of tying together writing and spoken language, and the gap between the two, was captivating and definitely made me think about why grammar isn’t changing with spoken language.

 

“Making a Case for Rhetorical Grammar”

Through her words and style, Laura Micciche brought to light the power of rhetorical writing. While it bothered me when I first began to read the excerpt, her use of rhetoric language and examples led me to a greater understanding of the power (or lack of) grammatical structures. This leads me to speak for the main points that I took away from Micciche’s words.

1.    Learning grammar and learning writing are not the same

Some of the most influential pieces of creative writing, from To Kill a Mockingbird to 1984 to Shakespeare’s poetry, do not follow what is known as correct grammar. Writing is about relaying a message in a way that connects to an audience, not about using perfect communication. To learn grammar is to learn fear of making mistakes. To learn to write is to explore creative means of expression.

2.    Rhetorical grammar provides writers with more adequate and relatable ways to express thoughts and teaches critical thinking skills

To write rhetorically is to think rhetorically. How can you get readers to understand what you are saying? How can you communicate your thoughts?

3.   Grammar competency is 100% socially constructed

Having perfect grammar does not make you a good writer. To a certain extent, it does not even make your words effective. Proper grammar gives you a status academically and socially. It’s reflective of being an upper class, intelligent person. However, the smartest writers are those who can communicate with everyone.

B.L.O.G.

Be.Ludicrous.Or.Go.

As a college student, my hardest task is not completing an assignment, reading 100 pages a night, or even studying for my most difficult final exam. Instead, I require strength of unimaginable proportions to break my habitual routine of:

*open planner*

*check Facebook and hope moms haven’t infiltrated it to the extremes today*

*read three new tweets since last time I refreshed (ONE DIRECTIONNNN, MILEYYYY, SPORTSSSSSS)*

*refresh again just in case*

*get book out of backpack*

*glance at yet another Instagram of the Law Library*

*sigh while signing into my email after I’ve already entered my email & password to get access to UMWireless*

*wonder why MWireless is even a thing*

*delete 3 “nnto: selling Akron ticket!”*

*open book and proceed to read the first three sentences*

*check phone for text messages*

*find no new messages*

*open Buzzfeed because 90s fashion reviews will probably make me feel better about having no friends*

*freak out because stress*

*highlight random sentences in text book that seem important*

*check backpack for snacks*

*google “mono symptoms” because I’m always tired*

Repeat.

The sad truth is that none of my distractions provide me with any skills, knowledge, or information that is in any way relevant to my life or to the life of any remotely successful human being. Having 238 photos pinned on my “Cute Cats” board on Pinterest is not productive. I am also not proud that my tweets/day ratio averages at over 5:1. Therefore, I took the initiative to find a distraction that actually contains meaning and provides inspiration.

http://thebucketlistblog.org/

This blog embodies the life of a college student and is incredibly relatable to my stressful lifestyle full of uncertainty. It radiates optimism and provides excellent advice. TheBucketListBlog makes me ponder my goals on grander scale than a potential career. I felt mentally refreshed after reading a few posts. This blog is great because it provides me with exactly the opposite of the rest of my meaningless internet meandering. Who knew that reading a blog could be more inspiring than spending 17 minutes scanning www.brainyquote.com/motivation because you wanted your twitter followers to ponder something more than your love of cheese today?

Hopefully I can find the power somewhere to trade some of my obsessive social media stalking with discovering blogs of substance. Maybe I will be able to finish some homework, too.

 

My Style

The paper that I chose to analyze is my most recent piece of academic work and was written for a Communications course that revolved around television shows. The topic of the paper, Full House and American culture, allowed me to use more creativity and freedom than I had previously experienced with other papers. While rereading this essay, I immediately noticed my go-to sentence style (ironic, I’m using it now). My reflections prove that I absolutely love to use the style that Rosenwasser and Stephen describe as “the complex sentence” and often incorporate the words “although” and “while”. Although this is not necessarily a bad aspect to my writing (…using this once again), I know that it probably gets very repetitive.

 

I also noticed that I used a plethora of transitional words. I began to get annoyed while reading my own paper because many of them seemed unnecessary and irrelevant. This, along with many other sentence structures, made me realize that I would be a much better writer if I could better “cut out the fat” of my writing. Overall, my strongest reflection about my recent paper in terms of the Rosenwasser and Stephen chapters is that the structures of the sentences that you create truly set the tone for your work. In order to better guide my readers, it is imperative for me to learn the ins and outs of sentence structure.

Why I Write

Orwell and Didion’s essays, “Why I Write”, were interestingly both extremely relatable to my life and extremely opposing to it. Firstly, Orwell’s description of knowing that he was destined to be a writer “from a very early age” does not resonate with me in the slightest. However, Orwell describes his childhood as a “private world” which he created for himself. Reflecting back upon my lifetime, I feel that I have created a comparable lifestyle. I often find myself deep in thought. Fortunately, I found writing as a way to release all of that energy in the past few years. Similarly, Didion also gets at this theme of wondering: wondering about the world, about people, about places, and mostly about why. This curiosity is what fuels my desire to write.

I also found Orwell’s great motives for writing very noteworthy. Initially, I was slightly offended by the first listed motive, “sheer egoism”. However, upon further thought, I realized that it is absolutely true. Overall, I feel that my motive for writing intertwines all four motives, particularly “aesthetic enthusiasm”. I generally feel that my outlook upon writing is far more optimistic than both of these authors describe in their essays. While I agree with major life events greatly influencing writing, which is definitely relevant in my life, I prefer to use the negatives in life to highlight the positives.