What’s up with this portfolio thing anyway

I’m trying to make my portfolio simple, but with one consistent theme that will draw people in.  In my early draft-ish versions I’ve been using one of my favorite pictures that I’ve ever taken, while I was driving through the Badlands.

(not this Badlands picture)

I really like the blue-brown color scheme, and want to use that throughout my portfolio.  I’m playing with the color scheme and I think that is a very accomplishable goal!

What is more difficult for me to figure out is how to orient my writing projects within the website.  Julie said to make it look “less like essays,” so now I’m trying to work out how to do that.  I honestly have no idea how to form them in a non-essay-looking way, so if anyone has any suggestions, please throw them this way!  I have exactly no sense of aesthetics.

I’m really excited to learn how to do this online stuff, because I feel like all my future employers are going to expect me to play my role as a millennial and make all their websites look pretty.  Gotta play the part!  I’m also glad that I have this opportunity to think about my undergraduate education as one comprehensive whole, and see how everything fits together.

Mary Gallagher

I'd like to be good at poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction, but really I'm here to develop the skills to write about politics and world issues

6 thoughts to “What’s up with this portfolio thing anyway”

  1. Hi Mary! I’m also struggling a bit with how to adapt my writing samples to be “less like essays.” Some methods that have come up in our class are giving an abstract of the piece and then linking it to a Google doc with the rest of the writing, including digital elements within the text so that it isn’t just a wall of text, and even omitting the pieces from the e-portfolio entirely and just having downloadable PDFs. Hopefully this helps, and good luck with the rest of your drafting!

  2. I can relate to your struggles with figuring out a layout and color theme that works for all the things you plan on including. Our class brainstormed a bit on how to make the pieces less essay-like. In addition to the ones Dylan mentioned, we also suggested using a flipbook so that it’s a bit more interactive and breaking up a piece into multiple pages so that the page doesn’t scroll on forever. Good luck!

  3. Something that I’m doing for my essays is spreading it across multiple pages that are not visible in the navigation bar. So there is one page for the essay, but there is only one part of the essay and then at the bottom there’s a button or link that says “Read More” that goes to the next page of more text. This helps to break it up more. I’m not sure if other people find this useful, but I like it!

    Your ideas seem to be forming well, I’m interested to see what your theme will form to be from the picture!

  4. i’m getting a really cool vibe from your blue & brown/Badlands e-portfolio theme! I know that a big thing for most everyone is making sure that this portfolio is not confusing to readers and looks interesting, which is why it’s great that you’re thinking about this. As far as the non-traditional essay format, I am using popout PDFs to avoid just posting an entire essay onto a page, but I also really like flipbooks — they look awesome and are super easy to create!
    I also just wanted to agree that it’s awesome that we get to learn this type of media so well and it’s sure to be helpful in the future. Whether your e-portfolio is just for the minor or for future employers, it’s really valuable to learn these things and be able to go back to them months or years from now. I look forward to seeing your completed portfolio!

  5. Another suggestion is just to use two or more columns to orient your essays (I think Hannah actually did this along with the Read More thing she mentioned). It’s been kind of a trial and error thing for me…
    Anyway, basing your color scheme on a picture reminds me of this tool I found that’s technically for generating color schemes for websites but works for anything you want custom color for (also it gets addicting just plugging in pictures and watching it pick out the colors..just a warning):
    http://www.lavishbootstrap.com/
    Good luck!

  6. Hey Mary! I know that the concept of making it look less like essays is super difficult. What I did with my public health writing was to make it into a public health journal of sorts, so maybe that could work for some of your writing? Otherwise I am at a loss too haha. But I am sure everything will work out well! Good luck!

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