It’s About Life, and Style is Just an Option

The quote in the title is actually about surfing (something I happen to be horrendously bad at), but I thought it fit into the context of writing too. Writing isn’t a lifestyle, it’s a life where style is just an option.

I can’t believe this semester is already over, it really felt like it flew by. The ePortfolio took more work than I imagined when I undertook the project. Mostly that’s because there are so many options it’s easy to get lost in designing your website for hours on end. The first difficult task was choosing a layout – but luckily Wix has tons clean and professional templates to choose from. I knew I wanted something clean and image-heavy that had a lot of white space.

Once I found the template, another difficult task was choosing all of extracurricular work that I wanted to add to my portfolio. I definitely wanted to be selective (especially with my academic work) but I also wanted to show that I am a well rounded writer who can write in multiple genres and disciplines. With the help of my peers, I figured out some stylistic situations that I originally felt hindered the audience’s experience. For example, I wanted a PDF version of my academic papers to open in a new window when the viewer clicked a particular image. Once I worked out these initial kinks, the rest was pretty straightforward in terms of design and layout.

Through the course of the semester I came to see the ePortfolio itself as a rhetorical composition, which made the project both challenging and really fun. I think the most challenging part for me ended up being the reflexive comments – I wanted to strike a balance between saying what I needed to say and keeping the layout clean and not bogged down by text.

Ultimately, I’m so happy with the way it turned out! I’m really proud of myself for conquering another technology and developing a new skill. I also think it was really rewarding to create a space for all of the work of done in the past 2.5 years, it really made me see how far I’ve come as a writer. I definitely plan on using it in a professional setting, but I hope that it also reflects who I am as person.

Check it out:


Lauren Diamond

Lauren Diamond is a Junior at the University of Michigan and a Political Science Major.

One thought to “It’s About Life, and Style is Just an Option”

  1. I can definitely relate to the giving up part. After a while you just realize that its not even worth figuring out if this button looks best here or there, or maybe it shouldn’t be a button but linked in the text.

    I didn’t know you wrote for SHEI! I didn’t see you at the launch party. But anyway, I loved the way you set up your journalism page. I do think it’s compelling, in part, because of the colorful photography that draws the viewer in. I think you have a great balance between texts and photographs. I’ll definitely pare down on the reflective text after the portfolio is graded. I felt like no one was going to read my entire first draft, so I did a lot of explaining. But since watching a video is less work they might look at your rough and final drafts Your use of photos as links is something I might tinker with, especially if it pulls up a quote that’s intriguing like in Atlantic articles.

    I definitely sense, throughout your portfolio, a theme tied to social justice. Even in the SHEI overview you talk about noticing a lack of something and working to fix it. You seem to give voices to things that have been stigmatized or ignored, which is a way to think of social justice.

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