Illustrations and goodbyes?

As I was writing this post, I realized it may be one the last posts I make on the minor in writing (if not THE last post).  I can’t help but be sad and relieved.  I often feel like I am writing into a void when I write here, which may or may not be the case.  Writing these posts has been frustrating at times, although the mini-assignments Shelley has had us posting about have helped me tremendously with my project and my eportfolio.  It seems like just a week or so ago, I was still doing draft and development mini assignments, but now I am working on revising and refining.  (Where has this entire semester gone?!)  So here it is, my final mini-assignment…

5.    Integrating Visual Illustrations

Visual illustrations can be inviting, distracting, confusing, or illuminating, depending on how they are used. The key principle is to employ them self-consciously and with a clear sense of purpose. Read through your work and identify places where you are either already using an illustration, have the impulse to use an illustration, or where you’d like to challenge yourself to use an illustration. For each, ask yourself: “Why do I need [this/an] image? How [does it/could it] aid the reader’s understanding? [Does it/would it] supplement rather than duplicate what is already in the text?” Write a brief reflection in which you discuss what images you’ve decided to use (or not) and why.

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For my eportfolio, I wanted to keep the style very plain and simple.  Because of that, I didn’t want to add very many pictures.  My “Home” page is also serving as my “About Me” page, so I wanted to include a picture of myself (one of the few pictures that I would actually inclued).  I analyzed this photo in an earlier mini-assignment, which is how I convinced myself it was a good picture that summarized me (the block M and being outdoors).  Upon further inspection, I realized that the picture also fits well with my eportfolio theme.  I want to emphasize that my writing makes me feel “free” and that throughout my time in the minor, I have found more freedom in what I write.  This picture of me standing, looking at the ocean as the wind blows symbolizes that freedom.  I think I have done a good job at making the “freedom” theme explicit in the paragraph on the home page of the eportfolio, so this image should click with the reader as well.  Even if they don’t understand the image at first glance (I mean, they can’t even see my face and its my “about me” photo…), I hope that it is something that clicks after they have read the paragraph and/or my evolution essay.  This image is a perfect reflection of how I feel when I write, and I hope the reader picks up on that when they go through my portfolio.

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