Organzing an Essay (Website??)

So I am honestly very excited for the possibilities that arise from using a website as the final container for my project. I really am. Really.

trump, believe, lie
I’m just not used to organizing my life this way. And when I say “my life” I mean my writing (feel free to laugh tragically right along with me).

So my project started as a way to make a “book” that would have originally just been for my eyes to revisit the research from my final architecture studio design project, into something actively accessible by the populations for which I’m theoretically trying to design.┬áBut what is a website if not one of the most accessible platforms? Why am I have an issue?

I’ll tell ya, it seemed good on paper to combine the efforts of my courses like this, but there is a bit of difficulty. Mostly in my own headspace categorizing. My professor in my studio course is all for the website instead of a book because the argument of access makes sense. My difficulty is organizing.

In trying to develop the thesis writing I’ve done in my architecture course into something more for capstone, I’ve been working in the mode of essay organizing. It help keeps me focused on what I need to be saying, how to transition between topics, and what I’m not doing. But websites are different, right? I don’t think that paragraph transitions between topics need to matter as much when the space between them becomes an “tab” which doesn’t even need to be accessed in any particular order. We have seen examples in class that have been very ordered, somehow, but I find myself wanting to branch out from the linear essay format and explore how to make it more of a web.

bill murrary, pun, facepalm
#cantstopwontstop making puns

How can I start? It feels like I might definitely be overcomplicating this, right? Because removing transitions (my heart just stopped a bit) or at least lessening their importance should make organizing easier, right? Storyboarding for the website was really helpful to figure out what I thought I needed, but I think I could’ve gotten even more specific. I am a sucker for well-developed plans. What I did was try to plan out, via tabs. But now that we’re work shopping project samples, I’m finding that the organization of my writing is not particularly reflective of that storyboard. Is that a personal problem? Have I just been making poor decisions? And yet, maybe I’m overlooking how website have their own style of transitions between tabs?

Any and all of these could be the truth.

I wonder if this is an issue that the MiW godcreators thought of when making a website be a requirement of the final product. The issue of form-finding. And comfort zones. I think I’m losing my train of thought.

Emily Post

Mostly books and buildings, with a hefty dose of veggie foods.

3 thoughts to “Organzing an Essay (Website??)”

  1. Hi Emily!

    WOW it is so strange to hear you talk about your studio work in a non-studio setting, haha. I sooo commend you for creating a source for overlap in the two courses. I think doing so positively contributes to the work of each project in its own way. As we learned from Mireille, it is important to look at our work through different lenses in order to “check” and “recheck” ourselves, our prose, and our language.

    I think you might find benefit in looking at people to have posted their architectural projects onto the internet already. Not firms, per say, but former students who have tried to digitize their work to make it accessible to employers or grad schools, or to simply build up a base of work found by people when their name gets googled, haha.

    I can’t promise that these people have thought as much about the “tab” as a transition point or threshold between information as you have, but the webs are guaranteed to look good. It is so awkward to try to place our drawings or models into the internet because we’ve always been taught to treat them as artifacts!

    How bizaare.

    Good luck in both classes Emily! Almost to the finish line!!

  2. Emily –

    GIRL. I feel you on this. I am struggling so much with how I want my website to look and NOTHING I’ve come up with so far feels intuitive to my genre of “lyrical-argumentative-journalistic-article-proposal-podcast-thing” (can you imagine?!). I too am perplexed by the tabs and what belongs in a sub tab or its own tab. I really liked some of the websites we looked at the beginning of the semesters (like the Tumblr DADA one/Stina’s poetry project), but those feel so different from what my own project is. As we try to figure this out together on Tuesday – I wonder if we could explore some new methods of outlining besides storyboarding: making a map, a word web, ven diagrams(!?!). I am sure we will figure this out somehow!


  3. Hi Emily!

    I remember a couple of weeks back when Julie asked all of us about how we were conceptualizing our projects (is it an essay?? is it a website??). I almost melted to the ground because I didn’t even know who my audience was yet. Once I got through all of those questions (audience?? genre?? tone??), I realized that I was trying to do too much. I was trying to create a research paper, a bibliography of visual examples, a design proposal, and a reflection. So I decided to refocus on just one thing (the proposal). And, I’m still planning on having parts of all of these elements (I did NOT read hundreds of pages of writing center and design theory to not tell people about it), but I know that everything is in service to the proposal. The proposal is my everything. It is my project.

    So, my question for you: what is the most important part of your project? What does everything else hinge upon? And, once you figure that out, how does everything else serve the project?

    Good luck!!!


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