The Final Post

So this is it…my last college assignment. By the end of this blog post I will be done with college forever. Honestly I have mixed feelings about it. Although I am certainly ready for classes to be over, I still have not been able to grasp the idea that I will never step foot in a classroom again, or take another test, or writer another paper. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Writing minor. My writing has drastically improved and I have loved getting to know all of the teachers and students in the minor. But before I get teary-eyed, I will share my Capstone E-Portfolio with you.

 

I am particularly proud of my E-Portfolio, and it feel as if I have been working towards its’ completion the entire semester. For my capstone project I chose to write a personal narrative about fashion and how it has played an integral part in my life. I hope my E-Portfolio gives you a better look into me as a person and as a writer. Feel free to explore!

 

This semester has been a great culmination of the minor in writing and I am so glad that I have been apart of this great program. Congratulations to the rest of the class of 2016!

 

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Who Am I Writing To?

 

For this blog post Shelley assigned us to complete the “Who are you writing to?” mini-assignment from Revising and Refining. So…who am I writing to?

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  1. Emily Schuman: A top expert in my field that I would really like to impress is Emily Schuman, creator of the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere.
  2. Sarah Schuman (not related to Emily): Sarah is a trusted friend and peer. As a fellow writing minor I trust her opinions. She also knows me well in and outside the classroom, which makes her a great audience.
  3. Jordyn Levine: Jordyn is one of my best friends from high school. We took almost every class together in high school, and I trust her knowledge and opinions, especially with writing.
  4. Becca Lesser: Becca is my friend and roommate who is a Computer Science major. She is not an expert in writing or fashion.

 

After reading my evolution essay draft aloud, I noticed that my voice can be heard throughout the entire piece. I think that my essay is relatable and easy to understand. All of the people I wrote about writing to would have no problem digesting my essay. Obviously someone in the Capstone course like Sarah, would have the most invested in reading my evolution essay because she knows exactly what it it and what it is about. Further, Sarah is a close friend and she would be interested in knowing what my evolution as a writer has looked like throughout the past four years. Someone like Emily Schuman may not care about the pieces of writing I did in my LHSP class freshman year, but she still may be interested in the overall point of my essay.

Both Jordyn and Becca are close friends and I think they would be interested in my essay for different reasons. In high school Jordyn and I always edited each other’s papers, and I think she would be interested in seeing how my writing has transformed over the past four years. Becca on the other hand would simply be interested in hearing my story. She may not care about each specific paper I wrote, but she would be intrigued to learn about the changes in my writing and why those changes occurred.

Right now I think I am doing a pretty good job of writing to a wide audience. Although there will definitely be specific people who are more interested in my Evolution Essay than others, I hope that everyone reading my essay will be able to find something to relate to. As I begin to revise I will focus on making sure my voice is prevalent throughout the piece. I also want to make sure to clearly identify when I am including excerpts from past pieces so that my essay looks good both structurally and visually.

Electronic Annotated Draft FTW

When Shelley suggested that I try a mini-assignment in class on Monday to help with my Capstone revision, I brushed it off. I thought there were so many more productive ways I could be spending my time in class, and decided to continue writing my Capstone piece. In the last week I have basically started over with my capstone, and I’m now writing a personal narrative about my experience with fashion throughout my life.

Today I spoke to Shelley via Skype after sending her my most recent draft. It was extremely helpful to talk it through with her and she had a lot of great ideas on how I should proceed. After our conversation, I realized that it might be helpful to do a mini-assignment. I chose to do the electronic annotated draft and I am so happy that I did. The assignment asks us to go through a draft and add comments in the margins in certain places where you want to know more, are unsure of your point, have questions, etc. Doing this after talking to Shelley was great because I was able to take her comments and pinpoint specific places where I could work on them.

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I may have gone a bit over board with the comments…

This exercise was great, and I will be coming back to my draft in the next few days to answer and resolve all of the questions I posed for myself. Another lesson learned…Shelley is always right 🙂

Are You Reading This?

After thinking about the different types of audiences that may view my e-portfolio, I have been able to start visualizing how I want my e-portfolio to take shape. I identified four different audiences that may read my e-portfolio: 1. MIW Faculty 2. MIW Students 3. Potential employers 3. Friends and family.

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  1. MIW Faculty

The MIW Faculty will be looking at my portfolio to evaluate it, as well as to learn more about the different students within the minor. The faculty will hope to see that I have completed and (hopefully) exceeded all of the requirements set out in our capstone class. Additionally, they will be specifically looking at the rubric. They want to see cohesion throughout the entire portfolio. In terms of my web portfolio, the MIW faculty will hope to see a connection between my content, design and layout of my website. They would not like to see an e-portfolio that is hard to navigate and does not contain all the appropriate content. I would like the MIW faculty to see my e-portfolio as interesting, engaging, and visually pleasing. I also hope they are impressed by my hard work throughout the minor, especially the capstone project.

 

  1. MIW Students

MIW students will be looking at my portfolio to learn about peers and to see an example of past e-portfolios. As I mentioned above, students will also be looking to make sure I have filled and exceed all of the requirements that were laid out in class and the actual rubric. MIW students will also hope to see cohesion throughout the design and content of my e-portfolio. Additionally, they will want to see a web portfolio that is easy to navigate, pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to read. MIW students would not like to read an e-portfolio that is cluttered and hard to navigate. I hope MIW students will leave my e-portfolio feeling like it was a great example and something they want to model their e-portfolio off of. I hope they seem my portfolio as cohesive, engaging, interesting and exciting.

 

 

  1. Potential employers

Potential employers may be reading my e-portfolio to see some of my past writing and experiences at the University of Michigan. I would assume that most employers would want to see that I am a proficient writer, who’s interests and abilities are catered to the position they are looking to fill. Potential employers would expect to see a cohesive, and appealing to the eye web portfolio. Further, most of the jobs I am interested in are in the fashion industry, so employers would hope to see a sophisticated, chic and stylist format. It would be very important to potential employer to have a website that is easy to navigate and understand. If the entire portfolio only uses jargon that the MIW would understand, it would be hard for employers to read. I hope potential employers will leave my e-portfolio impressed by all my hard work.

 

 

  1. Friends and family

My friends and family will be looking at my e-portfolio to read my work and see what I have done throughout my writing minor. The only expectations I can think of my friends and family having would be great writing. Aside from the quality of my writing, my friends and family are interested in what topics I have written about. They would hope to see a web portfolio that reflects my interests, especially fashion. Just like future employers they would hope to see a sophisticated, chic and stylist format. Friends and family would also not be happy if the portfolio only used jargon that MIW would understand. I hope that my friends and family will leave my e-portfolio feeling proud and impressed of all the work I have done throughout the writing minor.

 

I think that for the purpose of the Capstone class, the MIW faculty is my primary audience for my e-portfolio.

Me, Myself & I…As a Writer

Today in class we free wrote for 21 minutes about how we characterize our writing, how our projects reveal something about us as writers and what we still do not know about ourselves about writers. It’s hard to characterize my writing at its best. Pinpointing one or even a few words to describe my writing was a bit of a challenge for me. However, I think my best writing happens after revisions. Although I think it is extremely important to spend time and put thought into a first draft, most of my magic occurs during my revision process. When I first start writing I try and get as many thoughts as possible out and then usually I will revisit my piece in about a day. Typically, a new thought or idea will come to me before I revisit my work which aids me in my revision process.

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In terms of structure, my best writing is grammatically correct, with a wide use of vocabulary. I find that my best writing is also the writing I am most interested and engaged with. My best writing takes time. Something that frustrates me is that most of my best writing takes time. However, over the years I have learned to embrace it.

My hope is that my project will reveal my strong interest in writing about fashion. Fashion is something that I have been passionate about for many years and I hope that can be seen through my project. It is important to me that my voice can be heard through out my project.

I think there is a lot I don’t know about myself as a writer. As I tried to describe my “best writing” I had trouble coming up with stylistic characteristics. I was able to explain how I wrote my best work, but could characterize my final pieces. I feel as if we characterize writers all the time, they are humorous and convincing, informative but satirical, etc. I do not know how I would characterize myself. However, I think part of this stems from the fact that the past 16 years most of my writing has been assigned for school purposes. Although I have written pieces outside of school assignments I do not know if I have written enough to characterize my writing into a specific genre.

Further, I love writing about fashion, but have also considered that I may want to write about other topics moving forward. I don’t know a lot of things…but that is half the fun. Writing is an evolution and I don’t see my evolution ending any time soon.

Life Causes Cancer-Discussion

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As I browsed through the articles on Lucky Peach, my eyes were drawn to the article, “Life Causes Cancer.” At first I was a little thrown off… was this going to be another article warning the public about the endless number of foods that cause cancer? It seems like there is constantly findings about another thing that may cause cancer. However, this article was different.

 

Focusing on the chemical acrylamide, the article outlines what it does and the harm it can cause to your body. BUT, it also addresses the fact that life in general can cause cancer. Food causes cancer. The sun causes cancer. Air causes cancer. The author reminds readers that all of these things are a warning to us that life is short and that we should enjoy every minute. I liked this article because of its bluntness and the message it leaves readers with. I think it applies to the minor, because the author takes what could be a simple topic and tells a story through it. The article digs deeper, finding meaning in what could be a simply factual article about chemicals in food that cause cancer. I think that this type of writing fits very well in the writing minor, especially to our projects.

 

As you read the article take note of your initial reaction to the article. Think about if/how you changed your behavior. Some other questions to consider:

Where are you from? Do you think this influences your perspective on this article?

Does the author’s personal experience with the carcinogen change your perspective on the risk associated with cooked foods?

Do you think the title is effective?

Do you think the writing style of this article is effective? What do you admire about his writing style?

What stylistic elements does the author use that you could incorporate into your own project?

Successful Peer Review

I found that discussing my mock-up/storyboard and introduction with my blog group was very beneficial! For the past few weeks we had spent so much time talking about what we hoped our projects would look like and what we planned on writing, so it was nice to finally have something more concrete to discuss. Cam and Kaitlynn gave me great suggestions about my Introduction; they suggested that I use more of a future tone about graduation and make it more personal. Also, it was great hearing their input on the actual look of my article. With their suggestion, I may try and learn how to use Adobe In-Design to format my article.

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After this workshop I feel more confident about my project because I have a little bit more focus and an idea of what I need to change and strengthen in my draft. However, I do still have some things that I am unsure of and will need to figure out as I go along. I am meeting with T, my mentor teacher tomorrow so hopefully I will be able to sort out some of my concerns. In terms of further research, right now I think that I need to find more models of articles that cover fashion evolutions in depth and not just through images. I also need to begin collecting data from interviews.

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My next steps will be to start digging through magazine archives to try and find more text heavy model articles. I will also need to come up with a list of questions to ask my interviewees and decide on my interviewees. In terms of my timeline, I need to solidify the images I am going to use and pinpoint the exact trends that were popular during those times. I’ve got my work cut out for me…

The Pitching Experience

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Coming into class today I was a bit nervous about pitching my project idea to everyone. Although I knew it would be helpful, the first peer review with a new class can be a little scary. However, after a few minutes I began to feel comfortable and excited to share my idea with the rest of the class. Because I had spoken to Shelley two times about my idea, I was pretty confident in the bones of my proposal, but wanted feedback in refining its form.

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Listening to everyone’s responses was very helpful. I really appreciated all the feedback I received from the rest of the class. It’s always nice to hear positive remarks :). I also thought Shelley’s system of responses (half in person/half on canvas) was adventageous. Being able to go back and read what everyone wrote made making edits to my proposal a lot easier. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I got was from Adam. He suggested that I also write about how I will approach fashion in the future. I had not mentioned that in my proposal and I think that would be a great addition to my project.

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Overall I am feeling more confident about my project proposal. At this point my project will take the form of a timeline and article in Vogue. I know that I want the timeline to focus on my personal style narrative while the article will talk about the bigger picture of style and maturing. I think that the article will focus more on the transition from childhood to adulthood related to style. The next challenge I am going to have to tackle is deciding the specific kinds of content I want to include in both the timeline and the article piece. Although this task is daunting, I am extremely excited to see what my final project will look like. I hope that it will be both enjoyable to work on as well as helpful in my future endeavors.

Must Read Magazines!

For this week’s discussion on Canvas, Shelley asked us to read the article “10 Magazines Every Writer Should Read” and respond with a list of our Top 3 and why. Although I thought all of the magazines were interesting, these three were my favorites…

Lucky Peach: As a food lover, I was immediately attracted to Lucky Peach. I had never heard of the publication, but I’ve enjoyed reading the articles so far. The features articles are great, one of my favorites was “The Science of Stale Coffee.” I particularly like how the writers on this site use food to tell a story.

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Esquire: The Esquire Style section is one of my favorites. Mostly dedicated to men’s style, I utilize the articles to brush up on the newest men’s fashion trends. As someone interested in women’s fashion, I am always trying to make sure I am up to date on men’s style as well.

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Vanity Fair: Vanity Fair combines many of my interests, fashion, entertainment, and popular culture. What makes Vanity Fair stand out to me is diverse topics and writing quality. For some reason I also really like the website design, it makes me feel like I am reading a newspaper.

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As I browsed through the articles on Lucky Peach, my eyes were drawn to the article “Life Causes Cancer.” At first I was a little thrown off… was this going to be another article warning the public about the endless number of foods that cause cancer? However, this article was different. Focusing on the chemical acrylamide, the article outlines what it does and the harm it can cause to your body. BUT, it also addresses the fact that life in general can cause cancer. Food causes cancer. The sun causes cancer. Air causes cancer. The author reminds readers that all of these things are a warning to us that life is short and that we should enjoy every minute. I liked this article because of its bluntness and the message it leaves readers with. I think it applies to the minor, because the author takes what could be a simple topic and tells a story through it. The article digs deeper, finding meaning in what could be a simply factual article about chemicals in food that cause cancer. I think that this type of writing fits very well in the writing minor.

My Writing Communities

Two writing communities I am currently apart of are Spoon University and Her Campus. Spoon University is an online food magazine for college students. University of Michigan has their own chapter that I have been a part of for the past two years. Originally I was only on the marketing side of the publication, but I began writing for Spoon last semester. The articles on Spoon all focus on food. Articles range from recipes, restaurant reviews, news articles, buzzfeed type articles and more. I have written two articles for them so far, one a review on Juicy Kitchen, an Ann Arbor Restaurant and then another more creative article titled “What Your Favorite Thanksgiving Food Says About You, As Told By Taylor Swift.”

The other writing community I am apart of on campus is called Her Campus UMich. Her Campus is a National online magazine focusing on content for college women. They have chapters at colleges and universities all across the United States and some are gradually popping up in other countries. I started writing for Her Campus during my freshman year and have been writing articles ever since. Most of the articles I write are focused on fashion or style. These articles are usually in list format “4 Types of Fashion Coats You Need for This Season.” Most of the articles I write are image heavy and not as wordy as some articles I have written in the past. Although I will continue to write for Her Campus until I graduate, I don’t enjoy writing the articles as much as I did in the past. One of my goals for this semester is to try and write about more engaging topics.

Both Spoon University and Her Campus are online magazines focused on the college demographics. The style of writing in both of these publications are very similar in tone and structure. However, Spoon University focuses solely on the topic of food, while Her Campus highlights articles on a vast array of topics.

After discussing writing communities with the rest of my class and reading other students’ blog posts, I realized that the communities that I wrote about reflect my out of the classroom writing experience. Classes I have taken such as the gateway course and my English 325 class have also been writing communities. I also believe that this capstone course will be another writing community.