I will use a narrative essay for my portfolio in a reader response theory. This will enable me to write about the book from a personal perspective and best explain how and why I feel extremely connected to the main character, Gordon. Writing a narrative essay will help me capture the emotions I feel when Gordon experiences his challenges and successes. Also, this kind of essay will let me easily incorporate my personal experiences to discuss links I see between my life and Gordon’s. My essay skills have improved throughout this course, which will make it easier for me to develop paragraphs and expand on my thoughts. One challenge I find with narrative essays is that when writing from a personal perspective I sometimes struggle to stay focused on my thesis. This is something I will have to be aware of and to check during the editing process.
I will also include a blog post in my portfolio. Like the narrative essay, a blog post will let me connect the book to my personal experiences. I can also use first person and informal, conversational language to help make links between my life and Gordon’s. Using a blog post format also facilitates interaction with my classmates because they will read my post and comment on it. This would provide me with multiple perspectives on my work. When writing a blog post, I need to work on staying on topic and including the proper citations to go along with my images and hyperlinks. When I started the year I had never written a blog post, and now I feel pretty confident about creating the format and making my posts interactive.
Creating a mind map to explore the novel will help me focus on connections that I see between the characters and how they develop over time. It would also be a good way to organize my thoughts for the narrative essay, so I hope to do the mind map before the narrative essay assignment. I find mind maps really useful for brainstorming because they allow me to focus on key words, phrases, and examples. However, one of the challenges I experience when creating a mind map is picking the most productive key words and phrases that capture what is going on. The amount of material in a chapter can make this daunting.
Designing a website would be good addition to my portfolio because websites can organize a large amount of information. They can also be very interactive and include links to other work I have done on the novel. Using a website will let me link to blog posts, and I can include visuals like photographs to enhance my insights. Out of all of the media texts I am including in my portfolio, I am least comfortable with designing a webpage. This is something that I have never done before, and I am concerned it might be hard to figure out and be really time consuming. Regardless, I chose it anyway because I think designing a website is an important skill for me to learn.