Abby Harrington’s English Portfolio Website

This website is an archive of the works I completed for English 101 at Emory University in the spring semester of 2021.

Over the course of this semester I have worked in different types of literature media to analyze my own writing and the meanings behind others’. Through the Sunday Sketches, Tracing Pages, Halfa Kucha, and Literacy Narrative assignments, I have discovered the importance of completing writing in multiple steps, learned to analyze through different styles and media, and incorporated technology into my writing.

The Sunday Sketches taught me how to take an idea and convert it into a visual as well as become adjusted to working in an online platform. For example, in the three-panel sketch, I took inspiration from a well-known meme where a boyfriend focuses his attention away from his girlfriend and to another woman. I decided to make “the full story” by creating a third image and showing that the man was really looking at a half woman half yoda figure, and not being an unfaithful boyfriend. I worked in photoshop for this assignment and completed it entirely digitally. Having little experience with photoshop, I think it went relatively well as I learned how to create new images.

I gained exposure in analyzing other’s ideas within the medium of comics through the Tracing Pages assignment. I learned to look at every aspect of the comic page and apply it to the message the conveyed in Stitches and Spinning. For example, the use of margins forces the reader to look at each page differently. In this assignment, I analyzed how this changes perspective and conveys a message within itself saying, “[The] asymmetry forces the reader to pay extra attention to the text which is a major turning point for David. He is finally understanding that his mother does not care for him. Walden’s lack of margin keeps with the uniformity and symmetry presented on this page as well as the majority of the book. On this page, particularly, it emphasizes the discomfort and coldness coming from her mother.” I am now able to summarize, analyze, and evaluate different ideas within a comic book. This skill forces me to look at the page as a whole and pick apart every little detail and its meaning. I will be able to apply this skill outside the realm of comics and into future classes where I must analyze a nonconventional medium.

The Halfa Kucha assignment also taught me how to draw from others’ ideas and compare them within a timed setting. With twenty seconds per slide, the project required me to think on my feet and only present the crucial points of analysis. I really had to summarize the meaning within each book and pull apart the comparisons in an effective manner. I learned how to present this type of project appropriately over zoom and drew my analysis from understanding the authors’ purpose and audience.

The Literacy Narrative project, especially, forced me to apply the learning objectives within every step of the assignment. I composed a text in a different style of writing instead of a typical, structured analysis paper, followed multiple steps of revision, collaborated with my peers for feedback, and worked with different modes of technology to produce the final project. First, I completed the brainstorming exercise which forced me to think about a memory without the pressure of writing a story. Before this class I had little exposure to creative writing and found myself out of my comfort zone with this assignment. Tackling this project as a multiple step process, however, made me realize that I am capable of pushing myself if I take it one revision at a time.

Once I had my descriptive brainstorming down, I created a draft Literacy Narrative that incorporated my imagery and painted a clear picture of my memory. This next step felt much less stressful since I already had a strong idea for the content. Taking this assignment step by step allowed me to focus on my analysis within the written narrative. I attempted to integrate my analysis into the story in way that stayed in line with the story and did not explicitly state my analysis point. This ended up being too wordy and misleading which I would later discover when I approached my writing through a different medium, comics.

This step in the process required me to look at my story through a new lens and helped make my argument more concrete. I drew inspiration from the works we read up to that point in the semester to guide my moment, image, flow, etc. I actually found it easier to draw out the story into panels, than to write it out because the memory in my head is already set of visual images. I took to drafting on loose leaf paper and made a very rough draft of the framework. In class when we peer edited each other’s drafts, I found it very useful to draw inspiration from them as well as take into consideration their suggestions. I learned to collaborate effectively in general as well as over zoom to build a stronger comic.

My analytical process during this step was similar to that of the written narrative, but I conveyed my analysis straight to the point on the last page. It consists of one image of me presenting my Frankenstein project with the words, “All it took was applying the material to something I found engaging and fun.” The comic quickly presents my struggle to stay engaged in reading and writing and concludes straight to the point with the final line. Writing the story as a comic forced me to shorten my analysis and think creatively on how to express my argument. I implemented this strategy and way of thinking when going back to my written narrative. I shortened my analysis (as well as unnecessary parts of the story) while still applying it to the story: “Thinking back now, applying the content to something that I’ve always loved kept me engaged. I could always understand the material, but now I could enjoy it. I guess I should’ve asked my dad for tips. He knew, in order to keep me interested, he had to tailor his reading in ways that I enjoy.” Going back to the written narrative with a new perspective allowed me to revise my paper and make it stronger. I learned to treat writing as a step by step process, incorporating drafting, edits and revision within each step.

This course enhanced my ability to analyze nonconventional works, create texts in different styles, look to writing as a process, and incorporate technology appropriately. Sunday Sketches, Tracing pages, Halfa Kucha, and Literacy Narrative assignments helped me develop as a writer and gain new perspectives and skills in regard to analyzing ideas. I have grown immensely throughout this semester and look forward to implementing everything I learned from this course to my future studies.

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