Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Due: no later than Wednesday, Nov. 21, 12 p.m. on your blog

Final revision of Perfect Meal essay
Optional: revision of restaurant review or memoir
Part Three of your restaurant review
Process Writing (see description below)

What is a portfolio?

Most simply, a portfolio is a way of containing your work for presentation and assessment. It represents you as a writer in this particular class—your current interests, your development as you reworked and revised your work, and your range as a budding food and travel writer. It’s like an artist’s portfolio or a portfolio a photographer might take to a job interview. But in your case, it contains pieces of writing instead of watercolors or photographs, and it’s online in the form of your blog.

What is process writing?

Process writing describes the process you went through when drafting and revising your pieces, and the thinking about yourself as a writer that you engaged in when preparing the portfolio. The jargon for this kind of writing is “metacognition”—thinking about thinking. That makes it sound heavy, but it’s actually relaxing and enjoyable, writing that celebrates the completion of your work for the course.

“What works best is simply to record what actually happened [as you reported, wrote and revised your work], with as much honesty and detail as possible—and with a spirit of calm, benign acceptance of yourself. That is, you aren’t trying to judge yourself or prove anything or reach big conclusions—just to find our what actually goes on when you write” (Elbow and Belanoff, A Community of Writers 12-13).

You don’t have to answer all these questions, but here are some points to think about as you do your process writing:

How did you discover a process for writing each piece?
When were you frustrated?
What were your breakthroughs?
What are the important changes you made throughout the quarter with each draft and workshop?
How did you decide what to write about and what was your writing and research process like?
When were readers’ comments useful?
When did you find your own way to solve a problem rather than following the suggestion of your readers? Why did this seem to work better?
When did you disagree with readers? Why?
What did writing for this course teach you about yourself?

Be as personal and colloquial as you wish—it’s essentially writing you’re doing for yourself, though the class and I will be reading it, too. Like part three of your final assignment, word count is up to you.

Important: I will not give you a final grade for the class unless you’ve included process writing—it’s not optional!

Note: if you feel uncomfortable publishing your process writing on the blog or you prefer that I be the sole reader of your piece, you may simply email it to me as a WORD file and with the text of the document embedded in the email by noon on Nov. 21.

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