There are two parts to this project, which, when put together, comprise 25% of your final grade. Instead of taking a midterm or a final exam, you have a blog project.

There are two components to this project: 1) frequent blog posts throughout the quarter, and 2) a final, reflective paper.

Blog Posts | DUE: Periodically

Every student will create their own Tumblr specifically for this class. Over the course of the quarter, you will write twenty different posts. Each post will ask you to creatively engage with the topics we discuss in class by writing about yourself in a multitude of different ways. Now, I use the term “write” loosely in this context: sometimes you will have to write something in the traditional sense and other times you will “write” yourself through images or numbers or some other medium.

Each post will be evaluated for timeliness and completion [points will be taken off for lateness in posting posts, but it is better in this case to be late than not post anything at all]. Note that there is not a right or wrong component to this evaluation, no qualitative assertion of whether or not a post is “good” or “bad.” This is intentional. Writing is not a zero-sum game, but a process and an evolution. Your Tumblr is a place for creativity, experimentation, and the potential for consequence-free failure.

The due dates for each post will be listed on that week’s homework schedule  (on the blog) and the topics will be listed under “Blog Project — Post Topics.”

I will be doing this part of the project with you. If I am asking you to put yourselves out there, then I should do likewise. I will not, however, be posting my Tumblr early. Just because I answer the prompt one way, does not mean that you should follow my lead. The prompts are starting points, so follow your own inclinations in both form and content.

My Tumblr, @profheathervm is located HERE.

Reflection Paper | DUE: Monday, June 6th at midnight

For this paper, I want you to do three things:

First, gather your source material. You must incorporate the articles from Proust and Benjamin, the posts on your Tumblr (and maybe that of your peers?), and your previous essays with my comments. However, do not limit yourself to just these. You can also incorporate any of the materials we talked about in class (readings and podcasts), the autobiographical songs we listened to, or any other media you have come into contact with. The key is to think broadly about these materials and to piece together your own lessons from the quarter.

Second, answer the following questions. You can organize your paper any way you want to (using the questions as subheadings, integrating them all together, etc.), but make sure you answer them. Remove yourself from, well, yourself, and think critically about your work. If it helps, pretend that you do not know anything

  • Think about your Tumblr as a series of remembered events. Convey (describe, demonstrate, illustrate, or whatever) what it was like to write about yourself.
  • According to your own writing, who are you? (Think about this as a mini profile essay about yourself)
  • What role do concepts like memory and history have in defining ourselves? How does your understanding of these terms effect your writing (Concept essay-style)
  • How do you define your own writing style? Are you pleased with it? How do you want to change it?

Third, be creative.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have learned something about writing, in content as well as mechanics. So, you have permission to create whatever tone you want with this paper, whatever structure, and whatever argument. Think about the sources as your dots, the questions as the lines that connect them, and then get creative with how you color them in.

The criteria for evaluation:

  1. Clever and effective introduction and conclusion
  2. Consistent and clear tone and style
  3. A strong analysis of sources
  4. An effective and compelling explanation strategy
  5. Clear and effective paper layout, including paragraph structure

Length: 1,250 words