Final Project Write-Up (Portfolio) Tips & Checklist

You should introduce your project as an intervention in understanding some larger aspect(s) of new media composing (e.g., successful storytelling via social media; detachment from social media’s affects on participation/attention; composing content that is optimized for search engines; presenting yourself professionally online on a variety of platforms; increasing following/user engagement via Twitter). Structure your write-up according to your claims/contributions/conclusions about your project (not necessarily according to what you did in week 1, week 2, etc.). Your write-up should be composed on your OpenLab ePortfolio, and should include your multimodal deliverables and links to your new media composing experiments (e.g., your Twitter, blog, videos, etc.).

Everyone’s write-up will look slightly different, depending on the particulars of her project, but each one should have 1) a focused Introduction section (that introduces the topic/project and its significance: this is similar to the completed abstract), 2) body paragraphs that provide background information & discussion of your project–each paragraph should have a clear/focused topic sentence (claim) and specific, concrete details/examples–integration of research–in support of these claims (these sources are both the outside research you’ve done and that data you’ve produced through your new media composing experiments); 3) Conclusion; 4) Works Cited. There should also be with logical connections/transitions among sentences, paragraphs, and ideas (claims): rather than just compiling different parts of your project, but rather you are synthesizing them into a whole.

Keep in mind that this project was scaffolded through the last two months, through a number of in-class workshops & low-stakes assignments, from a series of drafts of the Proposals (including vision, deliverables, timeline, initial research), Annotated Bibliography, ePortfolio work & design, and Progress Reports (which all had weekly in-class presentations too). All of those smaller, low-stakes assignments were introduced to set the stage for this final project Write-Up, and that is your writing, and you can (and should) use that as material for your Write-Up (and reflection).

However, as we discussed in class many times, the Write-Up extends the thinking/writing you have already done on the project. Therefore, while you should of course feel free to build on what you have already written this semester in blogs, presentations, or other informal writing, for the write-up, you should not simply repeat what you have previously stated elsewhere (as we’ve discussed, Write-Ups without substantial revision would not receive credit). Remember that your previous work (e.g, reflections, progress check-in blogs) are only informal responses and, as such, may not be organized effectively or clearly/fully articulated. In addition, these earlier writings do not reflect the most recent evolution of your project, or the work you have done in the most recent weeks. You should use this material as freewriting (or even a rough draft), and then work to revise it into a coherent and detailed argument/write-up. There is a much greater emphasis on analysis and structure (and synthesis/framing) in this write-up than in the past, pre-draft assignments, and the goal (and challenge) of the write-up is to do the difficult, intellectual, rhetorical work of synthesizing all of your project work and presenting that in an effective way for your audience. This is a challenging task (as it it is with any writing assignment, such as an argumentative researched essay), and that is why we worked through a series of drafts–with multiple opportunities for feedback–along the way).

Remember that there are a number of Resources available on our OpenLab site, especially helpful information regarding successful writing strategies.

Remember, too, that you are resources for yourselves! The presentations each of you gave this week were really amazing, so if you’re having any trouble working on framing your project, connecting ideas, working on synthesis, I encourage you to look back to that (maybe even “give” the presentation again to yourself, recording it, and writing down the ideas), because things really came together wonderfully in those presentations.

Remember, also, that you are resources for each other. I encourage you to browse through one another’s projects, on your ePortfolios, to see how others are approaching the Write-Up and ePortfolio design (you might see things you like and find them helpful for your own work!)

Checklist: Wrapping it all Up
As we discussed in class, below is a “checklist” for your Final Project Write-Up (Portfolio), to help you as you work on revising your final drafts of that work. Best of luck with the revisions, and for all of your other projects and finals in other classes!

Download (PDF, 102KB)

Wrapping Up the Semester

This afternoon is our final class! A few things to keep in mind as we wrap up this semester:

Final Project Presentations (Part II) & End-of-the-Semester Celebration (yay!)
Today during class we’ll have presentations from Jodie & Mariah. Looking forward to hearing about your projects!

We will also be celebrating the end of the semester, so you’re welcome to bring in snacks to share with the class and we can enjoy refreshments during the presentations (I will bring in some goodies as well).

Course Reflections
As you know, your Individual Final Course Reflection is due by the start of class today, Th 12/17 (this is a mandatory–not optional–assignment). Refer to the Final Course Reflection page on our site for details on this assignment.

Final Project Grades / Final Course Grades

The deadline for professors to submit final course grades for the Fall 2015 semester is M 12/28 at midnight. Please wait to view your course grade online through CUNYfirst (I will not be giving out final course grades via e-mail).

Final grades are non-negotiable, though I am always more than happy to discuss them/your work with you at any point in person. If you would like to discuss any of your grades/receive additional feedback on your Project (project grades will be posted as a “private” comment to your Final Project posts on our OpenLab site), feel free to e-mail me to do so (we can always also schedule an appointment to discuss your work in-person when we return to campus at the end of January, when the new semester starts up).

Thank you, & stay in touch!
Finally, it was a pleasure to work with you all this semester. I wish you the best of luck wrapping up the semester and on your final exams, and in your future endeavors in the PTW major, at City Tech, & beyond. You all worked incredibly hard this semester, and I really appreciate your consistent effort and good cheer each week (especially for a 1 hour 40 min. class in a hot stuffy classroom, with only seven of us!). I hope you enjoyed yourselves and learned a lot about new media composing and critical thinking / reading / writing / reflection. Have a wonderful winter break & happy holiday season (best of luck in 2016!), & don’t hesitate to be in touch /stop by my office in future semesters to discuss your work in this course/beyond (or chat new media, or PTW, in general!), and/or to just say hi  :)

Extension for Final Project Write-Up & Reflections

I’m happy to see the project drafts coming along nicely. In order to allow more time for everyone to work through further drafts/revisions of their final projects, I’ve extended the deadline for the Write-Ups & Reflections to M 12/21, 12pm (Presentations are still due by 2pm on Tu 12/15, and will occur in class on Tu 12/15 & Th 12/17, as planned). The Schedule has been updated to reflect this extension.

Good luck with revisions, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions as you work on the project.

Tomorrow (Th 12/10): In-Class Run-Through of Draft Final Presentations

Just a friendly reminder that drafts of final presentations are happening in class tomorrow, and that these are drafts of your final project presentations (happening next week, in class), not “progress” presentations. Therefore, they should reflect the entire project (not just your progress this past week). I encourage you to review the Presentation component guidelines/expectations. If you would like to revise your presentation, you may do so until the start of class tomorrow (Th 12/10): just create a new post with it on our OpenLab site (categorize as “Project Presentations, Round 1”), if you revise.

You’ll receive peer review, discussion, and instructor feedback in class tomorrow on these presentations, to help you revise for the final draft of them next week.

*Room Change: Class in N321 Conference Room Today

Hi everyone:

I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings, and restful breaks. Just a friendly reminder that Dr. Brian Greenspan is Skyping into our class today to present/discuss his work on locative media and transmedia storytelling. Since our classroom doesn’t have the capabilities for video chat, we’re going to be meeting today instead in the Arts & Sciences Dean’s Conference Room, N321 (enter the office, and then ask the staff there to direct you to the conference room, which is to the right).

Please remember also to bring a read, annotated, printed copy of his DHQ article to class, and come ready to discuss it (as well as the Hafner & Jones, on Video Games and Literacy).

Please confirm you got this message, by quickly replying to this post (just something like “got it” or “ok”) will do. Thanks, and see you at 2pm!

Professor Belli

Scheduling Conferences to Discuss Projects (week of 11/30 & 12/7): Sign up for Slots

Hi everyone:

We’ll be meeting after we return from Thanksgiving to go over your projects in more detail, address any questions/concerns we might have, and discuss strategies for revision. Optional conferences will happen the week we return from Thanksgiving (11/30), and mandatory conferences will happen the week complete drafts are due (week of 12/7): everyone needs to come see me at least once the week of 12/7. I am also happy to meet each of your multiple times, if you wish, if want to check in at various stages of the drafting / revision process (or about different aspects of your project: presentation, reflection, ePortfolio work). There are optional conference times for early in the week of 12/14 as well.

These are the slots that I have open (though I do have some flexibility on some of the days listed, so if you absolutely can’t make one of these slots or the only times you can make it are already taken, post a comment here and let me know what your availability is, and I’ll see what I can do). It’s first-come, first-serve. Just drop a comment here, indicating which slot(s) you’d like, and I’ll reserve that for you.

As always, we’ll be meeting in my office, N520. Please come prepared with work to look at and specific questions to discuss. These conferences are in additional to the feedback you will receive in class, via class discussion, peer review, and instructor feedback.

[Optional Conferences]

M 11/30:

  • 12:00-12:30pm: Mariah; Fola
  • 12:30-1:00pm:
  • 1:00-1:30pm:
  • 1:30-2:00pm

Tu 12/1

  • 11:45am-12:15pm: Sam
  • 12:15-12:45pm: Pam
  • 12:45-1:15pm: Ashley
  • 1:15-1:40pm: Jody

W 12/2

*Please note that I am still working out my schedule for this day, so the timing here may change a little bit (if you sign up, will keep you posted)

  • 12:00-12:30pm:
  • 12:30-1:00pm:
  • 1:00-1:30pm:


[Mandatory Conferences, at least one per person]

M 12/7

  • 12:00-12:30pm:
  • 12:30-1:00pm:
  • 1:00-1:30pm:
  • 1:30-2:00pm

Tu 12/8

  • 11:45am-12:15pm: Sam
  • 12:15-12:45pm:
  • 12:45-1:15pm: Mariah
  • 1:15-1:45pm: Jody

W 12/9

  • 1:00-1:30pm: Ashley
  • 1:30-2:00pm: Pam
  • 5:30-6pm: Fola

Th 12/10

  • 5:30-6:00pm: Mariah

[Optional Conferences]

*Final drafts of presentations are due Tu 12/15 (2pm), and the final draft of write-ups & reflections are due 12pm on M 12/21.

Tu 12/15

  • 12:45-1:15pm: Sam
  • 1:15-1:45pm: Fola

W 12/16

  • 12:00-12:30pm: Mariah
  • 12:30-1:00pm:
  • 1:00-1:30pm:
  • 1:30-2:00pm


Draft of Annotated Source, for In-Class Workshop (Th 11/12)

Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight from Conversation.” The New York Times. 21 April, 2002. Web. 12 Nov. 2015. <>

Sherry Turkle’s article, “The Flight from Conversation” claims that although human beings are more connected than ever (through technology and digital devices), they actually communication less effectively and less meaningful: she deems this paradox being “alone together.: we are in touch more, but we are farther away. Furthermore, she argues that the technology allows us to keep others at a distance, present the the self we wish to be (or have perceived), retain control over where/when/how we place our attention, and actually diminishes opportunities for self-reflection.

This article is useful for thinking about the potential, unintended consequences of using technology and digital devices as a primary means of connecting with others in a variety of social and professional settings. Although technology can afford many opportunities to brings people together, Turkle wants her readers to see how it cannot replace certain face-to-face interactions, which carry not only a sense of physical proximity (we are in the same space at the same time) but also a sense of the value of this type of in person interaction. This could be a useful counter-argument for those who take a more naive, technological utopian standpoint, that technology is complete positive, has the ability to connect without devaluing that connection, and should be be critically considered.

I have 5 sources … now what?

For your revised draft of the research proposals, I asked you to include five sources (and to not just list them at the end, but to integrate them meaningfully into your proposal). In order to help facilitate this process (since we’re still mostly working with links/lists of sources at end of proposal), in class today and over the weekend for HW you’re going to work on developing an annotated bibliography, which will help you to not only understand what your sources are stating (summarize them) but to get a sense of how they will contribute to your project (critical evaluation, purpose).


What is an Annotated Bibliography and how do I create one?

  • For each of your sources (minimum of eight for M 11/16), you should provide the bibliographic information (MLA style) and then a brief summary/evaluation of its usefulness/relevancy for your project (maximum 200 words per source).

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

1.  Make sure your annotated bibliography is single-spaced (including the citations), with a space between each citation and its annotation, and another space between different entries.

2.  The citations should be alphabetized, have hanging indents, and they should be in complete/accurate in MLA format (just like a Works Cited page).

3.  Don’t use the 1st or 2nd person.  Your annotations should be formal/impersonal.  Therefore, avoid statements like “This source will be useful to my project because … .” Instead, just state its usefulness directly (without mention of you or your project).

4.  Write in the present tense when describing your sources.

5.  Remember that these sources are both informative and critical/evaluative.  When you give the summary, present the main idea of the source without getting bogged down with too many specific/technical details about its content (this can be overwhelming for your readers).  Similarly, don’t let the summary take up your whole annotation.  In addition to just objectively presenting what the source is about, you need to critically evaluate your source (subjectively) as to its usefulness/relevancy, bias, credibility, etc.

6.  Therefore, think about the “so what?” question with sources too.  Consider how certain sources contribute (are they factual, personal, etc.) to your project.  Where do they come from (are they organizations, individual researchers, newspapers, politicians, etc.)?   You need to synthesize your findings as much as possible.

7.  As with the proposals, make sure you connect your thoughts in the annotations (use connections/transitions … don’t just list choppy/fragmented points/details about the source).  Also, make sure you don’t simply tack on at the end statements addressing the different points I ask you to think about (usefulness, bias, etc.) like a checklist without any inherent unity/coherence.  You should include a discussion of these aspects when they are important for a particular source, and you should integrate this evaluation into your annotation as a whole.

8.  You can include more than the minimum requirement of sources in your bibliography, and you should feel free to modify your bibliography/sources (add, delete, revise) until the final draft is due.  You also don’t have to use all of these initial sources in the final project (you can have both a “Works Cited” section and a “Works Consulted” section)

To start creating your annotation for each text, you should:

  • Provide a complete/accurate MLA citation
  • Summarize the reading in a few sentences
  • Below your summary, include any questions/concerns you have about the reading (such as if you do not understand a particular paragraph or sentence, or if you are confused because you think that the text contradicts itself in different places): be as specific as possible! (In the final draft, these questions/concerns will be removed and you provide a brief evaluation of the source and state its usefulness for your own project)

Here is a good resource on annotated bibliographies:

*There will be feedback (in-class workshops, peer review, comments from Professor) on your Annotated Bibliographies as they are developed

*Revised Proposal Posts due 1pm Th 11/12

As we discussed in class, you should post a revised proposal by tomorrow before class (please post no later than 1pm, so that I have time to read through them before class). More detailed information about this is on the Schedule, but I’ve copied the relevant info. at the bottom of this post too, for your convenience.

If you want to get a head start on your ePortoflio work (due Monday), please feel free to do so. You can find specifics about that assignment on our Schedule (including what you need to do on the ePortfolio, and the reflection post you need to make discussing that work).

As you work on your projects, don’t hesitate to email me with any questions, or schedule a time to meet me to discuss it in person (we can cover much more in 5-10 minutes together talking than we can in a whole series of email exchanges). I’ll be on campus this Friday (11/13), next Monday (11/16), so if you don’t want to wait until my regular office hours next Tuesday, feel free to email me to set up something sooner.

Revised Proposals (due: 1pm on Th 11/12), categorize as “Revised Proposals”

  • revise proposal according to Professor Belli’s feedback & comments (written, in class, and individual conferences)
  • key is to provide as much specific detail as possible
    • propose at least 3 new media composing experiments (aside from final presentation & ePortfolio work): don’t just list things, but explain how/why they will be integrated into the project
    • present/discuss/integrate 5 additional sources (not the ones we’ve read together), showing how this has extending your thinking about the project
    • timeline: what is your timeline (week by week) for your particular project – what do you plan to do each week?
    • If you have particular questions about the project, clearly articulate them (pose them to Professor Belli and your classmates).

In-Class Work for Tu 11/5: Researching / Drafting Proposals

Hi everyone, from utopia (aka, the Society for Utopian Studies annual conference, this year in Pittsburgh):

Today in class you’re working to flesh out your ideas for your final project proposals, conducting research, developing the specifics of the project you are designing, and drafting the actual proposal.

Work Plan for Class Today

2:15pm-2:25pm: Freewriting

  • Continue the freewriting you did in class last Tuesday. Take some time to gather your ideas, get the ideas flowing. Remember, the goal with this short activity, as it is with all freewriting, is to simply keep writing, and let the ideas get down on the page.

2:25-2:45pm: Research

  • Using the Internet, but also the texts, materials you’ve brought with you, do some research surrounding your proposed project, to work on becoming informed about the particulars of your topic, to learn key concepts, phrases, and keywords, and to help you to refine your focus
  • This research process should prompt you to ask new questions, explore new potential trajectories for the project, and spur your thinking. Take notes on what you’re finding, and include these sources (with citations) in your proposal.

2:45-3:10pm: Proposal drafting (I encourage you to do this on OpenLab, drafting a new post–that can then be revised to the post you need to have completed by Saturday)

As you draft your proposal, make sure you consider / address these questions:

  • What is your project? What is its purpose? Its motivation (why are you interested in this?)? What do you hope to learn / gain from doing this project? What will others gain from your project (how should others care about it? ask yourself, “so what?”). Really attempt to articulate a clear vision for this project.
  • How can you focus/narrow down your topic so that it is manageable in this short-term project?  Remember, you don’t want your topic to be too broad or general … isolate just one variable (focus is very important).  What kinds of questions do you hope to address through your research?  What, specifically, do you want to learn about this topic?
  • What kinds of sources will you use in your project?
  • What will the components (process, products, deliverables) be? What forms of new media composing will you experiment with (what genres will you work in, what online communities will you explore, etc.; use the textbooks to remind yourself of the various genres you can include)? What do you hope to achieve? How will this be practice-oriented (not a standard, traditional research project)? How will you build reflection into the process?
  • How do you plan to present this material in a portfolio (on your individual ePortfolio)? What kinds of write-up will you provide? What kind of multimodal compositions will you create?
  • Timeline: What is the proposed timeline for conducting / completing this project? What are the logistics involved? What makes sense, for your particular project? (remember, as we discussed, for example, if you are exploring the impact and analytics of some type of new media composing, you will need to produce the content relatively early in order to allow time for this analysis)
  • What questions do you have about your proposed project? What do you most want feedback on (for both the peer review today, with classmates, and for discussions with Professor Belli)?

3:10-3:35pm: Peer Review of Ideas

  • You’ll work in groups of two: Mariah & Fola, Pam & Jodie, Ashley & Sam
  • Taking turns, each person will first present, orally, her proposed project to the other, talking through it for five minutes or so, and then hearing the other person’s response, and having a discussion after to help revise (this is meant to be a conversation: do not simple read each other’s drafts).
  • Your goal is to provide helpful feedback to your peer at this early stage at the proposal drafting process. While you may not be an expert in the proposed topic area, don’t feel as if you have nothing to contribute. The most helpful thing you can do is to offer your impressions as a “reader” (of this proposal): is there a clear sense of the project? Does it seem like it will be do-able in the timeline of this assignment? Does it address the particular expectations, guidelines, and requirements of this project? Are there considerations that are being overlooked? Underexplored? You should ask clarifying questions and offer suggestions, to help your classmate to think through / articulate the particulars of her project,

3:35-3:55pm: Drafting (with focus on revision / expansion)

  • Return to drafting, based on the feedback you’ve received, and revise your proposal accordingly. You should take notes for yourself, noting where you need to do further research or thinking (before you submit your full draft to me, as a post on OpenLab, by Saturday night)


HW / Reminders / Announcements:

  • Proposals Due by Saturday night (11:59pm), 11/7. Must be submitted completely and on time, in order to receive feedback
    • Remember to be a specific and detailed as possible, and at the end, to ask for targeted feedback (what are you most struggling with? what can I offer most help with as we work to design / focus the project?)
  • Response blogs due M 11/9
  • In-Class Presentations on Th 11/12, on revised versions of proposals
  • Professor Belli’s office hours have slightly changed, due to her being assigned to advise from 4-5pm on Tuesdays. Office hours remain Tu 1-2pm and always by appointment.

Looking forward to reading your proposals, and seeing you all next week. Again, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. Have a wonderful weekend!

Professor Belli