This post is rather long, so read everything as soon as possible. I want to continue our discussion of dialogues in drama (and other genres) and begin to discuss the Final Portfolio for this class.

Let’s talk about dialogues first…

By now, you’ve read the three scenes from the awesome play, Topdog/Underdog. I provided a series of questions after each scene:

What is the rhythm/pace of this scene?

How can you tell? (Hint: Look at the stage

What do we learn about the brothers’ characters
and points of view?

I’ve created a Discussion Post here.

  • Cohorts 1 & 2 are assigned the questions for Scene 1.
  • Cohorts 3 & 4 are assigned the questions for Scene 2.
  • Cohorts 5 & 6 are assigned the questions for Scene 3.

Be sure to state which scene you are commenting on and read other comments before you respond. If you notice that someone in your group has already responded with your answer, you can say “I agree with X, but I’d like to add X” or “I disagree with X, I think X.”

One thing I want everyone to continue to think about (and comment on) is how Parks used stage directions to enhance her dialogue, as I mentioned in last week’s Announcement. Note especially the (rest) or the stacking of names to indicate that the brothers are involved in activities during conversation. Just like when you write poetry, white space in dialogue is very important.

There’s some other homework detailed on the Assignment page for Week 15.

Final Portfolio

Well, folks, we’ve survived a memorable semester. You’ve kept up with this class and written some astounding work.

There is no final exam for this class; however, you must turn in a Final Portfolio that showcases the work you’ve produced this semester. This sheet will detail what is expected, the order, how to save and submit the Final Portfolio, and how it will be evaluated.

Please read this document carefully and well before the Final Portfolio’s due date: December 16, 2020!

There’s also a copy of the following information in our Course Profile.

Create Your Own Chapbook

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a chapbook is “a small book containing ballads, poems, tales, or tracts.” For your Final Portfolio, you are going to create a chapbook of your work!

Perhaps you’re wondering, “How do I create a chapbook, Professor?”

My response? “Ah, I’m glad you asked, because the answer is below!”

First, review all of your major writing assignments. You have created (or will be creating soon) several major writing assignments: two memoir pieces, two short stories, two poems, at least one dialogue, and ten journal entries. I’ve read and commented on your major assignments—I’ve given praise, asked questions, and made suggestions for those assignments.

Next, choose one of the memoirs, one of the short stories, one of the poems, and one of the dialogues to revise[1] for your chapbook. What you choose is up to you, but I’d recommend selecting work that you’re especially proud of or that you’ve learned something significant during the writing—essentially, what you’d allow others to read!

Then, go through the journals and select two that show something about your evolution as a writer. You don’t have to revise these entries, but if you want to revise a little for clarity, go ahead!

While you’re doing that, begin work on your Final Reflection (there’s a longer document about this that we’ll talk about soon). Often, when authors present a collection of work, they provide an introduction to the reader. Think of your Final Reflection as an introduction to the reader. Tell them what you’ve learned about yourself as a writer this semester.

Gather everything in one document with a cover page. Make sure each piece is on its own page. Order the document as follows:

  1. Final Reflection
  2. Memoir
  3. Short Story
  4. Poem
  5. Dialogue
  6. Journals

The cover page will be the cover of the chapbook. This is where you get to have a little textual/visual fun. Have your full name on the cover, of course, but everything else is up to you!

Think of a creative title for your chapbook. Some examples of chapbooks:

  • When, by the Titanic, by John Pursley III
  • Why I Kick At Night, by Ron Drummond
  • Five-hundred Widowers in a Field of Chamomile, by John Surowiecki
  • The Nightmare Parable, by Do Gentry
As you can see, they can be detailed or very simple, but they caught my eye as I wandered the Internet!

Use a graphic you’ve created, a photograph, a selfie, or just a fun font for your title on the cover. Again, it’s up to you, but think of this in a marketing sense. You’ve probably heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but we so often do this with books, magazines, websites, etc. Imagine you’re selling your chapbook in a bookstore—how would you make it stand out, convince someone to pick it up?

How to Submit

  1. Save the document as a PDF file. Don’t know how to save a Word Doc into a PDF? I have a document for that!
  2. Upload the PDF file to a post OpenLab. Don’t know how to upload a file on OpenLab? I have a document for that!
    1. If your file is larger than 10,000 KB (10 MB), you won’t be able to upload it onto OpenLab. This probably won’t be an issue, but be aware of this before the deadline!
  3. Title the post Student Name, Final Portfolio and save it under Final Portfolio on our class website.
  4. The Final Portfolio must be posted by 11:59 PM (just before midnight) on December 16, 2020!

Evaluation of the Final Portfolio

There are 225 points possible for the Final Portfolio. If assignments are missing, those points will be deducted from the overall score. If the Portfolio is not submitted by the due date, 250 points will be deducted from your final grade. (This is worth 30% of your final grade.)

Final Reflection                                          100 points possible

Memoir                                                            25 points possible

Short Story                                                    25 points possible

Poetry                                                              25 points possible

Dialogue                                                          25 points possible

Two Journals                                                 25 points possible

For the FINAL REFLECTION, I will be looking for…

  • Attention to audience. This essay will be the first item any reader will see in your Final Portfolio. This essay will set a “tone” for all the work that follows. Don’t just list off a bunch of random opinions about your writing—write about what you’ve learned.
  • Attention to organization. This does not have to be a traditional organization, but you should have paragraphs (not just a 900 word paragraph, please) and some reason for why they’re in the order they’re in!
  • Care. Proofread the text as well as format the document correctly. Make sure it’s long enough. As usual, you can use whatever language you see fit to use, but make decisions about your language—that is, the words that are there should be there for a reason.

For the other ASSIGNMENTS, I will be looking for…

  • Attention. Make sure the constraints of each writing assignment are followed.
  • Care. All assignments proofread and on their own page.

[1] You must do a significant revision of each piece in your Final Portfolio. What is a “significant revision”? Look at the comments I made on the evaluation, the suggestions of your Cohort, etc. Make the changes accordingly.