6,000 Word Portfolio–contents

This is your final collection of work.  One of the objectives is to explore the best way to package or format your work, yes, for the class, but also for another audience.  The entire portfolio should be put on an electronic file and sent to me.  It includes:

  1.  Your paper on/discussion of Junot Diaz; you may include your blog reflections.
  2. 1619 research review of 4 articles.  Should include works cited, see previous post.  We read Hannah-Jones, Wilentz, Lindsay, Magness, and F. Douglass.  There were other sources including the lecture on video of Professor Edna Green Medford.  You can include your blog reflections.
  3. Multi-Modal project aimed at an audience other than the professor with 1000 word reflection on your piece and a reflection on the whole class.
  4. Reflections on Corona-virus pandemic and move to distance learning at Cuny.

Works Cited List format

Works Cited List for Research Review

Professor James Wu

(Please note:  Alphabetical order by last name of author.  Publication source and date.  You can copy these listings.)


Douglas, Frederick. “Learning How to Read and Write.” http://learningabe.info/fd_ReadandWrite.pdf

Excerpt from Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas, originally published 1845.

“Secession and War”


Excerpt from Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass‘ third autobiography) published in 1881, revised in 1892 (“Learning Abe” website does not cite correct source.)

Hannah-Jones, Nikole. “The Idea of America. Introduction to 1619 Project.” New York Times Magazine. August 18, 2019.

Magness, Phillip W. “Fact-Checking the 1619 Project and its Critics.” American Institute for Economic Research website.   December 23, 2019.

Medford, Edna Greene. Lecture, recorded on video. “Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation.” Lincoln Forum Symposium. Gettysburg, PA. November 19, 2017. C-Span website. https://www.c-span.org/video/?466542-8/abraham-lincoln-emancipation

Lindsay, Tom. “After all, American Invented Slavery, Didn’t It?” Forbes Magazine website. August 19, 2019.

Wilentz. Sean. “American Slavery and the Relentless Unforeseen.” The New York Review of Books website. December 27, 2019.

Here’s a multi-modal “text.”



Of course, your multi-modal piece will be different.  Notice, this chart of graphic has been designed to present the information of rate of infection of corona virus.

Take a look and ask yourself:  what do we know about “rate of infection”?  How would you write in words what this chart shows?  How does this graphic informational chart succeed in informing its audience?  Who is the audience for this chart?  Do you need any special knowledge to understand it?  What discourse community does it communicate with?

Article on how countries should control pandemic and additional readings from media.


This is an interesting article on successful strategies for countries to control the corona virus spread.



Here is an article on a person who wrote a blog from Wuhan in China.



And here’s an article on the not so great idea of social distancing on your private yacht.



Multi-Modal Project for Electronic Display: Due May 6

This is a second presentation of a previous body of work you’ve done. Of course you will add new “content.”

It incorporates audio/video/digital/graphics/spatial content.  These are the additional modes of perception.

It also redirects your presentation of information and understanding and knowledge to a different audience, not the professor.

The audience could be your peers. The audience could be  the public at large.  Or you could address a younger audience, for example, a middle school class. Your audience could be an individual, a friend, a family member. It could be  your family as a whole.  Or a community organization.  Or a group of friends. A discourse community.

The multi-modal piece could be a set of poems. It could be a photo-essay with captions or narrative or descriptive writing. It could be a video. It could be a written text with a musical soundtrack or with ambient sound. It could be a montage of portraits of people you know with some written or spoken narrative or description.

Notice, if you want to do something completely analog, like a painting or a hand drawn illustration, or an oral narration, you can document it electronically by digital photography, video, etc.

Basically, in addition to the written text, it should have a second mode of delivering/communicating the information.

It should be a “complete” or “finished” work. In this context, you should try to control the final “look” of the piece as an electronic product or a digital object. But you won’t be graded on how “great” it is.

Instead you’ll be graded on completing it and the following.   Once you’re done, you write a 1000 word artist’s statement or reflection on your activity. How you came to make certain choices. How that changed the message you communicated. What you learned about the subject and your activity as a writer/artist/director/creator/content producer/author. Also reflect  on knowledge and understanding and acquiring knowledge and understanding and how to use it and present it.  Reflect on what you’re goals were in the piece and what you intend to do in the future.

Some version of the multi-modal piece must be stored on an electronic file and included in your 6000 word portfolio.

As a starting point, you can use your work on Diaz and discourse community; Hannah-Jones and Wilentz on racism in America and American history; or your reflections on and experience of the corona virus pandemic of 2019-2020.

Multi-modal: the image shows us what the virus is.

Here’s a video that presents images of the corona virus particle.  Note that the image of the object gives us information in a different way than just description in words or a description in words of how it affects us.  On the other hand, the image without a narration in words would not tell us much either.


This is a professionally produced video by a media company, and your multi-modal project can look totally different.  What’s important here is the idea of presenting information or telling a story using multiple modes of perception:  visual, audio, color, music, etc.


Wilentz says that the abolition of slavery was NOT inevitable

“Against slavery’s millennia, the struggle to abolish it came abruptly. By the end of the succeeding century, against slavery’s immense and unyielding power, it had largely succeeded. As a spiritual as well as political endeavor, it is one of the most, if not the most astonishing unfolding of the unforeseen in all of recorded human history. Yet it is too often at best consigned to the inevitable, as something that was bound to happen as if in the natural unfolding of progress. At worst, it is pushed to the margins, as if slavery’s abolition came about without abolitionists, without politics, let alone without rebellious slaves—the byproduct, as some accounts say, of impersonal, amoral economic forces, or the unintended outcome of white people’s selfish squabbles over policy and profits, or even as an accident.” (Wilentz, 2019, p.3)

His point is that is was unpredicted at the time.  “…it is one of the most, if not the most astonishing unfolding of the unforeseen in all of recorded human history”

He says that in the context of all of human history, from the bible to the U.S. civil war, “it came abruptly.”

He says that it is a mistake to think that historical event of abolition of slavery was inevitable.   For the most part the rejection of slavery was accomplished by the end of the 1800s–racism still exists, but slavery is considered by the vast majority of the population to be unacceptable.