Travel Materials: Blog Review

In this example, the student has created a travel blog about a location in Los Angeles that follows the conventions of an evaluation (as described in the textbook): establishing evaluation criteria, providing thorough description, and giving background about the subject. While there are still improvements that could be made (such as formal use of a citation style), the written project meets most of the goals for the travel materials assignment and shows that the student can write clearly, articulately, and descriptively, as well as focus on an assigned purpose. In addition to the written aspect, however, the multimodal aspects also demonstrate a deeper rhetorical knowledge. The student has selected images and placed them strategically within the document. For example, photos of the theater she is describing from 1931 and 2009 are placed close to the parts of the text that reference these eras. As she describes the historical architecture, she provides images of what she is describing: the lobby, the mezzanine, the stage, etc.

The student references the photo selection in her end-of-the-semester reflection. "[W]hen constructing my blog for project two, I made sure to include an abundance of images to really give the reader a clear image of the theatre I was evaluating," she stated. She added that this rhetorical decision bolstered her ethos: "I think that providing an abundance of images in my blog, I was able to establish credibility with the reader showing that the inside of the theater did, in fact, look the way it was described." The student author added that the structure of the course, including the multimodal instruction, contributed to her learning. "I am able to now see how beneficial the format of this course was to the writing process," she stated. "I am very eager to continue to apply what I've learned in this course to my future studies that may require multimodal formats." While the class was not what she expected, she stated that she enjoyed the projects and the format and structure of the course. "My first perception of this class was that it was going to be a typical English course where I was going to spend much of my summer writing essay after essay, conducting boatloads of research," she said. "Much to my surprise, the course ending [sic] up being quite the opposite where I've excitingly been able to use multimodal formats throughout the session." We have found that this comment is a recurrent one within student portfolios: they typically find the multimodal emphasis challenging, but rewarding—and fun—in the end.