You will compile an ethnographic essay

Hello all,

Hope you are doing well. So we reached our final week of the class, for our last week, there will be a final assignment which is a portfolio:

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For your final project, you will compile an ethnographic essay, beginning with choosing 5-8 pieces of your work throughout this course–different genres, informal jottings, and fieldnotes. You will curate these pieces into a portfolio, along with your final ethnographic project and a reflection of your work. This reflection can occur throughout (such as an intro, conclusion) included in a digital file (word document or google doc). You may also decide that your ethnography work might best be presented in a form that is not entirely a textual essay. For example, some students may find that comics, videos, blogs, photographic essays, podcasts, etc could represent their literacy ethnography better than alphabetic text. Therefore, we encourage you to brainstorm ways to make your project unique (and representative of the communities you’re researching) with your instructor. Said another way, be innovative with how you present your findings! The details below are a starting point, but we encourage you to adapt these to your findings.

*Note: if you are not writing a 10-15 page essay, you should think about the rigor (brainstorming, drafting, editing, revising, etc) involved in this work and use these same views to guide your work regardless of its form or genre.

In other words, for your Ethnographic Portfolio, you might turn in a digital file consisting of:

● 5-8 pieces of your ethnographic work-in-progress (informal notes, responses, interview scripts, Field Notes, conceptual memos, informed consent forms, code of ethics, images you reflect on, surveys, etc.)

● An ethnographic project (10-15 pages, or an equivalent using multimedia)

● A reflection (which can be through an introduction and conclusion or by other means that you see fit for your own project).

For this ethnographic portfolio, you will be analyzing, synthesizing, and writing up the research you’ve been doing all semester. The beauty of all the levels and layers of work you’ve done is that it is unique to you and your experience and interests. No one else will have done the assignments in the same ways or talked to the same people or made the same observations. Therefore, you are now positioned to speak as an expert.

For instance, much of the work for this final portfolio has been generated in the writing assignments. You might think about using the Verbal Portrait, definitions from WA1, your research proposal and questions, your research methods, code of ethics, informed consent, conceptual memos, field notes, etc to begin your rough draft of this final project. In other words, you are not starting from scratch!

To clarify more on what I mean by the portfolio as your final product:

Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of work that shows you are capable of completing not only finished products, but also products with multiple – often unseen – steps. In this course you will produce a portfolio made up of two different types of assignments as a complement to your final ethnographic essay. These assignments will be:

Progress Blog (10%) – Ten blog posts of 150 words or more over the course of the semester which discuss your readings, your research, your interviews, and/or other points of interest for the course.
Field Notes (5%) – Five artifacts, collected and commented upon using wherever online platform your community belongs to (if not online five artifacts from the actual place where you did your observation).
Obviously this portfolio will not be a typical one, as you’ll be using different platforms to complete different pieces. As such, each individual component of your portfolio will be graded separately to make up, overall, 15% of your grade.

As a reminder, here are the types of things you’ll need in your final portfolio:

Progress Blogs

You will write Progress Blogs throughout the course of this assignment. You do not need to actually post these on any online platform but just write it in the form of a blog post on the Word doc. You’ll need a minimum of ten blog posts over the course of the semester, which comes out to be roughly two per unit + two more at random. You may choose the unit you would like to do extra progress blogs in.

Each blog post should be titled with the convention: “Progress Blog 1: Appropriate Title,”

Blog posts must be 150 words long at minimum to count toward your final 10. You may post additional progress blogs that are fewer than 150 words, but they will not count toward the 10 you must have for your online progress portfolio. These blog posts must be about the process of creating your ethnographic study. They can be informal writing, but they should be written in a way that is coherent and accessible for your audience.

Field Notes

Field Notes are digital (non-digital) artifacts that you will come across and make note of (generally by reblogging) when studying your online (in-person) communities. You won’t start doing field notes until later in the semester, but once you start, these field notes will act as a sort of guide for your study of community literacy practices. For instance if you chose to do a research on a specific fandom literacy, you’ll reblog fan works, critiques, images from the text (the movie, show, book, band, etc) that the fandom surrounds, etc, with notes about how these things contribute to your understanding of your fandom’s literacy practices.

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