The Combination of Literary Analysis and Multimodal Composition

The Combination of Literary Analysis and Multimodal Composition

The journey through this course, Methods of Literary Study (Engl 150), has been an exciting learning process. I have learned a lot about how to interpret different literary materials and turn them into projects that help bring out the meaning of the material and display it in a way that contributes to its interpretation as a whole. In a time where technology is more prevalent than ever, I think using videos to express ideas and explain processes will be even more important. Learning how to use Camtasia has let me express my creativity in multiple ways and examine new ways to bring different medias (text, music, video, and images) together. Overall, I have focused on different materials, processes, outcomes, and connections in the following assignments and learned fun and effective ways to bring together and present new ideas.

The Materials section of my portfolio is about gathering all the materials together into one initial project. First, it will include the first draft of my E Poem, “A City’s Whispers.” In this project I put together a video of images, text, and song to make a creative interpretation of the poem and its meaning. I also include my first draft of my poetry essay where I combine 2 poems and 2 outside sources to create a new twist on the poems’ meaning and influence. My Film Review for “No Country For Old Men” is also in the materials section because I review the book to the movie and add materials to compare and contrast the two medias. Lastly, I show the comments from my classmates and professor here because their feedback focused on the materials I chose for my E Poem video.

The Process section of my portfolio is about how I put my projects together and the techniques I use to emphasize different items. First, I include the first revision of my poetry essay, “The Intertwining of Poetry and Psychology.” Here I focus on changing the structure of my writing and add more details from the poem to make my arguments stronger and clearer. I also include my E Poem walkthrough in the process section because I explore the Camtasia techniques I used to create the video and different challenges and success I had throughout. Lastly, my E Poem Citation video is discussed here because I explain the process of how I chose certain materials and how I decided to organize and combine different pieces together.

The Outcomes section of my portfolio displays some of the finalized pieces I created. My Poetry Essay Final Revision has a more organized structure, details from the poem, and polished grammar than the previous 3 drafts. My E Poem Revision video also includes the changes made after editing the initial draft including images without watermarks. Lastly, my portfolio video is here because it combines the course’s assignments and focuses on the overall understanding and composing of literature. 

Finally, I decided to add a Connections section to my portfolio. This includes connections my assignments have had to other classes here at Carolina. The graphic novel “Watchmen” discusses mental illnesses explored in my Abnormal Psychology class (Psyc 245) and similar to my Poetry Essay, I tie together psychology’s influence on literature. Next, I add a video created in Multimodal Composition (Engl 318) where I discuss music’s influence on emotions and use the film “No Country for Old Men” as an example. Lastly, in my Introduction to Fiction class (Engl 123) we discuss the short story “Cathedral” which we examine in this class as well. I provide a post from a discussion forum discussing some main concepts in the story. 


First Draft of E Poem

In my E Poem I use Ryan William's poem "The City's Whispers" and create a video on Camtasia to express its meaning. In this video I combine different images, sound effects, music, movies, and text effects to express my ideas. I also utilize techniques on Camtasia for layering images, using transitions, layering sounds, and more.

Peer Feedback

After reviewing feedback from my classmates and professor I decided to take a 2nd look at some of my materials to get rid of the logo's watermarks.

First Draft of Poetry Essay

In my Poetry Essay I explore the Intertwining of Poetry and Psychology using Tom Greening's poems "Request" and "I'm Just Fine". By examining the poems through a new lens I am able to explore how poetry can create a new understanding of mental illness. Additionally, sources from Dr. Diana Raab and Benjamin Wachs discuss the critical link between science and the arts and existential humanism. 

Feedback from Classmates

Feedback from my classmates suggested I add more specific quotations from the poems and to focus on one poem more than the other in order to add more clarity. Additionally, their suggestions included adding a more distinct conclusion.  After reading this feedback I was excited to reexamine my essay and make the necessary corrections. 

Enjoying the link btw psychology & poetry. Tom Greening expresses many issues within the mental health system #iLit

— Laura Deem (@laura_deem) January 19, 2016

Film Review for "No Country for Old Men"

In this Film Review I compare the movie "No Country for Old Men" by the Coen Brothers to the book by Cormac McCarthy. I explore how the movie is a very close adaptation to the book but differs by having increased actions scenes, character interpretations, and sound effects. These three reasons made the movie more interesting to me because it kept the story fast paced and added more dramatic effects. This caused me to favor the movie over the book, which is generally rare for me.

What's this weird weapon used in No Country for Old Men? Excited to find out...! #iLit

— Laura Deem (@laura_deem) March 2, 2016

No music in No Country for Old Men? That's supposed to let me know when to cover my eyes! #iLit

— Laura Deem (@laura_deem) March 2, 2016


2nd and 3rd Drafts of Poetry Essay


Teacher Feedback for Both Drafts

After reviewing feedback from my professor I decided to reorganize some of my paragraphs to create a better flow to the material. I also added more quotes from the poem and made a few sections clearer to make my argument easier to understand. Lastly, I edited the grammar to refine my paper even further.

E Poem Walkthrough


During this reflection video I focus on the process I use to make my E Poem. First, I explain why I chose to use this specific poem and why I decided to create the end of the video first. I examine different techniques in Camtasia and go over how to make three different text effects and transitions. I also explain how I use two different songs to help bring out the poem’s meaning and show how I added them into the video. Lastly, I discuss the challenges I had when making my first draft of my E Poem. Towards the end of the video, Camtasia crashed and I lost a lot of my work. In this reflection video I explain how I was able to recover some of files and save my video. 

E Poem Citation Video


During this citation video I focus on the sources and materials used in my E Poem. The easiest materials for me to add were ones that I was most familiar with including my favorite songs and movies. This creates a personal meaning for me to the poem. Additionally, I explain my brainstorming process in the beginning where I think of images I want to use. This resulted in adding more pieces that show my personal connection to the poem including some of my favorite things like journaling, images of fall, and pictures of the beach. I also note how I discovered that many images on the internet are difficult to find the original source of. This is interesting because there are both pros and cons to having the same image populating the web. Overall, making this citation video allowed me to explore my creative process and how meaningful parts of my life help me express my interpretation of this poem. 


Poetry Essay Final Revision


This is the 4th and final version of my poetry essay. The writing process is very continuous because it allows for multiple revisions after receiving feedback. This is the most polished version of my essay and includes more quotes from the poems, a more organized structure, and no grammatical errors. The final outcome of this piece is more succinct and more clearly express my argument that combining art and science can reach more audiences and provide an opportunity to discuss stigmatized subjects like mental illness. 

E Poem Revisions Video


This is the final copy of my E Poem video. In this revision I include an introductory image to help open my video. I also include new images that do not have watermarks like my first draft does. This helps keep the viewer’s attention of my image and not the company’s logo. I also balanced out the sounds of the video but kept emphasis when needed when layering my narration and the video’s sounds. I smoothed over transitions and made some of the text in the video easier to read. I also created new text effects to put emphasis on the poem’s meaning. Overall this video shows both a personal meaning to the poem and a creative way to interpret its significance. 

Portfolio Video


This video focuses on creativity’s role on my poetry essay and e poem. Not only are beginning stages of the writing process important like brainstorming creative ideas, but understanding challenges that may inhibit creativity are important to consider as well. This video discusses how a creative approach to literature can allow for greater interconnectedness between subjects and a better understanding of a piece of art as a whole.


Watchmen Reflection






Abnormal Psychology (Psyc 245)

During this course we read the graphic novel "Watchmen" by Alan Moore. I found this book particularly interesting because of it's insight on mental illnesses. As a psychology major I wanted to explore some of the main characters in this text and try to understand their actions and motivations in the story. During my Abnormal Psychology course I learned about many different types of disorders that include unusual patterns of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. I think psychology is important in this story because many of the characters seem to struggle with psychological disorders. Exploring this link to mental illness helped me better understand the story and the characters overall.

Video Essay on Music's Influence on Film

Multimodal Composition (Engl 318)

My Film Review on “No Country for Old Men" discusses the impact of having no music on the film. This video essay discusses music’s impact on film and why it can create a significant impact on our emotions as we watch a movie. Specifically, I use “No Country for Old Men” as an example at 2:25 in this video and explore what it would be like if the movie had music instead of just sound effects.








"Cathedral" Short Story by Raymond Carver

“Cathedral” opens with the narrator unhappily telling the reader that his wife’s blind friend, Robert, is coming to visit after his wife’s death. He recalls when Robert once touched his wife’s face which became an important moment in her life, which the narrator is jealous of and does not understand.

When Robert arrives they all drink heavily and eat dinner, and then the narrator turns on the tv and they smoke marijuana together. The narrator tries to describe a cathedral that’s on tv but he is unable to find the right words.

Robert asks to place his hand on the narrator’s hand, and for the narrator to close his eyes as they draw a cathedral together. This causes the narrator to have pivotal moment of insight and change his understanding of life. He no longer resents Robert or judges the man for being blind. Instead, he is preoccupied with the possibility of change in his life.

 Introduction to Fiction (Engl 123)

Not only did we read this during this course, but another one of my English classes this semester discussed this short story as well. During a discussion on an online forum post, we answered questions about the text and compared ideas as to how we interpreted the story's meaning.



Final Reflection 

Overall, I enjoyed this class because like the writing process, there are many different steps that went into the creation of these assignments. I brainstormed ideas and then examined and combined materials to create a project. Then the opportunity for revisions allowed me to review my work and analyze the process I used. This ultimately lead to more polished pieces and a better outcome. Having this structure throughout the course has allowed me to learn from my mistakes and continue to better my work as I got feedback from others and considered different techniques to emphasize new ideas. Lastly, this course has been relatable to many other subject matters and allowed me to make connections to my other coursework making it even more applicable. 

I think I would have enjoyed using Twitter more, but this is not a social media that I use. I created an account for this class but rarely remembered to use it since it is not a part of my routine. I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, so perhaps in the future I will explore Twitter’s benefits more or incorporate other social media into my coursework. Additionally, I might try to use Vimeo to upload my videos instead of YouTube. Currently, I used YouTube because I am familiar with uploading mp4 files from Camtasia and later using embedded codes for the portfolio. However, I feel like YouTube blurred some of my images and texts which is frustrating because everything appears clear on Camtasia, but is not as clear in the final version. Perhaps Vimeo would eliminate this problem.