Portfolio Check #2

The three blog posts I chose for my portfolio check point #2 are as follows:




Since I am a student and not connected with a business or organization that I could compose a blog post for, I chose to discuss topics that I am very familiar with.  I felt this would not only make me sound more credible, but I could give a different perspective on the subjects.

The first blog “The Rest of the Story-Part I” was challenging to write.  The intended audience was transplant patients, their families, or anyone who happen to search for transplant information.  I didn’t want to discourage people from donating organs, but I did want to explain that there is negative side to the transplantation process by telling it from a patient’s perspective.

To sound less discouraging and depressing I added a clarifying sentence.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am about to tell you.  I believe the Organ Donor Program is fantastic.  There is so much more to organ donation and the organ recipient’s journey than what you hear in the TV ads public service announcements.

Since there was a need to use statistics in the post to back up certain points, I used word links to the organizations listed such as the Organ Donor Program and UNOS.  This gave my readers needed background information to make their own decisions about organ donation and transplantation and lent more credibility to my post.  I also used word links for the subjects of ‘immunosuppressant medications’ and ‘portacath,’ because I felt most readers would not understand these medical terms and would need more detailed definitions of them.

Graphics would have added to the post, but choosing an image proved challenging, because I didn’t want to use something too graphic in nature for the audience.  This is another reason I chose to use word links, a list, and statistics.

The second post “The Rest of the Story-Part II” was written as an answer to the many questions I received from the ‘part I’ post.  I set-up the 2nd post by using the following sentence in the 1st post, “There are still more complications that can occur after a transplant that I will explain in a later post.”  To further that connection, I began the 2nd post with a link to the 1st post and added the following sentence.  “I received several questions concerning the emotional and psychological effects that transplantation can have on the recipient; therefore, I will discuss that topic first.”

This post dealt with the emotional turmoil of the transplant process and I used specific items in the progression of my illness to explain how your emotions are stretched to their limit. Some examples are:

“…monitor every gram of protein I ate,” “Months of hospitals, CT scans, ultrasounds, doctors, lab work, endless nausea, and fevers, not to mention the fact you bleed more freely…”

Using descriptive words, which I felt the average person (like myself) would use, such as ‘prodded and poked,’ exhausting,’ ‘blubbering mess,’ and ‘overwhelming’ helped convey emotion to the readers.

There were no graphics or word links in the post so to back up the statistics I added a link to a pdf chart.  Not only did this show that I had researched the data, but it added needed information for the readers.  A link to the pdf chart was used to avoid formatting issues.  The chart was too lengthy to embed in the post and could have caused readers to become disinterested.

Post number three, “No More Memories” is about a different subject (Alzheimer’s), but still something very familiar to my family. This is a subject that millions of people can relate to and I felt it needed to be discussed.

I used only one link to the word Alzheimer’s in order to give readers a better definition of the disease.  To give seriously interested readers additional resources to refer to I added Alzheimer foundation and association information at the end of the post.

By arranging this post by the stages of the disease I used the progression of time and added personal examples of how it affected my family member at each stage.  This gave a clearer picture of the disease and the effects it has on a family while adding a personal feel to the post.

To prevent repetitively using the word person, I substituted the word individual.  I also did this to emphasize that each person suffering the disease is still an individual despite losing their memory.  I chose to use the word massive instead of huge to further emphasize the emotional issue.  I debated on using my mother-in-laws name, but felt it added the sense of reality and by stating the actual number of years affected it also gave a better understanding of reality.  Using the word suffered instead of fought felt more accurate when talking about Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease takes a toll on the individual person who has it and a massive huge emotional toll on their family and/or caregivers.  My husband recently lost his mother Ruby, who had suffered after she fought with Alzheimer’s for almost 10 many years.

I deleted the first four words in the following sentence to make the subject the first word and add more emphasis. I also deleted the unnecessary words and added a different conjunction and the word however for the comparison to make the sentence sound clearer and to the point.

Most people think of Alzheimer’s is thought of as an old person’s disease, because but that is incorrect.  Although people ages 60 and up are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease ;however, people as young as 30 can have early onset Alzheimer’s, but it is a rare 5% (

While working with business and organizational blogs, I have learned how to use emphasis and state my points more clearly.  I still have weak points such as sentence variation and being more concise.  I tend to be too wordy when writing and must edit extensively.  Despite these shortcomings I feel I am improving and that my work is worthy of a low A (92) grade.



Before I started English 415, I had never written a blog post and the task seemed daunting.  I asked myself, “How am I going to have enough ideas to write 600 words each week for ten weeks?”  The answer was to write about what I knew, cared about, or felt strongly about.  I chose three posts that reflect that answer.


When writing Experiencing a Different Culture I wanted readers to know what it was like traveling to Japan.  It was an amazing experience and I wanted to share it.  By relaying my story about the children, the sightseeing, and the food I was able to tell my readers how similar people/families are in different cultures.

Personal photos added emphasis to the subjects and lent more credibility by showing readers I had experienced what I was describing.  Using word links allowed readers easy access to Japan’s historical information.  I was hesitant to add the link to the population website, but it helped readers understand what a rural area most of us were from and helped readers better relate to our situation.

The purpose of the Dark Shadows post was to relate my excitement about the upcoming movie. I believed it was necessary to use a YouTube video of the original series with a summary to help readers understand the history behind the movie.

I knew the placement of the video was important to the posts success; therefore, I located it after the plot summary.  To progress from past to present I placed the movie information, the cast photo, and the linked cast list later in the post.  (Lists are popular and easy to read.)

The story of Kids Have the Most Amazing Ideas is easy for anyone with children to relate to.  It shows the innocence and humor of childhood.   After consideration, I felt the best way to convey emotional appeal was to simply tell the story the way it happened.  The humorous tone of the quote from the Mom, “Ask your daughter” can be understood clearly by any Mother.

The photo of the little girl pink, glittery, and ruffled purses hanging from the door knobs shows a child’s ingenuity and is humorous for adults.  Gramps leaving a dollar shows how much we love our children/grandchildren and want to help them succeed and encourage their ideas and imagination.

These posts show the progression of my writing.  In Experiencing a Different Culture I struggled with how to present the different points.  Dark Shadows was easier to present using a progression of old to new.  Kids Have the Most Amazing Ideas was the easiest, because it was the story as it occurred.  These helped me learn to organize and present my ideas.

I have writing weaknesses such as using useless adjectives and adverbs and using phrases that can be replaced with one word.  I work hard to use active verbs, because I have a tendency to use weak ones.  Each time I edit, I look for these weak tendencies and correct them. Here is just one example.

“A few months ago Kass she decided that she wanted an iPod.  To teach her the value of money, her parents suggested that she save enough her money to and buy one.  So Kass did. saved her money and a few weeks ago she bought an iPod.”

I am striving to spot my common writing errors and train myself to avoid them.  When editing I look for unnecessary words, distractions at the beginning of sentences, and being more concise.  By the end of the semester I hope to become a better writer.