Sunday Funnies 5: Mapping Tracing Persepolis

Map of Iran with diagram of places visited

Due: 2/29

For this week’s Sunday Funnies project, you will make a map of one of your peer’s Tracing Persepolis projects.

  • First, go this spreadsheet and add your name in the right-hand column next to the student project that you will map. By the end of tonight, every student on the left-hand column should have one and only student signed up to map their project in the right-hand column.
  • Find the student’s post in the course feed, read that student’s statement about his or her goals for the project, and follow the link posted to the splash page. Read carefully through the pages and subpages that make up the project and think about the claims this student makes.
  • Draw a map, or a diagram, that visually represents the project as a whole. You can draw your map by hand and then scan it to include in your post, but I encourage you to think about using mind mapping software (like, text2mindmap, or XMind) to create your diagram. Part of the purpose of your diagram is to create a reverse outline ((Here is a handout on reverse outlining. It does not apply exactly, because it assumes a linear, thesis-driven argumentative essay, which is not exactly what you are doing with the Tracing Persepolis pojects. However, the basic outline for how reverse outlining works are still applicable.)) of your peer’s argument, so one component of your map should be to include a list of the main ideas for each page of the project. Try to also represent the ways in which the different pages relate to each other (especially if they are internally hyperlinked to each other, represent the paths of those hyperlinks as best you can).

Your primary purpose with this Sunday Funnies assignment is to create a visualization that will help your classmate to see his or her argument as clearly as possible so that opportunities for revision become clear. Your peer should be able to hold your visualization up against his or her project and use it as a tool to ask whether the argument is laid out as clearly as possible, whether claims are fully supported, whether there are additional points to pursue from here, and whether the argument is convincing. (You do not need to answer any of those questions for them, but your visualization should help them to answer those questions for themselves.)

Your secondary purpose is to better understand how your peer has shaped this project with an eye towards better understanding and revising your own argument. Hopefully, in the process of mapping out a peer’s project, you will identify aspect of your own argument that you might think about differently.

(image credit: “My trip to Iran” by Flickr user Örlygur Hnefill)


Citations, Pages, Post…

A photograph of a book with post it flags stuck in its pages.


Where applicable, use MLA Formatting and Style principles in your writing for this class. Obviously, you should not worry about such issues as headers and margins and the other stylistic requirements that apply to the printed page, but when you quote sources, use the MLA in-text citation guidelines just as you would if you were writing a traditional paper.

If the only source you are quoting from in your tracing project is Persepolis, you do not need a Works Cited page for this project, but you should have an MLA citation for the text on your splash page. ((If you want to include that citation as a footnote, you might install a plug-in called Civil Footnotes.))

If you have relied on other sources in your project and they are not online, then you should include an MLA citation for those sources as well. If you have relied on online resources in your project, link internally to that work as you do so and include an MLA citation for those sources.


Once again, all of the Tracing Persepolis project should exist on your site as pages, with a splash page and then a series of subpages underneath that page. The splash page and subpages should be included as menu items on your site for the class.


After you are entirely finished with your project, by midnight tonight, write a blog post that includes a link to the splash page for your project. This blog post will syndicate to the course feed and will serve as mechanism by which you “turn in” this project. Besides the link to the splash page, you should also link to the assignment page. Tag your post “tracing persepolis” and with any other tags you want.

I also want you to write a paragraph or two of reflection in that post–explain what your main goals for the project were, what you found challenging about meeting those goals, and how you attempted to solve those challenges.


(image credit: “231 by Flickr user Jay Peg)

Sunday Funnies 3: Visual Note Taking

Comic representation of Domain of One's Own

Due: 2/1

Create a set of visual notes for one session of a class that you are currently enrolled in.

I’m a big fan of the work of Giulia Forsyth. She works in a teaching and learning center, where she helps professors and instructors be more innovative in their teaching practices, and she also works as a visual note-taker and facilitator, which means that she is sometimes employed to go to presentations and meetings and to doodle notes for the meeting.

Check out this four minute video where she gives a quick summary of how she began to take her doodling seriously and where it has led her:

On her Visual Practice page, Forsyth has lots of videos and images explaining how she approaches the task of producing drawings that help her and others to not just grab the information that’s been presented in a class or discussion, but to grapple with the material and better understand it. You can also see numerous examples on her Flickr page, especially her Visual Practice album.

For your Sunday Funnies assignment this week, I want you to create a set of visual notes for one day in one class (other than ENG101) that you are currently enrolled in. You do not need to take your visual notes in real time; in fact, I recommend that you don’t. I recommend that you go to your classes and take notes in whatever manner you normally do, then after class go through your notes and recreate them as visual notes.

You do not need to draw your notes in a digital environment, either, though you are certainly free to do so. If you prefer to doodle with pen, pencil, or marker on paper then do that and once you’re done with your drawing, just scan the pages as JPG files so you can upload them to your site. If you have an iPad or other tablet or would like to draw on your laptop or desktop, then you might try apps like Inkflow or Adobe’s Sketchbook or search for other free/cheap drawing applications. I am completely tool agnostic on this assignment, so make your drawings in whatever manner make sense to you.

Your visual notes do not need to be polished or beautiful or anywhere near as intricate as Forsyth’s. Do try to take this assignment as an opportunity to really engage differently with your material–don’t just make a series of doodles that follow the outline of the lecture or discussion in your notes but try to really translate the concepts and information into a new, visual set of notes.

Once you’ve got your notes, load them onto your course site as a post in your Sunday Funnies category. Make one of your notes pages a featured image.

As you upload your visual notes, take a few moments to reflect on the process and then write a paragraph or two about what you learned during the process of creating your visual notes. Did it help you to understand the course content any differently or better to create notes visually rather than just as text? Did you discover anything new about yourself or the way you think in the process? Did you find it enjoyable or find some aspect of it particularly interesting? Someplace in your reflective text, create a link back to this blog post assignment.

(image credit: “Domain of One’s Own” by Flickr user Giulia Forsyth)

Welcome to Experiments in Visual Writing

"Homework" by Flickr user Stephen Ransom

Homework” by Flickr user Stephen Ransom

Your homework to complete before we meet again on Friday:

  • Read over this website very carefully as it constitutes the syllabus for this course. Note that the Syllabus page includes 5 subpages, covering such topics as: how to contact me and course objectives; the texts you need to buy; attendance, participation, and other policies; how you will be graded; and how Domain of One’s Own will impact your experience in this class. There is also a calendar of reading and assignments (note that there will be some additional incidental readings and assignments added as we go); and pages describing the major assignments this semester (though as of this moment the final two don’t have much specifics included yet).
  • Add this site to your bookmarks. Make certain that you can find your way back here, because you’ll be spending a lot of time visiting these pages over the course of this semester.
  • Sign up for a domain of your own. (See this post for a note about choosing a domain name.) Install WordPress on your domain. Give your site a title that is not “My blog.” Configure the settings on your site, making the front page static instead of a posts page.
  • Come back to this post once you have signed up for your domain and leave a comment. Enter your name and email and the new domain address in the “website” line when on the comment. In the body of the comment, I encourage you to ask one question about the syllabus.
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