Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Avocados" - Section 012, Group 4

Potato Famine

This blog should be visited because it has many interesting facts about the Potato Famine. The ideas expressed in our posts are very informative, and include many credible facts. The blog background is very dull and depressing, which fits the depressing mood of the famine itself.The contents of the blog include a story of moving to America, and a letter from a little Irish girl. These factors help the viewer visualize what it was like to live during the time of the Potato Famine. Everything in our blog is well organized and easy to find. The tabs on the top of the page categorize the topics in the posts. All these factors help our blog be a good, original example for others to see.

Group Members:
Emily, Connor, Jessica, Mike, Josh

Instructor Feedback - Student Feedback
I like the attention you've given to making the Potato Famine blog easy to follow.  The link exchange nicely sums up how you've adjusted the design and layout to fit the somber aspects of the famine, and your About page centers us right away.  It tells us about what happened during the potato famine, and then it talks about how your blog will help readers understand this - this builds reader interest while letting us know how to shift our attention.

The Research Posts page is brief and well-organized - I found the research posts to be very thorough, and I liked the combination of summary information about what each source offered and descriptions about why the source is helpful in your research.  The Potato Facts seemed to be the exception here, and it would have been good to describe more about how the interesting facts related to the blog project as a whole.

Separating the contents for the First Drafts and the Revised Documents makes it very easy for me to see the progress being made in your work.  The Facts on the Potato Famine very succinctly sums up the crisis of the famine - the choice of census statistics definitely emphasized the scope of the famine.  What Really Happened does a good job telling us about why cloning made the potatoes vulnerable - something to consider would be adding information about steps that could have been taken to prevent the spread of the blight.  The Old Book Document likewise provides very good information.  You may want to consider the perspectives of a book from the time period.  Who would have written the book, and what goals would this person have had in writing it?  Was the writer simply trying to spread awareness of the famine?  Or was he or she also advocating a specific course of action?  (The line at the end about Catholics having to give up their faith in order to eat is particularly interesting - its a disturbing piece of history, and you've set it up well for expanding the scope of the blog, if you wanted.)

In the two letters from Anna, I like the way that the letters both center us as to time and place while also expressing Anna's feelings of Ireland being so empty.  In the Letter from a Farmer's Daughter, the details of neighbors being kicked out helps us understand the local effects of the famine, and this is emphasized when Anna has a potato turn to mush in her hand.  However, consider Anna's age in her descriptions of Ireland as a whole.  The Move to America also gives some intense details - particularly when the dead are thrown overboard.  In this section, consider details which could be included to make these events more "visible" to the reader.  What does Anna see?  What stands out to her?

Overall, nice work.

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