Tracing Stitches and Spinning Reflection

The thesis of my essay is: having similar flow while describing similar experiences with their crushes, the authors are able to help their readers relate to the comics through their own imagination. Because both authors used similar techniques describing their similar experiences, their comic help the readers relate to the content in a similar way. The readers will either relate to the story through their own experience, or their imagination.

Before writing my essay, I traced the pages of Stitches and Spinning, and annotated them with my own notes. This process helped me understand the panels better since I was essentially the author drawing the comics. I noticed more details about the panels, such as the length of the descriptions and that the panels do not follow an order for the readers to read, which I included in my annotations. Looking at the whole page, I felt like I understood the comic better, and also understood some of the techniques that the authors used to help the readers relate to their comic. This helped the writing process of my essay.

To address the assignment of writing an inductive essay, I did not change my writing process drastically. I was never truly conformed to writing one specific structure of essay, especially during my high school years. My high school teachers never taught me that the five-paragraph essay is the only way to write essays, instead they assigned me similar essays to this inductive essay, and sometimes even allowed me to create my own structure. Therefore, I did not feel clueless when I was assigned an inductive essay. I just learned the structure of the inductive essay and went on with it.

Overall, I think this assignment helped me understand the “secret language of comics” better. I noticed more details in the comics that a normal reader would sometimes glance over, and realized that some of those details are not random but techniques that the author used to help the readers understand and relate to the content. One insight about the two books that I did not notice before it how similar they are. The main characters in the books, who are the authors in reality, describe multiple stories that are very similar to each other in almost the same way. The two pages that I have selected for my essay is only one example, but after trying to find 2 pages from each book, I noticed a significant amount of similarities between the books.

Assignment prompt

Analysis essay

Tracing Stitches and Spinning: Reflection

Once you have completed your Tracing project and published the pages to your site, you need to publish a reflection post as well. The post serves to turn the project in when it syndicates to the class site, and is also an opportunity for you to explain your process in the work you just completed.

Your reflection post should link to the main page for your project and also to the assignment prompt. Tell us in the post what the thesis of your essay is and give a one or two sentence preview of your argument.

You should also address the following questions:

  • Before writing your essay, you went through a pretty involved process of tracing and annotating two pages from the books. Briefly explain what that process was like for you — probably this was very different from most other writing you’ve done, so try to explain what was useful about the process for you. What productive thoughts or analysis occurred through the act of tracing and annotating?
  • For this assignment, I asked you to be very conscious of writing an inductive essay with your thesis at the end, which is probably a pretty foreign way to structure an essay for you. How did your writing process change to address this assignment?
  • This assignment is a close reading exercise focused on identifying aspects of the “secret language of comics,” the series of choices the authors make in crafting comics that probably pass by many readers with little or no conscious notice. Do you feel that this assignment helped you to get in on this secret language? Do you understand Stitches and Spinning better after having written this project? What’s the single biggest insight you gained about the two books during the process of tracing, annotating, and analyzing these pages (maybe something you “knew” on some level before you started but that you really get now, or maybe something you hadn’t really noticed until you worked on the project)?