TASK: Your portfolio is the culmination of all you have learned in this class so far. Your job is to show off what you have learned about writing in this course. How? By compiling your two best pieces of writing from the course, a new reflective essay, and other artifacts from the class that represent important steps in your learning this term.
Your two best pieces of writing should be major writing assignments that have been significantly revised, such that they are the absolute best writing you have produced for a class. (Most students choose to do further revision and editing to the pieces they have revised for the two revision projects.) These assignments should feel complete and finished, and you might think of the portfolio as a “publication” opportunity.
Likewise, your reflective essay should be carefully composed, revised, and edited — it, too, should feel complete and finished. (See below for more specifics about the reflective essay.)
The trickiest part of this assignment might be gathering “artifacts” of your learning. What counts as an artifact? Well — just about anything! Consider including any of the following:
- Early drafts of your major writing assignments, to illustrate your growth
- Writer’s Journal entries that were particularly useful to your writing process
- Copies of discussion posts that helped you to understand important concepts
- Copies of peer or instructor feedback that you found especially helpful
- Copies of peer review letters you wrote
Many students find it useful to think of their portfolio as sending a particular message about what they learned in this course. In the “Writing Processes” mini-lecture for unit 7, you will consider a number of approaches to talk with the selection of artifacts, arrangement of the portfolio, and approach to the reflective essay.
LENGTH, DESIGN, & FORMATTING: Your portfolio should be created as a single document, in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Your portfolio should contain:
- Your two best major writing assignments, further revised, edited, and improved
- A reflective essay that discusses your learning
- Class artifacts that illustrate important steps in your learning this term
- A table of contents
Use MLA guidelines for document design. This includes using 1-inch margins, double-spaced type, and page numbers in the upper right corner. Each writing assignment and the reflective essay should have its own Works Cited page, if necessary.
To allow your instructor the ability to post marginal commentary, you must submit this assignment as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. You can save files in these formats with most word processors, including Web-based programs like Google Docs, Word Online, and Open Office. If you are using a web-based file storage system like Google Drive or Dropbox, be sure to learn exactly how to transfer files from your storage system to Canvas.
REFLECTIVE ESSAY: Your reflective essay should be a newly written personal essay in which you discuss your growth as a writer this term. Many approaches are possible:
- Highlight the most important moments for you in the class
- Describe why you have chosen each assignment and artifact for inclusion in the portfolio
- Tell the “behind-the-scenes” story of one of your major writing assignments, including reference to early drafts and discussion of your decisions as a writer
- Discuss what growth and improvement you have seen in your own writing, as well as opportunities for further growth in the future
- Look back at your history as a writer, discussing significant moments in your “writer’s autobiography”
Whatever approach you select, your reflective essay should be at least 800 words, and should develop its focus with appropriate rhetorical strategies. As always, quality is more important than length. Your reflective essay should feel complete and finished. Peer review in unit 7 will help you to achieve this goal.
INSTRUCTOR RESPONSE & GRADING: You can expect your instructor to provide substantive response and feedback to your portfolio within 6 days of the deadline — in other words, in the final few days of class. Please review all instructor feedback, including marginal commentary, which you can access by clicking “View Feedback” once your assignment has been graded.
Your portfolio will be graded using a common rubric used by all EN 105 instructors to grade all EN105 writing portfolios. Your scores will be used to assist the English department and Park University with assessment of course offerings, teaching strategies, and student learning.