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Writing Portfolio Requirements This is a semester-long project that should create a picture of your semester.

This means that, as you revise and complete work, you should go ahead and begin assembling your portfolio so that it doesn’t overwhelm you at the end of the semester.

Your portfolio consists of 2 key features: the first is the “evidence” of your work in the form of drafts, daybook entries, etc. that you’ve completed this semester, and the second is the “explanation” of that work through reflective writing.
Overview Your “evidence” exists in the selecting and gathering of work that you feel best exhibits your engagement in the course and your growth. Your “explanation” will take the form of a reflective letter that addresses: • • • • the work you have selected and how it has been arranged explains what that work demonstrates about your growth explains how your work demonstrates your engagement in the course highlights what have been the most significant aspects of the course and your learning

Portfolios will be due at the end of the semester. Specific due dates (as always) will be available on Moodle and covered in class.

Step 1: Selecting and Gathering “Evidence” of Your Work
You should begin by taking time to look back through the work you have done this semester (any work relating to this course: Daybook entries, selections from drafts, peer reviews, etc.) and choose the examples of your work that best display your growth in thinking, writing and research and your engagement in the course. It is not just important that you include the minimum work; it is what you select and why you included it. The following should be included from your work this semester: Daybook Entries 8-10 entries that are carefully selected and display specific aspects of your thinking, research and writing: Requirement 1. Significant Examples of Critical Thinking/Reading (entries where you questioned something, explored multiple sides of an issue, made connections between various topics, etc.) 2. Your favorite Daybook Entry (or one that stood out to you for a particular reason) 3. Significant examples of you as a researcher (research notes, drafting your line of inquiry, thought entries, etc. ) 4. Significant examples of the early stages of your writing process (Early brainstorming/drafting) Process Work Minimum 3

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Include all in-class workshop materials and drafts submitted to me. (Include any feedback you received from me or from peers.) Note: I don’t want clean copies; I want to see the messy copies with feedback.

Final Drafts

Final Drafts of your 3 major assignments (Research Proposal, Annotated Bibliography; Multi-genre project): Highlight places where you conducted major revisions since the previous draft. (This would be the one submitted to me with feedback and/or discussed with me in conference.)

Step 2: Reflection and Explanation of Displayed Work
The Final Reflective Letter or Reflective Writings: You may write one reflective letter that is addressed to me and includes everything, or you may split up your reflections and include them in the appropriate sections. For example, include an explanation of your revisions in the “final drafts” section; include an explanation of your Daybook entry selections in that section; etc. First, let’s look at what a strong reflective letter entails, what its purpose is, and how you can use it to discuss your work: The portfolio enables you to gain some critical distance from your own work. When drafting the reflective letter, you should think of the rest of the portfolio as “evidence” of the work you’ve done, how you’ve revised and what you’ve learned. You will begin by looking at everything you have collected and, as you write your reflective letter, consider where you are as an academic thinker, writer and researcher. Through the act of thoughtful communication, we can understand more about ourselves, what we are thinking, and how where we are now may be different from where we were in the past. The reflective letter is your initiation of a dialogue with me about the contents of your portfolio, and it is your chance to frame my understanding of your work. Writing the reflective letter enables you to: 1. Gain more understanding of where you are now as a writer and researcher, what has challenged you in the class and what you have accomplished, learned or demonstrated. 2. Describe that understanding and those accomplishments to me. 3. Bring my attention to certain features of your portfolio. If you have made substantial revisions on any draft since I last saw it, for instance, you should let me know in the reflection and explain the reasoning behind specific revisions. These purposes might lead you in a number of different directions when writing the reflection that will accompany your portfolio. Here are some suggestions regarding how you can fully discuss your work and keep your writing focused: • • Discussing how you selected your “evidence” Discusses specific revisions you made in the final drafts of your work and your rhetorical reasons/strategies for those revisions. Discussing the different types/genres of writing you have done in the class (Daybook entries, annotating, your multi-genre pieces, etc.). You might contrast them, thinking through how differently you have approached different writing situations. You might also take a broader view, exploring how these different writings have worked together as you have pursued your work as a writer. Discussing what you think is your most important work in the class—explaining why and how it connects to your goals as a writer. Discussing continuity: strengths and weaknesses you note in most of your writing. Discussing your learning in understanding terms and concepts discussed in the class and which examples show you learning, growing in your understanding, or applying them in your writing. Discussing your progress as a writer and researcher in the class—challenges you faced and risks you took, and what you learned as you dealt with challenges and risks, what revisions you made for specific reasons, etc. Discussing the trajectory of your thinking in the class—how has it changed with and through your writing over the course of the semester? How have you growth as a critical thinker and reader? Which examples demonstrate this and how?

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Note: These are not suggestions for structure or order; they are suggestions for developing content. You must make your own decisions about how to organize your content effectively.

Additional Notes (Do’s and Don’ts):
• Do collect your work before writing your reflective letter. Again, the portfolio should generate your insight— you start with an observation of what is in your portfolio and then begin to write the letter--not the other way around. Take the time to get to know what is in your portfolio AND THEN you can begin to make observations about your progression through the class. Do tie specific assertions back to specific examples from the portfolio and even passages from your work. If it is included in the portfolio, then its reason for inclusion and its significance should be explained in the reflective letter. Do remember that the primary focus of the reflective letter is your writing, your work and your decisions—not me, your group members, or the class. (Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mention me or the class if these subjects come up in the discussion of your work. This is a reflection of your process, decisions and growth.) Don’t feel compelled to create a dramatic narrative of progress. Don’t feel compelled to be a salesperson. Recognition of weaknesses and shortcomings are a hallmark of rigorous reflection and learning.

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Step 3: Format Options & Requirements
Option 1: Hardcopy (3-Ring Binder) If you choose to create a hard copy of a portfolio, you must use a 3-ring binder to collect and present your work. This is non-negotiable. Loose-leaf work stuffed into a folder will not be accepted. For this option:   A cover page with your name, course info, date, and a title for your portfolio should be included in the front of your portfolio. Work must be submitted as a hard copy within the portfolio. You may submit your complete Daybook with your selections clearly labeled, or you can make photocopies of selected Daybook entries. DO NOT RIP PAGES FROM YOUR DAYBOOK!!! Work must be organized into clear, neat sections. Your portfolio should look professional.

Option 2: The E-Portfolio The first option you have is to create an online portfolio of your work using, or a comparable website design site if you’ve used them for other classes. For this option:    Your first page (homepage) should be an intro page that lists your name, course info, date, and a title for your portfolio. Work must be organized under separate pages and subpages. For assignments like Daybook entries, you can take photos and upload them or you can scan and embed them as PDF files using Completed Daybooks must be submitted separately.

If you choose this option, you will have digital design options; however, be prepared to scan your work and create PDF files to upload to your portfolio. Free services for this on campus are available in the library. You can scan work and have PDF versions emailed right to you.

Note: Please embed your documents, rather than including a download link. This means that the content of the document should be visible when someone views your webpage. The viewer should not have to download your document to view it. Embedding documents: Documents should be embedded using Select a file to upload and upload it. After it is uploaded, be sure to click "Private" in the box on the right of the document. If you click it, you control who sees the document. If you do not check it, anyone on Scribd can read it. Always look to see if the box reads, “This is a private document” in red next to your document. Next, click on the document title. After another window opens, look to left side of the screen. Click on the button that says "Embed." There will be an html code that you can copy into the html block on your Weebly site. When you publish your site, the entire document will be embedded in your site, and your reader will be able to scroll through it. For step- by-step instructions from on how to embed documents:

What Will I Be Looking For?
I will first read your reflective letter. As I read, I might page through the portfolio to investigate specific assertions you make about specific texts or examples of your work. I will be looking for a writer who has thoroughly reviewed the contents of the portfolio and has some insightful things to say about how she is working as a writer and researcher based on that review. The letter should be: • • • Detailed Genuinely “reflective” Helpful to me as I review the contents of the portfolio

I will then do a thorough review of your “evidence.” I will be looking to "flesh out" your performance in the class by considering the following: • • • • Are the selected examples engaged? Did the writer make genuine use of the work to develop thinking, research and writing? What can I determine about the writer’s growth? What can I determine about the rigor with which this writer has approached drafting and revising work? What can I determine about what this writer has learned regarding their own writing and research skills?

Generally, the point is to understand how you have learned to work as a writer and researcher, rather than to simply evaluate "polished" products. The strongest portfolios are those that show sustained effort in all aspects of the class, awareness of themselves as writers and researchers (strengths, weaknesses, growth, etc.), and effort and growth in final products. Portfolios are weaker if they show less effort or thoughtfulness in selection and organization of “evidence”, fail to meet certain requirements, and/or have a cursory or unconvincing reflective letter.

You will be assessed based on the complete picture of your semester and your growth as it is displayed in the portfolio. It will be worth 750 points of your grade (out of 1000) and will be assessed holistically, meaning you will receive a single point value for the complete picture rather than being assessed on individual components. Please review the syllabus grading explanation to see how specific grades are determined for the course.