English 303Z
Fall, 1997
Instructor: Robert Yagelski

Guidelines for the Course Portfolio



Your portfolio for this course represents the culmination of your work in this course. It is not simply a collection of work you have done for the course, nor is it a showcase for your best work; rather, it is a synthesis of what you've done and what you've learned about writing and reading and technology in this course. Think of it as your effort to demonstrate what you've learned and done in the course.

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For the most part, what you choose to include in this portfolio will be up to you. In general, you should select materials that will reflect what you've done in the course and the progress you believe you've made. However, you will need to include specific kinds of documents, according to the guidelines below, that will serve as evidence that you have developed specific competencies and/or completed specific tasks. In particular, you will need to have five sections in your portfolio.

Here, in short, is what you will need to include in your portfolio:

1. Evidence of development or progress or insight into your own writing. Some possible documents:

  • specific examples of what you consider to be improvements in your writing

  • a discussion of your own writing in the form of a self-analysis

  • evaluations of your writing written by your classmates.

2. Evidence that you have learned to respond carefully and thoughtfully to your classmates' writing. Some possible documents:

  • copies of some of the critiques you have written of your classmates' writing

  • a discussion of how you responded to your classmates' drafts

  • examples of revisions made by your classmates as a result of your comments.

3. Evidence that you have developed some understanding of and competency with the uses of technology in your writing and reading. Some possible documents:

  • an explanation of how you have used various technologies in your writing for this class

  • examples of documents you created with technologies other than word processing (such as a web page or a Powerpoint presentation)

  • examples of how you used email for your work in this course

  • a specific example of how the use of one or more technologies affected your writing

  • examples of information you gathered using the World Wide Web or other technologies in your Inquiry Project.

4. Evidence that you have confronted and applied new and/or unfamiliar theoretical ideas or concepts in your writing. Some possible documents:

  • a discussion of how theoretical ideas influenced your writing

  • an example of a piece of writing in which you applied specific theoretical ideas

  • messages you posted to the newsgroup that include your use of specific theoretical concepts.

5. Evidence that you have enhanced your knowledge of the conventions of written English and that you have addressed specific errors or problems with syntax and/or style in your own writing. Some possible documents:

  • revised versions of your essays that are free of errors that appeared in the original versions

  • a description of the errors you have tended to make in your writing and how you've addressed them.

In addition, you will need to include the following documents:

To summarize, then, you will need eight sets of documents in your portfolio:

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Obviously, your portfolio can potentially contain a lot of different documents. You will need to organize these documents carefully so that the purpose of each is clear and so that it is easy for me to understand what is in the portfolio and what you intend to demonstrate in each section.

It would be helpful to include a brief introduction to each section in which you explain precisely what is in that section and what you intend to demonstrate in that section. These introductions need not be lengthy, but they should help me understand how you have set up your portfolio.

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You should submit your portfolio on a computer disk that contains only documents you wish to include in your portfolio. You may instead create a web page for your portfolio.

All documents should be Microsoft Word documents (except, of course, those that were created for other purposes, such as a Powerpoint document).

Please make your introduction and table of contents a separate Microsoft Word file and title it "Contents."

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Your portfolio will be graded on the basis of completeness, the quality of the documents you provide for each section, and the appropriateness of the evidence you offer in each section. In addition, the following criteria will affect your portfolio grade:

For information about how the portfolio grade figures into your overall grade for the course, see the discussion of grading.

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In-Class Work on Portfolios Week of December 1
Optional Conferences Week of December 8
Final versions due Tuesday, December 16

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