ENWR 105, 106, 110, 210, and 380 are portfolio-based courses;
that is, once or twice a semester, students compile what they consider
to be their best, most polished work, and instructor evaluation
of that work determines the bulk of the student's course grade
(usually between 50-70 percent ). Portfolios are always collected
at the end of the semester; some instructors also collect and evaluate
a mid-term portfolio.
The mid-term portfolio should contain revised versions of at least
one longer writing sample and two or more shorter assignments and
exercises. The final portfolio might include all drafts and revisions
of individual papers, shorter assignments, and exercises; some
or all of this material should be revised to the highest gloss
the student can muster. Some instructors prefer final portfolios
to contain only a sampling of the students' strongest work. Final
portfolios also generally include "process letters," in
which students explain how and why they revised particular assignments.
Why use a portfolio?
Students in ENWR learn cumulatively; during the course of the semester,
they should develop increasingly mature strategies for writing
arguments. A portfolio allows students to revise their work as
they develop these strategies; it enables them to apply later lessons
to earlier assignments. As a result, both students and instructors
can gauge overall progress.
Some instructors do not put grades on pre-portfolio versions of
papers. This allows students to concentrate on refining their skills
and on their cumulative progress, rather than focusing on the absolute
success or failure of individual assignments.
Click here for two different portfolio models: one including
most of the semester's assignments; the other, a
sampling of student work.