Writing Emphasis

English 480: Senior Portfolio Writing Emphasis  
1 credit hour offered FA, WI, SP

The writing emphasis portfolio gives you a chance not only to reflect on your growth and goals as a writer, but also to assemble work that might lead to publication or job opportunities. Here’s a brief summary of what the portfolio should include.

Portfolio Contents

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Self-evaluation essay (10-12 pp., incorporating research—perhaps 2-3 sources) 
    The self-evaluation will comment on all of the five pieces of your writing portfolio. You should reflect on how these writing projects, taken together, represent your work as a Writing Emphasis major, how they show the development of your writing with specific reference to the decisions you make as a writer, who or what influences your style and choice of genres, and the different concerns you find central to the craft of writing. Think of it as a chance to write an introduction to an anthology of work by—you.
  3. Five Components:
    A)  A baseline essay from a 200-level class, or otherwise early in your college career. This will be used in order to compare/contrast the four other pieces in the portfolio. Choose something that helps you reflect on your development as a writer in the self-evaluation and the individual contexts for each piece. This base-line essay will not be evaluated but must be included and clearly marked as such.
    B)  The four other pieces should meet the following requirements:

     1.One essay must be substantially researched and demonstrate proficiency with MLA’s research conventions.

     2.You must cover two different genres across the four pieces.

     3.The four pieces must be drawn from three or more courses.

     4.At least one of the pieces must be from a 3-400-level course.

     5.There must be no instructor comments on the pieces, and each piece must be correct in grammar, mechanics, citations, and so on.

  4. Introductory “Context Essay” for each piece
    Each individual piece must be preceded by a discussion of the assignment and/or motivation that led to the writing; comments about the purpose of the piece, and specific analysis of the rhetorical or poetic strategies in evidence—a succinct critique of what you wrote, how, and why. You should also discuss comments given by the instructor or editor and ways you addressed these comments in revision for the Senior Portfolio.


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