1. Collect three samples of writing from what you have produced for this course. You will select these to include in a portfolio that you will submit on the last day of class. For this assignment, most students in past iterations of this class have chosen to select the final draft of each of the three essays that they wrote over the course of the semester.
However, I have worked with a few students who chose to select multiple drafts of a single essay. These students chose to do this in order to draw attention to the substantial revision that was made between drafts. (See * below for an explanation of what I mean by “substantial revision”.) You are welcome to think strategically about what writing samples you want to include in your portfolio. Whatever writing samples you choose to select, you will want your selections to demonstrate your ability to meet course outcomes. The tool you’ll use to describe this ability will be the rubric I use to grade your essays (see below).
2. Write a reflective introduction essay that you will place at the beginning of your portfolio. This reflective essay should be divided into three sections that correspond to the three parts of our rubric. The first section of the rubric has to do with demonstrating conventions of academic discourse. The second part of the rubric has to do with providing a critical interpretation of texts or to make an argument supported by evidence. The thirds part of the rubric has to do with demonstrating the ability to attend to the mechanics of academic writing.
You want to look at what you have already written, look at the rubric, and then write up a short essay that explains how your writing demonstrates that you are able to
A. observe conventions of academic discourse;
B. provide a critical interpretation of texts or to make an argument supported by evidence;
C. observe conventions governing the mechanics of academic writing.
For most students, the simplest way to do this is to organize your reflective essay into three parts which correspond to these three parts of the rubric. In section A, you characterize your portfolio’s demonstration of academic discourse conventions, and you provide quotes from your writing samples in order to serve as evidence in support of what you are claiming. In section B, you do the same thing, this time characterizing your portfolio’s demonstration of the ability to provide a critical interpretation of texts or to make an argument supported by evidence. In section C, you repeat the pattern but this time characterize the portfolio’s manifestation of the ability to observe conventions governing the mechanics of academic writing.
3. How should you format this assignment? It should basically look like all of your other MLA style essays (Times New Roman, size 12, double space, 1 inch margins, etc.). I would like the first page to be your introductory reflective essay. This essay should be at least one page. The longest introductory essays sometimes reach three pages, but it’s much more common for them to be somewhere between one and two complete pages. One and a half pages might be the average.
After your introductory reflective essay, please include a table of contents. This should be a single page labelled “Table of Contents”. This page should then provide the titles of your essays and the page number that they begin on in your portfolio. When you copy your three samples and introductory essay and table of contents and paste them together in one big new document, this big new document will have page numbers, such that the first page of your first essay may now be on page 4 of your portfolio. So you’ll want your table of contents to look something like this: