Building Your Portfolio

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The Portfolio Project is designed to demonstrate your understanding of each learning outcome as it relates to your own learning. In order to do that, you will need to develop an argument about these outcomes using your previous writing in this class as evidence of your points.

Your portfolio should include:

  • At least two major assignments (Rhetorical Analysis, I-Search,  Research Project) and two minor assignments (responses, “About Me” page, annotated bibliography) in your portfolio. Use these assignments as the basis for making claims in your reflective argument about what you’ve accomplished.
  • Reflective Argument which provides:

Specific claims about how well you’ve accomplished the first three learning outcomes (Read, Write, Research)  and what you achieved; cite evidence from your earlier work by summarizing, quoting, and/or paraphrasing; and analyze the evidence you’ve cited to explain what it demonstrates about your accomplishments.

Example: To show how you have grown as a writer, you may wish to discuss how revisions were made from rough to final draft, or from assignment to assignment, based on peer and/or instructor feedback.

Explanation of how the learning outcomes improved your skills and influenced your writing decisions. The emphasis in learning outcome four is on explaining as specifically as you can 1) what skills you’ve gained or improved and 2) predicting where and how you can apply these skills in future writing situations.


As you select and discuss portions of your work to build your reflective argument, you will hyperlink your quotes, paraphrases, or references to the original portions of your past papers.

Every time you refer to a section of your text (even when you quote a section directly), you should add a link in your text. Please view and print these instructions for creating bookmarks and hyperlinks for reference.

Your links should be named according to the learning outcome number and letters for each evidence you discuss (e.g. Outcome1a, 1b, 2a, 2b etc. or LO1a, LO1b, LO2a, etc). The purpose here is to facilitate the reading and grading of your work without having to scroll through the entire portfolio every time.

Your finished document should be a Portfolio Argument paper full of “internet-like” links followed by your selected past work with tons of (different colored) highlights.

Building the Argument

This week, you should begin coding and analyzing the pieces of your past work you will use as evidence of your arguments in the paper. The portfolio must contain a minimum of 2 major writing assignments and 2 minor writing tasks.

Your first step is to gather the selected pieces into a single file.  Title this file “11588_accessID_1020F2014”.  Email this file to me by 4pm Tuesday, Dec. 4. Replace “accessID” with your actual accessID (two letters followed by four numbers; mine would be ba9104).

You will proceed to make selections in the best way possible.  Start with the following steps:

1.Review the instructions Reflective Argument and Portfolio Project

2. Note key terms that describe what evidence you will need to provide to show your level of achievement of each of the four learning outcomes;

3.  Use different colors for each outcome to highlight the portions of each text you’ll use to show achievement of the outcomes. Take the time to  instructions for creating bookmarks and hyperlinks each of them (marking them as Outcome1a, Outcome1b, and so on).

4.  For each highlighted area, make notes on how it provides evidence of your application, success or hard work towards a learning outcome.  Use the comments feature found under the “Review” Tab of MS-Word;

5.      Come up with a topic sentence that offers your claim about this learning outcome (this ideally will be the transition sentence between your intro and your first paragraph).  Place it in a comment or on a new page.

    6.     Repeat those steps for the next learning outcome. The idea is to develop an analysis and commentary for each piece of evidence (you can add more later as you build your essay) and end up with four topic sentences (one for each transition between outcomes)

7.     Once you have all those sentences, look over your notes and topic sentences and come up with a thesis that reflects an overall argument about them. It’s likely that we won’t have time to do this today, but you should do it home.  It’s not a good idea to start with a thesis because your thesis should accurately reflect your arguments about each outcome.

Stick to these notes or outline to keep yourself organized and your essay cohesive. The topic sentences and thesis should keep in check the fact that you are making an argument (discussing and analyzing), and not just listing your skills. Remember, you should address the “why and how” (why you chose that strategy you’re quoting or paraphrasing, and how it works or failed to fully work in your paper) for each piece of evidence, so starting with too many can be overwhelming. Once you have the key pieces and a central argument, it will be easier to make more selections as you find necessary.

Email your file titled “11588_accessID_1020F2014” by 4 pm Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Post your portfolio file to SafeAssign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm Sunday, December 7.

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