How I Use Portfolios in My English 103 Course
The best way I have found to help students understand and appreciate what it means when I say “writing is a process” is to include a portfolio component in my writing classes. Twice during semester, once at midterm and once at the end of the semester, students will be responsible for collecting and revising the work they have done in and outside class. Students will turn in both formal and informal writing, some of it revised, some of it not. They will also include an introductory letter to me that discusses what they have learned and provide a self-evaluation of their writing. These portfolios will be returned with formal letter grades attached that evaluate the work in the portfolio as well as their success in the class.
As a student, I have created writing portfolios numerous times. I have constructed them for first year composition classes as well as upper division writing courses. Although I have written portfolio cover letters reflecting on my writing at least half a dozen times, I learn something new about my writing processes each time. The following are two different reflective introduction cover letters that I completed for two different courses.
You can download a PDF version of my English 103 portfolio assignment sheet as well as a sample portfolio cover letter below.