Portfolio Contents

Writing Proficiency Program/ Fall 2013

What goes in a W portfolio?   Every essay you’ve written for the class, along with every draft that you submitted to your peers or professor, goes into your portfolio. Drafts you wrote for your own benefit usually aren’t turned in; drafts taken to the Writing Center are usually turned in but don’t have to be, depending on what your instructor prefers. Note the date you submitted each draft (portfolio readers often like to follow the development of your writing over time). Do not include essays written as a team or group.

If you’ve revised an essay, clip together all the versions you’ve turned in, with the latest draft on top.

You may revise any essay you like, and your instructor doesn’t need to see your final revisions. Please write  "REVISED" on any revisions.

Though the W program doesn’t require clean copies of your essays, a clean copy might be easier for your reviewers to read. Please mark the new copy as a "clean copy", so your reader won’t think it’s a revision and look in vain for changes. Then place the clean copy on top, with all the other versions clipped underneath. Always include the copy that your instructor returned to you, with comments, under the clean copy.

The right side of your portfolio should include three essays that reflect your best writing.

  • One must be an in-class essay. (You may not revise your in-class essays.)
  • Two must be thesis-driven, analytical essays. Often, your in-class essay will be one of these.
  • Your third essay may also be thesis driven, but it may be more creative (for example, a narrative or a reflection written in the voice of a character).
  • Ideally, at least one of your out-of-class essays should include previous drafts to show your process of revision.
  • You may place them in any order you like. Don’t worry about the order in which you arrange them, since readers may read them in any order.
  • The left side of your portfolio includes all your other essays. Simply put:

Left side

Right side: Three essays in any order

All your other essays, in any order you like (or in the order recommended by your instructor. Some instructor suggest that you arrange your work from strongest to weakest, with the strongest on top and what you consider to be your weakest work on the bottom.

- At least one in-class essay

- At least two thesis-driven, analytical essays (of which one will probably be an in-class essay)

- Optional: one creative essay (not thesis driven)

Note: At least one out-of-class essay must include a revision

  • What will your readers read?
    • They’ll read every essay on the right side (your top three essays). Many will start with the in-class essay; some read the essays in chronological order; others read them in the order in which you’ve placed them.
    • If they’d like to learn more about your writing, your readers may read anything else in the folder.
  • In putting your portfolio together, your goal is to help your readers evaluate your writing accurately. Feel free to ask your instructor for guidance. However, don’t feel stressed about the choices you make. If your writing skills need more development or if writing is a struggle for you, taking another W course will help you in the rest of your college career and beyond.