portfolios ENGL101 Writing Rhetorically
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Overview Portfolios work in different ways in different classes. Sometimes they are used to simply collect the work that a student has done over a period of time. Sometimes they are used to mark progress via revision. And sometimes they are used as a way to assess student work—not simply his writing work but his effort and progress in class.
The portfolios you will turn in will do a little bit of all three of those things. This is a chance for you to collect/reflect on your work, to think about what you’ve done well and what you still need to learn. I’ll ask you to write about this in a reflection letter that you include with the portfolios. Another way you will showcase your progress is through revision. You will revise some of your formal writing from each half of the semester. You’ll write about this in your reflection letter as well.
Finally, I will use the portfolios as a way of assessing your effort, progress as a writer and as a student, and the quality of your written work. I will assess the portfolios and include a lengthy letter to you when I return them. That letter will detail your entire career in this class up to that point. It will give you feedback on the quality of the portfolio itself, and I will give you a letter grade that marks your progress in a way that is valued by the college.
NOTE: I can give you two pieces of advice about how to approach portfolios: 1) I take the cover letter seriously. If you don’t, I will know. It only frustrates me to have you waste my time with fluff that you don’t mean and that doesn’t help me to read your portfolio. So take the cover letter/analysis seriously. 2) I look for revision. If you have attempted good revisions, then you will be rewarded for it. If you say you’ve attempted revision but haven’t, you’ll be penalized for it. I don’t know how I can be anymore straightforward about what I will look for in the portfolios .
Midterm portfolio and cover letter info
Your midterm portfolio is a first shot at revision. It is a chance to show what you’ve learned in the short time from the beginning of the semester to midterm. This portfolio is worth 15% of your final grade. To earn a B, you must include the following:
Here is what needs to go into your portfolio:
- Include all of the reader's notes. Think about what you understand better about doing reader's notes--heck, think about what you know better about reading--and revise all "U" notes. For folks who have all "As" Revise ONE set of notes in the portfolio. Revise to include more thesis/analysis rather than just summary. Include the old version and the revised version in your portfolio.
- Your revised Big Search (Your first paper). Include your first draft of your essay with my comments on it as well. Here again, as we talked about in conference and as my comments should tell you: Have a strong thesis that guides an improved opening and concluding paragraph that tells me something specific about you. Then use that to guide adjustments to your body paragraphs. REMEMBER: There is a sample paper on the whole class discussion board on the 9/28/2018 post. Read it. Use it to help you revise your way to a stronger paper.
- Your completed Big Talk(Your second paper). Include your first draft of your essay from our conference and class workshop. Here again: have a strong thesis; have good evidence to back it up.
- Your Midterm portfolio cover letter. This is an in-class writing. So you should definitely bring your laptop to class the day the portfolio is due on the syllabus (9 November 2018). It should be about two pages long. You can write it like a letter. You can write it like an essay. You can write it like a memo. You can put each quote on the page and write the answer below it. Whatever. I don’t care how you format it; I just want it done.
*Failure to turn in either 2 or 3 will mean you've failed the portfolio.
*An A portfolio is the result of doing everything required for a B; thoughtful and substantial revision on the Big Search and the Big Talk that reflects the feedback you got from me, your classmates, and your writing fellow; your effort to be thoughtful about what you've learned in your portfolio cover letter; and, finally, your effort to write about that revision in your midterm portfolio cover letter.
To write your Midterm Portfolio Cover Letter: First look at the quotes:
“The charm of baseball is that, dull as it may be on the field, it is endlessly fascinating as a rehash.” - Jim Murray
“You can’t be afraid to make errors! You can’t be afraid to be naked before the crowd, because no one can ever master the game of baseball, or conquer it. You can only challenge it.” - Lou Brock
“People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball.” -Sandy Koufax
“Don’t forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball.” -Woodie Held
. For each of those quotes, explain to me:
- Why you think I chose it: explain to me what you think I was thinking it says about learning to be a better writer.
- In what ways you have, as a writer and student, learned some of these lessons--talk about specific parts of the writing you are including in the portfolio as examples of how you have learned some of these lessons.
- What you still have to learn and work on this semester.
You will have the entire class period to complete the cover letter and turn the portfolio cover letter in. See the syllabus for due dates.
Final portfolio and cover letter info
Your final portfolio is your last opportunity to demonstrate to me what you’ve learned this semester. It is an important document. Here is the place to worry about the details and editing and typos. It should be the most polished writing I see from you. This portfolio is worth 15% of your final grade.
Here is what needs to go into your portfolio:
- During your exam period, you will present your final project (We Are Bridgewater). In your portfolio, please include your final script. I know most of you did this on google docs so you won't have drafts, but if you have them, you can include them in the portfolio as well. Please sign up for dropbox and upload your final presentation into our ENGL101E FINAL PROJECT WE ARE BRIDGEWATER file. If you don't already have dropbox, I have sent you an invitation to join (for free). Sign up, and then you will have access to the folder. From there it is very easy to upload your powerpoint. IN-CLASS DURING THE FINAL EXAM: I will ask you to write a reflection on how successful your final project is. I will ask you the same questions I've asked you every time you've turned something in: what was good/successful about it, what would you change if you had the chance. You can write it on a computer or hand write it. But it should be at least half a page of typed text--so one full page of text if you are handwriting.
- Your readers notes for Offensive Play. We will work on figuring out the thesis and the evidence that proves that thesis in class, and you will be responsible for turning your most successful set of readers notes that you are capable of.
- A cover letter. On Wednesday, I'll give you time in class to write your final portfolio cover letter. So bring your computer.
To Write your Final Portfolio Cover Letter: I have four questions for you to consider as you write your final cover letter:
- How successful, academically, was your first semester of college, why or why not?
- What did you learn about how to be a successful student from working with your other professors and from being a part of this class this semester?
- What will you try to do (maybe differently, maybe more of, maybe less of) in the coming semester to continue on or get on a successful academic path?
- What have you learned about reading and writing in this class that you will take with you into other classes during your college career? Please refer to specific parts of the work you are turning in in this portfolio to help prove your point.
*If any of these materials are not included, you can only earn a C for your final portfolio.
*Failure to turn in number 1 will mean you've failed the portfolio.
*An A portfolio is the result of doing everything required for a B; thoughtful and substantial on your Final Project; your effort to be thoughtful and about what you've learned in your portfolio cover letter.
Final Portfolios are due to me at the end of our exam period. You’ll have the entire last class period before the final exam, just like at midterm, to complete the cover letter. I’ll give you a manila envelope in class. I will email you a final grade letter.
A SECOND CHANCE AT IMPROVING YOUR ALUMNI/BIG TALK PAPER
Having read everyone's second paper in their portfolios, I see that they, across the board, have a lot of potential. However, the fact that we did not have time to meet one-on-one for you to get feedback on a complete draft really shows. Revision is a very important skill to learn. It's where real writing gets done. So I want to give folks the opportunity to improve their grade upwards by revising their second paper. Here are the guidelines:
- You must substantially revise the paper according to the feedback I gave you in your portfolio grade letter.
- You must include both the draft you gave me and the revision in order for me to read it
- You must write a 1/2 page, single-spaced, typed reflection that tells me what you think your thesis is, why you think you've proved it, what is successful about the paper, and what is not.
- You MUST get everything to me by 19 DECEMBER 2018. That's the last day that I am on campus.