If you get anything from this term, I hope it’s the idea that composing isn’t just for college – it’s a tool you use in community, personal, and professional situations as well. And once you learn how to analyze a rhetorical situation, you can start to figure out what someone wants you to write — and how they want you to write it — no matter what the situation. Now it’s time to reflect back on what you’ve done this term.

There are two parts to the Final Portfolio (which is worth 50% of your final Course Grade):

Final Revisions of Unit 1 Education Narrative, and your Unit 3 long post about information sources. Also include your TEDTalk presentation.(worth 20 points)

A Final Reflection on the work you did and the progress (however you want to define it) you made over the term (w0rth 30 points)

NOTE: You can upload anything else you want to into your Final Portfolio. So if there’s a blog post or a comment in a Google Drive shared doc, feel free to add it. Everything helps!

Final Revisions (20 points)

So… what we want you to do is, first, revise Unit 1 (Education Narrative) and Unit 3 (Single Source post). [You can revise your TEDTalk if you want to, but that’s not required.] We’ve talked about revision — Anne Lamott tells us that the first draft of an article is just the beginning; we want to work at making it what Anne Lamott calls “dental,” something that’s ready to show the world (not just your teachers.) 

For each revised unit assignment,  you MUST add a paragraph at the beginning explaining what you did to revise it and why (or didn’t, and why not).  

Final Reflection (30 points)

This is the longer (minimum of 1000 words), and ultimately more important, part of the Final Portfolio… because this is the time to think back on where you started, what you’ve done, what you’ve learned (or not), and what you think you might be able to take from this class going forward to other classes and into your work and community lives.

As a way to begin your reflection, look back through your compendium of work (posts, drafts, Padlets, annotations). As you browse through your work, ask yourself about and take notes on the following questions: 

  • What were your early assumptions/beliefs about yourself and writing? Have they since changed? What have you learned about yourself as a writer or about your own writing process? Explain.
  • How would you compare/contrast work done early on in the semester to now? What worries do you still have about your writing?
  • What was your favorite/least favorite assignment and why?
  • What are some notable lessons that have stuck with you after completing certain assignments? 
  • We started the term by looking at your educational experiences. How well did your high school education prepare you for college? How do you think the education system could better help you and other students like you?
  • We talked about rhetorical analysis (figuring out the author of the message, the context it’s created in, the audience it’s intended for, how the message is put together using words and/or images). What about this might be useful to you in the future (on the job, in other classes, in interpersonal interactions, in getting information for your own use )?
  • What was particularly challenging for you in our course this semester and how did you overcome it (or attempt to)?

Don’t simply answer the above questions in your final reflection; they are just meant to help you brainstorm ideas. You’re writing a personal essay kind of like the Education Narrative — not just a list of thoughts. Think about all of the things we’ve read about writing this semester—some of them certainly hooked your interest while others… probably did not.  The ones that did were well-written, they had a point, the writer had a voice that you felt was worth listening to.  Try to do that in your own writing here.  Remember that this isn’t just you writing off-the-top of your head; this is a finished piece of writing. Treat yourself as a respected author who has lived through a difficult time: you are someone with something to say. 

Here’s what I’ll be grading the Final Reflection on:

  • There’s a “so what?” to it. Make it make a point, an overall idea. Don’t just list off a bunch of random opinions about your writing. And don’t try to flatter me (won’t work!); I care about what you think about your progress, not what you think about me (okay, I do, but not like that, and definitely not here!).
  • Attention to organization.  This does not have to be a traditional organization, but you should have paragraphs (not just a 1000 word paragraph, please) and some reason for why they’re in the order they’re in! Want to use subheads, be my guest.
  • Evidence and analysis. If you tell me you learned something about yourself as a writer, show me proof!  By proof, I specifically mean quotes from your own writing. All reflections must have at least three quotes from your own writing this semester although it doesn’t matter from what (homework, finished essays, anything will do). Don’t just drop those quotes in there and expect your reader (me) to figure out why you’ve chosen them. Explain why that passage is important to your “so what?” 
  • Care. Proofread. Make sure it’s long enough. As usual, you can use whatever language you see fit to use, but make decisions about your language—that is, the words that are there should be there for a reason. 

Bottom Line for the Final Portfolio:

  1. Final Revisions of Unit 1 Education Narrative AND Unit 3 Post on Information Sources. Make sure each revision has a paragraph at the beginning explaining what you revised and why.
  2. Your TEDTalk presentation.
  3. Final Reflection that talks about your journey this term.
  4. Any other work that you’re proud of and would like me to consider.
  5. Uploaded to the Final Portfolio folder on the Google Drive. You can either create a new folder with your name on it within that Final Portfolio folder OR simply upload all the documents individually.
  6. Due EOD Monday Dec 20. No late work!
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