There are two parts to this Final Portfolio:

1) Revisions of Units One and Two, and

2) A Final Reflection

The Portfolio

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 no matter what the situation.

So… what we want you to do is, first, revise your first two units. We’d have you do the third too– but we just finished that one, so we don’t really have time– but if you have some changes you need to make, you’re welcome to do so and add it to your Portfolio.

We’ll talk about Anne Lamott’s “Shi**y First Draft” and read Donald Murray’s “The Maker’s Eye.”  Both writers tell 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.)  Think too about the article we read called “Clean Up Your Mess.”  Make it visually readable, as well as having readable content. Think of yourself as a writer beyond the classroom.  Your words are important– so present them accordingly!

For each revised unit,  you’ll need to add a paragraph at the beginning of the essay explaining what you did to revise it and why (or didn’t, and why not). You need to mention what you got from the feedback you received (from me and any you got from your colleagues). You also need to explain why you either incorporated what we said or didn’t, and why.

Both Units One and Two must be revised! 

 The Final Reflection

I know this has been one weird few months. We’re living in unprecedented times, and we’re all being asked to work in new ways. I’m so proud of everybody for hanging in and continuing your college careers in the face of unimaginable challenges. So for this Final Reflection piece of at least 1000 words, I’d like to ask you to consider the following questions:

What have you learned about yourself as a reader, writer and scholar this term?

How will you be able to use what you have learned this term and transfer that knowledge to other writing situations—either in college or in your community?

As evidence to back up your points, you must use at least three quotes from your own writing this semester in your reflection.

As a way to begin your reflection, look back through your compendium of work: Discussion Forums, prep work for the classes, what you did/said/thought in those classes, your experiences with your colleagues, and so on. As you browse through your work, ask yourself about and take notes on the following questions (you don’t have to answer them all in your final reflection.  These are just to give you some ideas.

  • How would you compare/contrast work you did early in the semester to now?
  • What was your favorite/least favorite assignment and why?
  • What are some notable lessons that have stuck with you after completing certain assignments?
  • What changed in your writing (reading, thinking) as the genres and assignments changed?
  • How did you make decisions in your assignments about content and design?
  • What were your early assumptions/beliefs about yourself and writing? Have they since changed? Explain.
  • What was your experience revising assignments?
  • Was there any peer feedback that stands out to you and why?
  • 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 in bullet points; they are just meant to help you brainstorm ideas. You won’t answer them all! Think about everything we’ve read and watched about writing this semester—some of them certainly hooked your interest while others… probably did not.

The ones that caught your attention– they had a point.  They weren’t just lists of thoughts and ideas (what Kyle Stedman calls “Uncle Barry and his Encyclopedia of Useless Information.”) So now that you’ve brainstormed, is there a main point in what you’re trying to say? Can you organize your ideas a bit?  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, and not just trying to flatter your instructor.

Here’s what I will be looking for (and grading you on):

Attention to audience. You need to have a “so what?” Don’t just list off a bunch of random opinions about your writing—write an article about what you’ve learned. Think about who you are writing for (hint: it’s not just me).

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!

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 should 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 readers to figure out why you’ve chosen them. Explain why that passage is important to your readers and to your “so what?”

Use of terms. Be sure to use at least one of the terms that are part of the course work, things like metacognitive reflectiongenre, research as questions, rhetoric and/or rhetorical analysis. Use them in any way you want — to introduce an idea, to explain something you learned (for example, how genre and audience are connected), to connect to some of your written work.

Care. Proofread. Make sure it’s long enough. As usual, you can use whatever language you see fit to use, but the words that are there should be there for a reason.

How to submit the Final Portfolio:

  1. Put everything into a single document (do the copy/paste routine).
  2. Upload that document to the Final Portfolio & Final Reflection folder in the Google Drive.
  3. It’s due EOD Friday, Dec. 18. I can’t accept them after that because the grades are due before Christmas!


Here’s the Schedule:

Monday, Nov 30

10-11:40 class session. Begin the Final Portfolio & Final Reflection

 Due by end of day Wednesday, December 2:

READ (OR WATCH/ LOOK AT/ LISTEN TO): Your Time Capsule from Week Two. Write a little note to your beginning-of-the semester self.  What have you learned this semester? Did you achieve your goals? Did you achieve different goals?  What surprises have you encountered along the way? Were your goals too small/ too big/ right on the money? (You certainly don’t have to answer all of these questions, by the way– these are just ideas to get you started.)

WRITE & POST TO OPEN LAB: Hopefully the letter above will be a good starting point for you to help you think about your final reflection and what you have learned this semester. So start working on a Shi**y First Draft of that.

Title it “Capsule 2 – your name” and post using Category Final Portfolio. Tag “Capsule 2.”

Wednesday, December 2

 10-11:40 class session. What have you taken away so far? How does that influence what you write in your Final Reflection?

 Due by end of day Sunday, December 6:

 READ: “The Maker’s Eye” by Donald Murray.

WRITE & POST TO  OPEN LAB: Pick your favorite idea/line from Murray’s piece and explain why you picked it. How does it apply to your own work?

Title it “Maker’s Eye – your name” and post using Category Final Portfolio. Tag “Maker’s Eye.”

PRIOR TO YOUR CONFERENCE ON 12/7 OR 12/8:  On OpenLab post at least a part of your Final Reflection so I can provide feedback when we meet (or you can simply bring it to our Conference). It doesn’t have to be anywhere near finished – in fact, it can just be the introductory part. It’s meant to help you get a start on the Final Reflection so you’re not (ahem) leaving it to the last minute. Remember: this is actually more important than your revisions.

If you’re going to post it: Title it “Reflection Draft – your name” and post using Category Final Portfolio, tag “Reflection Draft.”

 Monday, December 7 – Wednesday, December 9



 WRITE: Keep working on those portfolios. And remember: the Final Reflection is actually the most important part of the Portfolio!

Monday, December 14

 10-11:40 class session. Wrapping it all up

Due by end of day Friday, December 18:

WRITE & UPLOAD TO THE GOOGLE DRIVE: Upload Final Portfolio & Final Reflection into Google Drive folder “Final Portfolio & Final Reflection”

WRITE ON THE PADLET: Contribute something to “Before you go…” Padlet wall.

It’s your final comment on what you’re taking away from the class, and it can be light-hearted or serious. It can be something for future students, like “advice for future students.” Or it can be “my favorite sentence I read or wrote.” And you don’t just have to “write” something. You can also post an image or a drawing, or even leave a sound file. It’s anonymous, but if you want to put your name on the post, feel free.

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