Unit 4 – Final Portfolio and Reflection
Nov 30-Dec 4
The Final Portfolio and Reflection are due on December 14th. You should submit your work as a Word (I prefer Word) or Google Doc to email@example.com. If you submit your work as a Google Doc, please include the link in your email. Also, please title your work “The Final Portfolio and Reflection”.
The Final Portfolio (the work you’ve completed for Units 1, 2 and 3)
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.
We’ve talked about revision throughout the semester, reading Anne Lamott’s “Sh&^&y First Drafts” and Donald Murray’s “The Maker’s Eye.” They both 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!
WRITE: A response explaining what you think you would change about each of the projects that you submitted and why you would make those changes or why you would not make any changes.
The Final Reflection
I know this has been a 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 1,000 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 1,000-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?”
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.