There are two parts to this Final Portfolio: 

1) Revisions of Units One and Two (and a finished copy of Unit Three)

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.  Include it anyway!  The first draft of an article is just the beginning.    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 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 from your colleagues). You also need to explain why you either incorporated what we said or didn’t, and why. For unit three, you’ll need to add a paragraph at the beginning explaining what you would do to revise it– if you had the time. 

Both units one and two must be revised! Unit three must be included! 

 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. 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?”

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.