Preparing the Final Portfolio
Due: Wednesday, March 20 no later than 5 p.m. outside HH 212
*Final revision of final piece
*First draft of first draft, final piece (doesn’t need to be a clean copy—comments are fine)
*Blog, including a minimum of 17 posts and 20 comments on classmates’ blogs (no need to print this out, simply note the deadline for completion)
*One significantly revised review (you may even lengthen it if you choose) and your original draft with my comments
*Process Writing (see description below)
What is a portfolio?
Most simply, a portfolio is the folder containing your work for presentation and assessment. It represents you as a writer in this particular class—your current interests, your development as you reworked and revised your work, and your range as a budding arts critic. It’s like an artist’s portfolio or a portfolio a photographer might take to a job interview. But in your case, it contains pieces of writing instead of watercolors or photographs.
Choose a folder that suits your personality, embellishing it (or not) in any way you wish.
What is process writing?
Process writing describes the process you went through when drafting and revising your papers, especially the final project, and the thinking about yourself as a writer that you engaged in when preparing the portfolio. The jargon for this kind of writing is “metacognition”—thinking about thinking. That makes it sound heavy, but it’s actually relaxing and enjoyable, writing that celebrates the completion of your work for the course.
“What works best is simply to record what actually happened [as you reported, wrote and revised your work], with as much honesty and detail as possible—and with a spirit of calm, benign acceptance of yourself. That is, you aren’t trying to judge yourself or prove anything or reach big conclusions—just to find out what actually goes on when you write” (Elbow and Belanoff, A Community of Writers 12-13).
You don’t have to answer all these questions, but here are some points to think about as you do your process writing:
How did you discover a process for writing reviews?
How did that process change over time?
When were you frustrated?
What were your breakthroughs?
What are the important changes you made throughout the quarter with each week’s writing and as you revised?
How did you come up with your final project idea and what was your writing and research process like?
When were readers’ comments useful?
When did you find your own way to solve a problem rather than following the suggestion of your readers? Why did this seem to work better?
When did you disagree with readers? Why?
What did writing for this course teach you about yourself?
This writing should be typed, although it doesn’t at all need to be formally written; be as personal and colloquial as you wish—it’s essentially writing you’re doing for yourself, though I’ll be reading it, too.
Important: I will not read your portfolio unless you’ve included process writing—it’s not optional!
What do you need to remember as you prepare the final versions of your final pieces?
*Double space it and number your pages, use Times New Roman, 12-pt font and staple it!
*Closely proofread and copyedit
*Read your pieces aloud to check smoothness of phrasing and to catch typos. Make sure you are writing consistently in active voice and past tense.
*Make sure you’ve attributed adequately and appropriately
These are niggling last-minute details, but allow enough time to attend to them. Finally, good luck! Portfolios represent an approach to writing and learning that I hope you will find as effective as I do.