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1. Welcome to English 110!

You are about to begin a rewarding educational experience. This course is designed to help you develop basic competency in writing that will provide the foundation for the rest of your college education and future professional life. One of the ways this course will help you develop this competency is to provide you with the opportunity to prepare a portfolio of writing that will be reviewed by a panel of UAS English faculty. By participating in the portfolio review process, you will learn valuable skills and will develop greater confidence in your abilities as a writer.

2. How does the portfolio review process work?

All students enrolled in English 110 are required to submit a portfolio of their writing to a panel of English faculty members twice during the semester. At mid-term and at the end of the semester, you will collect your academic papers in a manila folder (your portfolio) and will compose an in-class cover letter introducing your writing to outside readers. Your instructor will then give your portfolio to the faculty panel. After the faculty panelists have read your portfolio, they will determine whether your writing demonstrates that you are ready to take English 111, the required freshman composition course at UAS. If they determine that your portfolio shows that you are not yet ready for English 111, you will receive the grade of "D", and will be required to re-take English 110. If they determine that you are ready for English 111, you will be permitted to enroll in that course the next semester. Please note, however, that in addition to the portfolio review, you must meet all course requirements for a grade of “C” or better in English 110 in order to move on to English 111.

3. What benefits does the portfolio review provide to students?

Students at UAS find that the portfolio review process enhances their learning process because they feel more invested in their writing when they know that it will be read by a distinguished panel of readers. Students also find that preparing a portfolio allows them to reflect on their own growth in writing. This self-reflection allows them to feel pride in their accomplishments and to have a clear sense of what writing issues they need to work on in the next stage of their academic careers. Finally, because the portfolio review is anonymous and objective, it certifies that students have achieved basic competency in writing that will enable them to be successful in other college courses, including English 111.

4. What should be included in the mid-term portfolio?

By mid-term, your portfolio must include:
  • cover letter (350 words minimum)
  • At least two essays (1,250 words minimum, comprised of at least two essays of 2.5 to 3 pages each) that you select from what you have written during the first half of the semester. Note: This minimum does not include the cover letter.

Put a "star" () on your best essay and attach a range of drafts that led up to the final version. These drafts should have instructor marks on them, so we can see the development of your work. All work in your portfolio, with the exception of your cover letter, must have been seen by your instructor beforehand. All unseen work will be removed from the portfolio before it is forwarded to the panel. When preparing your portfolio, refer to the checklist below.

5. What should be included in the final portfolio?

By the end of the semester, your portfolio must include:
  • A cover letter (350 words minimum)
  • At least three essays of 3 to 4 pages each (2,500 words minimum) that you select from what you have written during the semester. One of the essays must be your analytical essay. Note: This minimum of 2,500 words does not include the cover letter.

Put a "star" () on your best paper and attach a range of drafts that led up to the final version. The starred paper may be the same one submitted at mid-term only if it has been recently revised. The final portfolio must include an analytical essay as well as a variety of other types of writing (narrative, descriptive, expository, etc.). As with the mid-term portfolio, all work in your portfolio, with the exception of your cover letter, must have been seen by your instructor beforehand. When preparing your portfolio, refer to the checklist below.

6. What should be included in the cover letter?

At mid-term and at the end of the semester, you will write an in-class cover letter of at least 350 words. You will have two class periods of one hour each to write the cover letter, unless you have the Learning Center proctor your cover letter writing, in which case you will have one period of two hours to write. You may bring a dictionary and a writing handbook to class on the day of your in-class essay, but you may not bring any other resources (such as drafts or notes). The quality of the cover letter is important. It reveals to readers whether you can produce readable, reasonably polished prose by yourself without the editorial help of others. Like any essay, your cover letter needs to have an identifiable thesis as well as a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The thesis of your cover letter should make an overall point about your progress as a writer in English 110. Body paragraphs should make points about what specific issues you have been working on in your writing. These points should be backed up with examples or other specifics. In one of the paragraphs, identify your starred paper and explain why it is your best. In the body of your essay you might also focus on

• Other essays included in the portfolio.
• Strengths and weaknesses you see in your writing.
• Writing issues you have been working on in English 110.
• Challenges and successes you have faced as a writer in this class.

7. What is the analytical essay that must be in my final portfolio?

The analytical essay is an exercise in response writing; that is, you respond to a text using a specific critical approach.  The text could be anything from a Newsweek article to the lyrics of a popular song to a play.  Your instructor will teach you at least one strategy for writing analytically.  Some of the more popular strategies are classification, compare/contrast, generalization, and argumentation.  Although writing in response to another's ideas is challenging, and involves processing language in a way that is very different from, say, narrative, descriptive, or expository forms, analysis is an important thing to be exposed to because in English 111 and 211, you will be practicing it quite a bit.  We want to be able to confirm that you've had some foundational experience with analysis in English 110.

8. What criteria will the faculty panel use to evaluate portfolios?

Procedure: All portfolios are read by at least two faculty readers, one of whom is your instructor. Readers have two options: at mid-term, to assign a “satisfactory progress” or a “warning” and at the end of the semester, to assign either a “pass” or a “no pass.” If there is disagreement between the two readers, a third reader will break the tie.

Evaluative Criteria: The most important quality to strive for in your writing is “readability.” The portfolio review panel expects all of the writing in your portfolio to be clear and understandable when read the first time through without significant confusion or distraction. Also make sure that each paper

• Has a clearly stated thesis.
• Stays focused on the thesis.
• Has well-developed topic sentences and transitions.
• Uses a clear organizational scheme (introduction, body, and conclusion).
• Supports topic sentences with specific examples, quotes, or other details.
• Has correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling.

Feedback: Because faculty readers review many portfolios in one sitting, they will not be able to provide you with a detailed response to your writing. (Your instructor will provide the specific feedback you need.) However, readers will provide some commentary on portfolios, especially those that receive “warning” evaluations at mid-term and “no pass” evaluations at the end of the semester.

Sample Essays: An anthology of successful English 110 essays is on reserve at Egan library in Juneau and in either the library or the Learning Center in Sitka or Ketchikan.

9. How will the portfolio review affect grading in English 110?

You must submit a portfolio to your instructor at mid-term and at the end of the semester in order to pass English 110. Portfolio due dates are listed on your course syllabus. Late portfolios will not be accepted! In order to pass English 110, you must receive a “pass” on your final portfolio and fulfill all other course requirements as stated on your course syllabus. If your portfolio receives a “no pass” at the end of the semester, you must re-take English 110 and will be awarded a course grade no higher than a “D.”  If your final portfolio receives a “pass,” your instructor will assign a letter grade based on the grading criteria listed on your course syllabus. A passing portfolio does not guarantee a “C” or above in English 110 (which is a prerequisite for English 111). In order to pass English 110 with a “C” or better, you must not only pass the portfolio review but also meet your instructor’s requirements for attendance, class participation, and course assignments.

10. How should the portfolio be formatted?

General Guidelines: Put all of your papers in a manila folder with your Student ID# on it. All papers should be typed and double-spaced with one-inch margins. Final drafts of papers submitted must be clean copies with no instructor or student markings on them. Please put the date of the most recent draft on the final draft of each paper. An example of correct paper format is included below.

Anonymity: The portfolio at mid-term and at the end of the semester must be submitted anonymously in order to ensure an objective evaluation process. Make sure you replace your name with your student identification number on all drafts. Also delete any references to your instructor’s name or course section number on drafts.

Documenting sources: If your papers make reference to outside research, you must use the MLA system of documentation to give credit to these sources. See your instructor and/or a grammar and style handbook such as Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference or another composition handbook for more details on research paper style and format.

Can students challenge the results of the portfolio review?
Students may appeal the English 110 portfolio review by contacting Rod Landis, UAS Co-Director of Composition (rod.landis@uas.alaska.edu). Rod will review your portfolio and the portfolio review panel’s commentary before making a decision.

11. Who will help students prepare their portfolios?

Your English 110 instructor will provide you with valuable feedback that you can use to improve your essays. However, your instructor is limited to commenting on two drafts of each paper. Therefore, you might want to take advantage of the assistance provided by tutors in the Learning Center on your campus. For an appointment, call:

(907) 796-6348 (Juneau Campus)
(907) 228-4560 (Ketchikan Campus)
(907) 747-7717 or 747-7785 (Sitka Campus)

Online tutoring is available at the Juneau or Sitka Learning Center.

12. Questions or concerns?

We hope that you find the English portfolio evaluation process beneficial! We welcome your feedback on how the process worked for you. Contact the Co-Director of Composition:

Rod Landis
Paul 507, Ketchikan Campus
(907) 228-4547
rod.landis@uas.alaska.edu

13. Appendix A: Mid-term Portfolio Checklist

Make sure you . . .
  • Revise and polish your essays extensively.
  • Include at least two essays of at least 2.5 to 3 pages each (1,250 words, minimum) in your portfolio (not counting the cover letter).
  • Include a cover letter that is 350 words long (minimum).
  • “Star” () one of your essays and attach a range of drafts.
  • Place your essays in the correct order in the manila folder: cover letter, starred essay with drafts attached, other essay(s).
  • Replace your name with your Student ID# on all final drafts.
  • Remove your name and your instructor’s name from all rough drafts.
  • Put the date of the most recent revision on all final drafts.
  • Put page numbers on all drafts.
  • Put your Student ID# on the folder (but not your name).

14. Appendix B: Final Portfolio Checklist

Make sure you . . .
  • Revise and polish your essays extensively.
  • Include at least 3 essays, each 3-4 pages in length (2,500 words, minimum), in your portfolio (not counting the cover letter).
  • Include a cover letter that is 350 words long (minimum).
  • Include an analytical essay.
  • Include a variety of types of writing (e.g., descriptive, persuasive, narrative).
  • "Star” () one of your essays and attach a range of drafts.
  • Place your essays in the correct order in the manila folder: cover letter, starred essay with drafts attached, other essays.
  • Replace your name with your Student ID# on all final drafts.
  • Remove your name and your instructor’s name from all rough drafts.
  • Put the date of the most recent revision on all final drafts.
  • Put page numbers on all drafts.
  • Put your Student ID# on the folder (but not your name).

15. Appendix C: Paper Format

Student ID#

English 110

November 7, 2013

Draft 3, Analytical Essay

Title Goes Here

     Notice that on the first line of the heading above, the student’s name has

been replaced with a Student ID#. The second line of the heading

gives the course title but not a section number or instructor’s name. The third

line gives the date of the most recent revision of the essay. Finally, the fourth

line identifies the draft number and type of essay.

       The title of the essay should be capitalized and centered. Don’t underline or

boldface the title. Also avoid fancy and large fonts. Notice that the entire

heading, including the title, is double-spaced and is written in 12 pt. font. Be

sure not to put extra spaces between before or after the title. The entire

essay should be double-spaced
. Be sure not to put extra spaces between

paragraphs. Each page should be numbered. Put your ID number and the page

number in the upper right-hand corner (Use headers and footers to insert page

numbers.).   Margins should be one inch wide throughout the paper.

 
 

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