Writing Center

Writing Center

Portfolio FAQs

When and where is the portfolio due?

The portfolio is due the 5th Friday of each semester by 4:00PM.  Turn portfolios into the Foundations Collegium in Brown Hall (across from the book store).

What are the annotations?

There are five required annotations for the portfolio: a global annotation and four individual annotations. The global annotation introduces both you, the author, to the readers, as well as your portfolio as a whole. According to the portfolio folder this annotation "should call the readers' attention to what the student believes are the strengths of the portfolio." In this annotation you may also want to discuss how you have developed as a writer while at Eckerd. For each of the four required papers you need to include an individual annotation. According to the portfolio folder these annotations should include "a short description of the purpose of the writing (assignment or occasion,intended reader, desired result) and the circumstances (number of drafts, time spent, resources used, including any help received from any others). Also state the bibliographic style used to document sources."  You may also want to note how the paper fits the category (for example, how the paper is an example of "making sense of experience." Please note: the annotations are extremely important to the portfolio and deserve the same attention to detail given your papers. Remember that the annotations are your readers' first interaction with you as an author and so you should strive to create a favorable impression!

Can I write a paper just for the portfolio?

Yes.

I am a transfer student, can I use papers from my other college or university?

Yes, you can use up to two papers from another college or university. In order to use these papers you must show Dr. Ramsey, the portfolio coordinator, proof that these papers were written for a college course. Proof can be a graded copy of the paper, the assignment sheet, or an email from the professor or TA asserting that you wrote the paper for them.  You must speak with Dr. Ramsey about these papers prior to turning in the portfolio.

I don't have a timed writing piece, what can I do?

The Writing Center (Seibert 103) offers timed writing opportunities. There are guidelines for the timed writing as well as the timed writing questions available on this site and in the Writing Center. Students may review these materials before completing a timed writing. They may also bring in an outline for their response, as long as the information fits on both sides of a 3"x5" index card. The only other resource that students may choose to use is a dictionary, copies of which are available in the center. No other notes or materials are permitted. Consultants will administer the timed writing and will remain on hand to observe their honest completion. Students have 75 minutes to complete the timed writing. Please take note of the Writing Center’s posted hours, and plan accordingly.  

Can I use a computer to complete a timed writing in the Writing Center?

The Writing Center allows students to complete timed writing on the computer until one week before the portfolio is due. After this date, during the week before the portfolio is due, students may use only a blue book, copies of which are provided in the center.

What options are available for students with documented academic accommodations through the DSS office?

No accommodations provide for extending the portfolio deadline.

Students with documented academic accommodations through the DSS office are subject to the same guidelines regarding timed writings (see above FAQs). Students may contact the DSS office with at least three business days notice if they prefer to complete the timed essay in a less distracting environment and/or on a computer. The DSS office will accommodate students as space is available. Students granted extended time for timed writing may apply this accommodation in the Writing Center, provided they have a photo ID and appropriate documentation from the DSS office. Please take note of the Writing Center’s posted hours, and plan accordingly.  

Does the timed writing have to be typed or can I just turn in the blue book?

So long as your writing is intelligible you can turn in the blue book; however, you must white-out any remarks from the teacher (including your grade). If you choose to submit a typed version of your timed writing, the typed version must be exactly like the hand-written version (mistakes included). You should submit the original version as well.

Do I have to put page numbers on my papers?

Page numbers are not required, but are very helpful.

Are headings necessary?

Please identify each category by number on your submissions.In other words, please identify the paper for the "making sense of experience" submission as #1 and the argument paper as #2 and so on. These demarcations help our readers with their assessment.

How long does the portfolio have to be?

The minimum page requirement is 12 double-spaced pages or about 3000 words.  There is not maximum page limit.

Do I have to staple the portfolio?

No, but it is helpful to staple individual papers together.

Are there any portfolio samples?

Yes. Each year six portfolios are honored as the George P.E. Meese Writing in Excellence award winners and are bound together in red volumes. These volumes are available in the writing center, the library, in the Foundations Collegium and PEL office.

How can I get help with my portfolio?

Visit the writing center! The writing center is located in SE 103 and is open during the school year from 6-10 PM, Sunday-Thursday. You are also welcome to work with a professor on the papers.

Can I use papers from Western Heritage?

Yes, you can. A word of caution: remember that you wrote these paper your freshman year and that the portfolio is being assessed for senior level writing proficiency.  If you choose to use papers from Western Heritage make sure that they undergo substantial revision to reflect a more sophisticated writing style and thought process.

When can I turn in my portfolio?

You can turn in your portfolio beginning fall of your junior year.

What happens if I do not pass the portfolio?

If you do not pass the portfolio you will receive a letter from a member of the Rhetoric faculty with comments for action to improve your portfolio. You are required to enroll in a composition course the following semester. If you are a senior who does not pass the writing portfolio you will not be able to enroll in comps.

Do I have to turn in a portfolio?

Simply put: yes.  The portfolio is a graduation requirement that ALL students must complete.  No exceptions.

Can I turn in my portfolio while studying abroad?

Yes. Simply mail us the completed version of your portfolio (we suggest using FexEx, DHL, or UPS). Please note: the portfolio must be received by the due date in order to be eligible.  We will send you a confirmation email once we receive your portfolio.

If a paper got a B or an A in a course, isn't that good enough?

Rather than trying to guess what will be respected by the evaluators, it is more important for writers to recognize that portfolio evaluation is a different situation than course grading.  Often professors assign and read course papers to get a picture of a student's analytic skill, or ability to work with course information, and writing quality, while important, becomes a secondary concern for establishing a grade.  A course paper with a B could reasonably be judged as "marginal" when the quality of writing is the dominant concern. Also, realize that your writing matures markedly during two or three academic years, so even an A paper from first semester can fail to meet a C standard for a senior paper. Consequently, use your most mature editing practices to revise ALL of your earlier work before submitting your portfolio.

What papers can I revise?

You can revise all your papers except for the timed writing.In fact, we encourage you to spend time revising your papers to make them as strong as possible and as reflective of a senior-level of writing as possible.

How much revision do I really need to do?

Portfolio evaluators are judging communicative competence,and they are seeing a student's work for the first time.  It is good practice to revise your papers as if they were going to be read by a prospective employer in a job interview situation (another "first meeting"). All employers emphasize competence in writing and speaking for every hire, so show them your best in your application letters, your correspondence,your resume -- and your writing portfolio. In fact, former graduates have reported that they used their writing portfolios as evidence of competency in both graduate school applications and job hunts.  Revise until you are showing your very best written efforts.

2014 Writing Excellence Award Winners

Kyle Hall
Brieanna Johnson
Rose Kraemer-Dahlin
Diane McNamara
Sarah Evalyn Richardson
Cleo Warner