Portfolio Letter of Introduction

 

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Portfolio:

Guide
Letter
Revision Plan

In your portfolio you are to include a letter addressed to me. The purpose of this letter (750 words minimum) is to share with me your assessment of your progress as a critical thinker, reader, and writer. Your reading and your writing processes should be the central focus of this letter.

Take writing this letter seriously because it is the final writing assignment for the course—equivalent to a fourth essay. Moreover, the letter gives you the opportunity to create a balanced persona: how will you do an adequate and fair job of selling your portfolio without sounding like a used car salesman—an honest introspection will help me understand what you have discovered about your process of writing. When I finish reading this letter, I should have a clear and specific sense of how you have progressed as a thinker, and what you have learned this semester. I should also have a clear sense of how you chose the essays and the writing you included in your portfolio and why you think each represents your best work.

This letter should be thoughtful, detailed, and analytical. Here are some specifics to consider:

  • Explain where you began this semester: what assumptions and background knowledge about critical thinking, writing, and our subject matter did you bring to the class? What were your strengths and weaknesses as a thinker and writer at the beginning of the class?
  • Assess the gains you made this semester: what have you discovered about critical thinking, writing, revision, responding to the ideas and writing of others (including, perhaps, the ideas and writing of those in your peer-review group)?
  • Briefly assess the essay selections you made: Why did you choose the essays you have included? What revision choices did you make and why?
  • Explain the choices you made for presenting this portfolio to your audience: How do the essay selections reflect a central theme(s) upon which you chose to focus? Is the order of presentation significant in some way?