EngWr 482
Portfolio Letter of Introduction

Portfolio Overview
Portfolio Letter
Portfolio Revision Plan

In your portfolio you are to include a reflective and analytical letter of at least 750 words, addressed to me. The purpose of this letter is to share with me your assessment of your progress as a critical thinker and writer. You and your writing process should be the central focus of this letter. Submission of less than the 750 word minimum will result in a grade reduction for the portfolio—so be sure to develop your ideas and provide concrete examples.

Take writing this letter seriously; it is a metacognitive exercise: an opportunity to reflect and self-assess. When I finish reading this letter, I should have a clear and specific sense of how you have progressed as a reader and writer, as well as what you have learned this semester. I should also have a clear sense of how you chose the writing you have 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 literature did you bring to the class? What were your strengths and weaknesses as a reader 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 selection you made: Why did you choose the essay 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 any central theme(s) upon which you chose to focus? Is the order of presentation significant in some way?

PLEASE understand that I grade the portfolio as a whole, so without this letter, the portfolio is incomplete, and according to the rubric, your portfolio will not have addressed the assignment. The very best such a portfolio could hope for would be a grade of D, and in most cases would simply fail. The letter with your reasoning is as important as the essays you include.