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All students in a First-year Writing course at UGA produce a polished portfolio of their semester's work in the class.


Portfolio support documents

Guidelines for writing the Introductory Reflective Essay  (RTF)

Portfolio Grading Rubric (RTF)


The Portfolio

The Portfolio Project helps you develop into a proficient writer by offering you multiple opportunities to practice and demonstrate to others your mastery of writing as an art. In this class, students will write a minimum of three graded papers plus other pieces of writing assigned by the teacher. Part of each student’s course grade will also be determined by a portfolio of written work. The portfolio will count as 30% of your final grade and will replace the Final Examination as the culminating measure of your achievement in ENGL 1101 or ENGL 1102 this semester.

For both students and teachers, portfolios offer many advantages over other forms of assessment. First-and probably most important, from the student’s point of view-writers gain more control over their writing and therefore over their grades. Instead of demonstrating your skill in a single essay, the final examination, you will create, select, revise and polish different pieces for the portfolio throughout the semester. Within boundaries established by the First-year Writing Program, you select the pieces to include in your portfolio; you will have opportunities to consult with your teacher and peers about the portfolio’s contents and to revise those pieces you choose to include; finally, you will have an opportunity to explain the merits of your portfolio as part of the assessment process. For the same reasons, teachers also like this method of evaluation: including portfolios in writing assessment allows them to focus on revision, on improvement, and on a process of collaboration among student, teacher, and peers.

When you have completed this course, your portfolio will provide you with a readily accessible collection of your writing that can continually grow and change shape, reflecting your achievements in your academic major and, eventually, forming the basis of a professional portfolio that can accompany you as you leave the University of Georgia for a further world of work or study.

What is in the portfolio?

 As stated in the FYW Handbook, students in the First-year Writing Program write a minimum of three graded papers. For your final assessment, you will compose and submit for evaluation an electronic portfolio that includes the following seven components: 

A biography of the portfolio author and, if you like, a picture of yourself or other image. The biography should provide a short introduction to you, the author of the portfolio. You may include a photo of yourself or an image that relates to ideas discussed in your portfolio. The goal of your biography should be to introduce yourself as a writer.

The Introductory Reflective Essay. The most important element in your portfolio, the Introductory Reflective Essay (IRE) (usually 750-1500 words) ties together all the exhibits in your portfolio; it helps you describe and reflect on your writing processes, with your exhibits providing the supporting evidence.

Two revised essays from the course. These pieces provide evidence of your best critical thinking, argumentative strategies, prose style, and editing skills. They represent your most “finished” pieces of writing.

One revision exhibit that demonstrates your composing process and revision skills. For this exhibit, students typically present a portion of a paper (e.g., a paragraph or the thesis statement); and demonstrate the development of this piece of writing through several drafts. Your task is to clearly show how your writing changed between drafts and to include explaining commentary on your revision process to readers.

One peer review exhibit that demonstrates your work in reviewing or responding to the work of other writers. Again, your task is to demonstrate the quality of your work and to explain your peer review process. 

One wild card submission. In the past, students have submitted journals, photos with captions, short stories, poems, letters, song lyrics, slideshow presentations, scans of drawings with comments, podcasts, and music files. Some students create new exhibits especially to fit with their portfolio theme. In thinking about selecting or creating a wild card, consider how it fits into your overall portfolio rationale.

While your instructor may have you turn in artifacts to eLW for workshopping and peer review, you will turn in your final portfolio to eLC under "Assignments."  There are resources describing the process of submitting a portfolio in eLC:  a video and a text document.  Students can find these resources in their eLC course under "Content" --> "FYW Resources and Info"

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