Overview

All students in the Writing and Rhetoric Major, Minor in Writing and Rhetoric, and the Certificate in Public and Professional Writing are required to create an e-portfolio displaying and reflecting on samples of their writing (including multimedia texts that include the written word). This e-portfolio must be approved by the Department of Writing & Rhetoric’s Director of Degree Programs, Undergraduate Advisor, or designee (e.g., Programs Assistant).

Some of you may also be developing e-portfolios for other programs, such as the Burnett Honors College or Interdisciplinary Studies. In such cases you may be able to use and adapt some of the same material for your writing e-portfolio, though you will still need to meet the requirements outlined in this guide. If you are targeting a profession, such as Advertising/Public Relations, that would value another type of specific e-portfolio, we encourage you to experiment with ways to merge the two; for example, you could feature one or more major samples related to the profession but also include other types of writing that showcase a broader repertoire of skills.

Students in both the minor and certificate programs will learn more about and set up their writing e-portfolios in the core course—ENC 3331 Rhetoric & Civic Engagement. For this reason you should take the core course as early in the program as possible. Other Writing and Rhetoric courses—such Writing for Publication, Professional Writing, Writing in Digital Environments, Writing for Social Change, and Writing about Health & Medicine—might also provide opportunities to develop texts for and work on your writing e-portfolio.

Even if you have already taken most of your writing courses before the core course, you can still use and adapt projects from these courses in the e-portfolio. Keep in mind that the texts or projects you feature in your e-portfolio can come from writing or writing-intensive courses in any program and can also include workplace and community-based writing projects (whether or not these are connected to specific courses).

We encourage you to take advantage of the open e-portfolio workshops or writing groups sponsored by the Department of Writing & Rhetoric’s degree programs office each term, and to seek feedback and help from fellow students, University Writing Center consultants, Writing & Rhetoric faculty and advisors, and faculty and advisors from other programs and units, if applicable (e.g., your major, Career Services).

Your writing e-portfolio must be designed for and housed on the Web, though whether you make it publicly accessible is up to you. Although the specific platform-related requirements for the writing e-portfolio may change (particularly because UCF may design or adopt a university-wide e-portfolio platform), for now we recommend that you build your portfolio using WordPress given that professional designers have created a number of polished and flexible templates or “themes” for that platform. You can use an alternative platform such as WIX or Weebly, but we recommend that you only do this for specific reasons related to your vision and samples and only after you have spoken to faculty and/or professionals in your field about the types of e-portfolios they value. If you use an alternative platform, you will need to locate the help resources for that platform.

There are two ways to set up a WordPress site. One is to build a site hosted (for free) on WordPress servers. This is referred to as a “WordPress.com” account and is quite easy to set up. The other, more complicated option is to build a self-hosted WordPress site. This requires purchasing a web domain and web hosting services and downloading a WordPress template. We only recommend you use this method if you 1) already have a personal Web domain appropriate for professional purposes, and 2) have experience working with FTP and website file management. If you choose to go this latter route, you must still use an approved theme/template and provide the Program’s Assistant with the URL. In the remainder of this document, we will provide instructions and information for building a “Wordpress.com” account hosted on WordPress servers. Should you choose to self-host a WordPress site, you will be responsible for locating help online.

This student guide, linked from the left column, will explain the writing e-portfolio’s purposes and outline. It will provide suggestions about its required and recommended components as well as resources for developing its content, structure, and design. Finally, it will link you to relevant WordPress and other resources.