Required Components

Your writing e-portfolio must include the following parts and features:

  1. Portfolio introduction, which should probably be your e-portfolio’s home page. If you use WordPress, you will need to create this as a static page rather than a blog post (see WordPress Help and Resources for how to do create this). At minimum, the introduction should briefly note the e-portfolio’s purpose(s) and audience(s) and overview its organization and parts, perhaps through a table of contents with links. The introduction could include a brief snippet from, or be combined with, the “profile of a writer” page. If the “profile of a writer” page is separate, the introduction might suggest to readers to go there next.
  2. Profile of your “writerly identity”. You can decide what to name and how to approach this, but compose it with care, as it will strongly shape your audience’s assessment of your ethos. You might think of this page as telling a story about yourself as a writer, one that foregrounds your most important experiences and qualities. As the student samples illustrate, the profile can be a comprehensive history, focused professional description, or something in between. Regardless of the approach, use this page to set the tone for the rest of the e-portfolio and persuade your audience to read on, in part by appealing to its values about writing and communication. One way to begin drafting this page is to brainstorm five words that best describe you as a writer and build from there (for specific ways to develop your profile, see page 2).
  3. The bulk of your portfolio will be comprised of work that best showcases and explains your rhetorical and writing skills in the best possible light for your audience(s). This body of work must include at least three sample texts or projects, at least two of which must come from assignments in upper-division Writing & Rhetoric courses (including the core Rhetoric & Civic Engagement course), and can include texts/projects produced in other programs, at work, or in community organizations or activities (for text selection strategies, see page 2 of the Recommended Components section). To avoid overwhelming readers, we recommend that your portfolio feature no more than eight major texts/projects, and that each one be presented on a separate e-portfolio page or subpage. Keep in mind that a sample text can be comprised of multiple related texts, as in the pieces of an ad or marketing campaign, texts produced in managing a larger project (e.g., proposal, progress report, final report), or final texts with the drafts leading up to it. A sample project might also include feedback from others (e.g., boss, co-writers, community partner) attesting to the quality or (potential) impact of what you created (though you will need to get written permission to include this feedback). If you include a multi-text sample, you should consider presenting it through a “parent” page and set of subpages, and you should include an explanatory frame for the larger project as well as more specific frames for each piece.
  4. Substantial visual elements in at least one sample (to show your design and visual argumentation skills). Examples include, but are not limited to, a multimedia website, video, map, and report with figures and tables.
  5. For each major text/project, a written explanation that introduces and attempts to generate reader interest in it, helps readers make sense of it (including its topic, why and for whom you wrote it), tells readers what you want them to take from it (about you and your skills as a writer), and suggests how to go about reading it (what to pay particular attention to).  You can think of these sections, each of which should be several paragraphs long, as explanatory frames for your texts. They also afford you the opportunity to show your audience that you have a sophisticated understanding of how you applied valuable skills and qualities in specific writing situations. When possible, these explanatory frames should relate back to the strengths you discuss in the overall “profile of a writer” piece (for specific ways to develop the explanatory frames, see page 2). Place the frames on the page before you move to the sample text itself, so that readers don’t mistake the explanatory frames from the sample texts themselves.

For more help with these components, see page 2: