Required Components

Suggestions for Developing your Writerly Identity: To develop an impactful identity, consider addressing the following questions in this section of your e-portfolio:

  • How do you conceptualize and feel about your writerly identity? How would you describe yourself as a writer?
  • How have you developed as a writer, and how have educational, familial, cultural, and other influences shaped this development?
  • What values about writing and rhetoric do you bring to various situations? What are you passionate about, and how has this come through in your writing?
  • What kinds of texts have you written, and for what purposes, to what audiences, and in what contexts?
  • What are your most impressive writing-related skills (both including such broader skills as research, project management, teamwork) and habits of mind (e.g., creativity, flexibility, engagement of others)?
  • How does the body of work you have chosen to include in the e-portfolio reflect your writerly identity and show your ability to effectively write across various rhetorical contexts?
  • How have you acted as a rhetorical citizen, and how has this work shaped your writerly identity?
  • What are your professional and civic goals, and how can your writing and rhetorical skills help you achieve these?

Suggestions for Writing Explanatory Frames: Consider addressing some combination of the following questions, keeping in mind that you included each sample to showcase a particular set of skills and that different types of texts or projects might call for differently focused explanations. For example, if you are including the drafts and final version of a project in order to illustrate how you plan, draft, and and revise a text, the explanatory frame might focus on your research and writing process. Or if you are presenting a text that is being used by a group, organization, or business, the explanatory frame might focus on the text’s reception and impact.

  • Why did you chose to include the text or project for your intended portfolio audience?
  • What are the key elements in the text to which readers should pay particular attention, and where can they find these? (you could also do this by including callouts or annotations in the presentation of the sample text itself)
  • What is the text or project’s rhetorical context, including its exigencies (i.e., reasons for being written), topic, purposes, audiences, and constraints (i.e., timeframe and resources for development)? In other words, why did you create the text, and for whom did you create it?
  • How would you describe your process for developing the text? (this could even include a flow chart of the various steps, people, and other elements involved)
  • What knowledge and/or skills did you apply or adapt in creating the text, and where did you learn these?
  • What did the process of creating the text make you want to learn or develop further, and how might you apply what you learned in other writing situations?
  • What do you see as the text’s main strengths (e.g., its audience-appropriateness, strength of argument, stylistic polish, design, impact)? Which of your qualities and/or skills does the text best exemplify?
  • What else does the text show about you as a writer (e.g., your values, skills/habits of mind, processes, and rhetorical choices)?

Suggestions for Selecting and Showcasing Samples: 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).

  • 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.
  • 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.