Deciding What to Include
Your e-portfolio should showcase your best writing-related work, but how to determine “best” is worth deliberating about with yourself and others. In addition to the quality of the writing, design, and/or multimedia presentation, you might consider the complexity of a project or the process undergone to create it, the degree to which a project progressed from beginning to end, and the actual or potential impact of a project. After all, qualities or dispositions—such as curiosity, creativity, flexibility, and engagement—and transferrable skills—such as research, teamwork, leadership, and project management—might be difficult to show through only final polished pieces. We encourage you to be creative in brainstorming ways to show such qualities and skills.
In addition to assessing each sample, you should also consider what various combinations of samples could show about you. If you want to show flexibility, versatility, or the ability to transfer (i.e., adapt and apply) skills across various contexts, for example, you might want to ensure that your e-portfolio includes samples from that range of contexts.
Your deliberation of what to include should also involve others, particularly those who are members of or know something about your e-portfolio’s targeted audience. What writing-related skills, qualities, and practices do professors and professionals in your field value most? Ask them.
One exercise that might help you decide which samples to include begins with making three lists—one about the various types of texts and projects (from school, work, or community contexts) that you could include, one about your writing-related values and strengths, and one about the writing-related values of those in your targeted profession. The next, crucial, step is to put the list of your work in the middle and then find places where the three lists intersect, as with a Venn diagram.