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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

B.A. in English Graduation Portfolio Requirements

One of your most useful and instructive graduation requirements for the B.A. in English is your English portfolio. This non-returnable collection of four to five essays should be a thoughtfully selected, arranged, and presented record of your most significant intellectual accomplishments in your upper-level English coursework.  

Portfolio Goals

Because it reflects on your learning and on the English program, it will be useful in several ways. It will:

  • help you assess your own progress as a writer and English scholar
  • provide you a model for the job-hunting portfolio expected by many employers or the kernel of a writing sample usually required for admission to graduate school
  • serve as your entry in the annual UHD English Portfolio contest
  • enable the faculty to assess how well the English major is fulfilling its educational goals

Submission Deadline

Fall and Spring Terms – Monday of the 10th week of class. Deliver portfolio to S-1045 (English Dept.). Reminder: Register for ENG 4098 English Portfolio in your graduation semester. This is a required course that offers no credit, costs nothing, and has no formal meetings. It provides evidence that you have completed a graduation requirement.

Portfolio Components

  • A binder with your name, the designation English Portfolio, and the dates of both submission and intended graduation on the front cover and on the spine.

  • A letter of transmittal, which
    • Is addressed to the Chair of the English Curriculum Committee,
    • Shows your current contact information
    • Includes a statement of purpose for the portfolio and a brief summary of its contents.
  • A table of contents.

  • A reflective essay. This most important element of your portfolio is a substantive analysis of the other essays in the portfolio, showing in particular which of the learning objectives listed in the next section are exemplified in each of your essays. That means, instead of writing "I liked X or Y about Essay 2," you will write something like "Essay 2 shows that I am able to . . ." or "Essay 2 illustrates my skill in close reading a nineteenth-century narrative by . . . ." You might find it helpful to identify in your reflective essay one or two particular critics, schools of criticism, or theories that have expanded or focused your insights into literature. This, like the other essays in your portfolio, should exhibit features expected of academic writing—a firm structure, solid logic, appropriate citation, and expert editing.

  • Four to five essays (at least 30 pages) drawn from UHD English courses taught by several teachers and selected to show a range of skills required by English courses. Submit no more than one example of creative writing. Make sure each essay shows your name, a title, the name and number of the course you wrote it for, and its date of composition. While you may submit the essays of your portfolio in the same form in which you turned them in for a course, you may also revise them in light of later learning and new insights. If you choose to revise your work for the portfolio, submit both the original (graded) version, clearly labeled, and your clearly labeled revision.

Degree Learning Objectives and Evaluation Criteria

1. read literary, cultural, and scholarly texts critically; i.e.

  • analyze, through close reading, the rhetorical and aesthetic qualities of texts
  • demonstrate understanding of the characteristics, conventions, and techniques associated with various literary genres
  • situate texts in their historical and cultural contexts
  • demonstrate understanding of the literary traditions in United States, British, and other national literatures

2. produce mature college-level writing that

  • advances rhetorically astute arguments about texts
  • analyzes texts within their historical and cultural contexts
  • employs appropriate scholarly diction and tone
  • applies a guiding critical methodology

3. use sources appropriately (with correct documentation) to

  • advance/enrich an argument
  • demonstrate engagement in critical debate

Last updated 8/26/2015 9:33 AM