The portfolio offers you an opportunity to assemble the best compositions you have written in your First-Year Seminar. To complete this assignment, you must submit two identical copies of a portfolio with the following texts:

-  A Title Page

-  A Preface (2-4 pages)

-  Two or more FYS Papers (5-15 pages)

You also have the option of including a paper written for another class at Coe during the fall term.

Title Page: The title page, which functions as a cover sheet for the portfolio, should contain the titles of the papers (listed in order of sequence in the portfolio), the course title, the name of your FYS instructor, your name, and the date of submission.

Preface: This essay will serve as the portfolio's introduction by telling the story behind the pieces in your portfolio. The ultimate goal of the preface is reflection. While examining the process by which you have written these compositions, also consider how this work has affected your development as a writer. You can describe your perceptions of yourself as a writer, the stumbling blocks you encountered, the inspiring moments, the surprising discoveries either in the texts or yourself.

The preface is an important part of each portfolio. It is the first text your audience will read and it can significantly influence how readers interpret and assess your other papers. The preface should be a well-developed, cleanly written self-examination--but it is also a personal essay, allowing you to illustrate your unique style of thinking and writing. Although you are free to organize this essay in many different ways, your preface should include:

-  A reflective commentary on your writing. What does this portfolio demonstrate about you as a writer? What did you learn from doing these papers? During the fall term, has your writing significantly changed in style, organization, development of ideas, precision of expression, etc?

-  A detailed history of the development of at least one paper. How did the paper evolve as it progressed through the revision process? What advice was offered by various readers and how was this advice used in producing the final draft? Were there significant differences in how these papers were written or did they all follow a similar path in their development?

Two or More First-Year Seminar Papers: Although papers written for First-Year Seminars may be composed in many different genres, your portfolio should include at least two different kinds of academic writing and at least one text should be an argumentative, analytical, or interpretive essay. All writing should be for a general audience.  The faculty's scoring guide for evaluating portfolios indicates that these papers, including the preface, should demonstrate the following qualities:

-  Insightful exploration and appropriate analysis of key issues

            -  Depth, fullness, and complexity of thought

            -  Coherent organization

            -  Precise distinctions, details, examples, comparisons

            -  Effective word choice, sentence variety, and transitions

            -  Minimal errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure

Manuscript Guidelines:  All manuscripts must be typed or printed using a computer. No hand-written texts will be accepted for evaluation. A portfolio's pages should conform to a common format:

            -  Papers should be double-spaced (except for blocked quotations).

            -  All manuscripts should use conventional one-inch margins.

            -  Pages should be numbered in any composition over one page in length.

-  All manuscripts must be clean copy without grades or written comments by the instructor or another reader.

-  Two copies of the portfolio must be submitted as separate manuscripts. Each copy should be stapled in the upper left-hand corner. Please do not use paper clips, folders, or plastic binders.


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E-mail Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.