Tips and Suggestions

Each of the WCII Portfolios are read by at least one member of the faculty, chosen randomly from a group of 10-15 faculty members from across the college who have the task of reading portfolios for a given academic year. If that reader does not give your portfolio a passing mark, at least one other reader will also read the portfolio. If any two readers agree your portfolio does not exhibit passing characteristics, then you will receive a ‘non-pass’ and you will have to revise the contents of the portfolio until you earn a passing mark.

Here are some suggestions for how to prepare your portfolio:

Documentation Format

Make sure every period, every comma, every bit of line spacing, every parenthetical citation conforms to APA or MLA or Turabian format.

Helpful Comments from Professors

If a professor has made a comment about some aspect of your writing (like weak paragraphing, poor transitions, too few sources, unclear ideas, etc.) then make sure you either revise that paper or that you choose a paper that does NOT contain the same weaknesses and that you point out in your reflective essay how that other paper demonstrates that you learned not to repeat the weaknessess the first professor had mentioned.

Organization

Too often students pick papers that do not have a clear thesis or they choose papers that do not demonstrate a strong, effective sense of paragraphing. Either kind of paper will raise concern from readers.

Editing

Make sure that your papers do not contain the same errors, year after year after year. Show that you indeed learned how to make the corrections needed. Most often students only have a few serious problems with a few errors (like apostrophes, agreement, capitalization, comma splices or fragments) that get repeated many times within a single paper. Take the time to edit and revise these papers if you choose to use them within your portfolio.

Making Revisions

Students will often include a paper where the professor explicitly states, “If you use this paper in your wCII Portfolio, you MUST revise it,” but then they fail to do so. Such blatant disregard for instruction will almost certainly result in a ‘non-pass.’ If you do revise, please improve your thinking as well as just the overall surface structure of the paper. Readers will notice laziness; students who merely ‘correct’ the errors marked by a professor show little initiative or learning but only a minimal responsiveness and only minor concern for truly good writing.

Weak Reflective Essay

As the policy states, “[A]n otherwise passing portfolio will not fail because of weaknesses in the reflective essay.” But the words of nearly every reader suggests that probably the most important thing you can do to help ensure a ‘pass’ is to write a strong, thoughtful reflective essay that genuinely and convincingly argues (by using many specific examples from your papers to illustrate your claims) that you have indeed become a better writer.