Framing the Portfolio

The final step in your writing process for this semester is to compose a cover-letter to attach to your portfolio. The purpose of the letter is to introduce the work you have collected, to reflect upon it showing your awareness of your process, and to highlight important efforts and progress.Summer students: your portfolio will be accessed online. Fall: Prepare a print version. Copy all material from your blog that is relevant to your writing process. Paste and format it in MS Word, so that I can read backwards through the chronology of your work. Alter the formatting so as to make it as readable and efficient as possible.Please print this single spaced, in a 10 or 12 point font.

The Cover Letter

A well-written cover letter will frame my reading of your portfolio, calling my attention to your progress, development, and efforts throughout the semester. The most-effective cover letters will draw a reader's attention to specific elements of the portfolio (e.g. an outline in which you worked hard to synthesize two points of view, a late revision to the research question reflecting your fieldwork). If your portfolio represents your journey through the semester, the cover letter stands as my reading map.

Your business-style cover letter should be 250-500 words. My address is:
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Department of English
Leonard Hall, Room 110
421 North Walk
Indiana, PA 15705-1094

Don't include your address when you post this to your blog; no need to encourage the junk mailers!

Summer 2009 students - you may simply post it to your blog. After you print it, please post a copy to your blog. You may reference individual blog posts by referencing the “Title” or including a URL. If you are unsure how to approach writing the cover-letter, please consider one or more of these three prompts to help you frame your final portfolio for presentation.

1. Reflection on A Few Process Steps:

I'd like to learn more about how you experienced the research process, and in particular, how you were able to use the various steps laid out for the class (brainstorming, identifying conversations, framing a research question, evaluating sources etc.) Please choose two or three specific blog posts that shows that your growth, discovery, and decision-making process. Use your own judgment about what helped you most during the research process. Please LINK to the relevant posts, and explain how the activities helped and why they were significant steps in your larger research process.

2. Reflection on Draft Revision:

I'd like you to tell me about your revising, what did (and perhaps did not) go well for you. Talk about the progress you made and what helped you most as you worked on pulling your sources together for your own purpose. You can reference things we did as a class, steps you took in response to comments and individual discussion, or moves you made on your own. Please try to include specific discussion of at least one aspect of your draft that was improved; you may also choose to disclose things that you'd like to be able to do better in the future as well.

3. Reflection on the Digital Dimension

Use of networked computers, the web, and databases are a requirement for conducting 21st century research. But it is not a university-wide requirement that English 202 be taught in a computer classroom, or that students use blogs for research journals, or do group collaborations through a wiki. Reflect on your progress as a digital researcher. How did you make use of these tools in your own research this semester? In what ways did you become more skilled writing and reading in a networked environment? What struggles did such work present for you? As above, try to point to specific posts, assignments, activities, or readings to exemplify your progress.



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