WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Your Course Portfolio

Assignment: First Year Writing Digital Portfolio
: Digication
: Classmates, Michael, Writing Program and University Administrators
Due Date
: Final Exam Week
— Section #227: Monday, March 19th, 8:45-11:00 a.m.
— Section #228: Wednesday, March 14th, 11:45-2:00 p.m.


Reflection refers to the iterative process that we engage in when we want to look back at some activity or decision we’ve made, to think about what we’ve learned from it, and how we might use it in the future. Reflection is a powerful tool in teaching and learning — think of it as a dot-connecting mechanism — and outside of academics, reflecting is a common tool among professionals and organizations as a way to establish values, goals, and future actions:

  • What did I do?
  • What was significant about what I did?
  • Did I meet my goals?
  • When have I done this kind of work before? Where could I use this again?
  • Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did?
  • How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve?
  • What should I do next? What’s my plan?

Your Writing Portfolio –

A cornerstone of the First Year Writing Program’s pedagogy, the student writing portfolio provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate the degree to which you have achieved the program’s learning outcomes.  Writing portfolios are required of every student in every FYW course and necessitate that students keep track of their work (collection), take responsibility for selecting pieces of their writing that represent their achievements (selection), and reflect on their own work in the course (reflection).

Portfolios play many roles in academic and professional life: artists use them to  document and to showcase their work over time; architects use them to present drawings, media, and projects to clients; writers use them to make connections between the kinds of work that they do individually and collaboratively for any number of creative, academic, and professional goals and readers.

In each case, purpose and audience help to guide your rhetorical selection of materials, your reflections on those materials, and their presentation. In the First-Year Writing Program at DePaul, we use digital portfolios as a way for you to showcase your work and to show how you’ve met the learning outcomes of the course in which you are enrolled.

First-Year Writing Digital Portfolio Requirements

  • A Reflective Essay that introduces your work to your peers, your instructor, and writing-program administrators: 750-1250 words
  • Samples of your work that support as evidence your learning outcomes:
    • rhetorical knowledge
    • critical thinking, reading, and writing
    • processes
    • knowledge of convention

The design and composition of your digital portfolio draw on the very same strategies and outcomes that you’ve been practicing in your WRD first-year writing course: readers will attribute credibility and authority to you when your design and arrangement are done with care; thoughtfully integrated examples of your work will support your reflective essay’s main points; and you will get practice in articulating and presenting your academic and professional identities.

For two optional and alternative approaches to portfolio development can be found on the Course Calendar, under Monday, 3/5.