ENG 490: Portfolio Information

In English majors’ last semester, they should enroll in ENG 490, a one-credit, graded course.  In preparation for this course, students are encouraged to do the following:
  • Throughout their academic program, students are encouraged to periodically review the English Department Goals and evaluate how individual courses and course paper/projects meet the goals.
  • Students should retain papers, projects and other documents that they may use for the portfolio:  Save all work.
Portfolio Resources:
  • English Department Goals:  (Last Revised October 28, 2010)
    Graduates of WSU Programs in English and Communication Arts and Literature should

  1. Approaches to Critical Inquiry:

    Know and practice several approaches to scholarship in their discipline. They should be conversant in scholarly terminology, be acquainted with the premises and arguments of various theoretical approaches, and be familiar with the issues connected to choosing one approach over another. Approaches may include textual analysis, literary theory, linguistic theory, and/or empirical research.

  2. Historical and Cultural Context:

    Have an understanding of literary history, culture and/or the historical evolution of rhetoric and linguistics. They should have experience situating works in historical and cultural contexts, be able to distinguish between periods and movements, and be aware of difficulties in establishing such distinctions. Work in this area could include historical and cultural development of the discipline or development of forms, genres, or pedagogies.

  3. Language and Discourse:

    Have an understanding of language and discourse. Avenues to such knowledge include study in the history of the language, formal grammar, rhetoric, poetics, and linguistics.

  4. Reading Experience:

    Have a diversity of reading experiences. Their reading should include texts written by authors representing the broad range of cultures, nationalities, and ethnicities that have shaped the English language and/or literature in English. They should also have experience reading critical texts, expository prose, and the writing of their fellow students.

  5. Writing Experience:

    Practice writing in several modes and for different audiences and purposes. They should gain an awareness of the social and critical implications these shifts raise, and classroom practice should bring teachers and students to experience writing, reading, listening, and speaking as integrated, mutually supporting exercises.

  6. Breadth of Interest:

    Understand how their education translates into lives and careers outside the classroom. An ultimate aim of these programs should be to develop well-rounded human beings with intellectual interests in a wide variety of ideas and ways of life, not only in literature and language but also in social and ethical issues important to citizens of a changing world and democratic society.

Portfolio Requirements:
  • a brief curriculum vita (résumé)
  • a table of contents 
  • the introductory statement describing how the goals have been met
  • abstracts for each goal 
  • documents to support the introductory statement and abstracts--required documents:
    • a substantial research project with appropriate documentation 
    • additional coursework or projects
Guidelines for the Introductory Essay:
Does the introductory essay …
  • accurately and purposefully introduce the portfolio documents?
  • name specific texts, courses, eras, authors, concepts, with accuracy and authority?
  • provide helpful cues (introduction, conclusion, forecasts, summaries, transitions, other markers) for readers?
  • name—and address—all six goals?
  • offer evidence that it has been carefully reviewed, scrupulously proofread, and edited for correctness and clarity?
  • appropriately manage tone and style? 

Sample Portfolios:
Sample portfolios will be made available in ENG 490 class.