ENG 490: Portfolio Information

In English majors’ last semester, they should enroll in ENG 490, a graded, one-credit 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 Aug. 2016)
  1. Reading Experience
  2. Students will demonstrate the breadth of their reading experience, which includes both texts from different genres and texts representing a range of cultural and individual identities.

  3. Writing Experience

    Students will demonstrate that they have written in different modes for different audiences and purposes.

  4. Language and Discourse

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

  5. Theoretical Perspectives
  6. Students will demonstrate that they understand the significant theoretical “lenses” in their field of study. Possibilities include literary theory, pedagogical theory and approaches, and theories of language acquisition.

  7. Historical or Cultural Context

    Students will demonstrate an understanding of how texts are historically and culturally situated, and how these texts are part of the scope, sequence and framework in their field of study.

  8. Future Directions

    Students will demonstrate an understanding of how their education contributes to their lives and careers outside the classroom. One aim of our program is to develop well-rounded graduates with interests not only in their fields of study, but also in the social and ethical issues of our changing world.

Portfolio Requirements

  • a brief curriculum vitae (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 and 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.