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– Please check the attached file for full instructions- Please check the attached sample Portfolio Letter Instructions Your portfolio will be a compilation of multiple drafts of three formal writing assignments that you have completed throughout the semester (Essays 1, 2, and the Research Paper). You will begin your portfolio with a persuasive letter addressed to me, your instructor, in which you will formally state your case for having learned and progressed during the semester, particularly as it relates to 3 key concepts that we’ve studied and discussed this semester: Self-Regulated Learning, Critical Thinking/Universal Intellectual Standards and Discourse Communities. Your Portfolio Letter should make claims about what you have learned in relation to each of the 3 key concepts above and what your current understanding of them is. The claims you make should be supported with examples from your reading and writing assignments. All assignments you’ve completed are eligible to be used as supporting examples, but you should make a particular effort to refer to the 3 major portfolio essays. The Portfolio Letter should be written in formal academic language as much as possible. You will need to refer to yourself and your writing in the first person, and you may address me in the second person if you wish. Avoid informal language such as slang that you would use in a letter to a friend. Your letter does not have to follow standard essay organization, i.e. introduction, body, conclusion, but paragraphs should make claims, support those claims with evidence from your assignments and explain why the evidence is persuasive.
sample_student_portfolio_letter.docx

portfolio_letter_instructions.docx

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Dear Professor,
This semester, my peers and I read and applied concepts from “Self-Regulated Learning,”
“Critical Thinking in College Writing: From the Personal to the Academic” by Gita DasBender,
and “Discourse Communities” by Gary D. Schmidt and William J. Vande Kopple. These
assignments, along with the rest of the assignments on the syllabus in combination with my
motivation, have helped me improve as a reader and writer.
Self-Regulated Learning
Characteristics of self-regulated learning (SRL) as stated in the reading include “self-control,
self-discipline, perseverance, and determination in pursuing long-term goals.” I believe that I
have further developed these qualities this semester by keeping a schedule in my phone and
written on a physical, paper calendar in my room. This allowed me to balance homework, pet
sitting, and a social life and check on the progress of my goals over the semester. Through trial
and error in high school and college, I know that procrastination and a lack of sleep are not
beneficial to me. Therefore, I conditioned myself to turn in SRL journal entries as early as I
could and start essays well before Sunday night so that I did not feel pressured to type them in
one sitting. If I started an essay on a Friday, I could have time to alternate brainstorming and
typing with other homework or TV so that I would not be stressed. Taking breaks during the
writing process helps me stay motivated and avoid writers’ block.
One method to practice SRL, which I utilized constantly this semester, is asking questions
before, during, and after an assignment. Questions include: “How motivated am I to perform the
task, and how can I increase my motivation if it is low?” “How does what I am learning relate to
what I already know?” “How well did I achieve my goal?” I asked myself these and other
planning, monitoring, and evaluating questions for each reading and writing assignment. In my
first SRL journal entry, I wrote that my motivation and goals were not clear yet because I had
just transferred and did not know what to expect from the class (the length of essays and amount
of reading) based on the first week. In the last journal entry, I wrote: “In English, I have been
motivated and focused this week” because I paid attention to the presentations and brainstormed
for the research paper. Motivation was a common theme in each journal entry. I also wrote in
SRL 10: “For the Odyssey mentoring program in the Government/Political Science department, I
met with my mentor on Wednesday per usual, and I turned in the journal entry about our meeting
that night so that the details were fresh in my mind.” I developed a habit of writing the Odyssey
journal entries almost immediately after meeting with my mentor, so I met one of my goals of
not procrastinating.
While working on my research paper, I considered all three SLR questions. I was motivated
when I brainstormed the week before the paper was due, but I was not motivated to start typing
over the weekend because I had been working on an internship application. Thankfully, I liked
my introduction from essay two, so I decided to use this revised section in my research paper:
“Sexual harassment is a crucial problem to raise awareness about because it causes people to feel
intimidated and prevents them from feeling equal. Equality cannot exist if people feel
intimidated and violated at school and struggle to advance their education because of sexual
harassment or assault. One step towards equality is to start a conversation about this type of
behavior.” While brainstorming, I had highlighted quotes to use from the first source, such as
“nearly 50% [sic] female students [experience] some kind of [sexual harassment] during their
college years” (33) from the introduction of the Thakur and Paul article, which is the first quote I
knew I wanted to use. Even though I did not know this statistic, I have heard others used on the
topic of sexual harassment. I have learned more about sexual harassment through my own
experiences, research for this paper, writing essays one and two, and by watching Law and
Order: Special Victims Unit. I knew that I did not need to cite all three sources in the first draft,
so I could spend more time typing than reading articles and use the next two sources as a way to
revise for the second draft.
Critical Thinking/Universal Intellectual Standards
DasBender defines critical thinking as “rational thinking, making independent evaluations and
judgments, and a healthy skepticism of what is being read,” and it leads to “a better
understanding of the subject at hand” (38). Critical thinkers “have an informed opinion about the
text but also a thoughtful response to it” (DasBender 38). Despite my bias and prior knowledge
and experiences, I learned from each source in my second paper. My first citation in the
introduction of essay two draft two is from a video interview with Tarana Burke, who founded
the Me Too movement “as an exchange of empathy between survivors.” When I listened to her, I
remind myself of the difference between empathy and sympathy. I cited definitions and facts in
my paper to present myself with less bias. Definitions include “consent” and “active bystander”
in paragraph five of essay two draft two. One fact I cited in the third paragraph is 15 men
accused Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct. Before I started this essay, I knew about the
allegations, which is why I chose the source, but I did not know the specific number.
Discourse Communities
Schmidt and Kopple define a discourse community as “a group of people who share ways to
claim, organize, communicate, and evaluate meanings.” One of my discourse communities
includes this English class, where narratives are a unique assignment. My political science
professors are highly unlikely to require a narrative essay or component in the syllabus. Since
this English class is part of the larger Sac State community, I wrote, “I’m not one of the five
women who gets assaulted on a college campus” at the beginning of the first essay to reference
the larger discourse community. Also, once when I told my story, someone assumed my sexual
harassment happened at college even though it did not, so I wanted establish context. Schmidt
and Kopple also wrote: “Sometimes people from different discourse communities focus on
different aspects of the same object or general phenomenon.” People can write about the same
topic with different perspectives. For example, my group members and I are in different
discourse communities, or majors, outside of this class—political science, biology,
communication, and business/finance. Although I wrote my narrative on sexual harassment, my
group members wrote about racism and hypermasculinity, so we approached the same prompt in
unique ways.
Even though I took this class to fulfill a graduation requirement, I will keep the concepts of selfregulated learning, critical thinking, and discourse communities in mind for other classes in
future semesters.
Cordially,
Portfolio Letter Instructions
ENGL 20/20M
Your portfolio will be a compilation of multiple drafts of three formal writing assignments that you have
completed throughout the semester (Essays 1, 2, and the Research Paper). You will begin your portfolio
with a persuasive letter addressed to me, your instructor, in which you will formally state your case for
having learned and progressed during the semester, particularly as it relates to 3 key concepts that we’ve
studied and discussed this semester: Self-Regulated Learning, Critical Thinking/Universal Intellectual
Standards and Discourse Communities.
Your Portfolio Letter should make claims about what you have learned in relation to each of the 3 key
concepts above and what your current understanding of them is. The claims you make should be
supported with examples from your reading and writing assignments. All assignments you’ve completed
are eligible to be used as supporting examples, but you should make a particular effort to refer to the 3
major portfolio essays.
The Portfolio Letter should be written in formal academic language as much as possible. You will need to
refer to yourself and your writing in the first person, and you may address me in the second person if you
wish. Avoid informal language such as slang that you would use in a letter to a friend.
Your letter does not have to follow standard essay organization, i.e. introduction, body, conclusion, but
paragraphs should make claims, support those claims with evidence from your assignments and explain
why the evidence is persuasive.
Requirements
1) Your portfolio letter does not need a heading as it will immediately follow your portfolio’s cover page.
Begin the letter only with Dear Professor Overby. Sign the letter at the end with “Sincerely,” or “Regards,”
etc. and your name.
2) Your portfolio letter must address all three key concepts (Self-Regulated Learning, Critical
Thinking/Universal Intellectual Standards and Discourse Communities).
3) Supporting evidence for your claims should come as much as possible from revised writing that you are
including in the portfolio. You may either quote directly if you are referring to a sentence or short passage
in your writing, or you may direct me to the location of the text to which you are referring, i.e. “in the second
paragraph on page three of my research paper . . . .” Other assignments may also be mentioned as you
see fit ( articles and handouts read, journal entries, peer reviews, 5 point worksheets, Presentation etc.)
4) For each supporting example you use from your writing, you must explain why it persuasively supports
the claim for which you are using it.
5) You may organize your letter as you wish, i.e. chronologically, by concepts 1, 2, 3, by essay drafts etc.
as long as it has some logical organization.
6) One of the purposes for your portfolio letter is to demonstrate your formal writing skill at the end of the
semester. Therefore, it is a one draft writing assignment. Be sure to carefully proofread your Portfolio Letter
for any needed grammar, wording or spelling corrections.
7) Please single space your portfolio letter (see the sample portfolio letter outline).
8) There is a minimum requirement of 700 words for your portfolio letter. However, students often
write much more than that to clearly and persuasively make their case.

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