How to Write a Portfolio Essay

it’s the end of the marking period; you’ve made it through Writing Workshop, and it’s time for one of the final steps: writing your portfolio letter. Don’t freak out! You’re almost done! The portfolio letter isn’t really that bad. Concentrate on introducing your essays, focus on your strengths and weakness, and let the evaluators know what you’ve gained from Academic Writing Workshop.

Here are some tips that might be helpful for you:

  1. It only has to be one-two pages (Woo-hoo! ) The portfolio letter should be from one to two pages. However, sometimes it is more difficult to fit all the information you want into a short letter, so this is an opportunity to practice using word economy (painting the picture and illustrating your point using as few words as practical).
  2. Start it like a letter You could start your letter the way you start any regular letter: “Dear Ms. Tannous, Enclosed you will find… ” Ten you can start by introducing the essays you have included. You can include the titles of your essays and what they are about.
  3. Mention your strengths and weaknesses Now it’s time to show them that you have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. This is the most important part of your letter.

Strengths: Think of this part as your selling points. Here, you are giving them all the reasons why you should pass the portfolio, and the stronger and more specific points you can provide, the more likely that your points will be sold! Think about your strengths in terms of work ethic, ability to tolerate frustration during the writing process, ability to conference (give and receive feedback), brainstorming, revising word choices, building transitions, etc.

Weaknesses: The point is simple: a strong writer recognizes not only his/her strengths, but also his/her weaknesses as well. To be able to point out your weaknesses and at the same time, tell your portfolio evaluators what you’ve done to improve upon these weaknesses will only make your point stronger. Remember that the more specific you can be, the easier it would be for evaluators to see and identify with your points. (Therefore, refer to specific sections of the essays you’ve included to demonstrate your point whenever possible. )

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