English 255 portfolio guidelines



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ENGLISH 255 PORTFOLIO GUIDELINES

Dear English 255 Student:

As a culmination of your work in English 255, you will create a portfolio that showcases the progress you’ve made this term. Your portfolio will consist of the following:


  • A cover letter introducing yourself briefly to the English Department 255 Portfolio Committee and providing a couple of paragraphs, each one describing one of the essays you’ve included in terms of the research, pre-writing, drafting, and revising processes.

  • Two revised essays that you wrote out of class. Print out a freshly-revised copy of each essay.

  • An In-class essay of at least five paragraphs in which you respond to a text (reading, film, photograph, etc.) that your teacher has provided a week prior to the portfolio due date. You will write the essay in class on the day that the portfolio is due, and you will submit your completed in-class essay as the last item in your portfolio. In-class essays must be double-spaced, and they may be neatly hand-written or computer generated. You will be given 90 minutes to complete the essay on the day that the portfolio is due. You may use the reading material, a dictionary, as well, as class notes.

  • As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations will be provided to insure equal opportunity for students with verified disabilities. Please see your instructor.

The Cabrillo College English Department thanks you for your hard work this term; the 255 Portfolio Committee looks forward to reading your work and sharing in your accomplishments at this significant step in your college journey.

Sincerely,

Cabrillo College English 255 Portfolio Committee

Learning Outcomes

1. Write paragraphs and short essays demonstrating basic sentence-level competency and culminating in a portfolio.


2. Comment on ideas and writing strategies in reading assignments.


Objectives   

Students entering English 255 have an underlying grasp of English syntax; however, they often have severe difficulties writing conventional English, including misspelling, punctuation errors, run-on and fragmented sentences, obscure pronoun reference, and modifier problems. Their writing may show inadequate topic development, lack of paragraph coherence and careful transitions, vague or awkward phrasing, and overly simple vocabulary and sentence structure.

English 255 students will:
  1. Address a topic clearly.
  2. Develop and analyze ideas through detail and evidence.
  3. Utilize principles of paragraphing.
  4. Vary sentence structure.
  5. Identify and correct mechanical errors, including errors in punctuation, sentence structure, verb tense, pronoun and subject-verb agreement, and spelling.
  6. Eliminate frequent errors in idiomatic usage.
7. Use the dictionary to enlarge vocabulary and improve spelling.
  8. Write timed in-class essays with clear ideas supported by some evidence, a coherent sequence of paragraphs, competent control of language, and no pervasive pattern of errors.
  9. Identify and evaluate an author's main ideas and purpose.
  10. Demonstrate knowledge of the academic skills necessary for success in college, including test-taking, note-taking, study skills, and word processing.
  11. Complete portfolios of out-of-class and timed writings that demonstrate that they have met the English 255 course objectives. Portfolios will be evaluated every semester by the Basic Skills Writing Competency Committee.

Writing the English 255 Portfolio Evaluation Cover Letter

Dear English 255 Students:

Your teacher has given you an information sheet about the portfolio of writings you will submit to the English Department in the last part of the semester. Your teacher may have directed you to include a cover letter about your work in English 255. Here are some specific guidelines to help you plan and write the cover letter for your portfolio:


  • The letter should be brief, no more than a single page.



  • Your letter should be addressed to the English Department or to the Portfolio Evaluation Committee. Your cover letter is the first piece of writing that the reader will see, and it serves as an important sample of your writing. You will want to proofread the letter carefully to make sure that the first impression you make is a good one.



  • The letter should explain why you have selected the out-of-class essays for your portfolio and describe the process you went through to write and revise them. The letter may also be used as an opportunity to describe your educational background and goals and to explain how you used the essay assignments to write about ideas, issues, and experiences that are important to you.



  • You may visit the Aptos Writing Center/ESL Lab or Watsonville ILC for tutoring help with the letter, and your English 255 teacher may also provide you with feedback.

If you have any questions about the cover letter or any other part of the portfolio, you may ask your instructor or any tutor in the Cabrillo College Writing Center & ESL Lab in Aptos or the Integrated Learning Center in Watsonville.

The English faculty appreciates the hard work you are putting into your coursework in English 255 and looks forward to reading your essays at the end of the semester.



PORTFOLIO SAMPLE COVER LETTER



[Date]


English Department

Cabrillo College

6500 Soquel Drive

Aptos, CA 95003

RE: Portfolio Evaluation

To the Portfolio Committee:

Write a paragraph telling the committee a little about yourself. Include a sentence about your educational and career goals.

Your second paragraph will describe one of the essays you’ve included in terms of the research, pre-writing, drafting, and revising processes.

The third paragraph will describe your second revised out-of-class essay just as you did with the second paragraph.

Write a concluding paragraph in which you write a couple sentences about what you have learned over the course of the semester and what areas you feel you may want to work on further.

Sincerely,

Signature



Name


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