Content Requirements

The Portfolio Writing Program requires you to submit four different types of writing. Writing done in school or out of school is acceptable, and you may revise your writing after it has been returned by your teacher (in fact, revising your writing for the portfolio is strongly encouraged).

1) Reflective Letter

The reflective letter, addressed to Miami University’s composition teachers, sets the tone for the portfolio by introducing both the writer and the individual pieces of writing. Readers are not expecting a narrative of your experiences and growth as a writer but, rather, evidence of the critical reflection you used when you produced and assembled your portfolio. A good reflective letter should explicitly introduce each piece of writing in your portfolio and explain the purpose of and audience for each. The reflective letter should also explain how the pieces of writing demonstrate your understanding of the abilities outlined in the Evaluation Criteria.

2) Persuasive Research Essay

This research-based essay should be a focused, informative analysis that makes an argument about a specific topic. The essay should integrate multiple sources of information and demonstrate proper citation and documentation. All claims that you make should be supported with convincing examples and extensive, appropriate detail. Your essay should also examine multiple points of view and show strong evidence of critical thinking, awareness of audience, and attention to social context. Please include a title with your essay. You may find that you’ve written an essay for a class other than English that fits this category.

3) Analysis of a Text

This analysis should respond to any communicative artifact or text. We define text broadly as any written, visual, oral/aural, cultural, performative, or material object, which can include but is not limited to literature, film, performance, music, visual design, art, digital media, speech, or ceremony. The analysis should interpret or evaluate all or part of a text being sure to include historical, cultural, and/or rhetorical context as part of that analysis. Possible approaches to this response include: Analyzing textual elements; explaining the text’s significance within a specific historical time; comparing the text to other texts; connecting the text to larger social or cultural contexts; and analyzing the rhetorical construction of a text. This piece of writing should not be a summary. The analysis should use support from the text to develop ideas and strengthen focus without overshadowing your own response. If secondary sources are used, they must be cited correctly. Please include a title with your essay.

4) Writer’s Choice

The Writer’s Choice can be a variety of genres, including digital projects. This work could be a video, blog, web site, editorial, informal essay, multi-genre essay, narrative, or other genre of your choice. Be especially careful in your reflective letter to explain why you have included this piece, the purpose of the piece, the intended audience, what it shows about your writing, and how it works to demonstrate your abilities (per the Evaluation Criteria). You may choose to write about the project in your portfolio, discussing or introducing the work, or including describing the types of choices you made in the project. If the text you choose is not a .doc or .docx file, please attach it to your portfolio submission or include a link to your work (e.g., link to a YouTube video, website, etc.). Note: We cannot accept attachments larger than 20MB.