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What to Expect in a Portfolio Class (Whether 1113 or 1213):

Some composition courses at UCO use a portfolio system to evaluate your work. A portfolio is simply a collection of your work that you submit for a grade. This system allows for multiple revisions to your work before submitting it for a final grade. If you are taking one of these courses, your instructor will tell you on the first day of class. Below you will find the typical cycle of an essay written for a portfolio‐based course.

The Life Cycle of an Essay:

  1. A paper is assigned
  2. You'll write a rough draft of the paper
  3. Instructors conference over or workshop the draft
  4. You'll revise the draft, taking into consideration suggestions made during conferences and workshops
  5. You will then turn in the revised paper with its drafts
  6. Instructors evaluate the paper based on criteria established in the class (no letter grades are assigned at this point)
  7. Instructors hand the paper back with the evaluation attached
  8. You'll write continued revisions of the paper based on the evaluation
  9. If you'd like your instructor to look at more drafts, visit with your instructor during their office hours
  10.  When the draft is finished, put the final version and all previous drafts into the portfolio (either a physical folder, a binder, or digital folder)
  11.  You'll turn in the portfolio at midterm, at the end of the class, or whenever your instructor specifies for it to be graded
  12.  The portfolios are graded using the same criteria as the earlier drafts, except the portfolio will receive a letter grade

What to Expect in ENG 1113:

English 1113, English Composition, will focus on developing the following aspects of written English:

  • Writing processes (invention, prewriting, composing, revision, editing)
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Connecting writing processes to analytical thinking
  • Fully developing a complex idea
  • Looking at the familiar in a new way (defamiliarization)
  • Having something to say that is worth reading
  • Revision as integral to producing good writing
  • The thesis-driven essay
  • Writing with a purpose for a specific audience
  • An awareness of different genres of writing
  • Effective organization of ideas
  • Correct standard written English
  • Conventions of quotation use and source documentation
  • Discussion of writing styles
  • Self‐assessment of own writing

English 1113 will not focus on the following:

  • Intensive research
  • The long paper
  • Argument (unless in analyzing others' arguments)
  • Tests over literary terms
  • Emotional expression in every assignment
  • The modes of discourse (compare & contrast essay, informative essay, descriptive essay, etc.)
  • A particular content area beyond issues of writing


In a typical section of ENG 1113, you may expect to encounter some or all of the following assignments:

  • Four papers totaling 5,000 - 6,000 words
  • A midterm portfolio (the first two essays and a reflective cover essay)
  • A final portfolio (three essays and a reflective cover essay)
  • Assigned readings from the textbook and elsewhere
  • Journals
  • Quizzes
  • Oral presentations
  • Graded in‐class writing
  • Graded out‐of‐class homework assignments
  • Various forms of class participation

What to Expect in ENG 1213:

ENG 1213, English Composition and Research, has two main goals: 1) to teach you how to write convincing arguments, and 2) to introduce you to the conventions of academic research. ENG 1213 will continue the focus of ENG 1113 while adding the following:

  • An introduction to various structures of argument
  • Writing arguments for several different purposes
  • The conventions of researched academic writing
  • The use of primary and secondary sources in every major paper
  • Exposure to a variety of source materials, including but not limited to subscription databases, academic journals, newspapers, magazines, books, periodicals on microfiche, film, websites, interviews, and broadcast media.
  • MLA documentation style
  • Writing longer papers (7‐10 pages)
  • Inquiry‐based learning-giving you the opportunity to find out the answers to questions about a content area
  • Exploring a topic before committing to a particular stance about it
  • Exploring an aspect of a content area in depth


In a typical section of ENG 1213, you should expect to encounter some or all of the following:

  • Three major papers that range in lengths from 1200 to 2000 words
  • A Midterm Portfolio, consisting of the first two essays and a reflective cover essay OR the first essay and some collection of shorter writings. (research proposal, annotated bibliography, etc.)
  • A Final Portfolio, consisting of all three essays, a reflective cover essay, and any supplemental writing the instructor wishes to require one paper that is significantly longer than the others (at least eight to ten pages)
  • Assigned readings from the textbooks and elsewhere
  • Journals
  • Quizzes
  • Oral presentations
  • Graded in‐class writing
  • Annotated bibliographies
  • Research proposals

Other Things to Expect in ENG 1113 and 1213:

  • You may be required to attend at least one, and no more than four individual conferences in order to discuss your work. Instructors may cancel classes in order to do this.
  • You will be provided a way to give other students feedback on their writing. This may be done via in‐class workshop, peer review, or online discussion board.
  • No essays without rough drafts will be accepted for evaluation in the portfolios. No brand new essays (not previously seen by an instructor) even with rough drafts will be accepted for evaluation in the portfolio. So instructors must have seen a rough draft of an essay at some point earlier in the semester before that essay can appear in the portfolio.
  • In order to pass the class, all major work for the course must be turned in.