How can I avoid disaster when preparing my portfolio?

  1. Keep all of your writing for courses, both in digital and hard copy form. If your laptop is stolen or damaged, you will be very glad you a digital backup or  a stash of writing on paper.
  2. Read your papers carefully and allow time to revise. At the very least, correct typos and other obvious errors. Readers will thank you.
  3. Choose papers that meet the criteria and also show variety. Try to avoid submitting a portfolio composed of three or four papers of similar structure.
  4. If you decide to use more than one paper from a single course, be sure to defend that choice in your reflective essay. Successful portfolios tend to show a range of writing styles and topics.
  5. If English is not your native language, consult an ESL tutor at the Writing Center for help in preparing your portfolio.
  6. Take time with your reflective essay, which is usually read first. Your job is to argue that you are a successful Carleton writer, ready to take on advanced work in your major. Your evidence will come from the papers in your portfolio. Take time to seek feedback on your essay from at least one reader before you submit your portfolio.