Undergraduate Portfolio

In your last semester of your English major, you’ll enroll in ENG 490 – Portfolio. This course is a graded, one-credit class in which you’ll demonstrate how your English course work and projects meet the department’s goals.

Your portfolio will be one of the most important projects you do during your English undergraduate career because it’ll package and evaluate your writing expertise, which is exactly what employers want to see and hear about in job interviews.

How to Prepare for ENG 490

It’ll be very difficult for you to create a portfolio if you don’t keep track of your work throughout your program. Skip the stress by getting organized right away.

The key to success in Portfolio all comes down to this: between your first semester and your last, save all your English papers, projects, and other documents that relate to the department goals.

You can find sample portfolios in the English Department. Just ask a professor, and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Portfolio Requirements

Your portfolio should include the following sections:

  • a table of contents
  • an introductory statement that describes your interest in studying English and how you’ve met the department goals
  • abstracts explaining each goal coursework
  • documents that support the introductory statement and abstracts, two of which must be a substantial research project
  • a resume

Guidelines for Your Introductory Statement

In your introductory statement, you must:

  • accurately and purposefully introduce the portfolio documents
  • name specific texts, courses, eras, authors, and concepts with accuracy and authority
  • provide helpful cues (e.g. introduction, conclusion, foreshadowing, summaries, transitions, other markers) for readers
  • name and address all six department goals
  • offer evidence that it’s been carefully reviewed, scrupulously proofread, and edited for correctness and clarity
  • appropriately manage tone and style

Department Goals

For a robust portfolio, you should aim to have at least two papers, projects, or other documents to support each department goal below.


Reading Experience

Students will demonstrate the breadth of their reading experience, which includes both texts from different genres and texts representing a range of cultural and individual identities.


Writing Experience

Students will demonstrate that they have written in different modes for different audiences and purposes.


Language & Discourse

Students will demonstrate an understanding of language and discourse.

Avenues to such knowledge include study in the history of the language, formal grammar, rhetoric, and linguistics.


Theoretical Perspectives

Students will demonstrate that they understand the significant theoretical “lenses” in their field of study.

Possibilities include literary theory, pedagogical theory and approaches, and theories of language acquisition.


Historical or Cultural Context

Students will demonstrate an understanding of how texts are historically and culturally situated, and how these texts are part of the scope, sequence, and framework in their field of study.


Future Directions

Students will demonstrate an understanding of how their education contributes to their lives and careers outside the classroom.

One aim of our program is to develop well-rounded graduates with interests not only in their fields of study, but also in the social and ethical issues of our changing world.