Appendix: Portfolio Guidelines

Matthew Cheney

Here are the guidelines that I used when I taught the course this book derives most of its exercises from.

Portfolio Guidelines

What your portfolio must include, at a minimum:


  • Your own artist’s statement / portfolio intro.  Length: 114-119 words.  (Yes, this number is arbitrary.  Most rules are.)
  • Examples of 3 different types/genres of writing, each with at least one revision included. (You will have done a lot of this work for previous modules. Now you’re collecting it and polishing it.) Include all drafts along with a final, polished, proofread draft.
  • A reflection of at least 500 words.  This should be the last thing you write.  After you’ve put the portfolio together, read it, then write this reflection.


You are welcome and encouraged to include more than this in your portfolio, but this is the absolute minimum.


You need to create your portfolio using either Weebly or Google Sites. [Now, I might add Wix, Squarespace, etc. I recommend only giving 2 or 3 options to avoid overwhelming students, but also being open to their own creative suggestions of other ways to do the portfolio.] Both are quite user-friendly (Weebly, especially), but allow yourself some time to experiment with them to figure out how they work and how you best want to arrange your material.


Be creative. Let your portfolio represent you as a writer and person.


The best portfolios are not necessarily collections of the greatest writing in the history of the world.  The best portfolios show your journey and progress as a writer.  They demonstrate thoughtfulness, reflection, care, and effort.  They are vivid, creative, and unique.


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