Portfolio 1: Reading and Responding to an Article about a Public Issue
Overview: To complete this portfolio, you will read, summarize, and respond to various articles about publicly debated issues. Then, you will select one of your summary/response essays to revise and polish for a grade.
Worth: 20% of your final grade
Purposes for this Portfolio: To understand and critically examine a written argument; to communicate an author’s argument and your response to that argument.
Audience: Address your essay to a general academic audience. Assume they have not read the article, although they are likely to be familiar with the issue. Your audience will expect you to thoroughly explain and support each point you make. In addition, they will expect you to use a reasonable tone, to respect your readers and sources, and to avoid slang.
Portfolio Content: Please submit your essay in a folder clearly labeled with your name and email address. Your portfolio should include:
Essay Requirements: Your essay should be 750 to 1,000 words in length. Roughly one-third of the essay should be devoted to summary. In your summary, clearly identify the article to which you are responding and provide a fair and accurate description of the author’s purpose and main ideas. Your response to the article can indicate that you agree or disagree with the article, analyze the article, and/or reflect on the article. You should clearly state your main and supporting points in your response. You should support your points with evidence (personal experience, information from other sources, or analysis).
Grading Criteria: I will check your portfolio for completeness. I will ask myself the following questions as I read your Summary/Response Essay:
1. Have you clearly identified the article and author in your summary?
2. Have you clearly identified the main point of the article in your summary?
3. Have you clearly identified other key points related to the main point?
4. Have you used quotations and paraphrases effectively in your summary?
5. Have you attributed information to the author in your summary (e.g., Have you used author tags)?
6. Have you clearly identified your main point in your response?
7. Does your response focus on the main point you are making?
8. Does your main point indicate a clear understanding of the essay you are summarizing? (In other words, are you responding to a key idea or main point made by the author of the essay you are summarizing?)
9. Have you used quotations and paraphrases effectively to support your main point?
10. Have you provided (if appropriate) personal experience as evidence to support your main point?
11. Have you provided reasons to support your main point and backed up those reasons with evidence or analysis?
12. Have you organized your response in a reasonable manner? (In other words, a manner that your readers should find easy to follow.)
13. Are your summary and response written to a general audience?
14. Are your summary and response written in a form that conforms to standard American English? (In other words, is it generally free of grammatical, mechanical, and spelling errors?)
Articles: We will read the following articles during our work on this portfolio: