ENGL 095/096 Portfolios
ENGL 095 Scoring Guide
Prerequisite: English Placement Test (placement determined
by student's score). Instruction in basic writing and reading. Focus on writing
processes such as invention, revision, and editing. Use of personal experience
and/or observation in writing narrative and expository essays. Graded CR/NC.
Develop the ability to focus an essay upon a single assertion
triggered by a writing prompt
Use effective writing process strategies in invention, drafting,
revising, and editing
Develop critical reading strategies for both narrative and
Use both narrative and expository structures to organize essays
Demonstrate fluency by developing essays with sufficient specific
Revise writing based on criteria articulated in the rubric and
feedback from peers and the instructor
Edit writing to eliminate major errors in English sentence
structure, punctuation, and usage
Students are expected to
Write 5-7 first draft
Substantially revise two
of these essays into 2-3 page typed essays for inclusion in the final
Write an in-class essay at
the end of the quarter for inclusion in the portfolio
Attend a minimum of 80% of
the scheduled class sessions
Actively participate in
prewriting and revision activities during class
Read critically and
respond informally in writing to assigned readings
Recommended Textbooks (back
If you assign or
recommend a handbook, it is helpful if you use the following, so that students
do not have to buy different ones over the course of several quarters in the
A Pocket Style Manual (4th ed.), edited by Diana Hacker (Bedford/St.
Small, cheap, and easy to use, with MLA, APA, and Chicago Style documentation
No recommended textbooks.
ENGL 095/096 Portfolios (back
English 095 and 096 are graded Credit or No Credit (CR/NC).
Students are evaluated on a portfolio consisting of three writing samples: two
essays written during the quarter (revised and edited, with the rough drafts and
the original writing prompt attached beneath the final presentation draft), plus
a final in-class essay which is administered during the tenth week of classes,
usually at the final class meeting. Generally, instructors develop their own
prompt for the in-class essay, drawing on topics or themes that they have
considered during the quarter.
English 095 and 096 instructors attend a mid-term
socialization, usually held on Friday of the fifth week of classes, to read
sample portfolios from previous quarters and to develop an understanding of the
holistic scoring rubric and portfolio evaluation standards. During the fall
quarter, instructors grade portfolios on Friday (English 095) and Saturday
(English 096) of the tenth week of classes during an all-day holistic grading
session held on campus. During winter and spring quarters, portfolios for both
095 and 096 are read on Friday of the tenth week. Portfolio grades are based
upon the entirety of the portfolio and graded holistically, according to rubrics
established for each course. (See the Appendices.) End-of-quarter procedures and
directions for the portfolios are distributed by the eighth week of the quarter.
Instructors are expected to give adequate and specific
feedback on student essays through conferences and/or comments on papers. Some
instructors do not grade individual essays, but rather guide students in
choosing essays and revising them to create a successful portfolio, making it
clear that requests for further revision indicate that the essay is not yet
ready for the portfolio. By the middle of the quarter, instructors should begin
giving students more specific information about the quality of their writing, so
students who are not doing passing work are aware of their status. Some
instructors use the CR/NC distinction since that is the ultimate decision.
Others give a numerical grade based upon the portfolio scoring guide for that
course. Whatever their method, most instructors strive to strike a balance
between encouraging students and giving them an honest assessment of their work.
Students are understandably upset when they believe they have been doing passing
work, but then receive a NC grade on their portfolio.
Peer response groups are also recommended as a way of
helping students develop their ability to critique essays, of increasing the
feedback that students receive, and providing an audience other than the
instructor. Many students will benefit from additional tutorial instruction
available in the University Writing Center.
The "6" portfolio shows a very good level
of writing in response to assignments, including the final writing prompt.
Papers reveal a clear understanding of the assignments, and at least one revised essay demonstrates very good ability to write
an expository thesis/support essay in which narration and description are
used as support rather than as the means of organizing the essay. The
writer thoughtfully selects details and illustrates or explains her or his
ideas appropriately and thoroughly. While there is a basic command of
sentence structure and paragraph division, there may be some errors of
spelling, idiom and verb forms, as well as the occasional non-standard
structure. Class essays show significant improvement over successive
drafts, revealing the writer's ability to respond to instruction. Overall,
this writer communicates a strong sense of purpose through focused, vivid
detail and generally fluent language.
The "5" portfolio shows a good level of
writing in response to assignments. Development is less thorough than in a
"6" portfolio, and at times some details may not entirely focus
on the central idea, or may do so only implicitly. Papers reveal an
understanding of the assignments, and at
least one revised essay demonstrates good ability to write an expository
thesis/support essay in which narration and description are used as
support rather than as the means of organizing the essay. Flaws in
sentence structure, mechanics, grammar, paragraph division, and usage are
not frequent or severe enough to distract the reader or obscure the
writer's overall purpose. While essays improve in focus and fluency over
successive drafts, that improvement is less marked than in essays in a
"very good" portfolio.
The "4" portfolio adequately responds to
the assignments. The essays, for the most part, remain focused throughout.
At least one revised essay
demonstrates an adequate ability to write an expository thesis/support
essay in which narration and description are used as support rather than
as the means of organizing the essay, and development is sufficient to
communicate the writer's purpose. Errors at the sentence level, including
non-standard usage, may occasionally distract the reader or briefly
obscure the writer's intentions, and paragraph division may sometimes
falter. However, this writer clearly understands the assignments and shows
an increasing ability to handle them through the process of revision. This
student's writing skills are adequate to begin English 096.
The "3" portfolio will exhibit one or more
of the following flaws to a degree that indicates the writer is not yet
ready for English 096. Essays may not show an adequate understanding of
and response to the writing assignments. The essays may not be adequately
developed, may lack a consistent focus and may confuse the reader or
the writer does not demonstrate adequate control of expository
thesis/support essay structure in at least one revised essay. Surface
errors and sentence structure problems may be serious and consistent
enough to obscure the writer's purpose. Revisions may not show sufficient
improvement over earlier versions. Overall, this student will benefit from
retaking English 095.
The "2" portfolio is incomplete in significant ways (e.g., does not contain drafts of
essays or other required materials or is missing one or more essays).
The "1" grade is assigned when a
student fails to submit a portfolio but has completed some course work
during the term.