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Preparing and Assembling the English Portfolio (Fall Freshmen Admits Only)

  • English Portfolio

    Preparing and Assembling the English Portfolio 

    Honors College Students only: No portfolio or essay, as writing is assessed in Core I.

    Your portfolio must include three pieces of writing. All three pieces are equally important. These pieces of writing do not need to come from English classes; papers that were written in class or out of school are acceptable as long as a teacher or school counselor can verify the writing is yours. Papers may have been revised after being returned by a teacher.

    What to Include:

    1. A Reflective Letter About Your Portfolio: The reflective letter introduces you and your portfolio to the faculty in the English Department at IUP. In this letter, you should describe in detail the process and considerations that went into creating the other two essays in your portfolio. You might also explain the role of writing in your life and the way you have developed as a writer, or you might assess your writing skills. This reflective letter should give the faculty in the English Department a clear understanding of who you are as a writer; you could think of it as your personal writing history. Label this document “Reflective Letter” in your heading.
    2. Two other pieces of polished writing. Include clean (no teacher comments) copies of these selections:
      1. A Response to a Written Text: This essay should respond to all or a part of a piece of writing. You might respond to literature, such as a poem or a novel, or nonfiction like a newspaper or magazine article. Your essay could interpret, evaluate, or explain the significance of the text, compare it to other texts, put it into a historical or social context, or relate it to your own experiences or values. If you use secondary sources, they should be in support of your own response. The important thing is to take a written text and use it as the basis for your response. Label this document “Response to Written Text” in your heading.
      2. An Academic Essay of Your Choice: This essay must have a strong central focus or point that you develop with support by using examples and/or evidence. It could be persuasive, exploratory, informative, or have another purpose, but it should not be narrative (that is, it should not only tell a story). Label this document “Academic Essay” in your heading.

    Page Limit:

    A maximum of 20 pages total of writing can be included in the portfolio.

    Name and ID Number: 

    Type your name and your IUP ID number, which can be found in your recently mailed invitation letter, in the upper right corner of every page.

    Submitting Your Portfolio

    You may submit your portfolio by e-mail or postal mail.

    By E-mail:

    If you are submitting by e-mail, the -email must come from a teacher or school guidance counselor (from an official school e-mail account); we must receive your portfolio by the deadline that matches your orientation date (use the deadline chart below).

    • Arrange your portfolio items in this order in one electronic document:
      •   Reflective letter
      •   Response to a written text
      •   Academic essay of your choice
    • Complete the top portion of the Portfolio Information Form; have your teacher or counselor complete the bottom portion with their signature. Then, ask your teacher or counselor to send both documents (the portfolio and the information form) to writing-placement@iup.edu.

    By Postal Mail:

    • Arrange your portfolio items in this order and staple them together:
      • Reflective letter
      • Response to a written text
      • Academic essay of your choice
    • Complete the top portion of the Portfolio Information Form; have your teacher or counselor complete the bottom with their signature. Then, staple the Portfolio Information Form to the top of the portfolio.
    • Mail your completed portfolio to the address below by the deadline that matches your orientation date. Be sure to have it weighed and use the correct amount of postage:
    Anticipated Date of Orientation Your Portfolio Must be Postmarked or E-mailed by
    April 8, 22 March 27
    June 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15 May 26
    June 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29 June 9
    July 10, 11 June 25 
    July 26 July 5 
    August 11 July 19 
    August 21, 24*, 25*, 26 August 18 
    *if dates orientations occur   

    Writing Placement Program
    IUP Department of English
    981 Grant Street
    Indiana, PA 15705


    Follow requirements

    Portfolios that do not meet the requirements will not be accepted for review. Do not include any original documents in your portfolio that you want back. No materials will be returned to you.

    Additional Information

    If your portfolio is not accepted for review, you will be notified prior to your orientation session. If your portfolio is reviewed, you will not be contacted, and you will receive your results from the portfolio evaluation during your Orientation session. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Katrina Love Miller at Katrina.Miller@iup.edu.