Preparing and Assembling the English Portfolio

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have moved the English Placement process online and are using the Essay test for all summer 2020 placement. Since the Portfolio represented an opportunity for students to submit placement material online, we are temporarily halting the portfolio process until we resume in-person orientation in the future.

  • For students attending orientation in the summer of 2020 please do the English Essay in your Hawks 100 class in your MyIUP.

    Your portfolio must include three pieces of writing clearly labeled. 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:
      2a. 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.
      2b. 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 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.

    How to Submit:

    Please see your Hawks 100 class in your MyIUP for details on how to submit your portfolio.

    By email/upload:

    If you are uploading, we must receive your portfolio by the deadline that matches your orientation date (use the deadline chart here).

    • Label each document appropriately (Reflective Letter, Response to Text, Academic Essay). Then, 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, you or your teacher or counselor should upload all of the documents per instructions in your Hawks 100 course in your MyIUP.


      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