What is the Portfolio Project?
For this and several other sections of WR150, we will be constructing a comprehensive and cohesive portfolio over the course of the semester. All your assignments – formal and informal – will be geared toward the final product of the course: a research portfolio and formal research paper.
The Portfolio you will construct will come together throughout the course of the semester as you acquire research and organizational skills. The goal of the course is to give you the tools to adequately research and describe your chosen subject, and to formulate a distinct argument or thesis about the material.
The Portfolio will contain both informal (“checked-in”) and formal (graded) portions.
Informal portions of the portfolio will be checked off and commented upon by me at intervals throughout the semester. These informal portions will contribute to the portfolio’s final grade, though will not receive individual letter grades.
- Weekly Reading Journal
- Four F.E.A.T. Summaries
- Annotated Bibliography Entries
- Mid-semester Reflection
- Final Reflection
Formal portions of the portfolio (Research Proposal, drafted Short Research Paper, and final Long Research Paper) will receive independent grades, but will assist the students in forming their final product.
- Research Proposal (draft & final)
- Research Prospectus
- Formal Research Paper
In addition, the Portfolio as a whole will be graded (40% of your grade).
The topic you choose for your portfolio is entirely up to you. It may be related to or include material from class, but it may also be a completely independent project. If you choose a project unrelated to class, you will still be expected to keep up with the readings and the topical journal entries. I recommend that students incorporate both course and external materials in their projects.
Possible ways to structure your project include
- a cross-historical comparison between two time periods or social movements
- a literary comparison between two different authors/periods/genres
- a study of film or theatrical adaptations
- a research project on the history behind a work of art or literature
- a comparison between the way different periods record history
- a study of historical theories or philosophies (history, science, religion, etc.)
Research projects need not be limited to (or even contain) works of literature. Certainly, you are more than welcome to have a literary research, but do not feel that you are limited to or required to include it. Students are welcome to use images (painted or photographed), film, theater, historical and/or political documents, history, sociology, archaeology, history of science, elements of popular culture, and/or anthropology. Students interested in the hard sciences should discuss potential ways to incorporate the sciences into a project with me. All topics must be approved before the project is begun. Students with questions or ideas should come and see me to talk about the directions their projects might take.
As part of the project, B.U. is partnering with Digication to provide all portfolio students with the web resources to construct a web-based portfolio. Many of your course materials, your assignments, and additional resources are available in my portfolio online at http://bu.digication.com/wr150i2inst/
All assignments and journal entries should be submitted ONLINE through the course page (accessible through your Digication home page and my portfolio page).
Each student will have his/her own available portfolio through Digication. You are encouraged to use this software to construct an online portfolio for class (we will talk about how to use the software throughout the semester, but if you can use LiveJournal, Facebook, MySpace, etc., you can probably use this), but you are not required to do your portfolio online.