Sample Portfolio Cover Letter: Strong

Sample Portfolio Cover Letter: Strong

English 103: Learning Portfolio

English 103: Learning Portfolio

  • About Me
  • Cover Letter
  • Major Assignments

    • “A Sick Obsession”: Visual Rhetoric Paper
    • “Illegal Immigration in America”: Research Paper
    • “Reality Bites”: Multimedia Project
  • Observations

    • Observation #1
    • Observation #12
    • Observation #2
    • Observation #3
    • Observation #4
    • Observation #6
    • Observation #8
  • What I Learned…
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Cover Letter

the past sixteen weeks, I have spent time learning about the significance of
rhetoric and its overall influence within modern-day culture.
  While acquiring new skills and insights
into the art of argumentative writing, Accelerated Composition has greatly expanded my understanding of that various ways through which an argument can be presented and explained.
  This portfolio serves to
address and highlight the many facets of learning and knowledge that I have
acquired throughout my time in Accelerated Composition. Included within this
portfolio are seven of my personal best observations, as well as the three
major assignments- the Visual Rhetoric Paper, the Research Paper, and the
Multimedia Project- that I have completed during the semester.
   As I hope becomes evident to all who view my portfolio, it is due to my completion of these assignments that I have gained the overall knowledge, insights, and confidence to  formulate my own opinions and arguments, and present them in the form both writing and other creative methods.

to enrolling in this course, it is safe to say that I thought I had mastered
the art of expression through language and words.
  Having taken all honors and AP English and writing courses
while in high school, I spent most of my teenage years learning how to analyze
literary works and successfully translate my thoughts onto paper.
  It was not until my senior year of high
school that I thought I had reached the pinnacle of learning about language
  Enrolling in AP English
Language, my writing moved from the all too familiar and structured literary
analysis papers to writing in a more argumentative and highly critical style.
  From famous speeches to psychological
essays and advertisements, there was a heavy emphasis on exploring and
individually interpreting prevalent issues and subjects within society.
  Subsequently, I was forced to right a
major essay every two weeks, and usually was required to somehow formulate and
argue for a certain idea or concept.
All-in-all, the incessant task of writing that occurred throughout my
high school years ignited a sort of over-confidence within my ability to write,
and the idea of learning any more about rhetoric seemed rather monotonous and
  While I believed that
I had fulfilled my capacity compose a decent essay, I would soon find out that writing
is a never-ending process of trial and error in which a person never ceases to
learn and obtain new knowledge.

Needless to say,
it was entering Accelerated Composition that revolutionized my whole attitude
towards writing and even my process of thinking and interpreting. From the very
start of this course, I was taught to see beyond the highly-structured and
uniformed style of writing that was so familiar to me, and was allowed to
utilize my own thoughts, opinions, and experiences while writing.
  Such a writing-style is clearly evident
in my observations.
  Drawing upon
the two learning dimensions of “prior and emerging experience” and
“reflectiveness”, I was given the opportunity to bring my own understanding of
the world into my writing, thereby enhancing my ability to properly express my
own personal thoughts and knowledge in words- something that I had never done
to such an extent.
  For instance, in
Observation #4, I was able to voice my own thoughts on the taboo-like topic of
death, and even was able to assess a photograph that I thought wrongly
displayed the deaths of two innocent people.
  These observations also served as a way to enhance my
writing “skills and strategies”, as described in the learning dimensions.
  On several occasions, I had to compose
various ideas for my major essays, and brainstormed different arguments that
could be effective or not.
#6 is a good example of such an assignment, which involved brainstorming about
my first major essay- the Visual Rhetoric paper.
  Such observations assisted me in my writing development, as
I was more easily able to translate and organize my ideas on paper.
  Ultimately, with the ability to better
organize my thoughts and ideas, I acquired the skills to effortlessly translate
my brainstorms and free writes into well-organized essays.

More importantly, the
assignments throughout this semester have also expanded my knowledge and
overall understanding of rhetoric and argument.
  Prior to taking this course, I did not appreciate the great significance
that rhetoric and arguments hold within our world today.
  From film to advertisements, we as a
society are constantly bombarded with various medians of rhetoric that attempt
to persuade our thinking.
  It was
not until I completed the Visual Rhetoric assignment that I came to truly
understand the impact of rhetoric within society.
  For this assignment, I was asked to analyze and interpret a
modern-day advertisement of my liking.
Choosing an ad that attempted to raise awareness for breast cancer, I immediately
began to analyze the ad itself, and soon identified different methods
advertisers’ used in order to display their argument and, hopefully, persuade
various observers.
  After carefully
scrutinizing the images and text found within my advertisement, I realized something
that I had never taken notice of before- that each element of the advertisement
had a purpose.
  I recognized that
every aspect of the advertisement was working together in unison to achieve
that intended goal of raising awareness for breast cancer.
  This idea of utilizing images and text in
order to create an argument seemed completely ingenious to me, and introduced
me to a whole new world of argumentation.
I quickly began to interpret the ad from my own perspective, and, using
my newfound understanding of the methods of persuasion within the media, I was
able to accurately assess the effectiveness of the ad in its attempt to create
awareness for such a horrible disease.
So, through completing this assignment, I developed an overall awareness
and appreciation for rhetoric within society.
  I now possess the ability to acknowledge the many different
arguments found intertwined throughout modern media, and can correctly consider
the effectiveness and influence such arguments have on society at large.

After acquiring a
keen eye for recognizing and interpreting methods of persuasion within contemporary
society, my ability to formulate original arguments was greatly enhanced, due mainly
to the completion of the Research Paper.
This assignment required me to create an argument about any topic of my
  Normally, such an
assignment would have seemed relatively simple to me.
  However, this assignment proved to be a little more
complicated, as it also demanded that I acquire sources that both support and
refute my argument, and include them throughout my essay.
  While the prospect of including sources
that support my argument seemed reasonable, I was quite weary about utilizing
sources that refuted my argument.
I had never done such a thing in a paper before, and, quite honestly,
did not see their purpose in the overall argument of my paper.
  Nevertheless, I came up with an
argument in regards to illegal immigration, and began undergoing an immense
amount of research, which directly relates to the course strand of “research”.
  The writing of this long paper soon
commenced, and began to slowly develop my argument throughout the paper.
  It was not too far along in the writing
process that I discovered the relevance of the opposing sources that I thought
were totally unnecessary.
  As I
included the opinions of those opposing my argument, I realized that I could easily
disprove these claims, thereby better proving my own argument.
  Thus, after finishing this assignment, I
realized the importance of extensive research and numerous sources.
  Including outside sources and
statistics is absolutely crucial in creating a thorough and reasonable argument,
as they establish the writer’s
ethos, or
a sense of authority.
  By providing
sources that both support and refute the argument at hand, a writer is easily
viewed as a more credible source, which proves only the enhance the
effectiveness of an essay.
  Also, I
have attained a sense of confidence in creating my own argument about different
issues within society, such as illegal immigration.

Finishing the
Research Paper, I gained much more insight into formulating and, more
specifically, better supporting an argument.
  But my knowledge of argumentation within society was further
expanded with the completion of the final major assignment, the Multimedia
  This project went a step
beyond the other two major assignments, as it asked that we not only work in
groups, but also that we create a visual element like a video that somehow
relays our desired argument.
this project was quite intimidating to me.
  Quite honestly, I have never been a huge fan of group
  I have always been
rather independent, especially in regards to school, and was nervous about
relying on other people in order to get the work done.
  Regardless of my apprehensions, my
class broke up into groups, and the projects were under way.
  While coming up with a topic – the
ridiculousness of reality television- was relatively easy, my group members and I
ran into a problem very early on, as not one of us had ever made a video like
this before.
  Clueless, I decided
to just toy around with the software on our computer, and, eventually, began to
understand how everything worked.
Before I knew it, I could upload and cut clips, input transitions, and
even add songs to the background. With my new understanding of the iMovie
software, we soon created a huge compilation of different clips from the most
outrageous reality television shows that we wanted to present as raw evidence
for the absurdity of reality television.
In the end, my group was quite satisfied with our project.  Our satisfaction was further enhanced
after showing our video to the class, as people seemed to have really enjoyed
watching the video and clearly understood that argument we were presenting.
  All-in-all, this project taught me so
much about the course strands of “collaboration” and “technology”.
  Of course, being required to work with
a group, I now better understand the amount of trust and selflessness you must
have when working with others.
must put aside your own wants, and make compromises based upon what the whole
group wants to do.  
Despite my
doubts in the beginning, I actually enjoyed working with a group, as we were
able to combine all out ideas to create a unique project that we all enjoyed making.
  Furthermore, this project also opened
my eyes to the various medians through which arguments can be presented.
  Before completing this project, I had
never utilized a creative medium in order to relay an argument.
  However, thanks to this project, I have come to understand that you can easily utilize the art of film and many other medians
to relay an argument.
  I now possess the confidence and technological savvy to happily create videos of like this in the future, and maybe even try using other creative medians such as photography or music.  Overall, the Multimedia project served to simply broaden my knowledge of argumentation and the different ways through which it can be presented.

After considering all the assignments I have completed throughout this term, I have to the realization that all the knowledge and skills I have attained in Accelerated Composition will prove to only benefit me in my future academic endeavors and beyond.  Being a history major, there are many skills that I have obtained from Accelerated Composition that will aid me in my further studies of the people, places, and events of historical times.   For instance, as a history major, it is part of my responsibility to critically examine, interpret, and critique the many great occurrences of the past.  More specifically, I need to be able to identify and evaluate the major things, such as rhetoric and other social phenomenon, that influenced that basic ideologies and lifestyles of the past.  Thanks to Accelerated Composition, I am now prepared to exactly examine and critique various forms of rhetoric and creative outlets that so heavily influenced the the political, economic, and social ideas of humans.  With my newfound knowledge, I possess the ability to identify the powers of persuasion and argumentation within a given median, and correctly assess its effectiveness and overall impact on greater society.  In addition, the study of history requires and extensive amount of argumentative writing, in which students must compile and utilize extensive amounts of research and facts throughout history in order to prove a specific point.  After completing Accelerated Composition, I have strong aptitude for creating my own argument, and finding relevant research and sources to further enhance the argument at hand.  More importantly, I have attained the confidence in myself and my writing to assert any argument or opinion that I have without doubt or hesitation.  By and large, Accelerated Composition has given me the self-assurance, savvy, and writing and research skills that will enhance my future as a historian and student at Clemson University.


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    • Photo essay
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    • Portfolio cover letter assignment
    • Student sample
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You are here: Home / Portfolio cover letter assignment

Portfolio cover letter assignment

Your final assignment for this semester will be the cover letter that will introduce the pieces in your portfolio and allow you to reflect on your development as a writer over the course of this semester. This letter should be typed as a single-spaced letter in block format (paragraphs aligned at the left margin, with an extra line between paragraphs) that is addressed to the members of the Portfolio Committee who will be reading your portfolio.

You may want to begin the essay with an introduction to who you were as a writer as you came into this class, maybe something brief about your background and how you assessed your strengths and weaknesses, maybe something about what your assumptions had been about the class or about college writing in general.

The body of your letter should discuss the three essays you’ve included in the portfolio (the logical way to set this up would be one paragraph per essay). Explain why you chose each essay and how each illustrates your abilities as a writer. In essence, the letter should at least in part be an argument that you’ve achieved the course objectives of English 11. (You may want to check the syllabus here.) Be sure to consider and discuss the applicable criteria of focus, development, organization, mechanics, and research skills that the committee will be evaluating. Be sure to refer to specific parts/places in each essay. For at least one of the essays (perhaps the one that gave you the most difficulties), trace the essay’s evolution through the stages of generating topic and details, drafting, revision, and proofreading.

Your conclusion (a final attempt to sway your readers) might include any recognitions you’ve made about yourself as a writer and any changes you’ve made (or plan to make) in your writing process.

An important reminder: Your letter itself should also serve as evidence of your writing competence in its focus, development, and organization.

Length guidelines: I expect that a well-developed letter would be at least 500 words or so.

Student samples from previous semester:




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