English Major Exit Portfolio Requirement

English Major Exit Portfolio Requirement

Dear English Majors:

The English Department is committed to providing our students with the best possible educational experience, helping them to develop valuable knowledge and skills. To support that ongoing commitment we regularly evaluate our success. One key form of evaluation is through the collection and examination of representative student writing. Therefore, the department instituted a requirement that each English major turn in a writing portfolio as a graduation requirement.

The results of the portfolio assessment will not affect your GPA or course grades in any way. We read the portfolios to determine how we are doing in achieving the goals of the English major and to help us plan for ways we might improve what we do in the future.

To be considered complete and meet the graduation requirement, your portfolio must include the following elements:

  • At least seven pieces of finished and fully edited writing (artifacts), arranged in chronological order.
    • One of these must be your capstone project (senior seminar paper, ENG 499 thesis, or Honors thesis).
    • At least one artifact must be work from a writing intensive gateway course (ENG 203, 204, or 205).
    • At least one artifact must be work from a 300-level ENG course.
    • Include work from at least one additional English course taken at Eastern (not including ENG 100 or 100P).
    • You may also include artifacts from other courses you’ve taken at Eastern or from outside the university (such as work completed for an internship, a job, or for extra-curricular activities).
  • A completed “Portfolio Framework Grid” indicating which artifacts you feel display your level of competency for each of the English major learning goals (see the list of goals and sample grid). You should include at least one artifact related to each goal, and you may include the same artifact for multiple goals.
  • A brief introduction to each artifact in the portfolio (minimum 250 words), explaining
    • why you think it is relevant for the specific goal(s) under which you listed it on your grid, and
    • how—specifically—it displays your level of competency with regard to the goal(s).
  • A critical and reflective essay (750 to 1250 words) that introduces the portfolio as a whole, making clear how your portfolio reflects the sum of your education at Eastern, both within the English major and within the larger context of a Liberal Arts university. For this last component, you might want to refer to the guiding principles and core abilities for Eastern’s Liberal Arts Core. Additional guidance on composing the critical and reflective essay is available here.
  • A printout of the email you received confirming your completion of the Survey for Graduating Seniors. (See your capstone instructor or the English department chair for the survey link).

To meet the requirement in time for graduation, your full and final portfolio must be submitted no later than the last day of final exams for the semester immediately preceding your planned graduation date. For summer graduation, the portfolio must be submitted by the last day of summer classes. Please use a binder clip to hold your portfolio and use this checklist as the cover sheet for your portfolio.

If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact your faculty advisor or the English department chair.

Please note that your exit portfolio will not be returned to you. If you wish to have access to copies of your papers for future reference, you should save them to a storage space that you can continue to access in the long-term future.


liu 86 120Barbara Liu, PhD
Professor and Chair
English Department
Webb Hall 230
(860) 465-4576