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Frequently Asked Questions for the Writing Portfolios

*When is the portfolio due?

Portfolios are due on the second Friday of November of the senior year

*Is it okay to revise my documents before I submit them to my portfolio?

Yes and no.  We are looking for you to show growth in your scientific writing, so we do not revise the documents that you share from your earlier courses in the major (e.g., lab reports from chem 240 or chem 260).  You may revise the samples you include from your upper level courses including the writing you did for a non-scientific audience.  It would be appropriate to address how and why you revised your writing in the reflection you submit about your growth as a writer.

*May I use the first person in my reflection?
Yes.  You should definitely do this.


*What should I include in my written reflection?

This should be a persuasive essay in which you explain your growth as a writer to your faculty readers.  Lead your readers through your portfolio in a manner that makes the argument that you have grown as a writer over the course of your major.  Most people write 2-3 pages.


*I lost many of my written documents in a computer crash.  What should I do?

Please talk to the department chair immediately.


*What happens if I do not pass my Writing in the Major requirement?

Any student whose portfolio does not demonstrate competence will be notified by the first day of the second semester and will have to complete an additional writing component of the senior comprehensive exam to demonstrate writing competence in the major