The writing portfolio documents your development as a writer over your first three SAGES seminars and provides the University with feedback that will be used to enhance the SAGES program. You should include the final versions of essays. There is no need to revise these essays prior to portfolio submission. As you decide which papers to include, you are welcome to consult your writing instructor, faculty seminar leaders, the Writing Resource Center, or the SAGES Peer Writing Crew in developing your writing portfolio. (To make an appointment with the Writing Resource Center, please visit wrc.case.edu; to make an appointment with the SAGES Peer Writing Crew, please visit TutorTrac.)
Please note: Students alone are responsible for providing copies of their work in their final portfolios. Individual seminar instructors and/or the Writing Resource Center can discuss strategies for archiving written work and for building the portfolio, but they do not retain copies of essays for students.
The writing portfolio must contain the following material in order:
(Please do not use staples or folders. We prefer small and one final jumbo paper clip [provided upon submission].)
- Submission Form (download here)
- A 2- to 3-page reflective essay (see guidelines below)
- One essay from your First Seminar
- One essay from a University Seminar
- A research paper from your other University Seminar. This paper is typically 10 to 12 pages long; at a minimum, it must contain 8 pages of prose (not counting the bibliography). The research essay must integrate and cite primary and/or secondary source material and include a properly formatted bibliography page or bibliographic footnotes (see additional details below).
All essays submitted in your writing portfolio should be your own work. Faculty reviewers do not encourage the inclusion of collaboratively written papers, but if you wish to include multi-authored work, you must justify its inclusion and explain your individual contribution to the final product in a reader’s note (~1 page) attached to the front of the essay. No more than one such project may be included in the final portfolio.
Prompt: Reflecting on the essays included in your portfolio, discuss how your writing has developed across your first-year and university SAGES seminars. Provide evidence and examples from your essays and/or your writing process to demonstrate your development. (2-3 pages)
Portfolio readers are genuinely interested in your own thinking about the writing you did in SAGES as well as the writing you do or plan to do outside of SAGES. They are most interested in what you have learned about the relation of writing to ideas and to your own critical thinking.
Your portfolio must contain a research paper, ideally from one of your two University Seminars. By "research paper," SAGES means a sustained engagement with an academic conversation—summarizing and critiquing what others have said on your topic—that includes your own novel claim or argument. This paper must do more than catalog the research you have done (i.e., an annotated bibliography is not sufficient); it should demonstrate your ability to synthesize academic research on a specific topic and to offer your own analysis or critical intervention. Such a paper will have a single controlling idea that represents your own thinking about the topic. A laboratory report, therefore, is not an appropriate substitute unless it goes well beyond reporting the procedure and results of an experiment.
The research paper should be approximately 10-12 pages; the absolute minimum length is 8 pages of prose (not counting the bibliography). The research essay must integrate and cite primary and/or secondary source material and include a properly formatted bibliography.
If you did not have the opportunity to write a research paper in either of your University Seminars (a fact you would document by submitting copies of the syllabi from those seminars), or if your SAGES research papers are insufficiently long, consult the SAGES director (SAGESportfolio@case.edu) about the possibility of submitting a paper from a non-SAGES course.
Notification and Assessment Process
After you turn in your portfolio, it will be reviewed by the SAGES Portfolio Coordinator. An acceptable portfolio must not only be complete (i.e., all papers are present and appropriate) but also demonstrate your good faith effort to assemble the portfolio and craft a thoughtful reflection on your writing. Once your portfolio has met these requirements, you will receive an email confirming that your portfolio has satisfied the University's composition requirement for graduation.
Each year, SAGES convenes a committee of faculty from several schools within the university to read and assess the portfolios to provide valuable feedback about our seminar curriculum and writing instruction. While you will not receive specific feedback on your own portfolio, SAGES publicly recognizes the best submissions.
Please send questions to SAGESportfolio@case.edu.