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A well-created writing portfolio can give a prospective student or job candidate an edge over the competition. A writer can create a portfolio in print or in an electronic format. The portfolio can also be tailored for differing needs such as work or school. The writing samples included in a portfolio can come from coursework or from other documents that the author has developed for personal or professional reasons.

4 Tips for Creating a Writing Portfolio

  1. The writer should choose different types of writing samples to include. Samples to include can be well-written essays, research papers, collaborative writing projects, web content, text from a blog or a self-created website, and articles written for print or for an online newsfeed. Even examples of cover letters and resumes can be included. College entrance and scholarship essays can be especially well-written and worthy of incorporation.
  2. A cover letter for each section of the portfolio is needed. This letter should explain what the reader will be viewing and any pertinent information about each submission. Include a brief description of each writing experience. This practice brings the portfolio alive. The reader may find the content more relevant if he or she knows the creative process behind the work.
  3. The written portfolio should be created in a formal document with a title page and page numbers. The writer can add pictures or other decorative features depending on the software he or she has available. Use discretion when adding creative features, especially if the portfolio will be used for professional presentation.
  4. For electronic writing portfolios, the creator can use a word document that can be attached to an email. A writing portfolio embedded in a website can be very creative. A link to the website can be included in an email or on a resume or other document. Many website building sites are available. Some are free and offer reasonable upgrades. These sites help the creator build and will host a professional-looking website with relative ease.

Showcasing your writing ability is important for academic and professional success. Choosing the correct portfolio format and content is important. The development of a writing portfolio can be fun and rewarding, and it can be a positive step in one’s academic and professional growth.

Written by Beth Calvano

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Writing Skills

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Finals, unfortunately, come with the holiday season. But, they don’t have to be terrifying if you take steps to prepare, and if you follow some simple, time-tested practices. First, you must make a plan. A calendar is an effective tool for listing exam dates and times. This can be accomplished on a paper calendar, on your computer, or smartphone. At least 30 iPhone calendar apps exist, and some are free. Establishing a list of exams will help you organize a study schedule.

Once you know how many exams you will have to take and when the exams will take place, you should make attempts to ask your professors for any information that may help in the studying process. If the professor is not too sadistic, he or she will offer some kind of direction.

  1. What type of test will it be: multiple choice, essay questions, a combination, etc.?
  2. Will the test be comprehensive, covering material from the beginning of the semester?
  3. What subject matter will be on the test?
  4. How much time will students have to complete the test?

When studying for the exams, take breaks every couple of hours. Take a walk or visit with friends. Some students may study more effectively in groups. If you are one of those students, make study dates early-on and keep them. Keep to your study schedule. You will feel more confident and on track.

When exam day comes, breathe. Stick to your usual routines, so that you don’t feel too disconnected.

Tips for taking finals include:

  1. When the test is placed before you, read the entire document. Get a feel for the tone of the test.
  2. Make an assessment, and begin by answering the easy questions first.
  3. When you are finished with the test, look it over again. Stick old adage; do not change answers unless they are obviously wrong. Your first instinct is usually correct.

After each exam, do something nice for yourself such as sitting down with some hot chocolate, or getting into the holiday spirit with a stroll through the local mall. Remember, the holidays will be arriving soon, and the stress you feel today will be a memory! Then, get back to your study schedule. Finals are stressful, but taking measures to organize and to look after your mental health can help alleviate some of the stressful aspects.

-- Written by Beth Calvano, a college English composition instructor at Instructor at Newport Business Institute who regularly uses Turnitin; also pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership.

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Writing Skills

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