Stetson University

Portfolio Placement Information

Portfolio Placement Information

What is the writing portfolio used for?

We use the writing portfolio to decide the proper placement in a writing or writing-intensive course for students who are bringing in credit for ENGL 101 (e.g., AP scores, IB scores or transfer credits from dual enrollment or other college experience).

Do I need to submit a portfolio?

All students who expect to bring in credit for ENGL 101 must submit a portfolio for placement. This includes students transferring in to Stetson University with an AA.

Students who have done substantial college level work already, even if that work has not included a writing or English course, may also submit a portfolio for placement.

What should I include in my writing portfolio?

The portfolio should contain the following materials:

  1. A self-aware and self-analytical letter of introduction to the portfolio (minimum 500 words). As part of this letter, students must define both the intellectual limitations and strengths of the writing in the portfolio and the specific drafting and revision methods employed in their production.
  2. Two or three examples of your best writing, up to a total of 15 pages. These pages should include a complete analytical and/or argumentative essay. The examples can be drawn from any course--they need not be from an English or writing course. For the purposes of this portfolio, "page" is interpreted to mean 250-275 words.
    • Essays that you've worked on in previous courses are perfect for this purpose. We ask for multiple examples because we know that you are a multifaceted writer, whose strengths and weaknesses may vary depending on the assignment. We get a much more accurate picture of your abilities when we see multiple examples of those abilities. You should include copies of the original assignment prompts if available.
    • You may also choose to include a short piece of writing that demonstrates creativity or imagination. Although the weight of the evaluation of the portfolio will be primarily on the demonstration of critical and analytical abilities, we recognize the value of creative work and invite you to include it.
  3. All portfolios must be submitted with a signed cover sheet that acts as a certification of originality. On this form, you assert that this indeed your own work and that no one has written it but you. The Honor System specifically states that students must do their own work and only their own work, adding that "All incoming students are expected to subscribe to this Pledge upon entrance to the university." With that in mind, we ask that you, as an incoming student, promise that your portfolio is your original work and that you have not relied on excessive or inappropriate assistance from anyone else in the development of that material.

When is the portfolio due?

The portfolio may be submitted as early as acceptance to Stetson University. We generally ask that the placement portfolios come in at least one semester before a student expects to take the writing requirement, so that we have adequate time to plan.

What happens after I submit the writing portfolio?

Once we have read your portfolio, we will place you in a writing course that will, once completed, fulfill your writing requirement. Students will be placed in ENGL 109 - Stetson Writing Workshop or an approved writing-intensive course. Your placement will be recorded on your degree audit; once it's been recorded, you should work with your advisor to enroll in a suitable course.

How do I prepare the writing portfolio?

We ask that names, identifying marks, teacher marks and teacher comments be removed from all pages of the portfolio. Only your student ID number should appear on each page of each piece of writing.

Portfolios should be submitted electronically (in PDF, DOC or DOCX format) to the director of the Writing Program at

If submitted in hard copy, the entire portfolio should be clipped together with the cover sheet on the top and mailed to:

Writing Program
C/o Department of English
Unit 8300
421 N. Woodland Blvd.
DeLand, FL 32723

Courses Offered in English

This list includes only the writing courses offered by the Department of English. Writing-intensive courses are offered throughout the university.

ENGL 100 - College Writing

This course emphasizes shorter units of composition (sentences and paragraphs) and includes significant attention to matters of grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling and mechanics. This course does not satisfy the writing requirement, but it may be required for some students. Students are usually placed in ENGL 100 so that they can brush up on the skills essential to success in ENGL 101. A minimum grade of C is required in this course.

ENGL 101 - Writing and Rhetoric

This course enhances the writing skills of first-year students to university standards and expectations. ENGL 101 teaches students the appropriate academic and rhetorical techniques for developing an argument in terms suitable for an assignment, supporting that argument with information appropriate to its audience, organizing the argument in terms oriented to its readers, and casting the whole in an individual, engaging, authentic voice. Students submit a final portfolio. Although this course is not focused on research techniques, students learn the essentials of incorporating research effectively into their writing. A minimum grade of C is required in this course.

ENGL 109 - Writing Workshop

This course is available by portfolio placement only.

This course functions as a small workshop designed to introduce students who have some experience with college-level writing to Stetson University's specific expectations. Students work throughout the semester on specific skills so that a final portfolio, edited and revised with peer and instructor input, demonstrates writing at the appropriate levels of expectation. This course is reserved for students bringing transfer credit or exam credit equivalent to ENGL 101. A minimum grade of C is required in this course.

ENGL 201 - Intermediate Writing

This course amplifies the skills covered in ENGL 101 by providing further practice at the skills of drafting, revising and editing effective academic, argumentative and expository prose. It emphasizes academic standards for grammar, mechanics and usage, the analysis of prose models according to outlook, style, purpose, audience and organization, and the application of various rhetorical strategies to achieve specific written results. Students taking ENGL 201 to satisfy their writing requirement must earn a final grade of C or better.

Other Courses

The Writing Program supports these writing intensive General Education courses:

Outside of the general education courses, Stetson University offers a wide and varied range of courses approved as "writing-intensive." Because we know the value of enhanced writing abilities, we encourage students to consider obtaining this additional experience by taking one or more writing-intensive classes.

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