CUNY COMPosition & Rhetoric Community

Sample Student Generated Portfolio Grading Guidelines

[23 Aug 2014 Sean Note:  This website portfolio grading guide was generated by one of my Fall 2013 classes in a shared google doc.  The class broke into teams of three and drafted guidelines for each piece of the portfolio. (I did the draft for the evaluative essay.)  One team decided how I should weigh each piece in the total grade.  Then we reviewed each group’s work as a class and offered suggestions to the group for changes until we reached consensus.] [3 Dec. 2013]

Portfolio Assignment — Here is where we will build the portfolio assignment and assessment guidelines.  We must figure out what elements will go into the portfolio and how I should  assess each piece when I grade them.  Portfolios equal one half of your final grade and they are required by the department to pass the course.

12/3 Platforms:  You can use Google Sites, Weebly, Tumblr — or other sites if you check in with me first.

Portfolio Grading OUT OF 50 points   (A+++++, G+++++, G+++++++)

1)   10 points    Research Essay (Our F2 for most of you)

2)   5 points      Annotated bibliography

3)   9 points    Another Process Essay (Our F1 for most of you)

4)   5 points      Evaluative Essay

5)   6 points      Frick Rhetorical Analysis

6)   6 points      Lincoln Movie Scene Analysis

7)   9 points      Movie



1) researched essay (Our F2 for most of you.) (B+++++, S+++++, H+++++)

a) citations: correct format (MLA), alphabetical order, easy to follow

b) credibility of sources: no bias/ limited bias→ if so, must state in paper;

c) setting the hook: interest the reader, standout (can vary depending on topic of  research; ex: serious, funny, solemn, etc.); doesn’t mislead the reader

d) solid thesis: direct question, not too broad, thoroughly answered in the essay

e) clarity: “cut the fat,”unity, not too verbose (take Zinnser into account)

f) grammar

g) flow

h) content: informative, persuasive, analytical

2) An Annotated Bibliography for the researched essay. (J+++++, G++++++, F++++++)

  • The citations should be thorough in MLA format
  • Trusted sources (Credibility)
  • Quotes from source
  • A condensed summary of the reading
  • The reading should be able to support the point the student is trying to make and provide information
  • Student should have at least 4 sources in the essay (Adequate amount of research to inform the reader)

3) another process essay (Our F1 for most of you.) (J+++++, V+++++, D++++++)

  • Strong thesis question
    • Not:
      • too broad
      • too easy
      • too speculative
    • set the hook
  • (if necessary) credible sources to back up claims
    • MLA citation
  • How well it flows
  • cut the fat
  • Development of the essay from the Discovery Draft to the Final Draft
  • unified to the thesis question
    • central focus
  • complex & creative thinking

4) Evaluative essay:  (Sean) This new essay should be the last thing you write.  Use it to think about the different ways of seeing writing that we have considered together this semester:  Transmission, growth and process, classical and modern rhetorics, socially constructed knowledge, and multimodal composition.  Incorporate sources where they are useful (use your ann bibs–Elbow, Dweck, etc.– to help here)  Think about how these different ways of seeing writing worked for you as you completed writing assignments that explored each one (except maybe transmission writing).  Did your writing or thinking change over the semester?  Did some ways of seeing writing resonate for you or fall flat.  Did some of them overlap or weave together?  You can quote or cite your own writing or anything else that seems useful.  I’m thinking close to four pages, around 1000 words–but only use as many words as you need to fully address your ideas. (Remember the advice from Zinsser and Vonnegut.) You can focus on one or more ways to view writing if you prefer.

5) Frick rhetorical analysis (J+++++++;  R++++++++)

-citations (MLA format)

-argument about the painting and the Frick Museum

-a thorough description for the collection you picked

-rhetorical analysis using broad/modern rhetoric

-images-for the art and the museum

6) Lincoln Movie Scene analysis (J+++++++++, S++++++++, J+++++++++)


>analysis of character dialogue

>analysis of character interaction

>observations and examples of rhetorical devices employed by the director

>includes multiple tactics of arguments (definition/comparison/relationship/circumstance/testimony)

>use of appeals (ethos, pathos,logos)


>set the hook or background information

7) Movies S+++++/S+++++++/T++++++++

-length: two minutes (plus/minus 15 seconds)

-credits/bibliography of sources

-content: how much it reflects your thesis question/research paper

can the viewer understand your movie?

rhetorically effective?


-engaging to the viewer


DEADLINE: 12-13-13!!!