Writing and Linguistics
College of Arts and Humanities

The Senior Portfolio

for a PDF of the Senior Portfolio requirements, click here


Congratulations, soon-to-be graduating senior!

Georgia Southern University’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), requires all departments at Georgia Southern University to assess continually their degree programs. For the degree in Writing and Linguistics, we assess the program by evaluating the student portfolios of graduating seniors. Students should begin to assemble portfolios as soon as they declare a major.


Students will curate and submit a portfolio of texts with an accompanying self-assessment narrative. A “text” can be a print or electronic document or multimodal project. The final portfolio itself must be digital; students may submit scanned copies of their texts.

Majors in Writing & Linguistics must take at least one capstone course (which may be an internship) to graduate. (Students might also choose another 5000 level course to substitute for one of the designated capstone courses with approval of the instructor and Chair. )

Curated during the student’s senior year with guidance of faculty in their selected course, the required artifacts will show how well the department is reaching its student learning outcomes for the major.

*Note: While students may take more than one course from the list of capstone courses, they are required to turn in only one senior portfolio in one senior portfolio course.

Overall, the artifacts selected should demonstrate the student’s ability to reflect on writing processes, to analyze texts and incorporate research, and to produce writing for a particular audience or purpose in the academic field or professional realm. Some students will include artifacts that also demonstrate competence in linguistics. Though students will curate the portfolio with the guidance of their capstone instructors, the artifacts can come from any upper level Writing and Linguistics course, as long as they represent the targeted descriptions below.

Beyond the self-assessment essay, which we’d recommend students write after selecting the portfolio artifacts, students are not required to create any new work for the portfolio. The portfolio artifacts will be selected from among the upper level courses (including the capstone/internship) students have taken during their time in the program. They should be free of instructor comments, and students are not required to revise any work. When selecting work, students should consider the criteria explained below.

The Senior Portfolio

  1. A table of contents listing the included materials. Two sample tables of contents are presented below.
  2. A self‐assessment narrative. Students should explain the rationale behind why and how they selected their portfolio writing samples. They should emphasize strengths of their portfolio choices and how their choices reflect their mastery of the learning outcomes of the Writing and Linguistics program. Students may complete this requirement under the guidance of the capstone content course or internship instructor. Students who compile this portfolio while they complete an internship may draw from the essay required for their internship course, but they should also be sure to reflect on all texts in their portfolios.
  3. A sample of formal, substantial work that best demonstrates their ability to analyze texts and incorporate research. Possible options for this sample include analysis essays, a text analyzing a significant issue in the field of linguistics, a usability study from a professional/technical writing course, a multimodal presentation, or an analysis of creative nonfiction. Ultimately, students should include the piece that they think best showcases their ability to critically analyze and synthesize. Students should select a substantive sample. A one page audience analysis that was only a small part of a larger assignment, for example, would not be a good choice for this requirement.
  4. A sample of each student’s best work written for a specific situation and audience. Possible options for this sample include original creative work, a product pitch, a promotional plan, a client‐based project such as a business plan or grant proposal, a digital story, a qualitative study, etc. Again, students should choose the best, most polished writing (which can include electronic texts such as websites, blog sites, etc.), and they should include related audience analysis or reflective work if it was part of the original assignment. Students might imagine this requirement as an extensive publishable piece or assignment written for a specific rhetorical situation. Regardless of genre, students should provide a substantive sample. One or two pages of writing is not sufficient.
  5. A sample of each student’s work in a linguistics class that demonstrates expertise in mapping linguistic structures to their functions in different contexts and ability to articulate the implications of language variation. Note: Required of students who have completed a LING course. This artifact is not required for students who haven’t taken a LING course.

Format and Submission

Students are responsible for collecting and compiling the required samples. Prior to graduation, students will turn in these materials to their capstone instructor or internship coordinator.

Submit the portfolio electronically. Please compile all of the files in one Word document in the order listed above. Insert a Page Break between texts. Then, email the file to your capstone or internship instructor. Name the Word document “YourLastName.SeniorPortfolio.SemesterDate” (e.g. “Smith.SeniorPortfolio.Spring2019).

If you are including a multimedia element that does not fit into a Word document, please include a placeholder reference in the Word document (something like “Multimedia Portfolio Artifact, XYZ, is submitted separately” or “Follow the link for digital access to Multimedia Portfolio Artifact ABC”). Be sure to use a similar naming convention for any multimedia portfolio artifacts (e.g. “LastName.SeniorPortfolio.MultimediaArtifact1.Spring2019”)

Other Notes and Reminders

Portfolios are due according to the capstone instructor or internship coordinator’s guidelines. However, the department must receive them all by the final day of the term of graduation.

All students are required to have artifacts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Students who have taken a LING class must include artifact 5.

The portfolios will not be graded. These portfolios are used for assessing our degree program—and not the individual student—to make sure the graduates of our program can accomplish what we claim they can.

Students and Capstone Instructors can contact the Assessment Coordinator, Christy Mroczek (cmroczek@georgiasouthern.edu) with questions.

Sample Table of Contents

  1. Self-Assessment Narrative
  2. Best Critical Analysis: WRIT 5330 Rhetorical Tropes in Barbara Jordan’s Democratic National Convention Keynote Speech
  3. Best Work Written for a Specific Audience and Purpose: WRIT 5510 Grant Proposal
  4. Linguistic Course Representation: Language Variation and Grammatical Change


Sample Table of Contents

  1. Self-Assessment Narrative
  2. Best Critical Analysis: WRIT 4535 “Intellectual Property Rights Online”
  3. Best Work Written for a Specific Audience and Purpose: WRIT 5560 Advanced Fiction Writing, “The Rain”, Short Story
  4. Linguistic Course Representation: Dialect Mapping Project

Last updated: 7/21/2019

Department of Writing & Linguistics • P.O. Box 8026 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912-478-0739