Portfolio Guide

This guide is intended to provide some guidance to help you in submitting a successful portfolio to either place into 102 (placement portfolio) or obtain credit-by-exam (CBE) for 102. While there are some differences between these two processes, the portfolios largely do the same thing — either demonstrate that you’ve met the student learning outcomes (SLOs) for 101 and should consequently place directly into 102 or demonstrate that you have met the outcomes for 102 and do not need to complete Core Writing classes at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Note: we have recently updated the SLOs for both classes so be sure to visit Core Writing for the latest outcomes for each class.

Tips for success

  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Choose writing samples, whenever possible, that reflect the kind of writing assigned in ENG 101 (if seeking placement into 102) or ENG102 (if seeking CBE for 102).
  • A successful application is as much about the cover letter as the writing sample. Don’t skimp on the cover letter (successful letters tend to be at least 500 words long).
    • In your cover letter, be sure to clearly and thoroughly describe how the writing samples demonstrate your fulfillment of specific ENG 101 or 102 student learning outcomes.
    • Point to specific instances in your writing text as evidence that you have fulfilled a specific learning outcome. Rather than say, “my sample shows that I have fulfilled SLO x,” point to a specific aspect of or passage in your sample and explain in detail how that passage demonstrates that you have fulfilled the objective.
  • Your reasons for seeking placement or CBE should revolve around your previous learning and fulfillment of ENG 101’s or 102’s SLOs. The committee will not consider outside circumstances such as an approaching graduation or finances.
  • Draft your cover letter, seek out feedback, and revise and edit.

Effective cover letter examples

The first example is from a cover letter written by a student seeking placement into 102. The second example is from a cover letter written by a student seeking CBE for 102.

Whether you are seeking placement into 102 or CBE for 102, you should note the approach taken in these examples, especially how they point to and discuss specific examples in their writing to demonstrate their fulfillment of SLOs. Again, please reference the latest SLOs posted on the University of Nevada, Reno Core Writing website as they may have changed from those referenced in these examples.

Example 1: seeking placement into 102

Example 2: seeking CBE for 102