Introduction

On this page, you should articulate in specific terms the purpose of your portfolio. The idea here is to make an argument about your abilities as a literary critic, critical thinker, and writer—an argument that you will evidence in the presentation and process portfolios. Explain what the portfolio is meant so show, what your reader will find, what you think you’ve achieved, and how effectively you’ve done so. You should also provide an overview of the portfolio’s contents—your evidence for the argument you’re making—and perhaps suggest how a reader should explore those contents.  Think creatively about using the digital medium to achieve your goals. Do you want to hyperlink your reader directly to essays you mention? Do you want to replace a written argument with a video, or refer to a current news article? Can you use images or other media in a way that advances your purpose? This is the first thing your readers will read in depth, and it will inflect how they encounter the rest of the website. Finally, try not to overlap with the “welcome” page.

Consider your audience. I’ve introduced a good deal of technical terminology (based in literary theory), and some process and procedural strategies (based in composition studies). We know this language well now–but your reader isn’t likely to. You may want to define or clarify certain terms you need to use to make your case (such as “close reading” or “poststructrualism”), or you you may want to reframe technical terminology with a more straightforward description (“Peer review workshop” becomes “seeking feedback”; “problem framing” may be replaced with “Asking questions”) .

More importantly, I strongly encourage you to make all of this discussion relevant–to you and to others. Feel free to offer one or more non-literary, political, or social references to help your reader understand the importance of literary analysis to themselves, to you, and to the world we share.