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Theory of Writing Assignment

Essay #4: Portfolio and Theory of Writing (version 2)

This assignment gives you a chance to reflect on what you know about writing, and how what you know shapes your decisions about how you write. Reflection gives you a better understanding of what you know about your subject. This semester we have used reflection in this way on several occasions. For this final assignment, you’ll use reflection to develop a theory of writing. Your theory of writing will serve as the introduction to your portfolio–it should be on the introductory page to your portfolio website. The digital portfolio should contain, at a minimum, all of the major writing assignments from this semester–the Inquiry Based essay, the Source Based Essay, the Composition in Two Genres, and the Theory of Writing–plus anything else (reflections, work from other classes or your non-academic life, or something else) that will support the claims you make in your theory of writing.

Through your application of key rhetorical terms–rhetorical situation, audience, author, tone, purpose, genre, medium, stance, and language–you have been developing your theory of writing and exploring how it informs your practice of writing. We have also engaged in several writing strategies–brainstorming, peer review, and revision. As a result of your work with these rhetorical concepts and writing strategies, you have had the opportunity to create a knowledge base of writing and its practices.

For this assignment, describe your theory of writing. Using the key terms and strategies, describe what you believe it is important to know about writing. Then, describing your writing process and your writing for this semester, describe how what you believe about writing shapes your writing. Use examples from your work for this class, for other classes, or, if useful, your non-academic life to demonstrate this relationship between theory and practice.

Frame your theory of writing as a narrative–what did you believe about writing coming into this class, and how has that theory changed with each assignment? If there were any significant events that had an impact on you–a certain assignment, comments from peers and instructors, or something else–use that event as a way to shape your narrative. What is different about how you write now? Be sure to describing writing that took place outside this classroom–your theory of writing should be expansive enough to shape your writing across multiple contexts.

This final reflection is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your increased knowledge in writing–the practices of writing, the key terms, and any specific skills you’ve acquired.