Submitting a Writing Portfolio for Possible 101 or 102 Credit
Students entering college for the first time or students transferring from another institution (and who have not already received credit for courses recognized by the University of Louisville as being equivalent to English 101 or English 102) may submit a writing portfolio evidencing their ability to compose college-level academic writing. The composition office will evaluate the writing for possible placement out of English 101 or 102. Only a small percentage of portfolios receive exemption. Portfolios must be submitted by the end of the student's first semester at the University of Louisville. Portfolios submitted after this deadline will be returned without evaluation.
Academic advising should be able to tell you your score when you meet to discuss your schedule, or you may contact one of the Assistant Directors of Composition at Contact four weeks after submitting your portfolio to find out your score.
Incoming first-year college students and transfer students in their first semester at UofL may submit a portfolio. Students who have been attending classes at UofL for several semesters are not eligible for portfolio evaluation. This policy is intended to ensure that students are prepared to do college-level writing before taking advanced academic courses. Students may submit a portfolio only once.
Submit your portfolio as early as possible—preferably prior to attending UofL. Early portfolio submission ensures proper and timely placement into the appropriate college writing course. In all cases, portfolios must be submitted prior to the end of your first semester at UofL. Portfolios submitted after this deadline will be returned without evaluation.
We require that portfolios be submitted in the first semester so that you can be placed into the proper-level writing course as soon as possible and before you begin attempting advanced academic coursework. English 101 and 102 lay the foundation for future college-level work. When students try to delay taking these courses and prematurely enroll in advanced courses, they often find they are not fully prepared to succeed at the academic writing required in such courses
Each portfolio should contain
- At least three texts that together total at least 12 double-spaced pages demonstrating your ability and preparation to compose extended, college-level academic essays.Usually, these will be writings that you composed while in high school (and for Kentucky students may include work submitted as part of their KIRIS portfolio), but they may also be three recent texts that adequately display your writing skills. At least one of these texts should demonstrate that you can compose a longer essay. While you may include creative writing, more traditionally academic genres—including argumentative, expository, research, and transactional essays—are generally more effective in showcasing your academic writing ability.
- A reflective cover letter that details how the writing included in the portfolio meets the Outcomes for English 101 and 102.Please read the Outcomes statements carefully. A successful reflective letter will refer to specific details about or point to specific passages in the submitted pieces and explain how these instances meet the particular language in the Outcomes statement. A successful cover letter will also talk about the process of composing the included texts, the intended audiences for these texts, and how the writing included illustrates an ability to write for a range of rhetorical purposes and goals. Again, be sure to show how all of these texts evidence your capability to meet specific criteria from the outcomes statement. A strong reflective cover letter is key to a successful portfolio.
- All students must fill out the front of the form completely and have it signed by a high school or post-secondary counselor or teacher from the outside institution (other than U of L) who is familiar with their writing. If it is not possible to obtain a signature on the authenticity sheet, the portfolio must include a letter from the adviser or teacher from the outside institution that the student worked with that verifies the authenticity.
It will take approximately four weeks to evaluate your portfolio. Approximately 10-15% of students can expect to receive exemption from English 101. Exemption from English 102 is rarely given. You can expect one of the following outcomes from the portfolio process:
- No exemption: This is the most common outcome.
- Direct placement into English 102: The portfolio is determined to demonstrate the ability to produce superior work in English 101 but not English 102. The student is granted three hours of college credit for English 101 and is still expected to fulfill the second three hours of the written communication requirement (i.e. English 102). Approximately 10-15% of portfolios will receive this outcome.
- Exemption from both English 101 and 102: The portfolio is determined to demonstrate the ability to produce superior work in English 101 and English 102. The student is granted six hours of college credit and fulfills the general education written communication requirement. This outcome is very rare.
Under no circumstances can students be placed into English 105: Honors English based upon their portfolio scores. English 105 is an honors course only open to students who are admitted into the university honors program
Reminder: Academic advising should be able to tell you your score when you meet to discuss your schedule, or you may contact ADCQuery@louisville.edu four weeks after submitting your portfolio to find out your score.
The Composition Office - Portfolio
Room 315 C
Bingham Humanities Building
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
For additional questions, please contact the Assistant Directors of Composition at Contact or call the composition office at (502) 852-6896.